Hi everyone!!!!! How are you?? Can you believe we're talking Back to School already?!? Well, I am back at it this Monday with our first teacher day, and Tuesday the kids come! Am I ready?? Of course
not! :) I don't think a teacher's work is ever done so I've had to train myself to "Let It Go" like Frozen! It'll all be there tomorrow waiting for you! So this year I'm looping to 3rd after teaching my first in Spanish and the 10 most recent years in 2nd! I'm super excited, but I'm trying to get more organized!
So without any further delay, welcome to the...
Get ready to learn all about some great tips, tricks, and ideas from over 40 bloggers like me!! To start, I'm going to share two things that have helped me in the beginning of the year!!
With all the new evaluations and requirements on teachers, I needed to find a quick, easy, and efficient way to display my objectives in the room. We use a SIOP model so we have Content and Language Objectives. My top line for each subject is the SWBAT (Students will be able to...), and the second line is SW (Students will...). So content comes on top and language (activities) go below. You could set this up however you need to for your requirements too. I love being able to simply take an eraser, erase, and write for each day instead of wiping off laminated strips or what not. hah :) I have to have something quick, or I have a hard time remembering
wanting to do it! This set up has been a LIFE SAVER!!!! I do write the actual state standard (Indiana opted out of Common Core this year) in the right corner of the top line for each subject; however, I don't talk about the number with the kids, only the objectives written. This also makes it super easy to refer to throughout lessons and the day!!
Supplies, Supplies, Supplies!!!
Picture this: It's the first day of school, when all these smiling faces
run walk into your room all ready to go! The first thing they do..."Ms. Swisher, I have kleenex, hanitizer (hand sanitizer), and all this stuff. Where do I put it?" (as they hold it out for you to take as your juggling 50 things yourself) :) Well, I actually got this idea from a friend I work with, and it has been so beneficial!!
Instead of collecting ALL the supplies into containers/organizers/etc., I give a large Ziploc bag to each student with their names on them. On that first day, I have them take out 5 pencils, one glue stick, one big eraser if they have it, one pair of scissors, and one box of crayons. After that, everything left goes in the supply bag for each student. Being at a school where some come with everything times 2, and others come with nothing, I just don't feel right giving the supplies some brought to others. I have extras I give them. So after this happens, all of the garbage is thrown away, and the kids put their bags above their cubbies. This way, they have to ask to get their extras instead of going through a 100 pencils in one week! They basically eat pencils!! haha :) This has helped a ton with space and making sure their supplies last longer!
My big wish this year is that I really get my kids reflecting naturally throughout the day and outside of academic related activities!!! I don't do much whole group work, but when I do, I need something to allow my kids to self reflect on their learning, actions, feelings, etc. So this is when the Self Reflection Name Tags come in! Instead of having to copy a bunch of papers or have cards everywhere, I decided to try out name tags where they can actually use a dry erase marker to assess their own learning right at their seats. I can even have them assess their feelings by simply using the pictures. I made some without pictures and some without pictures or words so if I feel they don't need them or want to change it up, I have that option. I also like to keep this type of thing personal so not everyone sees it. I'm hoping with these name tags, the kids won't feel centered out or embarrassed to be honest. I've never had much of a problem with this because we go over it a lot and how it's okay to be at different levels. However, I know how I was as a kid, and I was easily embarrassed! :)
To make this uniform throughout the room, I have small group cards that match the name tags where my kids can move their numbers to the level of understanding they feel they have. Along with small groups, I made some to work like small bookmarks or table strips so I can use them during book clubs/lit. circles as well!! Y'all, my kids are going to be self reflecting machines by the end of this year!!! :)
Thanks so much for stopping by and joining me with my Two Stars and a Wish!! If you liked the ideas and would love to learn about more, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and TPT!! :)
So there you have it!! My Two Stars and a Wish!!! Make sure to peruse below for over 40 bloggers stars and wishes for the new school year!!! There are tons of AMAZING ideas!!