Monday, January 5, 2015

Time to Renew

This year is my third official year of teaching,* which means that it's time to not only renew, but I also need to upgrade to a Level 2 license. In order to do that, I have to create a teaching portfolio. Going through the relicensure teacher portfolio process is a lot of work! But it's also helping me figure out a few things as well. I didn't realize it was going to get quite so complicated, but that's probably more me than the actual process! It's taken a long time to figure out what to include in my portfolio, and I still don't have all of the answers, yet.

There are ten standards. So far, I've written a little more than three of them. The next one needs to include lesson plans, which luckily, even though I deleted a lot of them from my computer, I still had several paper copies that should work.

I also need to create a curriculum map. For quite awhile, I've wanted/needed a curriculum map! Over the summer, I was given one for math.  Reading, writing, and some social studies and science is included in the reading program we're piloting this year, as well as having Science Demo Team. However, I still didn't have a curriculum map that shows all of the pieces together over the course of the year along with the standards and objectives they cover. With a curriculum map, I can really see what I've taught, and what I need to teach and/or review. This morning, I finished up some more on my year long curriculum map. This has actually helped reduce some stress, even after a week of researching and stressing about it! Now I have a better plan for making sure that science and social studies are completely covered, yay!

Over the next few weeks, I'll bring the reading program books home and go through them a week at a time. My goal is to have the reading and writing sections of the curriculum map included by the end of January. At that point, I think that it'll be complete!

This whole process needs to be complete by the beginning of April so that it can get processed on time. Good thing I already took all the tests!

*Unofficially, this is my fifth year - the first three years were part-time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Last Day of Christmas Break

It's kind of the last day of the break, not really since we do still have the weekend, but no more working on the classroom. This time, I mean it!

I wasn't going to go in today, but then I did. I finished filing the students' portfolio paperwork. Luckily, most of it was collected in alphabetical order, which made it much easier to file than I had anticipated. Also, the drawer is easier to file in due to having more space to move the files. They were getting pretty squished in the file box.

In addition, I put an anchor chart poster up that can be changed as needed. Right now, there's a little story (beginning, middle, end).

After all that, I put the homework pages out and gathered up the copying that needs to be done for next week. I'll make sure that I go in early on Monday so that I copy everything and put the homework folders together. Now I just need to get a week ahead with the copying so that I can have one of the aides work on it. One less thing to do will be great, especially since I just lost my homework volunteer :(

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 4 of Organizing

This is how the phonics board turned into the writing board looks now. I'm thinking that I'll switch the topics and alphabet charts to the far right side instead. There was a bunch of stuff in the corner that I hadn't planned to move, but then I did move it and now it's so bare! The "How Did I Do" rubric is now where the reading strategies use to be.

The rubric use to be on the purple bordered board. I'm planning to use that as our anchor charts for writing.

I decided to move the center bins on the counter. I'm still not sure about their placement...

This is the board that use to have the writing labels, but now, as you can see, it's the reading strategy board. Some community helpers are lending their reading expertise :)

This adorable wreath that a parent made needs to find a happy place in the room too.

This idea popped into my mind a couple days ago in answer to a prayer about how to add in some extra assessment during math lessons. No matter what math center they're at, when I say "pop quiz" we'll take a one question quiz to see where everyone is in their understanding of the day's concept(s). Perhaps we'll use it for other subjects as well!

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