Keys to Successful Teaching: Creating a Positive Learning Environment – Part 3


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There are two KEYS that I have discovered to being a successful teacher.  Thus far in this series, I’ve covered the first 2 steps needed in the first key….

     The First Key to Successful Teaching: Create a positive learning environment.
             (Part 1) The first step: Become a purposeful role-model.
             (Part 2) The second step: Have High Expectations  

In this article, I will outline the third and final step of creating a positive learning environment: Manage Instructional Time  Instructional Time...

Just so there are no misunderstandings, for the purpose of this article, instructional time is anytime during the day that a teacher is participating (actively or passively) in student learning. Whether you are presenting a lesson or observing as students work on assignments, this is instructional time because you are in charge of managing the time students are learning.

There are only so many hours of each day for instructional time, so you must maximize (i.e. manage well) the time you have. So how do you do this?

  • Be Prepared.
    • Create good lesson plans that detail exactly what will be covered in each subject and what materials you need.
    • Review the plans you have made and prepare all materials that you will need (for both yourself and your students).
    • Create a daily list of everything the students are to accomplish where they can easily refer to it. This can be typed and printed as a handout or written on a whiteboard/chalkboard. This list should include what will be covered for the day in each subject plus any and all homework assignments.
  • Organize the Physical Learning Environment.
    • Have your learning area(s) designed to maximize instruction and involvement. If students will need access to specific items or will be participating in cooperative learning, be sure to have the classroom arranged appropriately. If students will need to access additional learning materials, have them in an established place.
    • Have learning stations ready and learning tools labeled.
  • Develop Routines and Procedures for transitions.
    • Transitions can be a time monster, so set up routines and procedures that students learn and are expected to occur during these transitions with little to no prompting from you.
    • If you have created the daily list of everything to be accomplished by students each day (as I list under ‘Be Prepared’) and set this up as a routine, students who finish early will have the ability to prepare for or even move on to the next assignment or begin homework.

Managing instructional time is all about controlling everything that you can control. There will be interruptions. There will be things that happen that are unexpected. However, with preparation, organization and developed routines and procedures, you will maximize the actual time you spend teaching and the time students spend learning.

In my next article, “Keys to Successful Teaching: Part 4”, I will be revealing the 2nd Key to becoming a successful teacher!

I’ve created a download to help you manage your instructional time – Free Organization & Planning Tools! To get yours, simply complete the form below…
Free Organization & Planning Tools
Creations by LAckert / CHSH-Teach, LLC will never sell or share your email address.




Multiply your chances of winning over $5,000 in educational products

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Good News…

You can still enter to win over $5,000 in educational products until 8 am ET, tomorrow, May 7th, and Multiply your chances!

At 8 a.m tomorrow, Monday morning, I’ll be sending out an email about the winners…So if you haven’t entered, please enter now!

How to Multiply your chances of winning…

Step 1Forward an email to a friend (or friends)
(You can forward it to 5 friends at a time by clicking the link above. Have more than 5 friends you want to share this with? You can click the link more than once until you’ve invited everyone…I’m sure your friends will really appreciate it!)
Step 2Enter the giveaway (If you’ve already entered but want to multiply your chances, follow all the steps as if you haven’t entered yet).
Step 3: After you enter, follow the directions on sharing through social media.

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This is so exciting!!! Be sure to invite every friend that teaches to enter (by forwarding this email) plus share on social media to multiply your chances.

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Flash Freebie – Reading Maps

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Here is a ‘Flash Freebie’ for my Readers!

>>> Reading Maps <<<
Link will automatically expire in 24 hours!


Would you like to receive notification of future ‘Flash Freebies’? If so, be sure to subscribe to my blog and you’ll get an email when I post new articles AND Flash Freebies! Just look for the following section in the right column!

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Scoop on upcoming 2018 Build your Bundle (and GIVEAWAY)

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Wow, so many of my readers have been wanting to know MORE about the current (Win over $5,000 in educational products) giveaway and about the upcoming sale, so here’s the scoop (at least what I can tell you right now)…

First, remember that if you have entered the giveaway you can win everything! The total value is $5,204. If you haven’t entered, enter now.

I can’t tell you all the fine print details (yet) but this is what I can tell you…

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There are 20 BUNDLES + Build Your Own options this year and the savings are going to be 86-96% off retail!

Here are the type of bundles:
* 3 Early Learning Bundles
* 3 Elementary Bundles
* 2 Upper Grades Bundles
* Charlotte Mason Bundle
* Fine Arts Bundle
* Unit Studies Bundle
* Character Bundle
* Thematic Unit Bundle
* Special Needs Bundle
* Brother & Sister Bundle
* Parenting Bundle
* Homemaking Bundle
* A Mystery Bundle

Here are some of the publishers that have products in bundles: 
* CHSH-Teach
* Fun Learning Ideas
* Sicily’s Heart & Home
* Townsley Times
* Sound Reading
* Homeschool Complete
* Living Montessori Now
* Autismland
* EdZone Publishing
* WriteBonnieRose
* Teaching Me Joy
* Classical Copywork
* The Mystery of History
* Enrichment Studies
* Powerline Productions
* Maestro Classics
* Skill Trek
* Readers Publications
* Guest Hollow
* Let’s Go Geograhy
* The Homeschool Scientist
…and there are more!

I wish I could tell you more but I can’t just yet…MORE TO COME!

If you haven’t entered, you still have time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win it all AND get a FREE Portfolio Pack AND get your coupon to save even more during the sale!

…and don’t forget to FORWARD this information  to all your teaching and homeschooling friends so they can enter to win PLUS get a  FREE Portfolio Pack and a coupon to save during the 2018 BYB Sale!



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In part 1 of this series, I began to identify ‘Keys to Successful Teaching’.

The first key: Create a positive learning environment.
The first step: Become a purposeful role-model.

In this article, I will outline the second step: Having High Expectations

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Having high expectations (both academic and behavioral) is key to setting your students up to succeed.

A teacher’s expectations, either high or low expectations, become a self-fulfilling  prophecy. Students perform in ways that teachers expect. (source

Academic Expectations

Research shows that having high expectations for academic achievement is very important. Even students with learning challenges need to be challenged and deserve a teacher that believes that they can and will succeed.  

Where do high expectations begin? They begin with you, the teacher. Have high expectations for yourself:

  • Be prepared and organized every day.
  • Take the time to know each student’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Provide challenging, thought provoking lessons based on the level(s) of your students.
  • Be flexible in your teaching style.
  • Provide additional teaching when students require it.
  • Give fair and specific feedback consistently, more than just ‘good job.’
  • Maintain a positive attitude toward students and their abilities.

Once you have set the expectations for yourself. It is time to set them for your students. What will you expect from them? Do you expect them to come to class ready to learn? Do you expect them to be accountable? Will you accept excuses or half answers, or will you expect them to participate fully and up to a level that they will need to ‘work’ to learn?

Again, I’m going to emphasis that high expectations begin with you. You must be prepared to be consistent in the high level of support that you need and should give. It can be much easier to ‘let things slide’ but don’t let that happen. Your students can and will achieve great things when you are their cheerleader.

If you are up to the tasks listed above, you are ready to have high expectations for your students. Create them and then communicate them. How do you do this?

  • Post your expectations where they can be see daily. One suggestion in doing this is placing posters with inspirational quotes throughout the learning space. Here are a few examples:
    • “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas Edison
    • “If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” ~ Thomas Edison
    • “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” ~ Eddie Rickenbacker
  • Have students sign an ‘achievement contract’. If you have never seen a student achievement contract and are unsure how to compose one, I have a FREE download for you! (Get your copy at the end of this article.)
  • Keep a dialogue open with your students about your expectations. If you teach in a classroom or co-op, you can opt to dialogue through journaling back and forth with each student. If you are a homeschooling parent, set time aside specifically to talk about expectations.
  • Using expanded questioning techniques with students throughout the learning process will let students know that you believe in their academic abilities. Here are some examples:
    • ” Show me more.”
    • ” What do you plan to do next?”
    • ” That looks like it took a lot of effort. How did you figure that out?”
    • ” Tell me what you think the next step in the process should be. Why?”
  • Expect students to revise their work when you know they haven’t worked up to their ability. In doing this, make sure to provide additional assistance as needed so that they can achieve the objectives you have set for them.
Behavioral Expectations

I’m not going cover behavioral expectations in depth in this article. However, the same facts hold true here as well…

  • You must exemplify high behavioral standards for yourself in the classroom.
  • You must set specific behavioral expectations for students.
  • You must communicate clearly what is expected.

Doing these things WILL help you develop and maintain a positive learning environment for your students.

Get your FREE
‘Parts of the Student Achievement Contract’…

Parts of the Student Achievement Contract
Creations by LAckert / CHSH-Teach, LLC will never sell or share your email address.




Enter the Aeromax Toys Giveaway

Aeromax Toys is giving away 5 (five) $50 gift certificates in a special giveaway!

Aeromax Toys is an award winning maker of high quality toys and they are guaranteed to spark imagination at any age! They currently are featuring their line called “My 1st Career Gear” and here are some fun examples of what the offer…

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Giveaway Begins: Saturday, April 28th (12 a.m. EST)
Giveaway Ends: Saturday, May 5th (3 a.m. EST)

If you are one of the lucky 5 (five) winners, you will receive a $50 gift certificate to apply toward any purchase! Also, every entrant will receive a special discount code from Aeromax Toys after the giveaway!

Go to CHSH-Teach/Aeromax Toys Giveaway page now to enter!

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Keys to Successful Teaching: Creating a Positive Learning Environment, Part 1

Becoming a successful teacher isn’t easy for everyone. Let’s face it, some people just seem to have been ‘born to teach‘ while others of us must work at it. Why is that? Why do some teachers seem to be better at educating their students while others struggle? 

What are the keys to successful teaching?

Successful teachers seem to possess certain characteristics that others do not.  So what are these characteristics?

I’ve done a great deal of research to find the answer to this question. After reviewing  my findings plus using my own 20+ years of personal experience (both in the public school classroom as well as years of being a homeschooling mom and mentor), I’ve compiled a list of what I call ‘Keys to Successful Teaching.”

KEY #1: A successful teacher will create a positive learning environment

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Every learning environment is different and made up of a variety of aspects and although you may not be in control of every little (or big) aspect, there are those you DO have control over. In this post, I will be writing about….

Purposeful Role-Modeling

The younger a student is, the more adaptable their thought processes and habits are in response to positive role models. A role model can be anyone that someone looks up to and wishes to be like – and that bond can develop at any age. ” (source)

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I role model enthusiasm and optimism?
    – How do I display enthusiasm for life in the classroom?
    – Which subject(s) am I most enthusiastic about when teaching? How do I demonstrate my enthusiasm about the subjects(s)?
    – Which subject(s) am I least enthusiastic about when teaching? How can I change this?
    – Do I display my enjoyment of teaching? If so, how?
  • Do I role model kindness and respect in the classroom?
    – How do I react when I’m frustrated with a student?
    – Do I listen to my students?
    – Do I use kind and encouraging words?
  • Do I try to ‘catch’ students in acts for which I can affirm in the moment?
    – Do I immediately affirm appropriate behavior, leadership, acts of kindness?
  • Do I role model a love of learning?
    – How do I show my students that I still love to learn?
    – Do they see me taking steps to increase my knowledge?
    – What can I do to ensure they see me wanting to learn new things?
  • Do I allow myself to be vulnerable in front of my students?
    – Have you ever shared a time that you failed at something or made a mistake and you were vulnerable enough to talk about it within the learning environment of the classroom? If so, did you also talk about the positive steps you took as a result?
  • Do I role model problem solving in front of my students?
    – Do you practice the process of ‘thinking-out-loud’ about a problem in the classroom? Analyzing a situation or problem, thinking about the pros and cons of different strategies to use, working through a chosen strategy to come to a resolution or answer?
  • Do I display a positive self-image?
    – Do I demonstrate self-confidence within the classroom? If so, how?
    – Do I have areas of my self-image that need improving ? What are they and how can I go about doing so?

Whether you teach in a classroom, in a co-op or are a homeschooling parent,  remember that YOU are an important role model in the life of each of your students. Purposeful role modeling is vital to creating a positive learning environment.

I have created a ‘Purposeful Role-Modeling’ Worksheet to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in this area. If you’d like a FREE COPY, please complete the below form…

Purposeful Role-Modeling Worksheet
Creations by LAckert / CHSH-Teach, LLC will never sell or share your email address.

In my next post “Keys to Successful Teaching –
Creating a Positive Learning Environment, Part 2 “
, I will share why and how you should create and communicate high expectations.

If you have not subscribed to this blog, be sure to do so (at the top right of this page) and you’ll be notified by email when it has been published!

Free Human Anatomy Coloring Pages

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Get these coloring pages of the human body FREE @ 
This freebie includes a coloring page of the brain and another of the digestive system!
These are pages from a much larger resource (69 student coloring pages in all) that is available on both CHSH-Teach and TPT.
If you’d like to preview the entire Human Anatomy Coloring Book, you may do so here or click the picture below…
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Want to download the entire coloring book? Here is how…


Find out how to become a CHSH-Teach Download Club subscriber!

St. Patrick’s Day Riddle Coloring Pages

“What do you get when you cross poison ivy with clover? A rash of good luck!”

Kid’s LOVE riddles and that’s why I’ve created St Patrick’s Day Riddle Coloring Pages!

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This title offers 8 coloring pages, each with a cute St. Patrick’s Day themed riddle.

How to get this resource… 


Find out how to become a CHSH-Teach Download Club subscriber!


March Math Skills Review for 2nd & 3rd Grades

Is it important to review Math Skills throughout the year? Yes! When we learn new information, we remember it best immediately after we’ve learned it. It is easy to forget skills, even just a few days or weeks after we’ve learned them. That is why it is important that we make time to have students review previously learned skills.

There are a lot of Math skills being taught in the 2nd and 3rd grades and these skills need to be repeatedly reinforced throughout the year.

For teachers looking to add some holiday flair to the review of Math skills in the month of March, I’ve created March Math Skills Review for 2nd & 3rd Grades with a St. Patrick’s Day theme!

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This resource includes 77 student pages and covers the following skills:

  • 2 digit addition (worksheets for ‘no carry’ and ‘carry’)
  • 2 digit addition word problems
  • 2 digit subtraction (worksheets for ‘no borrow’ and ‘borrowing’)
  • Mixed addition/subtraction word problems (some worksheets designed in ‘test prep’ format)
  • Find the missing addend and subtrahend worksheets
  • 3 digit addition (worksheets for ‘no carry’ and ‘carry’)
  • Even/Odd identification
  • Roman numerals (I, V, X, L) – identification, conversion, addition
  • Critical Thinking skill worksheets
  • Order of Operations
  • Place Value: Building 3 and 4 digit numbers / Expanding numbers
  • Skip Counting by 50, 100, 250
  • Rounding to the nearest 10 and nearest 100
  • Telling time: nearest hour, half hour, 5 minutes and minutes
  • Counting coins
  • Fractions: identifying, comparing and naming
  • Equivalent Fractions
  • Multiplication: Writing equations
  • Multiplication: 1-12
    Multiplication word problems
  • Division word problems
  • Measurement: Reading a ruler
  • Geometry: Shape identification (cone, cube, pyramid, sphere, pentagon, rectangular prism
  • Geometry: Vertices, faces, sides, edges
  • Geometry: Finding the perimeter

This is a NO PREP resource with means you do not need to laminate, prep or use any color ink. These are simply PRINT & GO pages.

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How to get this resource… 


Find out how to become a CHSH-Teach Download Club subscriber!