Monday, July 27, 2015

I'm Making A New School Year Resolution!

I am making a new school year resolution to post on my blog at least twice a month!  I am fairly good at posting on my Facebook page but just realized I haven't posted on my blog since February 2014, YIKES!  I have tons to share about my summer so I will get started straight away!  Keep watching for my update this week.  Happy summer!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Congratulations Lucky Winners!

I am so excited to announce the lucky winners of the Happy Valentine's Giveaway.  The 3 lucky winners are Michelle Williams, Hafiza Sayed Nabee, and Andrea Gallien.  Thank you to all those who entered using the Rafflecopter.  For those who did not win but would like to pick up a copy of their favorite product, I am holding a sale for the next week on my Teachers Notebook shop at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day Give Away!

Today is one of my favorite holidays, Valentines Day!  To celebrate I am hosting a free give away!  Sign up using the rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of your favorite product from my Teachers Notebook Shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Calendar Giveaway!

Register to win 1 of 2 English and Arabic Calendar Sets in my TeachersNotebook shop at the following link  Giveaway ends on January 9, 2014.  GOOD LUCK!!!

Welcome 2014 Using Morning Meeting and Daily Calendar

     The winter holiday is winding down and I am looking forward to the return to class next week.  As I look back over the first trimester I can pin point several strategies that are working really well to motivate my girls this year.  I hope to share a few of these over the next few weeks to help others who are searching for something new to jazz up their daily routines.
     The first day of class will be fun as the girls and I update our daily calendar.  I am so excited about my new translated calendar set because the girls love to interact with it during morning meeting as well as in their "Reading the Room" center.

     This year I have incorporated music into our daily calendar routine.  We use the computer screen to the right of my calendar to sing along with several videos each day.  During trimester 1 I incorporated several songs from  My girls absolutely love Matt from Dream English.  They can be heard singing these songs throughout the day as they work and play. The use of music has dramatically increased their recall and sequencing of both months of the year and days of the week. I use name sticks (popsicle sticks with student names) to call on students to lead us with a pointer, writing, or adding word cards or sticks as we go through our daily routine.
     The following is a list of the activities we include each day:
1.  Good Morning Song
2.  Months of the Year Song
3.  Student places correct month card in The month is __________. pocket chart
4.  Day of the Week Song
5.  Students place correct cards in the Yesterday was, Today is, and Tomorrow will be pocket chart.
6.  Today's date color pattern added on the pocket chart.  This month we were using AABB patterns.
7.  How many day's have we been in school?  Student adds a straw to the base 10 pocket chart and write the number on the 100s chart.
8.  What's the Time Song
9.  Read the clock.  We are working on reading the clock to the hour.
10.  Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s.  Student helpers point to the numbers as we count.

     This semester I plan to add some new songs as well as a daily number pattern.  I hope some of my ideas help you throughout your teaching in 2014.  Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Discipline Success In The UAE!

Last year one of my biggest frustrations with teaching in the UAE was discipline.  During my 20 years of teaching experience in the US I had success using many discipline strategies and thought they would easily fit into my classroom in Abu Dhabi.  That did not turn out to be the case.  I'm not saying the students were running wild and out of control, but I wasn't experiencing my usual level of success.  I realized it all came down to one very important missing component, parent communication.

Parent communication has been a huge challenge for me over the past year.  I work in a community off island where most parents speak little to no English and I speak little to no Arabic.  My campus is not equipped with a translator so phone calls home are nonexistent.  I needed a way to communicate with parents concerning the students daily behavior and how they could play an active role in the educational process.  This was the beginning of my English and Arabic Discipline System.

I have been using the new discipline system since school began and I cannot describe the difference in my classroom this year.  I began by creating the translated color poster and displaying it on a magnetic surface in my classroom.  I use magnets this year with each students' number but others on my campus are using clothespins with student names. I also sent home the translated parent note as that explains the discipline plan in both English and Arabic which is the first step in communicating with parents.
Students begin each day by placing their magnet on ready to learn (green).  As students progress through the day they earn moves up the chart for positive behavior such as working quietly, turning in homework, helping a friend, or any other behavior you would like to reinforce.  Each behavior earns 1 move up the color chart.  For negative behaviors students are required to move their magnet down one color level.  I love that students are able to turn their behavior around and move back up the chart with a change in behavior.  I find that my students will do just about anything to move those magnets up.

Each day 3-5 minutes before class ends students are asked to color the monthly discipline calendar included in the set.  As students color I walk the room and sticker or stamp any calendars who were initialed by parents the previous night.  This calendar has a translated color chart so it is clear what behavior their child had that day.  If students end the day on Parent Contact (red) I send home a translated parent letter that includes a list of negative classroom behaviors.  I am able to check the areas that students struggled with during the day.  Parents are asked to discuss this behavior at home with the child then sign and return the note to school.  This note is placed in the child's folder as documentation of parent contact.
This Behavior Set includes English and Arabic translated introduction parent letter, 2013-2014 school year calendars, translated parent contact note, 7 Level Color Coded Behavior Chart.  I also have a document to track weekly behavior that accompanies this set available in my freebies.  If you are interested check it out.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Translation Nightmares!

I have finally managed to get all of the new English and Arabic products back up on the Teachers Notebook store site.  I was so excited when I opened the store on the first day back in August.  The excitement came to a sudden halt when a couple of customers contacted me the following day saying that Arabic teachers had pointed out many mistakes.  My joy turned into a nightmare!  I ended up quickly pulling all products from the store and emailing customers about the mistakes. Finding another translator took a bit of searching and time.  With school starting it was hard to find someone qualified to translate educational documents who wasn't already busy getting prepared for a new school year.  I am happy to say that this first glitch has been worked out and I have learned a huge lesson.  I have also managed to add some new freebies to the store as well as my paid products.  Hopefully we can continue to provide products that teachers can succesfully incorporate into their English and Arabic classrooms with little effort.