Introducing Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

  We post affiliate links in our blog posts. When you purchase something through these affiliate links, you are supporting Chalkboard Calling at no cost to yourself. We’ll never try to sell you anything that we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Elf on the Shelf has been a...

Teaching About Thanksgiving

We post affiliate links in our blog posts. When you purchase something through these affiliate links, you are supporting Chalkboard Calling at no cost to yourself. We’ll never try to sell you anything that we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Teaching about holidays...

Planning a Classroom Thanksgiving Feast

  There are many types of Thanksgiving Feasts that take place in elementary schools throughout the United States. It can be a hands-on way to learn about the history behind the holiday, an opportunity to promote community and parent involvement, or a fun way to...

Teaching About Veterans Day

Veterans Day is on November 11th every year, regardless of which day of the week it falls on. This holiday is a great opportunity to discuss all the branches of the military with your students, as well as the duties and sacrifices of our veterans Veterans Day History...

Halloween Manipulatives That Keep Students Engaged

We post affiliate links in our blog posts. When you purchase something through these affiliate links, you are supporting Chalkboard Calling at no cost to yourself. We'll never try to sell you anything that we wouldn't buy ourselves. Incorporating a little seasonal fun...

Fall Classroom Decor

It may be officially fall but with 90 degree temps it still feels like summer in Texas. Sometimes it is difficult for young children to understand the difference in seasons when their surroundings do not reflect change. A great way to help them discover the uniqueness...

Classroom Centers for $5 or Less: Cars on the Road

This center focuses on building words, segmenting and blending, and handwriting.   Materials: Road Tape - We found our tape in the Target Dollar Spot, but you can purchase similar tape from Amazon. Matchbox Cars Stickers Construction Paper Lamination Dry Erase...

Communicating Student Behavior

Behavior management is always a hot topic. There are some teachers that are strongly against clip charts while others would never dream of getting rid of theirs. Some schools or districts mandate what tool is used for behavior management. The bottom line...

How to Use Current Events in the Classroom

She clutched a wrinkled, dirty newspaper clipping as she stood in front of the class. Some looked at her as if she were crazy. As she began reading from the paper, whispers started in the back of the room as everyone began to tune out. Is that how you feel...

Safe Search Engines for Kids

iPads. Computers. Tablets. Smart phones. Game systems. Technology is everywhere. While having so much knowledge at our fingertips can be a great asset, it can also be a very unsafe place for our students. Luckily there are a few tools that make searching the internet...

Songs and Videos for Calendar Time

Songs and videos are a great way to get students engaged during calendar time. The songs may get stuck in your head... but that means they will also stick with your students!   Days of the Week ...

Building a Classroom Library on a Budget

Everyone knows reading is important in school, but just how many books does a teacher need? Although that answer varies, on average students read 3,600 minutes each month. That requires a lot of book! The problem is books are expensive. No matter how many books you...

12 Items That Might Be Missing in Your Classroom

You’ve spent countless hours planning, organizing, and creating an inviting learning environment. You feel a sense of pride as you step back surveying your room while at the same time thinking to yourself “What did I forget?” It is kind of like packing for...

Community Circle Discussion Starters

Some classes participate in Community Circle weekly, while other teachers find it more valuable to make it part of their daily routine. Most teachers set aside 10-20 minutes per session. When starting out you should model, later you can choose students to lead. When...

Remembering September 11th

    Patriot Day, commonly referred to as 9/11, is observed on September 11th in remembrance of those who were injured or died as a result of terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. None of us like to think about the horrific images we...

Getting Ready for a Substitute

Imagine you are a substitute teacher. A scary thought for many of us. There are two classroom doors in front of you. To the left is a clean, organized classroom. There is a single stack of papers on the table. Detailed lesson plans are followed by clearly...

What Morning Work Will Work For YOU

Many people say the first ten minutes of our day set the tone for the rest of it. This is true in your classroom as well. When your students enter your room, you want them to be in the right mindset. That means you need to have a clear and consistent...

Prioritizing Piles in the Classroom

Most of us became teachers for reasons like wanting to share a love of learning, not because we loved paperwork. Yet it seems the average teacher is inundated with growing piles of papers and files. Even organized piles can leave you feeling frustrated as you try to...

Why You Should Prepare for a New Student Now

Do you remember the excitement you had as a kid walking through revolving doors? The constant movement of the door seemed much more exciting than a regular door and you just wanted to keep going around and around! As we grow older, these doors lose their ability to...

Teaching Blending

Blending is an essential skill young readers need to master. Just like any other basic phonics skill, blending helps students decode words when reading and writing. To begin blending, your students need a solid foundation in letter identification and...

Making Connections on Campus

You’ve gotten the call for your first job or maybe have just transferred to a new position and you’re super excited… but sometimes making friends when you’re the new kid on the block isn’t easy. Especially in highly sought after districts where there is...

Classroom Color Schemes to Enhance Learning

Imagine walking through a kaleidoscope. At first glance it may look cool but after a few minutes of visual overload you would start looking for the exit. Teachers spend a great deal of time, money, and energy to create inviting learning environments. However, many do...

Beginning of the Year Assessments

You’re planning for the beginning of the year. You’ve found the perfect first day of school book, fun get-to-know-you activities for the first week, planned those oh so necessary rules and procedures lessons, but now what? How do you know where to begin...

Easing First Week of School Student Anxiety

The first week of school can be tough for a lot kids, especially kindergartners and first graders. Be prepared for a few tears. It could be their first time to spend the day away from family or they may be nervous about entering a new grade level. Kids often worry...

Introducing Show and Tell

  Not many teachers today find time in their busy schedules for weekly show-and-tell, but it can be a great way to help get to know students and for students to begin to connect to one another at the beginning of the year. Whenever you are going to allow students to...

Teaching Skip Counting

When you think about skip counting, you probably think about counting by 2’s, 5’s, or 10’s. While these are the first way students learn to skip count, as they progress, students should be able to skip count by any number. Skip counting helps develop number sense and...

Meet the Teacher

Making a great first impression when you meet your students and their parents for the first time is important; however, having your room 100% finished is not! Sure, in a perfect world your room would be completely organized, beautifully decorated, and you would greet...

Five Ways to Build Rapport with Parents

Parent communication can make or break your classroom. Begin building rapport with your students and their parents right from the start! Obvious, right? You'd be surprised how many teachers don't know the names of their students' parents. You can't just assume that...