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5 Tips for Teaching Academic Language

Academic language is (and has been) making a big impact in elementary school classrooms. Academic language gives students the skills to communicate, engage, and participate more effectively in content areas across the curriculum.

After learning about academic language through reading educational studies, attending professional development seminars, and collaborating with my colleagues, I figured out a way to help my students not only learn the words for academic language, but also understand the words and use them way after the lessons are over.

How Oriental Trading Inspired My Classroom

Getting ready for back to school is a little less stressful with help from Oriental Trading.

I am using some of their awesome resources to make my classroom even that much better!

Brag tags are all the rage right now in various elementary school classrooms. I display my brag tags by using a hundreds chart at the front of my classroom under the SmartBoard. This makes it easy for me to just grab the tags that I need. Sometimes, I even have my students run up and grab a tag of their choice! It’s a great display and time saver. 

In addition to the hundreds chart I use for my brag tags, I also received chains from Oriental Trading to hang my students’ brag tags. They’re inexpensive and good quality. They hang beautifully in my classroom.

Why My Classroom Behavior Chart Only Goes Up

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher (who shall remain nameless, but I still totally remember her name) had a happy face board and a sad face board. 

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was always on the happy face board. Like ALWAYS. Until one day, when my bright, little kindergarten heart was crushed.  A little boy named Kevin (last name not listed, even though I ALSO remember it) was sitting next to me during circle time. 

He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. Naturally, I screamed, thinking WHY IS THIS BOY KISSING ME?! My teacher jerked her head in my direction and yelled at me to put my name on the SAD. FACE. BOARD. WHAT?!?! 


It is something that I obviously have not forgotten. In fact, Mr. Kevin tried adding me on Facebook a few years back and I DENIED his request. No thank you, mister! 

Anyways, this experience made me really think about my own classroom behavior management system, and I decided to implement something that some might be fearful of…a behavior system where you can’t move down, you don’t get points taken away, and you’re not singled out in front of the class. 

Yup. A behavior system where you can only move UP!

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