November Survival Guide

An insider's guide to report-card writing, parent-teacher conferences, classroom activities, and more

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

November brings many more "firsts" for new teachers — your first observation, your first round of report-card writing, and your first full slate of parent-teacher conferences. The November New Teacher Survival Guide offers insight on how to get through it all with flying colors.

Report-Card Writing Strategies for First-Timers
Feeling clueless about writing report cards? These strategies and tips will help you get started.

Six Steps to Writing Thoughtful Report-Card Comments
If you need a nudge getting started on the comment portion of your students' report cards, this six-step plan will push you in the right direction.

Key Components of Report Cards Explained
Although report-card formats vary widely from one district to the next, you'll almost always find a descriptor section and a narrative section of some sort. Here's a way to familiarize yourself with the both elements.

Favorite Words, Phrases for Report-Card Writers
Finding the right words to describe a student's performance can be a tricky enterprise. Check out favorite words and phrases used by experienced teachers.

Clip & Save Checklist: Learning Activities That Connect With Multiple Intelligences
Use this checklist to refresh your memory on the eight different types of multiple intelligences and pinpoint learning activities that will appeal to your students based on their particular strengths.

Fit to Print: Parent-Teacher Communication Tools at Your Fingertips
Whether you want to remind parents of upcoming conference times, update families on the latest classroom news, or let everyone know you need volunteers, this set of ready-to-go printables will come in handy.

Classroom Activities: Sponge Ideas
No matter how well you plan out the day, there are going to be times when you have to quickly and creatively fill up a 5- to 10-minute gap in the schedule. That's where these sponge activities can come into play.

"Been There, Done That" Tips & Ideas: Your First Observation
Whether your first observation is next week or next month, these tips from experienced teachers will help you prepare and present with polish.

Bookshelf Bests: Thanksgiving Traditions, Election Surprises (Grades K5)
From animals running for president and kids in the White House to anecdotes and rhymes about Thanksgiving traditions, this month's recommendations fall right into step with election coverage and turkey talk.

Bookshelf Bests: Mixing Social Sagas With Politics (Grades 68)
Connect with today's headlines using these titles featuring strong-minded individuals campaigning for candidates, questioning the system, and fighting for worthy causes.

Time Management Tip: Streamline With Student-Numbering System
Find out how and why a student-numbering system can save you time day in and day out throughout the academic year.


New Teacher Survival Guide

Find practical and easy-to-use tips, solutions, and advice to help make your first year in the classroom a success.