Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plan Book!

Each year I struggle with writing in my plan book - It's just not exciting for me, and quite simply not a priority!  Plus I've never really found a planner that works for me.

One year I made one and went all out.  I had standards, and assessment boxes, and materials list - all right there on the page.  I started out really well!

But in the end it was too much, and most of the planner would be blank.

Then I used a Teacher Created Resources planner for a little while, but there was no monthly calendar, no space to write in groups and no dates... so not quite right

Then for a few years I used one of the monthly/weekly planners that you can get at Target or Wal-mart.  But I found that it wasn't enough! Since each day was just one big box I didn't have separate spaces for each group.



This is when I started seeing and lusting after plan books for sale on TPT.  Oh My Goodness some of these things are spectacular and I want them all! But the problem - There is so much in them that I won't use!

So for this coming year I decided to make my own!


I used a digital paper (it's actually a pack preview but I love the colors) from MelStampz, and JandaCurlyGirlSerif by Kimberly Geswein

After the cover I have a page with my information and place to write in my schedule (in pencil since it changes often!)

Then I have a space for a quick look at student info - all my students information is stored on School Tool, so I don't make a big deal of having an information page when it's easier to go online.  But there is some stuff not on there that I need to have at my fingertips - F&P level and ESL Proficiency Level. Plus this is a quick reference for a sub.


Next I have a Student Birthdays Page - I always forget my kiddos birthdays until they tell me... I'm going to be better about that this year!


After that I start in on my monthly sections.  Each month has a laminated cover page and tab.



I made the tabs by printing the months on Avery round labels then I stuck two together and gently placed them in the laminating pouch behind the monthly cover.  Getting these spaced out correctly was a trick!

Then I have a one-page monthly calendar. I don't write much on my calendar so I don't need a 2 page spread.

Then I have a place to take attendance - This will be something new for me this year.  There are days when I don't see a student even though they are in school - I have a meeting, they have a special activity... etc.  This page is blank on the back so I can make note of special circumstances for absences.
I took this picture at the same time as the rest, in the same room, with my same phone - I don't know why it's so blue!

Then I have a place to take meeting notes.  I am really bad at taking meeting notes.  So this may end up being a meeting list.


Then I have my month at a glance - I am so excited to start filling this in.  I do it on post-it flags so that I can move things if I need too.


Then comes where most of the writing happens... the weekly spread.  I need the most space for this.  I prefer to see my day all in one column.  This also has a space for me to write in my after school meetings, a place for me to write my to-dos, and a general notes space.


At the end of my plan book is a yearly calendar with the school breaks, and my back cover... with my favorite teaching quote ever.



If you like my cover, monthly dividers and back cover you can grab them over on my Facebook page.  They are a fan freebie!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Meet the Teacher Blogger!

Thanks to Stephanie at Falling into First for hosting this linky!  I am new to blogging and I have really loved every moment of this new experience, and getting to know other bloggers!

A little bit about me (a condensed version of my about me!)

I am a wife

I am a daughter

I am a big sister

And mom to two furbabies!


These are a few of my favorite things...

Craft Stores, Craft Supplies, Office Supplies (Especially pens - I love a good pen), Really good cheeseburgers... ICE CREAM... peanut butter

Oh and I suppose my hubs, family and dogs too... ;)

If I weren't a teacher...

I'd want to be a crafter ... scrapbooks are my specialty!
#MondayMantra: I'd rather be crafting. #craft #craftquote

Three little words that describe me...



Finish the sentence "______, said no teacher ever" 

I'm done with all my work...
Summer is too long...
I love standardized tests...

It's my birthday and I can invite anyone dead or alive to my party - who would I invite?...

My family and close friends, and my grandmother (who's passed)



If someone wrote a book about my life the title would be...

In Progress.. and Not Done

If I got to pick one super power it would be...

Gotta go with teleportation - since my family lives 3 hours away and my hubs family is moving across country - I would like to be able to get places in the blink of an eye.

What's my favorite quote or saying?...

"Teachers affect eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops" - Henry Adams
and many others... but that is the first one that came to mind (hence my blog name)

If I had to sing one song on American Idol it would be...

I wouldn't - I'd go to America's Got Talent and hope my scrapbooking skills would get me through.

Morning person? Night owl?

Neither - I'm good from about 7-10, before 7... after 10... I prefer to be sleeping

My favorite resource in my TPT shop...

I only have 3... so they're all my favorites!  However I just made my first sale yesterday which was super-de-duper exciting!

Go Check out my TPT shop!

Something you might not know about me...

When I was a toddler my father was a Vet Student at Ross University on St. Kitts Island.  We lived there during Hurricane Hugo!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

S.I.O.P. Workshop!

Last week I attended a 3 day S.I.O.P. academy with some of my colleagues and many other teachers from our area.  What is S.I.O.P.? It stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol.  I suppose that didn't really clear anything up.  Basically the authors observed (lots and lots of) ESL teachers, and (lots and lots of) classroom teachers with ESL students and figured out what worked and what didn't work to help these students be successful.  This is what they came up with.

(they gave us this book at the workshop - SCORE!)

The beautiful thing about SIOP is that you don't need to stop doing anything you are already doing!  It works with reader's and writer's workshop, responsive classroom, Whole Brain Teaching, Bloom's taxonomy etc.  It is simply steps to follow to make sure that your content is reaching your Emerging Bilinguals.  

The first thing we did was discuss first language vs second language acquisition and social vs academic language.  As an ESL teacher I've heard it before! I've even done a workshop for other teachers in my district on those topics.  Here is a PREZI I did for our Pre-K staff - Feel free to use it.


But I was struck by something our presenter said.  We were discussing the differences between first and second language acquisition.  We discussed that the first language is learned in order to communicate with loved ones at home, while the second language is learned to survive and function in society.  I had never thought of that before and it really made me stop and think.  That fact has stayed with me since the workshop.

Then we got to the meat of SIOP.  The 8 components of SIOP are:
  1. Lesson Preparation
  2. Building Background
  3. Comprehensible Input
  4. Strategies
  5. Interaction
  6. Practice and Application
  7. Lesson Delivery
  8. Review and Assessment
I am only going to talk about a few - And very briefly.  This was a 3 day workshop, and I could go on forever.

1. - LESSON PREPARATION

The biggest thing with this is content AND language objectives.  Many teachers now display I CAN statements or objectives in the classroom.  SIOP says keep doing this, just make sure that you are deliberate in creating them, make sure they are displayed throughout the lesson, make sure they are measurable.  Also there are two parts to the objective. 

For example - A unit on Family:
CONTENT: Students will be able to identify the members of a family.
LANGUAGE: Students will be able to write 3-5 sentences about the members of their family using family member vocabulary words.  

I display these objectives using my I Can posters - available for free on TPT.




3. - Comprehensible Input

This is my favorite part of this workshop.  Our presenter is fluent in Spanish, and did an entire lesson in (what seemed like to us) rapid-fire Spanish.  She passed out supplies, and kept raising her voice, and yelling, and saying 'NO, no, No"  It was a humbling experience.  I wish I had a video - but I was having too much fun participating.  Then she stopped and made the content she was presenting comprehensible.  She slowed down her speech... lowered her voice... made eye contact... used visuals... had us repeat vocabulary... modeled the steps.  When we were done we all had beautiful tissue paper flowers.

This activity really gave us (even those of us who know some Spanish) a glimpse into what it is like to be an Emerging Bilingual student.

8. - Review and Assessment

This is something I am determined to be better at this year.  My colleague and I decided we are going to have the students frequently self-assess.  We will be using a vocabulary Pre-and Post- Assessment at the beginning and ending of each week. These are also available for free on TPT:

If you'd like more information please check out this PDF: http://www.misd.net/bilingual/ell.pdf
Or see if you can get your hands on this book.


If you teach Emerging Bilinguals and have a chance to attend a SIOP workshop I highly recommend it!