What treasures are in your bag?

I bring numerous items in my bag every time I enter a classroom. As a substitute teacher, often don’t know the students, situations, grades, and whether there are enough supplies. I’m a person who likes to be prepared, organized, and on time. My large ‘goodie’ bag contains many items to hopefully help my day run smoothly. True, most teachers have the materials, papers, books, supplies, and even extra work, however sometimes things don’t go as planned or the time doesn’t work. That’s when I rely on items in my bag. So, what treasures are in my bag?

band-aids, candy, stickers, math flash cards, a very loud whistle for recess, read aloud books, playing cards, puzzles, soft music CD (hopefully to calm down), many grade level paper handouts (math, grammar, social studies, handwriting, coloring papers, crossword, word search, reading worksheets, mini cut & paste art, and more), white board marker, pens, my personal white board eraser, hand sanitizer, and more that I’ll think of later. Notice that my first items listed were band-aids, stickers, and candy. Students do almost anything for candy. The best thing is extra recess, but candy sure does the trick.

Sometimes the treasures in my bag really do seem like gold if the class behaves.

Ben Franklin Quote: Involve to learn

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

– Benjamin Franklin

This quotation by Benjamin Franklin is true, since we learn best by doing. I know from experience with knitting. I can watch others tell me the steps involved, but until I attempt the stitches myself I don’t fully learn it. The same is true in the classroom. Students can be told numerous times how to solve a problem, but until they’ve had hands on experience and performed themselves they won’t fully learn the concept to its highest potential. Whether students are given math supplies or cooperate with peers solving math problems, involvement must take place for learning to occur.

Are your pencils sharpened?

Ah, it’s that time of year when school supplies still look brand new. There will be pencils sharpened with their eraser and no teeth marks, glue pours without poking a hole, scissors cut smoothly, lunch boxes smell mildew free, and students can identify their belongs with their name tags that haven’t worn off yet. It’s a clean slate for all. Any trips to the principal’s office last year are erased, since it’s a brand new start. Hopefully, students don’t visit the principal until at least the third week after everything ‘adjusts’. There’s apprehension and excitement with both the teacher and students. Teachers pray this year will be the year they will boast their class and not lose more hair. And both teachers and students look sadly at the calendar as it turns from August to September. Summer is over.