November Classroom Favorites

Happy end of November!

We are finally in the home stretch to winter break. WE CAN DO IT.  Also, for all my male teacher friends, no shave November is almost over! Thanks for raising awareness for men’s health, a cause close to my heart.

Without further ado, here are the November classroom favorites!

1.  Common Core Sheets

This website has been my right hand man for both the high school level AND the elementary school level. I have been able to find everything from pictographs, to combining like terms to adding and subtracting fractions. The website is straightforward and easy to use, and the material they provide is clear and multiple versions of the worksheets are available. I HIGHLY recommend Common Core Sheets!

P.s. They also have answer keys to everything 😉

2. Hand Held White Boards

These have also been rocking it out in math class at the elementary school. I have my students sit at their desks and face me. Quietly, I give them a problem to work out on their board, when they’re done they show me. If they’ve done it I say “perfect, erase”, and they wait and show me that they’re ready for the next round (eraser down, pen in hand, board on desk). If it’s incorrect, I help them realize what they did wrong (ex- we were doing fractions recently, I asked for ½ and my student showed me ¼. I responded to his board by saying, that’s ¼, show me ½). Once they show me the correct answer, I say “perfect, erase”. They take this game VERY seriously and love it. It’s a great way to include differentiated instruction as well, for you could have students doing different problems.

3. Classroom Jobs

This goes hand in hand with my last favorite. I teach in an inclusion classroom, and for reading and math I pull my special education students to the classroom next door for our own small-group math and reading instruction. I have a classroom rule that if you don’t transition quietly you have to walk all the way back and then try again to come in quietly. If you transition quietly on the first time, you get a highly coveted classroom job! **Oooooh Aaaaaah** The jobs vary and recently have  been passing out the handheld whiteboards, markers, and erasers. This has been a HUGE positive reinforcer and has produced healthy competition in our class.

*side note, make sure to praise specifically if you choose to reward with classroom jobs! Ex- Martin, since you transitioned to your seat without talking, set up your materials, and showed me that you’re ready you have earned the privilege to pass out the whiteboards today”

4. Popsicle Sticks

Last but certainly not least! These have been the star in my reading class and in my LLI group.  We recently have been working on compound words, and they still tend to trip my kids up when they’re reading. I’ll keep a popsicle stick handy, either stuck in the spiral of my notebook or attached to my lanyard somehow. When they start to trip up on the word, I will break the word down with the popsicle stick and show them either the first word or the second. Usually, once I cover the second word and they read the first word, they get the compound word immediately. If they don’t, get them to read the second word then tell them to smush the two words together. The popsicle stick method is also scaffolded. I hope that soon they come to a point that when they’re reading, they don’t need me to intervene with a popsicle stick – they can break it down on their own.

P.s. Speaking of compound words, I just picked up this at the Dollar Tree today for a DOLLAR. I can’t wait to use it!


COMMENT and let me know what your November Classroom Favorites are! 🙂


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