Reflect and Refresh Part 2

Welcome to Reflect and Refresh! This is the 2nd part of a 2 part linky where teacher bloggers share their reflections (part 1----you can read about Part 1 Here ) and ways they are going to refresh their teaching in the 2015-2016 school year.

This year I am going to continue to make myself available to my parents. I choose not to give out my personal phone number, however they are given my e-mail address, as well as the school's phone number. This is an example of the newsletter I will be handing out on back to school night, the night before school starts.
We also have a planner that parents can write notes to the teacher in. Our school has a high FARMs rate (Free and Reduced Meals for Lunch), so many of our students do not have technology at home, so their parents are unable to contact through e-mail. The phone number and homework planner give the parents the option to call or write with questions or concerns. I also recently wrote a blog post about utilizing your volunteers---->Check out blog post about utilizing volunteers here.

So if you haven't gotten on Periscope, you need to check it out. There are so many fantastic teacher authors on their sharing their GENIUS!! The other day I watched a scope from Erin Klein of and she talked about de-cluttering the classroom. It was just complete genius! At the end of the year I was pitching a whole LOTTA stuff that was left to me from the teacher I replaced when she retired. I was grateful, however, the stuff she left me just wasn't what I was going to use or need. From pitching her stuff, I was able to organize my teacher files and items that were in piles around the room! Now everything really has a home and a place within my classroom, other than a pile!! The classroom is now going to be completely ready for the kiddos to learn and collaborate anywhere and everything throughout the room!

This summer I have read some amazing books! Whole Brain Teaching, Teach like a Pirate, Learn like a Pirate, The Literacy Teacher's Playbook by Jennifer Serravallo and The Reading Strategies Book also by Jennifer Serravallo. I have gotten so many ideas and strategies to use, but that is for another blog post! I had originally planned to dive deep into the common core for 2nd and 3rd grade, because I thought I would be teaching 2nd graders. However, the group of kiddos that I'm going to be instructing are low level 1st graders, so I really took a look at the KG common core standards for a starting off point for these guys. I want to make sure they are successful and that they are feeling accomplished in what they are doing to build their confidence. I was shocked and super stressed about taking on a group of extremely low level 1st graders and getting them to show one years growth throughout the course of the year. BUT I will say that I am feeling more confident about this amazing opportunity!

Summer Project
So one of my projects this summer was to create a sequential homework pack for the first marking period. Last year, with our homework, we would just haphazardly copy something, really without thought. I spent quite some time on creating this homework pack for my kids and I was able to convert it into a product for my store, you can check it out ------->1st Grade NO PREP Homework Pack. I have already sent that item off to printing (our department that does all of our printing for us) and it will be bound and hopefully waiting for me in my classroom when I return on August 4th!

I am super excited to embark on this new journey and to be only teaching literacy all year long! Feel free to follow me on my journey and I will try to post my adventures as much as I can!!

Check out my other bloggin friends' refresh posts!!

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