Classroom Terrarium

Classroom Design, Science

Establishing a terrarium in our classroom wasn’t a planned event.  It happened because one of my kids brought in a cocoon and we needed a place to put it. I thought it might be nice to put it behind glass so that they could observe, ask questions, and make predictions.  We had hoped that whatever it was would emerge before school let out for the summer– but it didn’t, so I took the terrarium home and emailed updates to my students’…

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Personalized Learning During Writer’s Workshop

Personalized Learning, Writing

You may have already read about how personalized learning works during our writing workshop routine.  I continue to refine personalized learning routines in my classroom.  Up until recently, my students have been working as a class using a class developed writing checklist.  The skills found on our checklist were taught during mini lessons.  Students used the checklist during their independent writing time as a reminder of what was expected.  They were encouraged to use it as as a “mental checklist” when they reread their…

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Ask An Expert

Anchor charts, Behavior, Daily 5, Math Workshop, PBIS

In Stopping the Revolving Door at Your Guided Reading Table – I share a strategy that takes the focus off of you as the sole source of help, empowering your students to identify others in the classroom that can help problem solve or provide an assist, when needed. Our Ask an Expert chart, identifies tasks/skills that students frequently need help with, and shares who in the room can help (besides the teacher). To create the chart, I determine classroom situations that seem to…

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Hesitant to Paint Your Cabinets?


For three years I’ve been pinning “how to paint your kitchen cabinets” posts.  I had a self-diagnosed case of Pintimidation; I just could not get over my fear of starting this project!  It’s only paint after all, right?   This summer, I finally took the plunge! You might decide to go ahead and paint your kitchen cabinets after reading about my amusing experience.  Or not! From the tutorials that I had pinned, I was leaning toward Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body: How…

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