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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Christmas Tips and Activities

Knock knock…Who’s there?....It’s Mary!...Mary who?...Merry Christmas!!!!

I know, I’m in a silly mood and why not, it’s the most beautiful season of all! Or..isn’t it?

Our students can be more of a struggle around this time of the year! We survived Halloween and Halloween sugar rush with them, going for Thanksgiving and they can’t hold their enthusiasm for Christmas…well everything! #meneither

Well take a deep breath and remember there are so many creative and fun activities you can do before Christmas! Besides you can theme everything! #xmasthemedresources


Oh my!!! I love practicing Listening,especially with ESL students, during Christmas. There are so many songs and even short stories they can work on! There are a lot of Christmas songs/carols that can be incorporated in a listening lesson such as: Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer; Little Drummer Boy, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Jingle Bells, Silent Night and Frosty the Snowman! Another great idea apart from using songs for listening is to read a dialogue or story related to Christmas, your students can answer questions based on what they’ve heard or  give their own two cents about it.


Now, reading can be a real treat during Christmas with so many lovely Christmas related stories and books out there. Students can practice so many skills while having fun and even learning something new. They can also learn more about Christmas traditions in other countries or what Christmas means to different people. There are also many Reading Comprehension resources you can use to teach that are great fun.


ESL students can benefit greatly this time of year because the subject of Christmas is a fun one to talk about.
Role playing and acting out the nativity story are two brilliant ways to encourage students to think outside the box and answer questions like: Which reindeer is your fav and why? What do you think Santa does the rest of the year? Have you ever heard or seen Santa? Do you think Christmas should be cancelled?
You can also have ss narrate a Christmas story and others ss ask them questions, which I’ve found is quite fun and the interaction helps them communicate and bond.


Last but certainly not least!
There are so many Christmas writing related activities you can do! Just a few of my very favorite ones are:
Write a Christmas card
Write a Christmas recipe
Write a letter to Santa
Write instructions on how to go to North Pole
Write an Elf diary entry on Christmas Eve
Write a review on your favorite Christmas movie/book
Students can also do shorter writing tasks such as quizzes, crossword puzzles or how many words can be made from the letters CHRISTMAS TREE?

See? No need to despair! It’s a fun time, enjoy it!

Here are some ideas of resources you can use <3

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Tips For New Teachers - A Survival Guide

It’s been 19 years now that I’ve been teaching and I must say even though I have enjoyed and loved every single one of them #allthefeels I wish I knew when I started what I know now.

They say the best school is experience and they are right!

Throughout the years I have researched and studies ways to teach, the best methods and been to more seminars than I can count in order to improve and become a better teacher.

What is a good teacher though? What makes a great teacher?

The truth is no matter how many different methods you try, no matter how much you educate yourself on your field it all comes down to how much you can get your teaching across to your students, how much the LIKE being in your class and how well you can adjust to many different personalities.

There are many key strategies and details, big or small on how you can go about teaching a classroom but I have concluded to these MAIN 5!

My best tip no 1

Kids get bored, there I said it! We get bored (let’s be real)
We both need to have fun since we spend so many hours of our lives in a classroom.
Kids learn more and way better through creative means. Undrstanding how important play is for kids is key! So research ways to make your lesson more interesting, there are thousand of articles on the Web #yayinternet and so many resources made from teachers for teachers!
Use crafts, songs, movement!
Engagement is KEY! The best way for a kid to get engaged is to find a lesson interesting and fun, so be CREATIVE!

My best tip no 2

Wow that’s important y’all!
You can’t teach properly if you aren’t organized!

Use planners, checklists, To Do lists, markers, boxes, everything you could possibly need to have every step of your teaching life organized!

Make teachers plans, sub plans (yes!), have your week planned…well have your year planned honestly!

When you know what you are doing each day, you are not as stressed and you can handle the unexpected way easily!
Have a place for EVERYTHING! Organize your classroom beforehand and LABEL EVERYTHING.

Make a schedule for your own time, know when you plan and organize so you can find time to relax and rejuvenate!

My best tip no 3

When you have 20+ kids probably wanting to run, play and yell more than anything, conferences, toxic colleagues or…(parents), a headache, no time to eat or go to the toilet and 2000 papers to grade, yelling sounds like a great option! #NOT

Take a deep breath, there’s always a better solution!

To start with if you want a smooth running year you need to set the rules at the beginning! Spend the first days explaining how you want your students to behave, how the lesson goes, procedures and rules! TRUST ME it will save your life! Your inner peace too!

Establish a good communication with parents! A weekly newsletter can prove to be extremely helpful! Notes home a detailed journal about your students can help a lot when parents ask how their kids are doing. Oh and smile!

My best tip no 4

Do you know whose the teacher’s best friend? (apart from coffee) It’s other teachers!!!

Find like-minded teachers and join a community. There are many groups of teachers online willing to help and wanting help. There are FB pages and groups and even collaborative blogs.

Teachers are amazingly helpful creatures!

Ask questions, ask for help and give help. Collaborate instead of competing!
#teachershelpteachers #teachersloveteachers

My best tip no 5

Nothing makes a student want to learn more than feeling they are loved! Many students come to school to be loved, love them and they will learn too, just on their own time!

There are many ways to show how much you appreciate your students and reinforce their confidence!

Just saying “well done” can be enough sometimes but most of the times you need something more hands on like stickers, brag tags, positive notes home!

They make a HUGE difference! I can’t stress that enough!
ALWAYS insist on the POSITIVE!

Being a teacher is a state of mind and it takes courage and heart! Love what you do and it will reward you!



P.S If you need help with resources you can use such as calendars, teacher's binder or brag tags and stickers you can check my store on TpT.

*the clip art used in the photos is by Educlips

Friday, 19 May 2017

Giveaway and Sale!!!

1)It’s the end of the school year which means many happy memories and
2)at the same time I reached my 500 followers on Instagram! Woo woo!!! I know it’s not a huge achievement for many but for me not being so Social Media savvy…it is H-U-G-E #happyteacher

 To celebrate this personal milestone, from the 19th of May until the 26th of May, I will be hosting a Giveaway! Two of my products will go to two lucky winners!!!
The first is my Summer Literacy Packet

And the second is my Math Literacy Packet

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On top of the Giveaway I will be hosting a 20% sale for my ENTIRE store!!! The sale includes my best selling products like “Inflectional endings and my newest products like my “Memory Book”

Thank you for celebrating with me friends!


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

End of The Year Memory Book!

As the end of the school year approaches I wanted to offer my students one last surprise, a keepsake – an End of Year Memory Book!
I thought it would be a lot of fun to look back at their book in a couple of years!

I decided to create a Memory Book that would have everything my students need to craft their very own personalized Memory Book.

I wanted them to be able to recap what they learned this year and save everything from achievements and progress to their favorite memories of the year and plans for the future.

I’m pretty sure my students (and yours) will have endless fun recalling the best of the last year with their friends but recording it all in this memories book will provide them a magical window into their own past showing how much they’ve changed, progressed and grown for years to come.

It comes with many Colorful Printable Achievement Certificates you can award to all your amazing students for everything from the best personality to the most amazing readers and spellers.
I do hope you have an amazing summer ahead of you but also that you have great memories from the school year we’re leaving behind!



Monday, 4 July 2016

10 Reasons Why I Love Teaching!

I LOVE teaching…and here’s why!
Educators are lucky people, we are…we really are!

   The truth is I haven’t always wanted to be a teacher, who does really…it’s not a prestigious job or a well paid job. We don’t see teachers featured in magazines or TV, we don’t often hear about their success stories, if ever! When you are a child, other jobs take your fancy.
   I will always remember the day I decided to become a teacher though! It was in high school, an ordinary day like any other in school (unfortunately). We were having a Physics class and we had a teacher who obviously didn’t want to be there, not just that day…any day! He asked me a question and I answered it to what I thought was the best of my abilities, but he had a different opinion. Now it’s not that he thought the answer was wrong, it wasn’t, he thought I was wrong, wrong to take his time, wrong to be in a classroom, wrong to exist. He looked at me and the words that came out of his mouth, though profoundly hurtful and offensive, were my turning point and the reason I decided I wanted to be a teacher. Right there and then I knew that children needed teachers who loved them, who inspired them, who encouraged and educated them!
   I loved English since the very first day I heard it (for you who don’t know me, I’m Greek) and I fell deeply in love with them since the very first day I was taught the ABC, it was like someone unlocked deep, ancient hidden knowledge in me! I know it sounds weird or cheesy but that’s how I felt. I started speaking it in every occasion and started thinking in English! Till this day all my thoughts are not in my mother tongue but in what I think is my actual mother tongue and that’s English! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Greek, it’s a fascinating language with a plethora of linguistic treasures but for me so is English!
   Now for the task at hand…why do I love teaching so much?!
üI love teaching English because I love the language so much that I want to share it with as many people as I can find wanting to learn it!
üI love the feeling we get…that magical moment you feel like crying from joy, when a struggling student gets it! When you see it in their eyes or/and in their answers that they have understood what you have been explaining and they can now use it! That feeling is life!
üI love it, absolutely adore it when students come running to me, the minute they see me entering and they give me huge hugs yelling Miss Stevieeee!
üI love finding ways of teaching new students, different students! I love the challenge, I love the creativity, the research and the feeling of accomplishment when I do find the perfect method or way to make my students understand!
üI love organizing my lessons! I know it can get boring but when your heart is in it, you come up with so many ideas that it feels like a tree growing, expanding and branching out!
üI love the fact that I get to meet people who share the same interests as me! Colleagues who understand my hopes, my fears and my struggles!
üI love books! I love reading them, reading them aloud to my kids and hearing their versions of what the book meant! I love discovering new books, especially books I can use in my classroom, the ones I can teach with or/and the ones that could teach us all something!
üI love it especially when kids who struggle at home with various problems, find school to be a haven. It’s beyond anything I can explain, that feeling you get when you see an unhappy, abused or unloved child feeling safe, feeling loved and you see them smiling and playing, feeling accomplished and part of a bigger family! If that’s not worth all the struggles of being a teacher, then what is!
üI love listening to children! I love the way they think, their perspective and take on our world and how they perceive situations we find common or not interesting! I love their imagination and instincts! They make me a better person every single day!
üI love sharing what I know with my kids and thus providing them with a useful tool for their lives! The very thought that what I taught them could be the base to a successful, happy life or career is more than a great reason to wake up every day!

Bonus reason and frankly the most important one!
Teaching is nothing short of a blessing and I strongly believe we should all feel lucky and blessed the Lord gave us that opportunity, that great honor to be teachers!
I would love to hear from all of you and read about YOUR reasons why you feel lucky to be teachers and why you LOVE teaching! You can copy the picture below if you want :)
My best wishes,

Stevie (or Stavroula)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

I need holidays, don't you?

Hey guys!!!

It's been a very long time since I last wrote a blog spot and I must say it's been a few very busy and weird months! I've been super busy with school, I've had some health related family issues and to be honest I didn't feel like sharing.

Do you know this feeling that you've had things piling up and you are patient and hard working and go through everything stoically and then suddenly your head feels like it's being pressed by a heavy object and you feel that every little thought that's more complex sets it on fire? You can't think anymore, you can't analyze or find solutions, you do the bare minimum just to get through the day. Well, I felt like that for a couple of months, then felt better and now I'm at a point where I just need, I mean...NEED to relax, let my hair down, think of nothing but butterflies, beaches and bunnies. Or whatever is fluffy, pink, shallow and makes people smile.

I need holidays!
I want to wake up without the stress of being late or not having personal time.
I want to feel lightweight and carefree.
I want to-seriously now-not talk-like with an actual voice-to anyone for a few days. #hermit_with_a_laptop
I want to take care of ME and pamper me.
I want a serious-oh my god I'm now broke-shopping spree
I want to only use my colorful pens for drawing and not grading.

Don't get me wrong...I  a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y love my students! I love teaching them, seeing them ,hearing them laugh, seeing them progress more or a little, slow or fast every day. What I'm done with is everything else surrounding teaching this year. I'm done with _itchy bosses, absurd parents with a teacher syndrome, delayed salaries and all that jazz!!!

I don't know if anyone else feels that way, ever or sometimes, maybe I'm just a tired teacher who had a bad school year. But if there's more of me out there, feeling drained, tired...please do let me know! I need the solidarity :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

It worked!!!

Hello friends,
I'd like to talk about something new I tried in my classroom that worked really well. 

What I have noticed all these years of teaching is that kids have difficulty understanding and identifying the parts of speech such as nouns, verbs and adjectives. (don’t get me started on adverbs) hashtag:a_teacher’s_life_can_be_challenging

I was using my Emergent Readers resource to help my kids work on their reading skills and the idea hit me! Why not work on these simple sentences which add adjectives and new nouns and Sight Words gradually? And so I did!

It was a big hit! Kids started identifying the parts of speech in every sentence easier and faster than I would have hoped for!

As you can see each sentence adds new words and parts of speech like new adjectives and nouns to the words already repeated which makes it easier for the kids to identify nouns, adjectives and verbs. 

The extra bonus is that they also work on Sight Words!