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End of the Year Rainbow Dot Awards

Author TLanette Pollard as a Power Puff Girl

Editable Classroom Awards (Rainbow Dot Background)

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A Teacher’s Best Friend: Editable Classroom and Computer Signs!

Hi, teacher colleagues! I hope you’re enjoying your summer vacation. My summer has been relaxing so far with a few fun activities.  In between tutoring and writing, I still have some time for “grown-up fun” (including a jet ski tour of NYC). However, a teacher’s mind is always working during the summer.

Teal Polka Dot editable computer power point sign
Editable PPT Sign

Part of my organization goal this summer is to add more colorful signs to my classroom walls. This past school year I had a very small classroom (former nurse’s office). Any wall space I had was reserved for my Fundations and Everyday Math posters. Now that I am moving to a larger room (yes, after 1 year), I plan on using more colorful signs to make small anchor charts for reading and math. 

I started designing editable classroom signs using PowerPoint in 2015. These signs are one of my favorite resources! I can edit them to use as regular classroom signs or use the file as a presentation.  I even used one of my favorites, Back-To-School Editable PowerPoint (Teal Polka Dot)  for my after school Coding course. It was kid-friendly and made it easier to organize all of my coding information.  

Editable Classroom Signs: Pink Polka Dot
Editable Classroom Signs: Pink Polka Dot

The first file I designed was an editable PowerPoint with a pink polka dot background.  The signs were designed using PowerPoint (2010). Each file includes 10 slides: 5 with the bracket design and 5 with the rounded rectangle design. All slides have a text box and can be duplicated. Directions and Graphics Terms of Use are included in the file.  You can use these signs for your literacy and math centers; computer desktops, open house, bulletin boards, and small posters.

This product and my other editable signs are now available on my website, Chalkspot.com. They are also available on  Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers. I hope you find them useful. 

 

Thanks to Laine Sutherland, A Little Peace of Africa (Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers) for designing the brackets and the backgrounds.

 

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True Diversity: When Teachers Celebrate Differences

“She had a little bun on the top of her head. The other teacher and I both put our hair in buns on the top of our heads saying it was the ‘Sasha bun'”

Source: This Teacher Celebrates her Student’s Natural Hair in a Stunning Way | Essence.com

italian-teachernatural-hair-0_316x373_80This story warmed my heart as a teacher and as a Black woman with a young niece and nephew. This is a teacher who truly understands her students. She understands the true meaning of diversity.

She also understands the impact of bullying. Her cultural/ethnic background was different from her student. Instead of ignoring the situation and using the “color-blind” argument or dismissing the issue with empty words, she addressed the issue head-on. 

I applaud her efforts for empathizing with her student. On behalf of my niece, my nephew, and the other Black children who could be mine, I want to thank you.

I wish…I wish racism and prejudice were not so difficult to discuss here in America. If they weren’t, we would hear about similar stories here. For now, I will take comfort in this Italian teacher’s act of compassion and understanding. 

 

 

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(Video) Morning Meetings: Responsive Classroom Model

scrabble education picture

Aren’t Morning Meetings Just Like Carpet Time?

I first heard about morning meetings during one of our staff meetings last year. Our principal had suggested using this technique as part of our daily classroom routines. The first thought was that my colleagues were already meeting on the carpet with their students each day. How would this be different?

I decided to explore this topic a little further since I had been thinking about returning to the classroom. I quickly realized that this technique went far beyond the regular carpet time  

I found an excellent video from Edutopia. It was first posted on August 12, 2015. The video showcased Symonds Elementary School which had adopted the Responsive Classroom model school-wide.

Throughout the video, you see how each classroom teacher organized their meetings to fit the needs of their classroom. The teachers used meaningful greetings, provided opportunities for sharing, and introduced cooperative activities to encourage teamwork. The last piece was the teacher message that explained the structure of the day. The goal of the morning meeting was to prove a safe learning environment where students felt valued and were not afraid to take risks.

If you want to learn more about morning meetings after watching this video, visit Responsive Classroom


Have you had success with morning meetings in your classroom? Share your tips or tricks for organizing successful morning meetings! 

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