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Welcome to ABC Schoolhouse!

We are so glad you visited us today. This site is the creation of Stefani Sadler and Tracy Jarboe. We are both school teachers and enjoy writing, illustrating and presenting educational materials. We have many books available for purchase and free sample PDFs as well. We hope you enjoy your trip to the schoolhouse.

 

 ABC Schoolhouse

Print Editions Amazon Store

 

 

 

 

 

Ordering Hard Copies

Þ IDEA MALL     Þ

 ABC Recipes
 Achieve the Common Core Kindergarten Math
 Apples
 Back to School
 Bears
 Blooms/DOK
 Calendars
 Celebrating 100th Day
 Centers
 Colors
Cowboy Day
 Classroom Mail
 Dinosaurs
 Directed Drawing
Earth Day
 Easy as A-B-C
 Easy as 1-2-3
Fall Into Learning
 Fun with Fish
 Graphic Organizers
 Hats Off to You
 Illustrated Alphabet
 Insects
 Kinder Comprehension
 Ladybugs
 Monsters
 Mother Goose
 Plants
 Pumpkins
 
 Solar System
 Valentine's Day
 Word Families
 Write About It
 
 
 
 
 
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To print the free patterns that are available in some of the above themes - simply click on the pattern, the file will open, and then print.  It's that easy!

 

Back to School--A Recipe for Success!

     The most important day of the school year is not promotion day, open house, or curriculum night; it is the very first day of school. This is a wonderful day of anticipation and adventure. This day is critical for you the teacher, as it will set the tone for the entire school year. It is vitally important that you be well-prepared, having set a positive tone and created a classroom environment for all children to succeed. The children will decide that first day if you are someone who is to be respected or not. Dress for respect. Make sure you look professional.  Be certain that the children can find your room with ease. Make sure your room number, name and grade level are clearly visible from the hall. Greet each child individually with a big smile and kind words. Make them feel welcome and excited about the great day that lies ahead. Make sure that your new classroom environment is neat, safe, and well-organized. You want the first day to run smoothly with little or no surprises.

A New Year - New School - New Grade Level - New Teacher

 Let the preparations begin!

Classroom Environment

     When you first receive your classroom key you are filled with excitement and joy. Then you open the door to find a room filled with stacked tables and chairs and a mish mash of books and curriculum materials… your initial joy and excitement quickly turn to a sense of feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry, we all feel that way before school starts and you will soon transform that bare room into a wonderful learning environment.

 

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Oh boy, where do I start?

·          Remember to arrange tables so that all students can easily see the white board, overhead or docu-cam without having to turn around.

·          Keep the room free of congestion and be sure the students can easily move throughout the room.

·          Don’t forget to leave an adequate portion of rug space for your students to sit down at story or group learning time.

·          Be sure to create space for a class library, centers, pocket charts, cubbies, lunch boxes and coats, and material storage.

·          Clearly label essential items in the classroom and for younger children provide a picture cue alongside the label.

·          Ensure that you are able to clearly see all students from you teacher desk or small group instruction table.

·          Create bright and colorful bulletin boards and places to display student work.

·          String clothes line across the ceiling to create additional space to hang student work.

·          Have a supply station from which students can easily get paper, sharpened pencils or erasers to minimize interruptions during instruction.

·          Ensure that all students can easily find learning materials and that the classroom is well-organized.

·          Be sure everything works well in your room-lights, electrical outlets, sinks, restrooms, computers, projectors, audio equipment and so on.

·          Consider having real plants and pets in your classroom. Bringing living things into the classroom allows students to develop responsibility and empathy in caring for these things.

     You and your students will be spending many hours in this room and you want it to be comfortable. Consider investing in a scent stories machine to keep the classroom smelling nice. Also remember that slightly cooler temperatures allow the brain to work well. Warmer temperatures lull the brain to sleep. Be sure to keep a sweater in the room just in case you need to feel warmer.

          

Sometimes you may have to be creative as we were here by hanging a curtain over the power grid on the wall.             

 

 

Parent Communication Bulletin Board

    

Coats, lunch boxes and back packs                                Pocket charts are organizational tools.

        

                                         

Plants and animals bring life to a classroom.

                   

Children enjoy having a classroom library or reading corner where they can sit back and enjoy a great book.

 

The First Day 

     Organization is key to success. Make sure that every student has a clearly labeled desk, cubby, and all that they need to begin working. In kindergarten the children are usually not ready to begin independent work right away, and need a great deal of step by step directions and modeling. Your very first priority is to get the students comfortable, on task and establish a classroom routine. Most of this first day, or even the first week, will be devoted to establishing routines, rules and procedures. This is critical for a successful year. We are sure that you have heard the old saying: “It is easier to loosen the reins later on than it is to tighten them.” The number one problem that new teachers face is not a lack of discipline, but a lack of well-ordered procedures and routines. New teachers want to be well-liked and are apprehensive about discipline. They seldom have any support in establishing procedures or routines and feel overwhelmed. We hope you will find this web page helpful in establishing a successful classroom, beginning on that very first day of school.

 

 

·          On that first day assign each child a seat, but use a   post-it to write their name on, as the seating arrangement will change many times over the first week. Later you may use permanent name plates on desks,

·          Have a packet or activity out for the students to get right to work on. In kindergarten you may choose to make this a simple color page or have a tub of books on the   table for students to read.

 

 

 

Have a special treat waiting to welcome each of your students. We place special treats in a lunch bag and a letter on the front of the bag. This year it read:

Welcome to Room 2.

This is a little gift from me to you to make your first day special. Inside you will find:

1.        A name tag so everyone knows just who you are.

2.  A bear sticker to welcome you to the bear den.

3.  A new pencil so you can write amazing stories.

4.  A snack (trail mix or granola bar) so you can keep up your energy.

5.  A hug & a kiss (Hershey’s) because I care about you and I am glad    you are in my class.

    Love, Your Teacher

 

 

     Name Tags - We make name tags for the students to wear the entire first week of school. You may consider making these into necklaces by writing the each name on a tag strip, laminating the strip (Kinko's heavy weight laminate is best), punch a hole at either end, and string yarn through the holes to make a necklace. You could also simply pin the name tags on the students as well. Name tags are not only helpful to you the teacher, but for other teachers, assistants and recess/lunch duty personnel. These name tags may be kept and used when substitute teachers visit your classroom.

If you anticipate being out of the classroom a great deal for trainings, you may consider creating name T-shirts. These are easy to store and they last the entire year even with continual use.

We dedicate the entire first day to getting to know one another and the  classroom rules and procedures. If you are interested in our activities, they are available in the “Back to School” packet available in our store.

 

     

 

Behavior Management

     Every classroom must have rules. Rules are clearly defined student expectations. You will need to find out what your school site and/or district behavior/discipline plan is and then incorporate that into your classroom plan. At the primary level you will want all the expectations to be clear and concise. Most teachers post between 3 and 5 behavioral expectations and they may look something like this:

  1. Be in class on time, prepared to learn.

  2. Respect others.

  3. Take good care of school and personal materials.

  4. Raise your hand to speak.

  5. Walk quietly in the halls.

  6. Keep your hands, feet and objects to yourself.

  7. Follow directions the first time they are given.

  8. Stay in your seat unless you have permission to do otherwise.

  9. No cursing, teasing or tattling.

  10. Always do your best.

You may choose to begin the year with 3 rules and create more as the need arises. This allows the children some ownership in rule formation and gives them time to learn the rules without being overwhelmed. These rules are necessary as your classroom must be a safe and protected environment, where all students can learn without fear or interruption. The children will respond to an authoritative teacher who is in control and responsible for not only setting, but maintaining behavioral limits and expectations.

 

  Be sure to post the rules throughout the  

  classroom for students to see.

 

                   

You will spend most of your first day and, probably the first week discussing procedures. Procedures are important because students need to know how they are expected to behave and work from the very first day of school. Procedures are for the students’ benefit. They help them to do their work effectively and without confusion. Procedures allow students to succeed. Some of the procedures you will need to discuss include:

·            What to do when the bell rings.

·            What to do when you need to use the restroom.

·            How to enter the classroom.

·            What to do if your pencil breaks.

·            Where to put completed work and incomplete work.

·            What to do if you finish work early.

·            What to do if you have a question.

When you teach procedures you must first explain each procedure thoroughly. Then you must model or demonstrate the procedure. Ask students to rehearse the procedure as you watch. Finally, reinforce this procedure until it becomes habit. Remember that when you reinforce a procedure you compliment the action, not necessarily the student. A poor reinforcement would be to say: “Good job Mike.” What did Mike do? What was the correct action? Try to be specific in your praise. “Thank you Mike. You followed the correct procedure and walked quietly to line.”

You will also need to establish a system of rewards and consequences. Some of the more  common incentives include the use of card chart in which students may flip different color cards  to signify that a warning has been issued or a consequence has been issued. The use of a class marble jar is effective as well in that every time the class is on task a marble is dropped in the jar and once it is full the class has earned a special privilege. Table points may be awarded for tables who remain on task and at the end of the day, week or month that table with the most points may receive a special privileged or award.

 

     

FREEBIES

Welcome Postcards

 

Welcome Letter Page

Getting to Know My Classroom

 

 

 

 

            

     We hope these ideas will help you get off to a great start. If you are interested in all of the patterns, parent letters, and activities that we use during the first week of school, they  are in our Back to School packets which are available for purchase on this site.

 

 

 

 

Kindergarten and Primary Lesson Plans for Math, Science, Reading, Writing, Literacy, Computers, Learning Centers, Social Studies, and More!

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