Starting Up is NOT My Favorite

As a teacher, setting up the year has to be one of the worst parts of the job. I mean it. I don’t like it. At. All.

I like that point in the year when things are already moving. I think it would be nice if I could have some sort of assistant, maybe a clone, who started up the year for me, and then right when everything was running smoothly, I come in and get to the part of teaching I like most.

Think about it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could walk into your classroom and . . .

  • The seating charts were made,
  • The grade books were set up with a few assignments entered,
  • You already know all your students’ names, and
  • The students already know all your quirky procedures?

Continue reading “Starting Up is NOT My Favorite”

How to Find Great Lesson Ideas: Don’t Use Pinterest!

Pinterest used to be my go-to app to find great lesson ideas. Now, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great lessons pinned there. But when I’m looking to do something innovative, then I’m in the market for FREE. And I used to find that on Pinterest. But, it seems, the days of people pinning helpful websites out of the goodness of their heart are gone. At least this is my experience in the education space. Now, I see Pinterest as platform to advertise crafty projects, some of which are not easy on the budget.

In the last few years, when I have plugged in keywords for a lesson idea, clicked ‘search’ and eagerly awaited the app to assemble all the search optimized pins, I would be hopeful I could find a quick solution. Eventually I found that I was giving up my searches after the top 5 pins would all direct me to Teachers Pay Teachers.

For the record, I think Teachers Pay Teachers is a great space for what it does, but I want to go there on my own terms. Not be redirected through Pinterest.

So, if Pinterest is out, what should we do instead? Fortunately, I have hack to share with you.

Continue reading “How to Find Great Lesson Ideas: Don’t Use Pinterest!”

My Top 3 Apps to Get Through the Whole School Year

If you’re anything like me, daily organization is a challenge. Additionally, I am also challenged with consistency–being able to stick with something for an entire year. I tend to get excited about an idea I want to put into my classroom right away. I am full of enthusiasm when I launch the idea, but then it eventually falls out of focus. It usually ends with the next big exciting idea that comes along, and the cycle starts all over again.

Thankfully, I have found a few FREE mobile apps that have really been a remarkable help at keeping me organized and focused through an entire school year. Apps I can trust to really help me, deliver long-term, broad use, and are user-friendly.

Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a technophile teacher. You won’t walk into my classroom and see blinking tech hanging off my body with my students pointing their phones at me as part of a lesson. But the easy-to-use tech I’m about to tell you about can be downloaded to your mobile phone and easily integrated into the flow of your day. 

Continue reading “My Top 3 Apps to Get Through the Whole School Year”