Thursday, July 27, 2017

Light Box Inserts


Do you use a light box in your classroom?  Last year it became one of my favorite things!  I like to keep little inspirational quotes or happy thoughts in mine.  I worked with a brilliant teacher who put sight words in hers!  

For the upcoming year, I've decided to focus on a growth mindset in my classroom and designed some inserts to display in my Heidi Swapp light box.  These are sized about 2.81 x 11" and work best when you "print actual size" and cut directly on the lines.  I've also now updated the file to include inserts sized 2.5 x 11" by request.  

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  Click here, or any of the images to grab yours. I'll be updating them throughout the year and will let you know when the file has been updated so you can grab the most recent copy.

With happiness, 
Jen ♥












Saturday, July 15, 2017

Literacy Toolkit


Hey, y'all! After an incredibly inspiring #getyourteachon conference, I've created what I hope to be the resource that will end my independent reading & writing time struggles.  The biggest problem I'm facing now is what container to use!  

I thought these beautiful Dollar Tree water bottles would do the trick, but no.... it's too difficult to get the checklists in and out of these beauties.
I'm toying with some cheap food storage containers instead.  I think they'll be easy to replace should they get broken or lost.

I found the Rubbermaid set below for super cheap at Target! (image is linked)
Then, of course, there's these beauties at Michael's that are all the rage in classrooms but... I'm thinking I may be a little too cheap frugal for these.(click on image for direct link)

Anyway, I'll let you know my final decision on storage!



The big ideas for the toolkit are here: 


The writing goal sliders in the image below are what I am most excited about.  They are differentiated into groups of beginning, intermediate, and advanced.  The beginning and intermediate levels have some simple images or descriptors to help those still struggling to read and the advanced is all text.

These are provided in a couple sizes.One large for demonstration purposes or to paste onto an anchor chart, and then two smaller sizes to fit whatever toolkit you decide to use. 
Something wonderful I learned from the incredible Deanna Jump: punch 2 holes on either end of the mini-chart, add a pony bead to a pipe cleaner, insert into the holes, secure to the back, and the kiddos have clear hand-on way to move through their writing goals!  Isn't that the smartest thing?  



The "flip that sound" cue chart pictured below also comes in two sizes to fit your containers and is offered in black and white only for ease of printing.  Please see the sounds included on the image below.  It does NOT include all vowel teams. 


The decoding strategy posters pictured below come in both large square (with short descriptor of skill), large circle, and small circle in 2 different art styles.  Use the large ones to teach the skill display in your classroom, then use the small circles to stick on popsicle sticks as kiddos practice their new skill!  The skill charts included are sized 2 ways to fit into your student toolkits. 




The alphabet mini charts pictured below are available in color and grayscale in 2 sizes. 


This close read markups chart is specifically designed for the K-2 student.  Please make note of the asterisk used in place of a star. In my experience, students at this age are still struggling to make stars and will often focus on the creation of the star rather than looking in the text.  It is much easier to learn to make an asterisk!  So, until kiddos are ready for stars, an asterisk is listed here.


The editing checklist pictured below is included in 2 sizes.  One full size page for demonstration or chart purposes, and a smaller size for student toolkits.


Next, in this big ole pack o' goodness is a spinner set.  This was very much inspired by Deanna Jump at the #getyourteachon conference!  She shared how she pairs students up as "peanut butters" and "jellies."  Kiddos know what they are, know who their partners are, and it apparently works like a charm!  I'm so going to implement that this year but I decided on "bacon"and "eggs" or "milk" and "cookies."  Nothing goes together better than those, right?!  

So, list your kiddos under each image, add a spinner (there's one included you can attach with a brad, or purchase a set of "snap together spinners" online), and your students can buddy up to complete their task! Included is a large display chart and smaller spinners for student toolkits.

I got my spinners here







A few other things that I'm including in this toolkit are listed and linked below:

For touching text: 
 For interacting with text: 

For erasing notes/writing: 

For making notes on text (and because they are super cute): 

For looking in text (no fingers!):




Included in this kit are tools for the students to use independently after explicit teaching has occurred in either a whole group or small group setting.  They will not likely have all these resources at once or I fear it will lose it's effectiveness. 

In total, this pack is 101 pages of print & go happiness for your classroom!  I hope you find it beneficial. 

Thanks so much,
Jen ♥

UPDATE: I went with the Rubbermaid containers and I am SO pleased!  I think they are going to be the perfect addition to my literacy block! 




Punch holes in either end, insert a pipe cleaner with a pony bead, and BAM! You have a slider that kiddos can use independently to monitor their own goals. Other options: velcro, clothespins, paperclips!














Thanks!














Sunday, July 2, 2017

TTESS Evidence Binder for Texas Teachers




Need evidence to show your administrators the many things you do in your Texas classroom? Want to organize your thoughts and physical evidence before your summative conference? These binder pages are for you!


I was feeling completely overwhelmed by TTESS and these pages helped me organize my thoughts and take the guesswork out of my summative conference and final evaluation.  


Included in this set are 45 pages in a powerpoint file that you can edit with images and text.  Each domain of T-TESS has its own divider sheet and you can add your evidence in any way you choose.  In some places I added photos and detailed text, in other areas I just added physical pieces to make my point.  The skeleton of the binder is provided here, you add the rest.

First up, you have a few cover pages to select from.  Below are just a few of the choices.  You can, of course, edit your own cover using the blank page included in the file.




Then, you get into the important parts of the document.  This is where you will add evidence of all that you've accomplished and done throughout the school year.  Using this from beginning of the year to the end will make it easier and keep all of your documentation in one easy place. Then, when you go into your pre-conference meeting and/or your summative conference, everything is already compiled.

Each Domain within TTESS is given a divider page with brief descriptions of the dimensions within that domain.  For example, the planning domain is first.  Under that domain, Dimension 1.1 is "standards and alignment."  


On my Standards & Alignment page, I added all the ways that I have aligned the TEKS with my classroom instruction.  This included a yearly planning page, a weekly planning page, district alignment tools, and checklists that I use throughout the year to make sure I'm covering the standards. 
For the next dimension, I added data & assessments.  This section holds all the assessments that I've used and/or created for the year. We always say "teacher created assessments" in our evaluation feedback forms but rarely are we given the chance to show these off to our administrators.  They cannot possibly know everything that we do in the classroom so I put my things here so I could not only talk about it if the subject was brought up, but I had examples to share so there was a clear picture of my efforts throughout the school year. 

Below are just a few examples of things I included (not included in the file): 

evidence of progress monitoring

evidence of interventions performed and weekly progress monitoring

evidence of  RTI documentation

evidence of student self-monitoring of academic progress through data folders


I think you can get the general idea of how the binder works.  The product is basically the framework and you add in all of your evidence as to why your T-TESS score should rock the doodle!  :)

A few more photos from the inside of my binder: 
evidence of how my writing goals for the year impacted student achievement

evidence of daily parent communication

my binder :)

this is evidence of student progress on writing goals-a beginning of year sample

I printed the pages of astrobrights papers and slipped them into sheet protectors to act as dividers.  Next time, I will probably add some tabs at each Domain to help when flipping through at summative conference. 



evidence of goal setting and impact on student achievement

I didn't have much in this place this year because I was unsure of what to add, but for next year I can add professional development, a list of professional books I've read, and perhaps journals or edited lesson plans based on student performance after a lesson.  




Your purchase includes 43 pages in a Power Point file to help you organize your T-TESS evidence according to each domain,and add text as needed. There is text on most of the pages that will help guide you in the kinds of things that should be included in each dimension within the 4 domains of T-TESS. Use them as dividers for each section and add your evidence as you wish. 

Included: 
5 different binder covers 
Planing Domain & Dimensions 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3
Instruction Domain & Dimension 2.1-2.5
Learning Environment Domain & Dimensions 3.1-3.3
Professional Practices & Responsibilities & DETAILED Dimensions as Follows:
*professional demeanor and ethics
*walkthrough and evaluation data
*advocating for student needs
*RTI documentation
*goal setting
*professional goals
*evidence of goal completion
*student work showing improvement based on goal
*examples of teacher self-reflection
*implemented changes based on feedback
*professional development
*professional development transcript & certificates
*teacher created materials
*PLC, grade level, and/or department meeting notes
*evidence of collaboration and information sharing with colleagues
*school community involvement
*parent contact logs
*daily/weekly parent communication documentation
*classroom newsletter and/or website
*sign in sheets for community/family engagement night
*notes from parent/teacher conferences
*committee meetings attended: campus & district level
*partnership with community organizations
*parent panel or advisory group participation

*blank page to edit/add as you wish!

Don't be afraid to show yourself to your administrators! They can't possibly know everything that you do in the classroom. It'll be worth it!

Thanks so much! ♥



Many of the forms I used in my documentation are available in an inexpensive download on Teachers Pay Teachers.  The "Essential Forms for Teachers" file has many of the things you need to help document your hard work during the school year.  It is only $3.00.  See examples below: