Every year as I inch closer to the year starting back I begin to reflect on the past year and assess ways to make the coming year better. This year is no different. Teachers report back next Monday and I am prepping my classroom and myself mentally for the days ahead. I'm excited for a great year and I know that it will have its unforeseen challenges, but overall, I am anticipating my best year yet thanks to a fantastic team, supportive administration, and what's rumored to be a great group of students heading into third grade.
I wanted to share my goal from last year and give you a peek into one of my goals for this year as well. Most year's my goals are centered around organization and efficiency, because in all honesty it's something I struggle with. Last year, my goal was to find a way to keep up with the grading and to avoid having that awful stack of papers to take home and grade every week. I found 2 key things that helped me a ton last year and I will continue this year.
1. I stopped grading everything. I found it is okay to give a check mark, to have students self check, or peer grade when the class can handle it. Yes, there are assignments that you have to grade and you need to monitor student progress, but you can do that without grading every paper they work on.
2. Grade as I Go! This became easier the more I did it. As students work in class on math I walk around and help (as most of us do.) I found that as I walk around. I would tell students I want you to complete problems 1-3 and then raise your hand. As the hands go up, I walk around and quickly check answers and put a check or I circle it and either have them move on or rework the problem. I would do this for the entire sheet. This helped me pace them so that they didn't rush and it let me grade too so it was a win/win. When they turned their papers in, I quickly wrote the grade on the top based on the marks they made. Then write it on my grade sheet and give it right back. Bam, grade done.
This year's goal is still in the area of organization. I hope to streamline my paperwork load when it comes to tracking my parent communication, RTI data, and just the overall documentation I have to keep.
To help with this I have created a planner to help me. I'm pretty excited about it! I know many of us have seen the awesome Erin Condren planners, and they are fantastic! However, after researching her planners and watching many a YouTube video on them, I just couldn't spend the kind of money that the EC planner requires and being me and I didn't feel the planner had all the things I needed. So, I decided to create a planner to fit my needs. I am eagerly awaiting its delivery as we speak. (Which is why I'm sad I don't have actual photos for you.) After developing it, I decided that it would go in my store and will be available to you all as well for those interested.
For the time being I am showing you images of the inside, but I hope to update this post (or have a follow up post of the planners when they become available next week in my stores).
You might be asking, "Well, what did she put in her planner?"
Well, that's a great question! The planner is an ALL in ONE and it contains...
Here are just a few examples of the pages...
My goal with the planner is that all of my data will be in one place and easily accessible and I can carry it with me to any meeting and have what I need in hand without a million binders or file folders. I am hopeful that this year will be my most organized yet!
If you would like to check out the planners that will be offered you can follow me in my stores Smart Puppy Learning or Ta-Doodles Illustrations to see their release as a hard good at the end of next week. The planners will have a special sale price of $30 (plus shipping) for a limited time before going up in cost. They will remain reasonably priced for the teacher on a budget. Here are what the covers will look like, at the moment I have 3 designs (links will be added here when I load them in my store)...
Please tell me, what are your goals for this year?! I hope everyone's year gets off to a fantastic and organized start!