Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master's degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.

### A Week-Long Poetry Unit

Problem: I would love to study poetry with my class but I’m not sure how to go about it. Solution:  Read on!  Here is a way to structure a week-long study of poetry: Preparation – Choose a few poems for you kids to work on all week.  For 2nd graders I would choose 4 to 7…

### Using Hip Hop in Class

Problem: I want to introduce my students to a wider range of poetry than just the typical Shel Silverstein funny stuff. Solution: Branch out into songs as poetry, even hip hop as poetry!  One of my students’ favorite poems to study all year is “Rapper’s Delight” by Sugar Hill Gang.  The classroom scene goes something…

### Test Review Game

Problem:  My kids are really bored with test review but we’ve got to do it anyway! Solution:  Make it a game!  This is a little bit like Jeopardy but I make some modifications to ensure maximum engagement.  Use index cards or pieces of paper to create the “game board.”  This one is set up for…

### Love that Dog – Poetry Mentor Text

Problem: My kids need some poetry mentor texts and it’s hard  to find something (other than expensive anthologies) at the bookstore. Solution: Pick up Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.                                                                                                                                          So much depends                                                                     upon                                                                    a blue car                                                                    splattered with mud                                                                    speeding down the road   These are the first few cryptic lines…

### Skip Counting Routines

Problem: How can I get kids to master skip counting?  I can’t spend several lessons on it.  Solution:  Skip counting takes repetitive  practice but it’s not something you would want to devote a whole lesson to many times throughout the year.  Instead, short, frequent skip counting routines can help all students master skip counting.  Skip…

### Part-Part-Whole

Problem: My students have such a hard time with unknowns in all positions of math problems. (Common Core standards 1.OA.A.1, 2.OA.A.1) Solution: Give them plenty of exposure to part-part-whole!  It seems so basic, just a way of showing the two smaller numbers that combine to make a bigger number.  As shown on the picture, 3…

Problem:  I need a fun way to address manners with my class. Solution:  Badness For Beginners is a hilarious book about the Wolf family.  Mommy and Daddy Wolf work tirelessly to teach their two wolf cubs to be bad.  Your students will immediately recognize that the lessons Little Wolf and Smellybref are learning are exactly…

### Clear, Kid-Friendly Expectations

Problem:  My students aren’t acting the way I tell them to act! Solution:  As with all things related to behavior, there isn’t necessarily one solution but successful classroom management starts with setting clear expectations.  I specifically remember an instance during my student teaching when I was trying to get kids on task by standing at…

### Building rapport with behavior-problem students

Problem: I feel like I’m not building very strong rapport with some students, especially those that struggle with behavior. Solution:   Problem behavior can have many causes and potential remedies.  One idea certainly won’t be a quick fix for every kid but this is something I’ve found helpful:  I had a big “ah-ha” moment in…

### The Witches: An Engaging Classroom Read Aloud

Problem:  I’m dying to find something funny and interesting to read aloud to my class. Solution:  Read them The Witches by Roald Dahl!  When a boy and his grandmother go on vacation they discover that they are sharing their hotel with a group of disguised witches that have a plot to destroy all the children in England! …