We’re wrapping up another calendar year … where does the time go? You know it goes to lesson planning, finding or creating materials for your class, setting up and organizing the classroom, meetings, professional development, grading tests and papers, assessments, worrying about that kid who is still struggling, plus all of your non-teaching life crammed in around it. My goal here at Top Notch Teaching is always to make teachers’ lives easier through resources, advice and learning programs that save time, inspire and motivate. Here are some teacher favorites—posts and products you loved in 2019.
Teacher favorites from 2019
Here are your favorite articles from the past year. I’ve broken it down by category. Too busy to read, but ready for a few extra tools? I’ve shared a tool under each article to make your teaching life easier!
Planning & classroom management
Does the start of a new year make you want to get organized? I’m a huge fan of lesson plan templates to get—and stay—organized!
Teacher Favorites Tool: Printable Lesson Plan Templates
Back to school is such a busy time, and it can be stressful. Get your classroom set up and your year started right.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Back to School Bundle
I’ve shared lots of tips on how to start teaching skip counting. I like to start with easy numbers like 2, 5, and 10. But at some point, kids tend to get stuck. These strategies and activities help kids get past common skip counting barriers.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Skip Counting Puzzles Bundle
Mental math is essential for kids’ success in math, so I share some games that my students love. These games cover counting on, near doubles, compatible numbers, partitioning, and estimating—the five key mental math skills.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Mental Math Activities & Posters
Measurement is an essential area of math, but it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Students need to be able to measure length, calculate area, and work with time. Add some measurement games that cover all these areas to your math teaching toolkit.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Bumper Book of Fun Math Games and Activities
Phonics & literacy
Could your phonics lesson plans use some freshening up? I’ve pulled together 21 ideas for teaching phonics and making it fun this year. Plus, the best phonics games and activities can easily be adapted to the particular sounds or skills you are working on, making these games flexible and fun options.
Teacher Favorites Tool: The Complete Phonics Kit
Some kids get consonant blends pretty quickly, while others need additional practice with the basics. Here’s how to provide consonant blend activities for students whatever their level.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Consonant Blends Worksheets and Puzzles
Need a little help keeping up with phonics practice. Imagine having all the phonics homework you needed for the year done. Find out how to get phonics homework help right away!
Teacher Favorites Tool: Fun Phonics Homework To Last The Whole Year Bundle
Is your phonics program or intervention working? Are your students able to understand and apply new concepts? The answer to both questions comes through phonics progress monitoring. Get the scoop on phonics monitoring made easy.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Phonics Progress Monitoring Tools
The problem with spelling games and activities is that so many of them use specific word lists. That’s not helpful when you are working on a different word list. Here are some favorite spelling word activities that you can use for any words.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Spelling Activities for Any List of Words
Go beyond simply practicing phonics words to using them in writing. Phonics writing prompts engage students to help them start writing and practice phonics words—while keeping it fun of course.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Phonics Writing Prompts with Word Bank Bundle
Break down research report writing with a seven-step process starting with idea-generating to publishing and reflecting. I’ve made it easy for you to make it easy for your students!
Teacher Favorites Tool: Natural Disasters & Report Writing
Do your kids need to move more? I bet they do. Teaching kids to move throughout the day is a great life skill—and often the extra movement helps them focus on learning. I’ve shared 15 easy ways to get kids moving. I’ve included things you can do in the classroom as well as things you’ll need gym or playground space for.
Teacher Favorites Tool: Physical Education Resource Kit
What was your favorite tip or tool of 2019?