Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to School Essentials from Mrs. Wheeler

Hi, friends!  I don't know about you, but I have been working in my classroom getting it all set up for the new year.  Summer came and went in a blink!  As you know, I love to prep as much as possible in the spring...I run copies of many of my "back to school essentials" and keep them in folders so that come August, I can just whip them out and be ready to go!  As I was setting up my room this week, I found those gems in my desk drawer and let me tell ya-I was so pumped!  I want to share my favorite BTS resources with you on today's post.

Reading Logs-I love using reading logs with my little emerging readers!  They are a great way to encourage reading at home and they are also good for a little healthy competition among peers!  My reading logs include two versions with different levels of boxes {10 for the little kids and 20 for the older ones}.  There are logs for each month, with monthly toppers on each page.  I copy the year's worth {August-May} in the spring and store them in a file.  As each month approaches, I pull the logs out and send home.  I track who brought them back with the included, editable checklist. This can be displayed in the room for a little competition among friends or kept in your teacher records.  I use free restaurant certificates as prizes, but you can use treasure chest or any other ideas you have as rewards.

Data Binders-These are SUCH an important tool for my students, families, and I.  We rely on them as take home binders as well as data trackers that keep kids involved and parents informed.  I typically assemble them in the spring so I don't have to mess with them in August.  This year, my mother in law was in town and came to help in my room.  She put them all together for me!!!  To see more about how I use these binders in class, click HERE.


Making Memories-I LOVE this simple, but meaningful memory book!  Each year for the past few years, I have done this project with my students.  It's such a great keepsake.  Here's how it works: Every month, I photocopy a page for the month.  The students do the page together.  The pages are simple art projects {that I spice up with fun art supplies like glitter or felt}, student pictures {that I take}, or writing prompts.  I collect the papers and store each child's in a separate folder.  At the end of the year, the kids make a cover and I staple {or bind} the books together.  I distribute them at our end of the year poetry cafe or on the last day of school.  What I love about these books is that they are EASY.  No paint, nothing messy, and minimal prep on the teacher's part!  To see more about this fun project, click HERE.

Back to School Assessments-I seriously can not tell you how much this pack helps me find out where each of my firsties are when they come to me!!  It's been a blessing the past few years.  All assessments are in one spot.  I make a pack for each student and administer them at my choosing. Some I do one-on-one and others I do whole-group.  These give me great base-line data on my kids. I like to re-test them on some of the areas before conferences to show growth to parents. These assessments are also super handy for RTI and parent meetings.  To see more about how I use these in class, click HERE.  

Have a great year!



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