Teacher Files

The products on this page are here to help you, my teacher colleagues leading classrooms, to
  • prepare for the school year, 
  • suggest bulletin board ideas
  • present some classroom management ideas, and to
  • just lessen your stress.
Happy Teaching,

On Teachers pay Teachers, look for these files under the Custom Category: Professional Documents.

Recommendation Letters: How to Write Recommendation Letters for Seniors Applying to College

When students first began asking me to write letters of recommendation for their college application packets, fear clenched my stomach. What if my letter hurt their chances to get accepted to the college of their dreams instead of helping them? I spent hours and hours on each letter to make sure that I showcased each student honestly and succinctly. The stress mushroomed with each request until I decided to analyze the letters that I had written and compile a How To list along with sample letters for three types of students: Superior, Above Average and Average. After over two decades of fulfilling this professional duty, I have put together a packet to help my colleagues. This seven-page posting includes: qualities to address such as: Academic, athletic and personal prowess; points to consider, especially for students whose academic record could benefit from an educator's viewpoint; what to avoid as well as what to include; a basic letter format, and a list of adjectives and phrases to guide teachers though the process. At the end of this offering are three sample letters to show how all of these points can be meshed into a cohesive letter: one each for superior, above average and average students. After using the information in this packet, teachers will be able to write a personal, yet concise and specific letter for any student without experiencing any trepidation.

 Back to School Assortment of First Day Forms and Activities

What? A Back to School product now, when Summer just began? 

Why not? This is the BEST time to check off an item on your "Have To Do Before the First Day" list. 
1. A "Student Information Sheet" with spaces for any student and parent contact information, the student's class schedule and a space for signatures that acknowledge parents, students and your understanding of the syllabus.
2. A "Parent Contact Record" for those times that you need or want to touch base with parents. I always liked to call home when a student did an awesome job completing and assignment, improved in a goal area or was a positive influence in class, as well as when I had to call for negative behavior or academic issues.
3. "What About Me? (Teacher Copy)" and "What About Me? (Student Copy)" allow students and teachers to point out what turns them on and off about class, with space to add some personal information.
4. The "Parents' Perspective Survey" allows parents a chance to discuss their child's strengths and problematic areas in English as well as in regard to any behavioral areas that might negatively affect the young person's academic success.
5. The "This My Future" and "What's in My Name Collage" projects present students with two chances to show their personal selves. With the former, they share their hopes and dreams for their future careers. In the latter they reveal themselves-in pictures and words-in a collage using the first letter of their first name as the foundation. 

Also,these projects do double duty because they form your Back to School bulletin board.

Back to School: Teaching Lifesavers-Twelve Classroom Management Forms

Teaching Lifesavers-Twelve Classroom Management Forms
Knowing that behavior issues would be stymied with good classroom management, over the years, I created, revised, tweaked and revised again (and again) these twelve forms in an effort to help me organize and manage my classroom. My main objective was to create a safe and exciting learning environment. In order to accomplish this goal, I knew that I had to thwart disruptive student behavior before it even began, and to ward off encounters of the negative kind with administrators. I offer them to you all who are still leading classrooms. Note: If your school district has forms that they require teachers to use that coincide with various policies, use them, of course. If they don’t, download this packet, and copy them for your classes. In a few minutes you will be ready for whatever left hooks the year might toss your way.

Note: You can download: A Student Information Sheet, A Parent Contact Record, a Parents’ Perspective Survey, and three activities: A What About Me (Student) and What About Me (Teacher), This is My Future, and What in My Name Collage from: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Printables-Back-to-School-Assortment-of-First-Day-Forms-and-Activities-746170. 

Except for the Lesson Launch examples, this packet is for all subjects. Teachers can adapt the Lesson Launch idea to their subject areas.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Printables-Teaching-Lifesavers-Twelve-Classroom-Management-Forms-768230 ($3.50)

Bulletin Boards With Brain Brawn
Creating bulletin boards for secondary classes that are visually eye-catching, mentally stimulating and that build on the concepts promoted in the grade level’s Program of Studies can be difficult. The key is to create eye candy with mental muscle while showcasing existing lesson concepts through completed student work. Teachers choose how any background decoration. Seasonal themes or motifs that fit the tone of any literature being studied are two ideas.

Bulletin boards based on general concepts such as Read! Write! Think! leave room for a plethora of ideas while covering the basic components of Reading Comprehension, Writing, Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Sentence Structure, vocabulary  and thinking skills.
All bulletin board designs use material that showcases the lesson’s Common Core Standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy objectives.
Teachers may take each idea in this product and transform it to fit a whole bulletin board, or they may choose to divide the board into parts.  I had one very, very large board that I often divided as follows:

          1. Information Section:  this permanent segment changes information as needed,     with some of the elements remaining for the whole year. Information: class times, class rules/policies, cafeteria information (menus and what academic areas ate during which time frame), Honor Code rules (permanent), quarterly Honor Rolls, the school Mission Statement (permanent), etc.
          2. Reading Section: This segment of the board showcases the students’ comprehension for the text they are studying.
          3. Writing Section: This segment of the board concentrates on what students have written or should write.
          4. Thinking Section: Although all of the sections of the board show students’ thinking skills, this part is intended to promote the development of specific types of thinking skills i.e. Creative, Critical, Analytic, Inductive and/or Deductive.

Because a number of the cards and charts are left blank, teachers can use them for their own bulletin board ideas. Seven graphics...infinite possibilities.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bulletin-Boards-with-Brain-Brawn-792513 ($2.00)