Friday, November 9, 2012

Accelerated Reader (AR)

Does your school use Accelerated Reader (AR)? All of the area schools here do. How do you keep up with who is taking tests and how they are scoring? Do your students have goals to meet?

Well for the 1st grade class we volunteer in, it is a headache. Steph is working to develop some ideas to help monitor students and their AR testing. As of right now, we are using a folder log. We stapled it in a file folder for each student. Because this is a first grade class who does AR during centers, we are completing the log as they are testing. Others may want to let the students complete it themselves. This log lists the book title, book level, score, and points earned. This way the teacher can quickly look over the folders and see student progress.

We're also wanting to create small folder or something to send home as a reading log to have them fill in at home with their families each night with what they read that night. We're working on the idea/design right now.

What have you tried or seen? Was it successful? What ideas/thoughts would you like to implement, but you just aren't sure how to go about it?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gobble, Gobble

What are you thankful for?
We are thankful for so much this year! We are thankful for the opportunity to have this blog and our TpT store. We are thankful for our family and everything we have going for us at this time in our lives. 

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving with your students?
Share your Thanksgiving ideas with us! We'd love to here about your classroom traditions!
To get in the Thanksgiving spirit in the classroom check out our Thanksgiving Activity Booklet. The activity book includes a crossword puzzle (with key), math riddle sheet (with key), and a color by number! 

Hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving Activity Booklet!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Share your advice!

We are looking for people to contribute their advice to our blog. We want to cover the following:

--Advice to Substitutes from Classroom Teachers--Have you ever had a really awesome sub? Or a really awful sub? As a classroom teacher, share advice for the world of subs on the general do’s and don’ts in the classroom. Let them know what you need and expect from them that’s not in the sub plans. And what if it’s an emergency and nothing is left for them?

--Advice to Classroom Teacher from Substitutes--Have you ever walked into a room and had no idea what to do? Have you ever walked into a room and feel like you have everything you need and questions answered? We all know there’s emergencies, but what advice do you have as a sub for the classroom teachers out there that would help your day run smoother when you walk in their room for the day.
--Advice to Substitutes from Substitutes--We’ve all been there walked into a classroom where the teacher is out in an emergency situation and you don’t know where to find anything. What do you do? What general rule and guidelines do you follow when it comes to running out of things to do, unexpected events in the school day, or even leaving notes for the teacher. Sticky note, formal letter, or...? Tell your fellow subs what you do they you know only from experience.

--Advice to Student Teachers from Classroom Teachers--Sometimes having a student teacher can be bittersweet. Have you had a student teacher who sat in the back of your room working on their homework and not interacting with the students? Or a student teacher who stepped on toes and got in the way more than they helped? Have you ever had a student teacher who you feel shouldn’t have made it, but you didn’t know what to do? Have you ever had a wonderful student teacher who made your classroom a better place? As the classroom teacher tell student teachers out there what is needed from them and what you expect as they embark in their adventure into your classroom.

--Advice to Classroom Teachers from Student Teachers--Sometimes walking into someone else’s classroom is hard. Have you had a wonderful mentor teacher that you learned a great deal from? Have you had a mentor teacher who you don’t feel like you got anything from? Help those teachers understand what you need from them as a student teacher.

--Advice to Student Teachers from Student Teachers--There are many ups and downs to being a student teacher. There’s no more just laying out because you don’t feel like going to class. Did you learn something very important as your time as a student teacher? Share the things you wish you had known going in!

--Advice to Resource Teachers from Classroom Teachers--Classroom teachers, do you have wonderful resource teachers that work with you and your team? Share what they do and how they help. Or do you have a resource teacher you need more from? Do you need help for a student who hasn’t been deemed in need or services, but needs them? Share what you wish they would do and how they could be helping!

--Advice to Classroom Teachers from Resource Teachers--Do you have classroom teachers who just won’t work with you? Teachers who beg for things and then don’t use what you give them? Or are you’re lucky enough to have wonderful teachers that work with you to help the students when your services aren’t available? Help teachers know what they can be doing with students who do or do not qualify for services get what they need from their classroom teacher. Tell those teachers how they can help you and what to do so you can be more help to them.

Want to share your advice? Here’s how:
Send us an email with the following:
--a link to your blog post that discusses your advice (please make sure the post is only written about the advice and nothing else or we will not use it)
--Your advice typed into the body on the email
--Also include the following in the body of the email:
    --Name (whatever display name you would like for us to share with our readers)
    --Title (classroom teacher, resource teacher, substitute, or student teacher)
    --Contact method (if other than the email address you send the email from) for us should we have questions or need something else
    --City and State, State, or Region. We would love for you to include your school’s name however we will not be posting these.
    --Grade level(s) and/or Subjects(s) you teach (sub for or student teach in)
    --Years teaching or subbing or # of placements

Please have your advice or link emailed to us by November 30th, 2012. We will be working on reading through the advice and drafting our final post(s). Once we see the amount of advice we begin to receive we will decide if we will have one blog post or a blog post for each topic. Once we have determined that we will post a blog with the details and send out an email to everyone who has contributed. We would love for our contributors to follow our blog so you can see all of the advice people have to share! Send your email to us here!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Being the Room Mom

Our son's school is really big on parent volunteers. Steph is the room mom for Joey's 1st grade class. We are curious about other's perspectives.

Are you a parent volunteer?
Are you a room mom or dad or grandma or...?
Are you a teacher with parent volunteers? 

 As a parent volunteer do you feel overwhelmed at times or do you feel like you're in the way? Do you ever feel like maybe your overstepping or getting close to?

Teachers, we all love help in the classroom. you ever just want to look at your parent volunteer and say "just stop"?  

The reason we ask is because as certified educators we sometimes forget the boundaries that may be present for us as parent volunteers. This time last year we were in charge of developing and implementing things in a classroom for a grade, but now we're getting a taste of being in the classroom again and love it! We just don't want to be overstepping when it comes to helping out. We want to help and not become a problem and just more work. 

Steph has become the "AR Queen" for the 1st grade Pandas class at SCE. In doing so we've come up with lots of ideas to help the students (and the teacher) with AR (accelerated reader). We're keeping an AR Folder Log. And we're working on other tools to use for monitoring. 

We feel like the teacher treats us differently than she would just any parent volunteer because we are certified educators.

So what do you think? Where is the line?

Get to Know...

You can read more about us in our "about me" section, but let's discuss what this blog is going to be geared towards.

Mostly the fact that we are meant to be teachers and aren't able to be in our own classrooms right now. So instead we're here...blogging, designing units, lessons, and materials. We also substitute and volunteer in our son's classroom.

Steph volunteers daily in the classroom and has become the "Room Mom" and "AR Queen". We'll share more about these adventures and many others as time goes on.

We're also excited to start offering our materials, lessons, etc on a website for other teachers to use! We are beginning this journey as well. So if you come across a post talking about a certain lesson or something and want to check it out, pop on over to our store on TpT to get it.(click button below to visit our store)


Thanks for joining in on our journey!

Fellow educator? Fellow blogger? Both?
We'd love to hear from you!