K-5 Teacher Talk November 2019

Teacher Tip: Curate the good and don't hoard the bad.

"Effective teachers don't spend the scarce seconds of our days ruminating about past wrongs and rambling about current frustrations. Speak up against injustice, but focus most energy on teaching and learning, and treasure moments of wonder and laughter."

There are always amazing things happening in schools and classrooms that we just need to share," says Steven Anderson, author of The Tech-Savvy Administrator (ASCD Arias, 2014). But those stories are infinitely more powerful when told by "the people in our buildings who mean the most—our kids."

  • Use social media to teach digital citizenship. Check out Common Sense Education's K-12 digital citizenship curriculum.
  • Kayla Delzer, North Dakota Teacher of the Year, TedEd speaker, and creator of @TopDogKids, holds a digital citizen boot camp. Check her out on Twitter or TpT.
  • "Kids do better work because it's not just going to the teacher, then the recycling bin," says Delzer. "My kids are always doing their best because they want their picture taken and shared."
  • Student posts resonate with parents and the community because it's like a "snapshot into the school day."

Learn more by reading this article from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

helping Anxious Students

"Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, impacting an estimated one in eight children. Left untreated, childhood anxiety can result in poor school performance, poor social functioning, and even substance abuse."

What could anxiety look like?

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Fear of school
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or other illnesses
  • Feeling restless
  • No room for error
  • Frequent crying
  • Sense of worthlessness
  • Tense and nervous
  • Feels guilty
  • Worries often and ruminates on issues

What are some suggestions for helping a student experiencing anxiety?

  • Encourage relaxation procedures (calm/cool-down)
  • Extra time and warnings before transitions
  • Help the student recognize anxious talking and thinking
  • Give private praise
  • Frequent check-ins for understanding
  • Not requiring to present, read aloud, or work in front of the classroom
  • Extended time on assessments
  • Teach problem-solving approaches
  • Role playing to model good coping
  • Reach out to Stephanie Thomas for interventions

Resources graciously provided by Tim Morford, HHS School Counselor

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them" ~Lady Bird Johnson


Many of you have shared that you feel like there are not enough vocabulary or phonics resources. I came across these tier 2 intervention resources in the Wonders Resource Library. The vocabulary is specific to each grade and genre study. The other resource books are skill specific. I have added them to the practice books section of the Google Drive *K-5 folder as well.

Want to hear from other teachers on how they have implemented Wonders in their classroom? Search #wondersreading on Instagram or Twitter. Join a Facebook group like Wonders Resource Group For 4th grade teachers or First Grade Reading Wonders.

ABOVE: Watch the 2 minute video for more information on arranging calendar days. I didn't understand the expand and condense lesson block features. This really helped me!

November Professional development opportunities

If you haven't joined BadgeList, it's not too late. Join today and start earning badges! Visit this website or check your invitation email to join.

Upcoming Professional DEVELOPMENT Opportunities

November Resources

strategies and skills

  1. Improve Reading Comprehension: Use Google Docs and a black out technique to identify key points and create a summary. Read more here.
  2. Wanting to expand background knowledge or use a paired text? Researching for an expository prompt? Click to view 15 Awesome Article Sites for Students.
  3. Number lines are a reliable method for teaching number sense, arithmetic, and other math skills. Check out this collection of number line activities.
Be the Best Educator You Set Out to Be (Part Two)...Be a connected educator. We live in an age where we have access to knowledge far beyond our own. Tap into it! ~Steven W. Anderson www.web20classroom.org

Helpful RESOURCES and Ideas

State Librarian, Jesse White and Illinois State Library have partnered with vendors to offer Try-It! Illinois. This program allows educators a chance to try instructional programs for free from October 1st to November 30th. Vendors include Scholastic, EBSCO, GeoScience World, and more. To try these programs follow this link. Username: tryitnow! Password: 4u@nocost.


Created with images by Element5 Digital - "untitled image" • Merakist - "Social Media in Colorful Alphabets" • Ben Wicks - "Playing in mud and streams is the best thing. This is three of my nephews / nieces and one of my kids after some muddy fun at Mottisfont house in Hampshire. Mottisfont is well worth a visit, a fantastic old house set in beautiful garns along the river test." • Lauren Rund - "Pumpkin patch"