1st Day of School – What Will I do?

The first day of school is upon us – for me it is officially August 7th! I am both excited and nervous as I always am for the first days of school. I am anxious that I won’t be firm enough on the first day of school (because I have had years like that in the past) and then my whole year is ruined – not really, but it feels that way.

So, what am I going to do to set the stage?

At our school, the very first day is already prescribed for us. In all academic classes, we read through a section of the handbook. ALL. DAY. LONG. – It is one of the necessary parts of teaching. Especially because I have 6th Grade. In order to break up the monotony, I try to plan a light-hearted activity. In the past, I have played two truths and a lie, but this year I think I am going to try something new.

First Day of School Investigate the Teacher Activity

I am going to try an investigative challenge. Students will have to gather clues from items around my room to decide what type of teacher I am. I found this idea on Pinterest – which then lead me to TpT and teacher-author: Write With Ms. G. I am excited to try this out with my students and I will update you with how it works.

As I was perusing her store I also found a set of back to school stations. Stations are a large part of my teaching. I use a lot of Kesler station labs and others that I create myself. I thought this set of stations would be a good way to train my students how stations work, while getting them to look through the syllabus, etc.

First Day of School Activity: Learning Stations - Engage students on Day 1

What are your plans for the first day or week of school? Let me know in the comments below!

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Cornell Doodle Notes = Best of Both Worlds

If you have subscribed to my blog for any amount of time, then you know that I love doodle notes. I have also written about using Cornell notes as well. Toward the end of the year, I stumbled across the best of both of these note-taking methods = CORNELL DOODLE NOTES!

Basically, you combine the organization of Cornell notes with the graphic organization of doodle notes. Over the summer I have been converting a lot of my notes into this style of note-taking.

Here are a couple of examples of notes that I’ve created so far:

From my BIG BANG THEORY Notes –

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From my WHERE WE ARE IN THE UNIVERSE Notes –

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I love that I can combine graphics and notes in such a well-organized way. I cannot wait to use these with my students! Have you thought of any new ideas this summer?

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End of Summer Panic!

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So, I can now clearly see the end of summer! We go back to school for pre-planning on August 1st! Why do summers fly by so fast?

I will say that around my house we were a lot more productive, but I am still having that end of summer moment where I’m just flabbergasted that it is almost over! How are you feeling right now?

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Long Range Planning

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In the past, I have been dependent upon pacing guides and curriculum maps. I knew the units of study at the beginning of the year. Then, I just planned week by week using that as my guide. However, what I found was that I would spend too much time on some topics and gloss over others.

This year I wanted to intentional about long-range planning. So, I looked at each standard and came up with the main topics. Sort of the top five or so for each standard. my plan is to spend one week on each main topic. I am hoping this will help me not to rush through things and also with retention of information.

I’ll give you updates about how my planning is working out as the year progresses. How do you long range plan?

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Teacher Feature: Bonnie Kathryn Teaching

Bonnie is a fellow Christ follower and she is an awesome educator. She teaches elementary, but I was drawn to her because she creates Bible studies for teachers. She also has a group called TEACHERS IN THE WORD.

She has an awesome website where she blogs and tells more about her daily life. She also shares new products and Bible studies.  Click the photo below to visit her site:

If you are interested in growing in God’s word as a teacher I definitely recommend her bible studies. They can be found in her tpt store.

 

I hope that you will take a moment to look at some of her products and see everything she has available. I have joined her facebook group – teachers in the word and I hope you will join me too!

“Iron Sharpens Iron, and so one man sharpens another” ~ Proverbs 27:17

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Teacher Self Care – Bible Journaling

I am a teacher, but way above that, I am a Christian. Self-care has been a huge buzz word as of late and I do agree that we need to take time to ourselves. It is like the oxygen mask on the airplane – you have to put yours on before helping others. We cannot continue to teach if we are constantly used up by our students. That is what leads to burn out.

The thing that aids me and sustains me as a teacher is my relationship with Christ. When I feel like I cannot go on I can pray and he is there to give me exactly what I need. If you are not a Christian, then this may be strange sounding to you. You may also question how I could possibly teach science as a Christian – but that is a tale for another time.

Recently, one practice that has helped me is to take time to Bible Journal. If you look up bible journaling you will get many different ideas about what it means. Some people paint all over their Bible and create wonderful works of art. For me, it simply means to write – annotate – & to reflect on God’s word.

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Above you can see what a typical page in my Bible – you can see that I circle keywords, underline details and add annotations about what things mean. I also have coloring pages in the margins of my Bible that I add color to and I also add tip-ins with further notes. This has greatly helped me to learn more about God’s word and what it means for me!

If you would like to look at some of the methods I have used you can visit my board on Pinterest! I add to it at different times.

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I hope that this has helped you to see how I study God’s word. It truly does give me peace and helps to anchor me when I am feeling overwhelmed in the day to day aspects of teaching. Until next time…

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