Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teacher Tips Tuesday!

Hello All! Are you ready for the VERY FIRST installment of… Teacher Tips Tuesday!  I am super excited!J Ok so on with the goods…

Writing.  This is an area of my day that I feel I can improve on the most.  I am constantly trying to learn more and more to engage my students in the writing process.  I was thrilled when I found this book:  No More "I'm Done!" by Jennifer Jacobson  (did you know she is also the author of the Andy Shane books?).
No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades

In the No More "I'm Done!" book there are tons of amazing writing mini-lesson ideas.  She also ties many of the lessons to literature which I love to do!  The book is so "readable" with many great user-friendly ideas.  The one thing that I do now (because of this book) is a "Quiet 10" time.  I start my writing time with a short 5-8 minute mini-lesson.  We then start Quiet 10 which is 10 minutes of slilent plan/or beginning to write time (their writing is usually based on the mini lesson).  I tell the kids that this is brainstorming time and this CAN include pictures (sometimes those that have trouble writing 'cold turkey' should be aloud to draw first... this will get their creative juices flowing).  Oh~ and I write TOO!  During my Quite 10 I always play some soft music and set my timer.  My FAVORITE, FAVORITE music is:          My timer:
Hands of Time
Soft Piano Music- my students beg for it! :)
This is a MUST for any classroom!!
I couldn't teach without it!
Once the 10 minutes are up we continute to write but it is AMAZING how that first 10 minutes of complete concentration sets the tone for the rest of the writing time.  We then usually continue to write for about 10 more minutes and I do some writing conferences.  I ALWAYS end with some share time.  This is a must!  Some love to share and others can gain ideas.  I found myself REALLY enjoying my writing time based on this simple writing model!
-------------one more tip to go- keep reading!---------------

Invest in some lamps for your room! Ok, I know this seems like a simple tip… yet, what a different feel your room will have with some soft lighting.  This past year I had a wild, full of creative energy class.  I spent most of the day teaching with the lights off and our lamps turned on (and the windows open for some natural light too.)  It was amazing the warm feeling you got as you entered the room.  I had a much calmer class!  Here's a pic of one of my reading corners… this area was a BIG hit with my kids- notice the LAMP ;) I also have a couch and table for that homey   feeling.                                                          

  Where to get the lamps you ask?  Well, I would start with Goodwill!  They have great used things at a VERY inexpensive price!  If you are a garage saler, this would also be a item to look out for- and tell the seller you are a teacher... you would be AMAZED how many people want to help a poor, starving, underpaid teacher! :)  If those options are not of interest, my FAV stop is IKEA! They have FUN and ADORABLE lamps for very little.  Like these:
KLABB Table lamp IKEA Fabric shade gives a diffused and decorative light.
I'm totally going to get this one!
KNUBBIG Table lamp IKEA Mouth blown glass; each lamp is unique. Gives a soft mood light.
Ohh pretty!
 The one on the left is $29.99 and the one on the right is $14.99!  If you get PTA, discritionary, or supply money, save your reciept and submit for reimbursement!   ANYTHING I buy for the classroom I always save my reciepts!  Oh and last tip... use your tax ID card-- if it's a classroom purchase you can save the tax!

I hope you enjoyed this VERY FIRST Teacher Tip Tuesday!  Today's tips were from me {Tori}, but I am looking for other blogger/authors!  If you are interested in teaming up with me and sharing your amazing tips (about anything!) please email me!  I will put a link to your blog (or TpT store).

I would love your feedback! Please leave a comment below!

p.s ... I will be announcing the winners of my giveaway tomorrow!  There's still some time to enter!!


  1. I use my Time Timer all. the. time! My kids ask for it if I forget to turn it on!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  2. I LOVE THAT TIMER!!! That was one of the purchases last year. The only thing that drives me nuts is that it's backwards from a regular clock. I'd totally pay again if the company reversed it.

    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

  3. I like the idea of the Quiet 10. Thanks for sharing. Gotta love thrift store lamps!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. Thanks Tammy!! I LOVE my Quiet 10 time... its a happy time of my day... and my students are disapointed when we don't get to do it! :)

  4. I'm reading No More I'm Done right now! I like the way she organizes her writing block. Quiet 10 seems like such a great to start workshop time daily. I like how the teacher is writing during this time too because I think that sends a strong message to the students about the purpose of that time too. Writing is the area I am most focused on improving next year! Because of this I am having a writing themed giveaway to celebrate 100 followers featuring lots of amazing K-2 resources to help teach writing. Would love for you to come check it out :)

    ❤- Stephanie
    Falling Into First

  5. Hi Tori! Thanks for following my blog. I'm your newest follower and looking forward to reading all your great ideas when I have a little more time (I still have 7 teaching days left). Take care!
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  6. Thank you for the useful tips! I am looking for music to use in my classroom, so the cd you mentioned is now on my list! Thank you! I also like the idea of lamps, I will be on the look out for some good deals!
    Amy K
    Where Seconds Count 2nd grade blog

    1. I am so glad!! It's the little things that they don't teach you about in school ... like a good cd to play during writing time that I was hoping would be helpful :) Thanks so much for your comment! :)