2018 - Tales from Outside the Classroom
2019 Monthly Calendars image

2019 Calendars for the Classroom

I have been creating and posting printable calendars for the classroom over the last several years.  I like these calendars because of their simple design, and notes space.  They’re perfect to print to give to students to track individual needs in the classroom.  They’re also perfect for printing and sending out to families.  New this year, I’ve also included an editable pdf version. This allows you to customize each of the calendars digitally before printing.  Just

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How to Catch an Elf Display

How to Catch an Elf

Last year, I found the book How to Catch an Elf through Scholastic and fell in love with it immediately!  If you don’t know it, the elves and Santa go through various contraptions that are set in an effort to catch them.  After reading it, I was inspired to create a fun, thematic, procedural writing unit with the book as the jumping point.  If you aren’t familiar with the book, you can find it on

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Dolch Sight Word Turkeys Example

Sight Words Turkeys

Learning sight words can be tricky and I’m always looking for new ways for students to practice their sight word recognition.  One of the best way to improve students’ abilities to read sight words, is by having them read the words in various settings and fonts.  Often, while doing sandwich drills with flash cards, I’d grow frustrated that students would know the word when they were working with me, but if they saw it anywhere

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How to create and use custom avatars on Class Dojo

Self-Portrait Custom Class Dojo Avatars

I have been using Class Dojo for six years now in my first through third grade classes.  I’ve used it in a variety of ways, and have changed the way I use the points as rewards to best meet my students’ needs.  I love that I’m able to build student behavior plans right within Class Dojo and can individualize plans for students all within the same system.  It has saved me so much time and

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Journal writing in the classroom

Journal Prompt Writing in the Classroom

I used to use journal prompts as a quick and easy center, or in my morning work rotation.  Over time, I started to only use prompts during the first couple weeks of the school year when we weren’t quite into our regular routines and I needed something students could easily do without having to spend too much time on procedures and expectations.  Then, those journals would sit in the students’ desks for months at a

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.

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