Hey everyone! I have been using a new (to us) model in our classroom recently and I thought I would share it with you in case it will work in your classroom.
Students as teachers has always been a powerful idea in the classroom. I'm sure most of you have used a peer teaching model. 

This is similar.

Before we start a unit, I administer a preassessment to all students My students know I am simply looking for what they know about the topic. It is very low stress, but they always seem to want to do well.

When I check their preassessments I look for true understanding of the concept. Those that show mastery and understanding are selected to be the coaches for that topic. 

I spend a great deal of time helping my students understand that we all have things that we are great at doing and we will all have a chance to coach during the year. As we know, even our strugglers have amazing things to offer in our classroom. 

Once the coaches are selected, I meet with them as a group to discuss our vision...and I have found they have wonderful ideas. This is a quick little 5-10 minute meeting and takes places when we can squeeze it in...because isn't that how life in the classroom is? We make sure the goal is understood and what our game plan is for reaching that goal.

I have included our Tips for Coaches that has helped a ton in our classroom.  
There are several fabulous blog posts about leaders vs. bosses and we have referred to them often. We worked very hard to make sure that the coaches do not think of themselves as "know-it-alls" or that they are not going to work (because we know that coaches sometimes work harder!).

Here are our tips:

I have 16 students (Yes, it's amazing!) so I try to stick with 4 teams of 4. 
I was super unique and named the teams red, yellow, blue, and green.
Because we may have coaching sessions in 2 topics during a day, I bought color coded, inexpensive hats for the coaches, just so that those being coached (and I) can keep track.

Now, my job during this time is to make sure that the coaches are leading AND participating in the activities, as well as staying on track with our game plan. I also conference with teams during this time to monitor how much success is taking place and redirect if necessary.

I gather all of the materials needed ahead of time and put them in color coded large envelopes (but I am currently in search of color coded boxes with lids - hello Plastic Fusion paint).

So far, this has been a great model for our classroom. The coaches get to share their expertise and knowledge with others and the students receiving the coaching are getting help from students at their level backed by the coaching plan (and me).

I would love to hear about it if you try this in your classroom.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

So it's that time of year, good ol' cold and flu season. Bleh!
I just wanted to introduce my Emergency Sub Plans to you (not that I want you to ever be sick!)
and share a great giveaway for y-o-u!

These plans are print and go. 
Simply print them out and leave them for a sub, give them to a coworker to slide through the copier for you, place in a binder to have whenever you need, or download and email them to your sub!
YES! It's just that easy!

There are even editable info sheets!

Somewhere along the way of creating them, I was asked to make first grade AND second grade ones.
Here's a sneak peek inside my first grade plans...


and second grade ones.


In addition, I made non-holiday ones for this month, too!
They have basically the same lessons inside, the graphics have been changed. 
Just click on the covers of any of the products to take you to the product.



You can also grab these as part of a growing bundle.

Now for the giveaway part!
If you noticed, each product has a donation that will be given from the proceeds to two of my favorite organizations. I know you have heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation granting wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

The Josh Stevens Foundation is an organization near and dear to my heart.
I never had the privilege of knowing Josh, but I know he was an amazingly kind and wonderful young man. Josh left this earth far too soon, but left behind a legacy of kindness...a challenge to children everywhere based on two simple words...


You can read more about this amazing young man and the foundation built in his memory by clicking here.

Every day at morning opening, our school honors students who were caught being kind. 
Every teacher and student are invited to wear their Be Kind shirts as a reminder of what we strive to be...
in fact, it happens all across our school district...and we have a HUGE district....and best of all, the BE KIND movement and Joshi's legacy are spreading across the nation and the world.
It's definitely time to put some more kindness back in the world. Wouldn't you agree?

Here's your chance!
Enter below to win your choice of a Be Kind t-shirt and be the beginning of a Kindness Revolution at your school!
 You can check out the shirt choices here.

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