Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tips From Teachers

This is was supposed to be the first part of an ongoing series, I'm calling "Tips from Teachers". I don't know about you, but sometimes I really wish my students' teachers would just tell me what they would like me to do. Not that I can't help our students learn and grow without them...but my students really want to do well in class, and without that insight, it's hard to accomplish.

Since I started selling my resources on I have had the opportunity to meet and form bonds with several teachers, from all over the world, teaching in just about every grade level and situation. Now I am sharing that opportunity with all of you!

Each month I will hoped to interview up to 5 teachers from various backgrounds. I have some basic questions (which you will see in just a minute ;) ), but I know you have questions too, so please feel free to pose your questions in the comments below. I will do my best to get them answered, if not this month, definitely within the next few months!

Without further ado, here is our first teacher this month with helpful tips for us.

Amy Mezni is currently a 5th grade teacher. She has been teaching in the middle grades for the past 20 years. I met Amy in a collaborative group of middle grade teachers about 5 months ago. Since then, we have had the opportunity to collaborate on a new blog (The Lesson Deli) and a few other projects. 

My first question is, what is the #1 area students in her class need the most assistance? Amy had a hard time choosing just 1, she replied "Number sense and reading skills."

I then asked Amy, If your students had a tutor, what is one tip or bit of advice you would give them? She answered, "Work on number sense. If you have number sense, you can figure out many of the higher skills on your own!" 

My last question was about resources, if every tutor in your area could have one resource, what would you like it to be? Amy's answer: "I'm really in love with INBs lately. I think  they can be used to help students of all abilities." I agree Amy, I love interactive notebooks as well! While Amy has a ton of InBs for Social Studies and Reading, she hasn't made any for number sense yet, so here are a couple from my store. If you know of some great resources, please share the links in the comments below for the rest of our readers!

Space Bonds a board of intergalactic travels and number bonds, helping your students develop number sense that will help them master basic addition/subtraction facts. 
Bonding with a Rock Band is a rocking board game, helping your students develop number sense that will help them master basic multiplication/division facts..
You can find Amy Mezni, On Facebook @ TeachingIdeas4u  and watch for her blog debut within the next month!

Next up, we have Heather and Ashley Watson, from Watson Works! Heather is a primary school librarian, after teaching 4th grade ELA and Science for 4 years, for a combined 7 years experience. I ask this team the same questions, what is the most important area tutors should be focusing on?  Their response? "Higher order thinking." 

And their number 1 piece advice for current tutors: "Always ask[your students] 'Why" and "How do you know that's the answer?'" If they can answer these questions correctly, then they really know the material. I Definitely agree ladies! One of my most used statement is "are you sure?" My kids almost ALWAYS rephrase their statement. Sometimes just out of habit, thus making the answer incorrect...BUT showing me they weren't really sure. What a helpful tip!!

What about a favorite resource, ladies? What would you recommend to every tutor in your area? "It's hard to pick one, but one of our favorites is our STAAR Wars Task Cards." I checked these out folks, they look fantastic (I haven't had the opportunity to use them yet, but I'm looking forward to that occasion!).

That's all of the Tips From Teachers we have ready for this month. Make sure to follow the blog on bloglovin, or become a fan on my facebook page to know when next month's edition is released!

1 comment:

  1. Love this series! So many tips and ideas. Can't wait for the next part in the series!


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