Monday, June 9, 2014

A Little Update

Wow I just realized that I have disappeared from the blogging world for a good 2 plus weeks now! I usually am pretty good about at least linking up with Five for Friday or another linky party during the week, but the past few weeks, not so much!

All the craziness that has prevented me from posting is some of what I'm sharing in today's post.

We have 2 weeks of school (including this week) left and oh man there's a lot to do! What's on your end of year count down checklist?

[one] Report cards! I don't know about you, but our district uses powerschool for report cards. As much as I like powerschool, I really wish our report cards defaulted to proficient (on our scale of NI - not instructed (at this time), T - time needed, P - proficient and M - mastery) because clicking on every single field is a pain! Even after my grade level partners taught me how to put everything to P via the summary mode I still find it a pain as I have to click [tab] [down arrow] [down arrow] wayyyy too many times! Oh AND the comments... our district does personalized comments for every child, none of those numbers I remember as a kid. I always put my comments into a word document as a safety but then all the copying and pasting, oy vey! What does your district use for report cards?

[two] Literacy folders. I will admit that I spend very little time [if any time at all] looking at my kiddos scores from the previous year. I like to be able to gauge where they are and not over or underestimate my kiddos. However, in order to keep our kiddos' files up to date, all their literacy info (DRA assessments and writing samples) travel with them to third grade. I learned that my filing system was anything but efficient this year and next year DRAs will go straight into the literacy file so I don't have to dig through their file full of other assessments to pull out DRAs... live and learn!

[three] Alert slips. In my district we have alert sheets for kiddos who next year's teachers should be aware of. Whether it be an academic problem, behavior problem or anything else, they go on these sheets. I'm interested to know how people feel about these. We had something similar in my previous district as well. While I do read them, I like to give myself a week or two to make my own opinions of my kiddos because I hate to think of approaching them with anything but an open mind.

[four] Sub plans. This is a biggie. I leave on Friday for the Whole Brain Teaching National Conference. I am SO excited but because we aren't out of school until next Friday (the 20th) I had 4 days of lesson plans to write. Luckily I already know I have an awesome sub AND wrote the plans about 2 weeks ago so I could start all the copying that is needed for all the fun "crafty" activities they'll get to do during the days I'm gone.

[five] End of Year Conferences. This is another area I'd love to hear about how your district is similar or different. Our non-tenured teachers are on a new evaluation plan. I'm not sure how it works in other states but in CT, districts have a choice of going with the state-made model of evaluation or creating their own (which I believe then has to be approved by the state). We are guinea pigs this year and using bloomboard for all our observation paperwork, year's goals, etc. Does anyone else use bloomboard? I feel like I haven't spent enough time getting to "know" the system and was not able to use it to its full potential. Anyone have any advice?

[six] End of year gifts for kiddos & parent volunteers. I have all the goodies for my kiddos, I'm going to do the "have a kool summer" with kool-aid, cup and straw that has been popular on pinterest for the kiddos. I found a tag I liked from Just Another Day in Paradise. Click the picture to go to her post. For parent volunteers I'm going to buy them a small potted plant with a sign that says "thanks for helping us grow." I guess I'm into corny sayings. I'm also going to put the year in pictures on discs for each family to enjoy.

[seven] PACK! Self explanatory... I have less than 4 days to get my act together (and do some laundry) so I have clothes to wear in Louisiana!

I'm pretty sure I have about ten million other things I need to do in the next 2 weeks, but I won't bore you! I'd LOVE to hear what the end of the year looks like for you as well as how you approach kiddo's files, alert-type papers, etc. Also, any bloomboarders? I would LOVE to hear about how you use bloomboard!

Have a wonderful week! Hoping to be back with Five for Friday to share what the kiddos have been up to over the past couple weeks.

Teach Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at32149PM_zps10463e60.png


  1. Hi Ashlee,
    Great post – I too haven’t been blogging as much with all the end of the year busy-ness.
    I’m always cautious about getting to know the student before actually getting to know the student, if that makes sense. Many times a student might have gotten off the wrong foot with another teacher, had a stressful time at home which was translated to school, or just not be at a certain maturity level. I always find treating them with a positive attitude and encouragement helps to set the stage for my interactions with the child. I often have found that when teachers warn me about students when I work with them in small groups and one on one that they behave differently. Sometimes the information is helpful, but I also think it needs to not cloud our judgment before we actually get to know them.

    Teaching Voracious Learners

    1. Thanks Katie, I really couldn't agree more! It is so true that kiddos can react differently to different people! And I totally get not wanting to get to know the student before you get to know them!


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