Monthly Plans, organization

Setting Up a Teacher Binder

I finally got my teacher binder up and running, and I am excited to show it to you all today! I’m also excited to use my married name this year!!

IMG_4546.JPG

I finally decided to type up my parent’s most used phone numbers and typed a grid to tape in the front of my binder. I’m so glad I did this! Instead of having to hunt down their emergency card or log into the system, I can grab my binder and have the numbers on the tip of my fingers. I also have a grid that lists the contents of my binder to stay organized.

IMG_4532                                                      IMG_4533

Section one of my binder is a set of my student’s data sheets. The master data sheet is in their own IEP binder, but I keep a copy in my binder. My assistants also have sets of the data in their binder. We all take data during the week, then merge on the master copy on Fridays. The student’s IEPs are also kept in their IEP binder, so I keep an IEP snapshot on each in section 2 that has the important information. I uploaded the snapshot as a freebie, grab it here!

IMG_4534                                                     IMG_4535

I downloaded these monthly calendars from Erin with You-AUT-A Know, I am hoping they help me keep track of all of the deadlines! This makes up section 3 of my binder-section 4 is for our state assessment. I have a monthly planning guide to make sure I plan for all of the standards as well as a copy of the manual for reference.

IMG_4536.JPG           IMG_4537       IMG_4538

My lesson plans are a two page spread that incorporate my schedule so I always know what is happening. The next week tab is reminders for me-for example, if I need to buy mentos for a science experiment we are doing on Wednesday, I would write it on the next week page so I remember. The week at a glance page lets me highlight parties, assemblies and other miscellaneous activities coming up. I keep all the pages of my lesson plans in section 5.

IMG_4539              IMG_4540

I downloaded this meeting notes template from Tickled for Teaching. I will keep a bunch of copies in section 6 to keep track of staff meetings and professional developments. Sections 7-12 are my grade book sections. Each section has a grade book template from English Bulldog-the section I keep are Reading, Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Health.

IMG_4542                               IMG_4543

It took me a whole to get it set up, hopefully I can stick with it and stay organized!

Personal

Mid August Update

Wow, summer is already over! I went back on contact today and honestly, I am a mix of emotions. I am super eager to get into my routine and get back to normal. I am one of those weird teachers who does not do well with a lot of time off. On the other hand, I’m nervous because I have changed so much. My classroom looks totally different, but I have the same assistants, therapists and kiddos from last year. Having to teach them all how my classroom runs and help them change the norm while still figuring it out feels daunting, but I can do it!

We have moved rooms, again. This is how my classroom looked when I walked in yesterday. I am sorry to say I have not gotten very far-a lot will be done when my husband comes to help me on Saturday.

image1 (23).JPG

As for my to do list, I did not conquer everything. I was too busy soaking up those last sweet moments of relaxation, so I guess it was well deserved! Here is what is on my end of August to do list for academics:

  • 3 little pigs materials
  • Vowel task cards
  • Graphing worksheets
  • Expanded scientific method worksheets
  • All Rules and Laws materials
  • All government materials

As you can see, the academics took a hit. Luckily, these are my October plans so I have time to get them done!

I have most of my October adapted materials printed, I just need to assemble. That’s also on my to-do list. I did get the kid’s binders set up, it’s a great start 🙂

Part 2 of my to-do list, everything else! That includes

  • Finish student binder set up
  • Create my own grade book
  • Create lesson plans
  • Create schedules
  • First week of school plans
  • IEP snapshots
  • Make teacher binder
  • Set up classroom.

Kids come to school on August 29, 12 days until go time!!

 

Personal, Work Life Balance

Why I Won’t Be Joining in on Gossip This Year

People who know me well will tell you that I take a little bit to warm up. I can be shy and small talk has never been my strong suit. In fact, I even experience a level of social anxiety in some situations. One of my biggest concerns when I got my first job teaching was how on earth I was going to make friends.

Somehow, the friends came quickly. I established friendships with other special education teachers as well as general education teachers. I lead a school with an Autism Awareness Initiative, which also helps me get to know teachers that I wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to talk to.

While being friendly with co-workers is a good thing, the dark side of gossip is sure to follow. It started with a quick comment, then turned into an actual time-sucking conversation. Next thing I knew, most of my conversations were gossipy in nature. Rather than asking my 70-plus colleagues for advice on handling a tricky parent teacher meeting or a strategy to help a struggling student, I joined in on pointless conversations that didn’t do anything but circulate negativity.

Not only did I join in on these conversation at school, I became too connected outside of school. I went to happy hours, holiday parties, and spent the weekends texting. In some of these instances, such as my friendship with the best inclusion teacher I’ve ever seen, these conversations were to solve problems or generate ideas.

Other conversations didn’t do the same. The night I realized that it was all-encompassing was when my husband and I got in a disagreement about something personal. He finally asked me “what did your school friends say?” and I immediately spout out the answer. That’s when it hit me, I had spent more time gossiping about the issue with my co-workers than I had actually working through it with my husband.

School and everything about it had consumed me and that is not a good place to be in. I was so focused on these friendships and joining into the gossip mill, I forgot I was a person outside that school. I’ve spent the summer getting back to what I love. I’m enjoying my newlywed life (We are only 102 days in!), diving into my huge stack of to-read books, trying new recipes, exploring my new interest in craft breweries, and snuggling with my puppy.

I feel good about the choices I’m making, because being a teacher is now just a part of me. It’s still probably the biggest part of me, but it’s not my entire picture. I’m a little nervous to go back to school, because the first time I walk away from a gossip-driven or negative conversation might be uncomfortable, but it is something I need to do. I’m not saying I will never again listen to or say a piece of gossip, but I am saying I’m going to refocus my conversations at work and my priorities outside of work.

Here’s to the new, happier, more well-rounded me!

 

Monthly Plans

End of July Check In

I’ve feeling pretty good about the progress I have made, and luckily I still have almost a month until the kids come into my classroom.

First, my September lessons are printed!! I put everything in a page protector, ready to be copied when its’ time. I will do a more in depth post later this month about how I plan to stay organized!

image1 (22).JPG

Looking back to my goal list, I got all of the September materials made on my list. I listed government on the to-do list, but I really meant Famous Americans. That unit is done and posted! The scientific investigation unit is about 85% done, just have a couple more worksheets to make. I also made the graphing unit but once I printed it I didn’t like the sizing so I need to re do it.

I’ve started my special education binder and plans for my students’ binders as well. I also have all of my October plans in the excel!

octpic

Here is my to-do list through August 15:

  • Reading
    • Pre/Post test
    • Three little pigs interactive materials
    • VAAP samples
    • Trick or treat supplemental activities
  • Language Arts
    • Pre/Post test
    • All anchor charts
    • VAAP samples
  • Math
    • Pre/Post Test
    • Anchor Charts
    • Interactive Notebook
    • VAAP samples
  • Science
    • Pre/Post Test
    • Anchor Charts
    • Interactive Notebook
    • Walk through worksheets
    • VAAP samples
  • Social Studies
    • Famous Americans Interactive Notebook
    • Famous Americans Emergent Reader
    • Rules and Laws Interactive Notebook
    • Rules and Laws Emergent Reader
    • Government Emergent Reader
    • Government Interactive Notebook
    • VAAP samples
  • Adapted Materials
    • Finish prepping all hard copies of September adapted materials
    • Re-D0 graphing adapted materials
    • Make 1 November adapted book
  • Organization
    • Get a binder for each student
    • Make a cover page for each student
    • Print any papers (IEP, FBA, BIP etc) for each student
    • Decide on # of dividers and by the dividers

 

Busy busy!! I go back on contract August 17 and I will be consumed with training and setting up my classroom, so I want to get as much done as I can 🙂

 

PS The baby girl I mentioned last post arrived this past Friday. She is already the most perfect princess and I can’t wait to meet her in about 10 days!