Sunday, October 20, 2013

Staying Sane and Organized

Thursday was our end of the quarter.  Shocking to believe we've been in school for 9 weeks!  EEEKKK!! The end of the first quarter is always the most overwhelming because once report cards get finished it's time for conferences and then the holidays hit and we are in auto-pilot!  Crazy times.

I view myself as an organized person.  Some say I am over the top but I think I've calmed down somewhat lately.  For example, I've been leaving at a reasonable time most nights this year.  I also do not feel the need to have everything finished before leaving school.  There is always tomorrow.  I am trying to cut back on the amount of work I do at home, which is a struggle for me, but I am taking baby steps!  I have been planning ahead as far as Math Tubs and Literacy Centers go.  I like to have stuff copied and prepped and at my fingertips so I can quickly change out the centers.

Here's what I've been doing to get ready for the end of the quarter, grade cards, and conferences:

1.  Re-assessing my students:  I use all the pages from my Beginning of the Year Assessment Pack for this.  I just re-copied the pages I need and go to town assessing.  Basically, every free second I have, I am assessing.  I do not run my guided reading groups during this 2-week window, as it's just not feasible to do groups, assessments and running records at once.

I keep a tab for each student inside of my teacher data binder.  
Behind each tab are assessments that I do throughout the year.
Sight word assessment from my assessment pack shown below
I re-assess these quarterly.
Rote counting and skip counting also from my assessment pack.

2.  Updating data binders: I have students update their data binders with information that I've gathered from all my re-assessing. This includes reading levels, spelling test scores, Math chapter test scores, and district and vendor assessment scores.  My students and their parents are able to see how they are progressing at all times.  To see how I use these take-home data binders, click here to read an old post.

3. Planning for conferences: I am thinking ahead to conferences, which are approaching quickly {Nov. 7}.  I have been scheduling conferences and getting my confirmation slips ready to send home.  I'll also be copying all the pages from my #1 product in my store, Parent Teacher Conference Resource Pack.

4.  Making time for myself and my family/friends: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season quickly approaching, I make sure I fit in time for myself, family and friends.  I always schedule a massage this time of year, and make sure I continue on with working out, despite how busy I am getting.  I have several dinners/gatherings planned with friends, as well as concerts and weekend trips planned with my husband.  I'll be getting together with my family many days in the near future.  I've found that if my friends and I don't schedule things, too much time passes in between meet-ups.  This is especially true for my teacher friends and I.

So, how are you staying sane and organized this time of year?  I'd love to hear!



Mrs. Davis said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Um. I am not staying sane. If I survive the next week with assessments and grade cards, I will be thrilled! :)

Carried Away in... K!

Cindy Calenti said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Life is VERY busy this time of the year. Unfortunately, I find myself at the computer ALL the time. I am a checklist gal. I start each morning with a reasonable list of "to do's" and then when they are done... I treat myself to a relaxing hour or two. My "to do" list always starts with some form of exercise... I think that is as important as everything else I need to do each day. After all, how can we keep going like "energizer bunnies" if we are not healthy!

Granny Goes to School

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