August 16, 2016

Classroom Must Haves: I Can't Picture Myself Teaching Without...

Hello all! Back To School is upon us and I see teachers getting their classrooms ready, attending "professional development" meetings, staff meetings, etc.  Wouldn't it be nice to know what other teachers can't live without in their classrooms? Maybe you'd get some great ideas for this year!

Well Create-Teach-Share is having a giveaway and joining others in talking about what they can't picture themselves teaching without! I'm not doing this to join the giveaway or anything [they're upper elementary], just thought it would be a great way to share with others what I utilize in my classroom, and see what YOU can't live without in yours!!

[from Create-Teach-Share]

So, my must have classroom supply is the annotation stickers I have students use if they're borrowing a school book! I love to have students annotate/perform close readings of the novels we read because I truly believe it enhances comprehension and analyzing skills. 
 These are Avery See-Through sticky notes. They're big arrows, though I've seen students cut them in half to make better use of them.  These sticky notes allow students to annotate on the novel, and still see the text underneath so they don't have to lift up a sticky note every time we read or re-read a passage. 

Number 2 is my must have book for teaching. Recently, I found that writing has been the biggest struggle for students. I found a wonderful book that I incorporated in my Argument Writing Unit called,  Teaching Argument Writing by George Hillocks, Jr. 

 I loved the insight this book provided and with my Argument Writing Unit, I really felt like the students made huge strides in their writing skills!

I LOVE using my SmashBook to engage students in novels! I never had so many students tell me they enjoyed an assignment more :) I actually use this resource as their "homework" while I'm teaching the Argument Writing unit because I still want them to be reading as well. It's a perfect combination :) 

 [creative page for identifying figurative language]

 [learning to analyze characters/character development]

And lastly, my must have classroom freebie. When I started teaching annotation, I got a lot of students write: 'cool', 'weird', 'why?'...not exactly what I was looking for [even though we had done an extensive lesson about how to annotate]. So I created a bookmark for the students: this bookmark reminds them how to annotate/close read!

 I noticed much more extensive and deeper annotations after passing out the bookmarks. Turns out the students didn't want to have to look back at their notes to see what to annotate for, so they just "made stuff up". While I didn't want to encourage the "laziness", I did want to encourage annotation, so this was a compromise I made. 

You can get them for free HERE at my TPT Store

AFTER you download my freebie, COMMENT on this page to let us know what you can't live without while teaching :) I'd love to see what your resources are, and I'm sure others would love to know too!

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