As I continue to prepare for this upcoming school year, I've been keeping record of my ideas. And although it's been difficult to select so few out of five pages of ideas...here are my top 10 new year teaching ideas:

1. Homework: Students are assigned daily homework, they bring this back daily. When I am correcting their multiplication quizzes, students are correcting their homework with red pens. (They must show their full work on each problem for credit. This will eliminate cheating, as only the answers will be shown on the board). Then we will go over 3 problems together as a class. On Friday, students will turn in their homework folders with all completed work. Homework will be graded by me based on completion. Friday/Monday, those who completed their homework will be allowed to play Homeworkopoly! This means I don’t have to go around checking if all of it is done every day! It gives them the flexibility they need,  but the accountability and regularity of a daily homework.

2. Interactive Student Jounals: For reading, science, social studies, math, and writing. These ISJs will include the objective in both formal and student voice, the how-to portion of the lesson, examples, and a student created proof! 

3. Ice Cream Cone Multiplication- When everyone has mastered a particular fact add an ice cream scoop/topping. When everyone has mastered all the numbers= ice cream party! Each number earns one scoop or topping. For instance, mastering the 0's earns a bowl, and mastering the 12's earns a scoop of rocky road!

4. Sadako/Paper Cranes/Book Review/Citation- Read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as the first read aloud of the year. Then each time they complete a book review, (diff colored paper) they can make it into a paper crane which will hang in the window. Our book goal and crane goal is 1,000 paper cranes for the year. Each time a student makes a crane, we will get someone to sponsor the crane for 2 dollars! Half of the money will go towards classroom supplies, and the other half of the money will go to the Children's National Leukemia Foundation. As part of the book review students make a small illustration, a summary, and a citation for the book. Citations are on the state test, but without practice, it is a difficult skill. 

5. Word of the Week:  Wall that includes a word with a prefix, root, and affix. Students search for the word or word part in everyday text sources and can bring it in and post it on the wall! 

6.  Word Wall Ceiling! The sky's the limit on this one, so each drop down tile of my ceiling will have a giant sky blue letter on it. When we add words to the word wall, the words will be written on clouds that will be appropriately affixed alphabetically! Also, there will be a kite flying that says, "Sky's the limit! READ!"

7.  Must Do/May Do Board:  Tells the students what they are allowed to do when they have finished.

8. Boggle/Noggle: Boggle board for reading and Noggle board for math!

9. Math Critical Thinking: The answer is_____. Board. I provide the answer, the students provide the question. I will read one each week!

10. Reading Motivation: Would You Recommend Book, Book Raffle, and Mystery Books. :)

**Oh, and I managed to combine the 3 competing classroom themes jumbling around in my brain. 1. College/University: Our focus will still be on college preparation, and groups will be named after universities. 2. Owls! I love owls, they are so cute! They will be our classroom mascot. Afterall, owls are often depicted as the bird of academia, and I have a little owl stuffed animal in a graduation hat. Now I just need to come up with a name for our owl, maybe Hedwig? 3. Sky's the limit. Our literacy theme is sky's the limit. Well, owls fly so it works! Plus as a Harry Potter reference, I can call our big tests O.W.L.s. 

This happy owl is so cute!

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Elementary, My Dear Miss Watson!