“Your Essential Teacher Binder” now on sale!

What is “Your Essential Teacher Binder”? We’ve all heard of the famous “teacher binder” that contains everything that you need to run your class and lessons successfully! It is essential to your teaching, but not everything fits into the three rings of a binder, so we added in a few resources for your classroom too! We like to think of “Your Essential Teacher Binder” as a collection of teacher resources to help you organize both your teaching and your classroom.

All teachers have various ways of organizing their lessons, plans, and classrooms; however, we have grouped together a great set of resources to assist you in this endeavor!

So what’s included in this classroom kit?  There are more than 70 pages featuring:
– Desk nameplates (2/sheet) for both upper and lower grades
– Student hook/cubby nameplates (6/sheet) that can also be used to label bins etc
– Hall pass, office pass, and washroom pass
– Bookmarks (4/sheet) with “During Reading” suggestions
– Monthly student behavior log (2/sheet)
– “While You Were Absent” sheet for students
– Classroom job labels (30 different jobs to choose from!)
– Student of the Month an d Week (upper and lower grades)
– Student Birthday Postcards (2/sheet)
– Lesson plan monthly cover pages
– Classroom calendar monthly labels for both upper and lower grades
– Subject area cover pages for lesson and unit plans
– Substitute teacher feedback form
– Professional development log and Staff meeting record sheet
– Parent contact log (individual student)
– Month at a glance, Monthly plan at a glance, Week at a glance
– Individual student and whole class information sheet (5 students/sheet)
– End of the year classroom inventory
– Lesson plan and mark book cover page

We have tried to include as many printables that we could think of, but if you have any suggestions, please let us know and we’ll add them in!

These kits come in a variety of themes, including outer space, aliens, polka dots, swirls, monsters, and apples!


It’s all in the Flip!


Have you thought about it?  How am I going to reach more of my students?  What can be done so we interact with them more while they strategize?  Why is it so difficult to do?  I know I struggle with these questions all of the time.  As we all know, students come to school with their homework incomplete, unable to recall anything you taught the day prior.  You then need to go through that whole scaffolding process and sometimes re-teach that whole lesson over.  So then you send them on their way and hope that they will work through the problems on their own.  Or maybe you have made some time to hold an extra help session (during another subjects time if you are able to) or during your lunch or afterschool.  I don’t think that there is anything wrong with extra help but would it not be better to be with your students when they are actually attempting the work?  Would it not be better to have them discuss, share, strategize in front of you all the while you working with them, in class, instead of teaching them the concept?  Would this not be a better plan, in order to deepen their understanding?  In order to reach all your students and the diverse ways they learn? You are probably wondering how in the world this can be done, with what time? This new strategy is called the Flipped Classroom!

We always look for innovative ways to teach our students, we re-invent, re-work, and re-shuffle.  Well here is one more way that could possibly change your whole practice.  How about converting the way you do things?  How about if your students do the work in the classroom and attend your lessons at home?  Yes, let me say that again, your lesson at home and the work at school.  Flipped!

With today’s technological advances, this is not a thought of the future but a thought for now!  Many teachers in the past five years have been taking aim at this process of flipping their classroom.  They record their interactive lessons (known as Educational Vodcasting) and students access them from home to watch and then come to school to work through the problems.   As summer is upon us, we have more time and researching this new practice would be worthwhile.  I hope you let us know what you think about this practice, let us know your plans and experiences.

This concept was started by two teachers John Bergmann & Aaron Sams who found great success with their students.  You can find their book through Amazon.

Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (2012). By Bergmann & Sams.

Also, a support network, with many examples of flipped classrooms can be found at  the Flipped Learning Network.  The website has a network of over 6000 educators in different phases of flipping their classrooms.

Good Luck to you all!

Disclosure:  This post contains an affiliate link; however, all opinions expressed are the author’s own.

Medieval Activities

From my experience, teaching a unit on Medieval Times is one of the best parts of the curriculum.    There are so many ideas, activities that can be done.  I find that organizing my ideas for the upcoming unit helps me plan out my activities and see the cross curricular aspects of my lessons.  The concept map below lists some activities/learning opportunities I have done in the past.


The 3AM Teacher: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-3am-Teacher



It’s all in the number!

Projects, Paper, Letters, & Tests! Oh My!

As a teacher, you know full well that we are overwhelmed with all kinds of items we collect to grade, review, hold on to and file.  Over and over, you always have students who forget, who do not complete, who do not remember.  I have found that creating a numbering system within my classroom works well to keep track of these problems and help me follow up.  At the beginning of the year, I assign a number based on my classroom list.  I do this alphabetically, therefore student 1 is assigned number 1, student 2 is assigned number 2 and so forth.  All students get a number and stay with that number for the whole year.  It facilitates the process of scanning  a stack of papers to just checking the number.  If you organize your papers in  numerical order,  then you can quickly check if there is a number missing instead of a name.   I also find it easier if you let your students know that you require the numbers to be all written in the top right corner.

I keep a class list along with their number in my teacher binder where I can reference back just in case.  Also, for my students reference, I put a list on chart paper on the wall.

With this number management system in place, I can instantaneously follow up with students and discuss where their item is or what I can do to help.

Where do I utilize this system? Here is a brief list:

1) Tests

2) Assignments

3) Notebooks

4) Permission Forms

5) Letters/Notes

6) Student Portfolios

7) Fire Drill Line Up – I call numbers out instead of names to check if all are present

8) Duo tangs

9) Textbooks

10) Workbooks

11) Classroom Library sign out sheet

Working smarter not harder is what it is all about!

Parent Communication Log

Here’s another resource for your teacher binder!  Before September, print out a copy of this parent communication log and use one for each student in your class.  When an issue arises, keep track of when you have communicated with parents/guardians and note the resolution and next steps.  These communication logs are great to use as reference when writing report cards and to be discussed during parent-teacher interviews.

Just click on the image below!


Leaving a note for the teacher

As a supply teacher for many months prior to obtaining my first LTO, I found that if you were liked by the teacher you were there for, you would be called again.  The problem was that once I was had left the school (even though I left a handwritten note), that teacher did not know who I was or never called me back.

I created this note/form to communicate with the classroom teacher I was there for, and it truly helped me generate call backs.

It’s all about promoting yourself in a professional manner.  The call backs came instantaneously.  Other teachers were also impressed.  I was well on my way!  In the 6 months of supply teaching, I missed only 12 days!

When filling in the form, ensure you date it, give concise information about the day, and don’t forget to fill in your name and number at the bottom.  Be sure that classroom teachers will keep it with their lesson plans and more importantly you in mind!  Just click on the image below!