Monday, August 4, 2014

Trying to Get Back in the Groove :/

I'm sure everyone is feeling the "where-in-the-world-did-the-summer-go-blues" like I am! I can't believe school will start in just over a couple of weeks. I. AM. NOT. READY! However...I'm starting to plan things out (at least I'm trying...).

I'm as tired of the "First Day of School Lectures" as all my kids are so I've decided to try to change things a bit to help all of us. (I teach four classes of 9th Grade "regular" English and two classes of Honors English 8.) There are some days I do the same thing with both groups; obviously, other days they are much different! Because I'm getting into the swing of things more than they are (probably), I'm going to do the same thing.

First of all, I'll pass out the obligatory disclosure and supply list. I'm not going to read it with them...I assume they've made it this far, they can read it themselves or with their parents. (I will make sure they understand the supply list and the importance of getting everything on it SOON!!)

I got an idea from Pinterest for a "Get-to-Know-You"/"What-Can-We-Expect-From-Each-Other" activity. [ did we ever do ANYTHING without Pinterest?? I love how you can tell what phase of life everyone is in based on their pins! HAHAHA!!] Anyway, I got the idea HERE to pass out Post-It notes (color coded by period so I know the thoughts of each class...I may ask them to put their names on the notes to make it more focused...we'll see...) and have them respond to prompts on the four posters. Obviously, I'm going to tweak them to deal with ENGLISH instead of MATH but they'll be roughly the same. I have a MAJOR obsession with Post-It notes (my daughter thinks they need to do a family intervention but seriously...they add just the right POP of color on otherwise dull, drab, papers we're constantly grading or books we're, they're just downright handy!!) so this will be fun but also a little hard for me to part with my beloved squares. ;)

(If you share the "Post-It-Note-Love-Affair" with me, you might want to check out "The Clutter-Free Classroom" blog post and her cute organization system for them. I'll admit I purchased it from her Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I have a square bulletin board outside my room that I'm supposed to decorate but rarely get around to actually doing it. Again, THANK YOU PINTEREST, for this fabulous idea on the "Teaching is Forever" blog. Bless her dear sweet heart, she even posts a link (THAT WORKS!!) to the original blog post where I found the Google Docs files of the signs...all I have to do is print them off, cut them to size, and slap them on colored paper. I just LOVE it when people have the actual links to the actual sites when they pin stuff to Pinterest!! Can't wait to put this one up!

I've also heard other teachers in our school using a service called "REMIND" (formerly called "Remind 101"). They swear by it for reminding students and parents of upcoming due dates, words or encouragement, etc. As the teacher, you can download the app to your phone (available for Android and Apple), tablet, or computer. Parents and students can download the app or receive the messages via email. I've got my account set up to go over at Back to School Night and the first day of school. (I'm pretty sure the kids will kind of freak out with me telling them they can use their phones in class that day...BUT ONLY THAT DAY!) We'll see how that goes too...

Back to planning...

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