Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stress Free End of the Year

There are certain times of the school year when the stress levels seem to run high. The end of the school year is definitely one of them. Some possible stressers are students' behavior, tons of papers to correct, grades, classroom check out, grade level change for the coming school year, room change, and an infinite number of possibilities. Over my twenty-one years of teaching I have established a few routines that help me survive and actually enjoy my job and students during these tough months.

I hope they can be of use to you as well. Feel free to add others that have helped you in the comments section.

Establish End of the Year Expectations with Your Students
Principal Brian Gaten shared the importance of setting academic and behavior goals for the end of the year (just like at the beginning of the school year). It is important to encourage students to maintain high standards for their behavior and their learning. Teachers can update goals/rules and refer to them often so that they can stay fresh in your students' minds.

Classroom Routine
Try to keep your classroom routine. I know at times this is impossible, but kids thrive on routine. I have found that students are experiencing lots of emotions with the end of the year. Happiness, sadness, excitement, uncertainty, concern, etc... Routine will help provide stability through this transition.

Start Organizing Now
I start with my classroom. Whether I am moving to another room or not - I begin with one cupboard at a time. I look for ways to better organize each cupboard, give away items I no longer need or use, and/ or toss items. I don't like clutter :0) I do the same with my files. More and more I keep my files organized on my computer so I don't need a hard copy of anything. But for the files I do have, I prefer to keep only one copy and/or sample.

Prepare for Next Year
I know- what? But, I promise you that you will be glad you did. Typically teachers are not running as many papers at the end of the year. So... I make sure I run papers that I will definitely need come August. I run student's personal dictionaries, interactive journals, parent welcome letter/packet, activities for the first week of school, and anything I am sure I will definitely use. Then, I will not be stressing the first week of school and I can have a "Stress Free" start too.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Let's Celebrate!

We are so excited to be part of two amazing Bloggy friends celebrations. As the end of the school year approaches, it is important that we treat ourselves with some freebies and prizes. We hope you will join in on all the fun!

First up!
Head on over to Learning Fundamentals and party with Selma. Wish her a Happy Birthday and enjoy lots of freebies throughout the day. 
Next up...
Jen from Sparking in Second is celebrating her blogs second year anniversary. Congratulations! And a big thank you for sharing your special day with us.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

You Oughta Know

Thank you for visiting me today! I am very proud to be part of You Oughta Know. I, by no means, am an expert on the following topic. But, I am a teacher that is willing to learn and find ways to make good instruction, strategies, and tools work. I would love to hear about your experience with formative assessment.
You Oughta Know About...

For more detailed information check out this article http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Positions/formative-assessment_single.pdf

I hope this has helped. I am uploading file  of my observation checklist feel free to duplicate if this can be of help to you.