How to Use Our Shop Products Archive
The Mint belongs in your classroom!
CJTMint

Okay, so as you know, I recently partnered with Silhouette to showcase their super amazing Mint stamp-making machine.  I loved the Mint and got such a great reaction to my “Contacted” stamp post, that I decided to show you how else I use it in the classroom, with another stamp that serves multiple purposes!

Now we all know how important small group work is, right?  I love conferencing with my students in multiple ways… individually, partner conferencing, and even small groups.  I typically have my student conferencing notepad on my desk with my schedule of who I need to meet with and when.  This is super helpful to keep me organized and help me plan for the progress monitoring of my students (thanks to my Teacher Anchor®!)  But occasionally, I’ll be running a small group and I will notice the need to meet additionally with one of my kiddos.  Let me give you a real-life example:

I am doing a writing prompt in small group following a guided reading.  I notice that one of my students, Susie, is still leaving out capital letters, even though we just wrapped a mini-lesson on this yesterday.  I note that I need to meet with her to just revisit this skill before moving on.  I used to jot down on a post-it my intentions of following up one-on-one with this student, but we all know how post-it’s just kind of disappear into the abyss of our classrooms, right?  I needed a call to action for this student so I can monitor her progress but also so I can make a physical step to plan for it within my day/week.

That’s where the stamp comes in!  I created a quick and simple stamp that allows me to not only remember to conference with Susie in the future, but also allows me to literally stamp it on the date that I plan on touching base with her!

CJTMint4

It’s perfect, right?   I especially love that I can stamp it directly into my Teacher Anchor planner on the date that I want to meet with my student so it’s is done.  Scheduled!  And the word “schedule” signifies to me that I need to plan my content and get my ducks in a row before I actually sit down face to face with the student… pulling her portfolio or writers notebook, having an activity or teaching point ready, etc.  We must always be prepared!

And in case you missed my last post, creating it was super easy.  I just typed it up within my Mint software, sent it to the printer, added my ink and voila!  It took longer to decide on a font than to create my stamp!

CJTMint5 CJTMint6

But of course, this little stamp will not just serve our students… no, no, no!  Luckily, as teachers we have multiple people who we need to conference with.  When I say conference, you may think parents.  Well, you can use your stamp to schedule specific conferences or calls with parents too.  And the “regarding” line allows for you to focus on one reason for the conference so you can plan accordingly.

CJTMint1

Sometimes we teachers even need to meet with our administration.  So I used this stamp in the “Reminders” section of my Teacher Anchor®, which allowed me to touch base with my principal to discuss my most recent observation!

CJTMint2

The ways to use this are endless… IEP meetings, PLC meetings, colleague/grade level meetings… I could go on and on!  I’ve already found multiple ways to use it in just the first few weeks of school.

As I said in the opening picture of this post, the Mint belongs in your classroom!  Think personalized stamps, book stamps, reminder stamps, “Put your name on this” stamps (ha!), parent signature stamps, and on and on!  You can make yours on your very own Mint machine here!  And check out all of the other Silhouette options for you to make your life in the classroom easier too!

CJTMint7

Happy New Year!

Signature

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

FAQs about the CCSS
CCSS_CJT

One of the features I love most about the Teacher Anchor™ is the Common Core standards that are listed in the back.  I very intentionally put them into this planner (read more ahead) but I get a lot of questions about them.  So I thought maybe by putting some of the most frequent questions in this blog post, you will understand more about how you can use them to your advantage to get the most out of your students.  But first, the why

As you know I like to explain a lot of my products.  Everything is created with intention and nothing is accidental.  The Teacher Anchor™ comes with the Common Core standards for grades K-3 included in the spiral planner.  I get a lot of feedback asking if you can order your Anchor with just your grade level CCSS in them?  Some of you have even commented on the fact that it seems like a lot of added paper that can be eliminated by just doing individual grade levels.  Actually, the act of putting all elementary grades in there was quite intentional and the Teacher Anchor™ just would not work the same with only one grade level.  Let me explain more…

One of the main jobs of a classroom teacher is to monitor the progress of your students.  As a first grade teacher, I was constantly using the standards to see where my students needed to be by the end of first grade.  That being said, I CONSTANTLY referenced the kindergarten standards to see where they came from.  It is so important to cross-plan for your students, especially your struggling ones.  When I saw a student that was having difficulty with a basic first grade skill, I’d refer to my K standards and backtrack to re-teach some of those to that student in individual or small group time.  I’d use my student data sheets to record our sessions and notate which standards we were working on.  Then I’d use my binder to file all of my notes on that student so that I had accurate data of my plan towards his/her progress.  On the flip side, if I had a student that was particularly high performing and had mastered many of the grade level standards, I could look ahead to 2nd grade and see what I could start to pre-teach this student in individual conference time.  Also I could look even further towards third grade to see what foundational groundwork I need to lay for those students to be successful down the road.

So you see, if you are just focused on your particular grade level, then I don’t think we are using the maximum potential to get the most out of our students.  The Teacher Anchor™ was always created to be used interchangeably between your student data and your lesson plans.  So often we plan, execute our lesson, assess and move on, leaving students that may be struggling or who may have already mastered this skill behind.  A lot of time is wasted in the classroom by doing blanketed lessons that target the whole group and don’t focus on the individual student progress.  That’s why the Anchor is different than anything else on the market.  Because your data is used to drive your instruction.  You are held accountable for each students progress and preparation for the years ahead.  It’s a big job and the Teacher Anchor™ can help you manage it at any level.  That being said, the CCSS for grades 4-6 are included in my Free Printable Library so that you have access to all the elementary levels.  Now on to some other FAQs…

My (insert state/school) doesn’t use the Common Core!  Can I order mine without?

Unfortunately the Teacher Anchor’s™ are all pre-printed and cannot be ordered without.  That being said, I sell quite a number of Anchors to teachers in schools and states that do not currently use the Common Core.  You can do one of two things:

1. You can print out your standards and just insert them in the binder portion.  Since the CCSS are in the back of the spiral planner, you can easily clip them together and ignore them as you use the remainder of your planner.

2. You can take your Anchor to your local print shop and have them uncoil it and removed your CCSS.  Then hole punch and insert your school/state standards and re-coil.  Most print shops will do this for free (just tell them you’re a teacher!)

I teach the upper grades.  I don’t think I can use the Teacher Anchor™ because the CCSS are only for grades K-3.

Not true!  As I mentioned before, the upper grades are available for free download in our free printable library.  You can easily print them out and take them to your local print shop to have them replaced within your Anchor (as I mentioned in #2 above).  The Teacher Anchor™ is even more applicable to the upper grades because of the customization.  The binder/spiral system is meant to work together to maximize the needs for you and for your students.  Let the data drive your instruction and be intentional with your plans.

I ONLY teach 2nd grade.  I don’t need the other grade levels in there.

Yes you do.  In case you just skipped to the FAQs and didn’t read the above summary, I re-posted this question.  And here is the answer:

One of the main jobs of a classroom teacher is to monitor the progress of your students.  As a first grade teacher, I was constantly using the standards to see where my students needed to be by the end of first grade.  That being said, I CONSTANTLY referenced the kindergarten standards to see where they came from.  It is so important to cross-plan for your students, especially your struggling ones.  When I saw a student that was having difficulty with a basic first grade skill, I’d refer to my K standards and backtrack to re-teach some of those to that student in individual or small group time.  I’d use my student data sheets to record our sessions and notate which standards we were working on.  Then I’d use my binder to file all of my notes on that student so that I had accurate data of my plan towards his/her progress.  On the flip side, if I had a student that was particularly high performing and had mastered many of the grade level standards, I could look ahead to 2nd grade and see what I could start to pre-teach this student in individual conference time.  Also I could look even further towards third grade to see what foundational groundwork I need to lay for those students to be successful down the road.  So you see, if you are just focused on your particular grade level, then I don’t think we are using the maximum potential to get the most out of our students.  The Teacher Anchor™ was always created to be used interchangeably between your student data and your lesson plans.  So often we plan, execute our lesson, assess and move on, leaving students that may be struggling or who may have already mastered this skill behind.  A lot of time is wasted in the classroom by doing blanketed lessons that target the whole group and don’t focus on the individual student progress.  That’s why the Anchor is different than anything else on the market.  Because your data is used to drive your instruction.  You are held accountable for each students progress and preparation for the years ahead.  It’s a big job and the Teacher Anchor™ can help you manage it at any level.

Do you have other questions?  Don’t hesitate to email me: chandra@cjayneteach.com and I’ll answer them for you.

Also if you are waiting on your Anchor to be delivered, they should be in your hands by August 1st.  I truly appreciate your patience.  We have had a busy summer with lots of change and adjustment and I appreciate your kind words, support, and understanding.  🙂  Also only about 20 Teacher Anchor’s™ remain until spring 2015.  So if you’re thinking about it, now’s the time to act!

Enjoy the final few weeks of your summer!

signature

 

 

Time Management
BEYONCE

Time management was always my strong suit.  I knew how to fit in a full days work, plan for the following days/weeks, cook dinner and make it to a workout before bed.  Even when I had Lincoln, I knew how to fit it all in.  But lately… lately I think if I just fit in a shower, then it would be a good day.

But that has to change.  I have things I have to do.  I have to be a mom.  I have to be a wife.  I have to be a teacher.  And I have to do all of these things every single day.  And when I don’t plan out each of those roles, I’m not very good at any of them.  So I thought we could talk about time management today.

“If you fail you plan, you plan to fail.”

I saw the above quote on someones Instagram a few weeks back and have been thinking of it recently.  I used Beyonce, but you can use anyone you think is fierce.  The reason it resonated with me is because it’s true.  We are all given the same amount of time each day.  What we do with it is our responsibility.  I find that when I don’t plan my days, I end up with a lot of wasted time.  So I’ve started to sit down the night before and make a list of things to do the next day.  When I was in the classroom, I practiced the same routine and I managed to always fit everything in!  Why I lost touch with this routine, I don’t know.  But it makes such a difference.

For example, a list I made last night looked like this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 10.30.52 AM

[Sneak peek of a new shop product, coming November 8th!]

Now I realize that’s pretty specific, but that’s what I need.  Otherwise, I forget to do certain things (I actually forget to cook dinner sometimes because I have 825 other things running through my mind).  When I was a first grade teacher, I would make to-do lists for before school, during planning, and after school.  This helped me not chit-chat with other teachers during those times.  When I knew I had a to-do list, I could tackle more things and not be distracted.

*Also you’ll notice that I set my alarm to get up earlier than my child so I can get ready and enjoy my coffee in peace.  This makes a HUGE difference on how I start my day! 

Set Yourself Up For Success

To go along with the planning, you have to prepare.  I’ll lay my clothes and Lincoln’s clothes out the night before.  I’ll make arrangements to meet a friend at the gym so that I’m held accountable.  I’ll cut up the veggies for dinner the night before so in the morning, I just throw it in the crock pot.  I can even schedule the Keurig to start brewing my coffee at a certain time!  All of these things help me be successful and be a better mom, wife, teacher.

When Lincoln is home from school, I’ll make a list of nap-time to-do’s which often include grading papers, preparing for this weeks class, or fulfilling shop orders/writing a blog post.  The day before, I’ll set everything out, so as soon as he goes down, I can get to work!  It’s wonderful.  And on those days I’ll also get up a tad earlier even to get some of those to-do’s done before he’s even up for the day.

What will you do with your time?

Think about Beyonce.  What do you think she’s doing at this very minute?  Do I think she’s sitting on her couch watching reruns of Project Runway?  Probably not.  She’s probably planning her next world tour or something.  But that’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy some downtime.  We all need a break.  Sometimes we just have to schedule that downtime.  When I finish all of my to-do’s* and have a productive week, I’ll take all day Friday and then the weekend to enjoy my downtime.  I don’t have to worry about lesson planning, or shop maintenance or folding laundry on those days because I finished that throughout the week.  So my weekend is for nothing but spending time with my family, visiting food trucks, and enjoying the sunshine.  And that time spent doing what I love is what energizes me and gets me ready to tackle the week ahead.

*Yes.  Sometimes I don’t finish everything.  But don’t be so hard on yourself.  There’s always tomorrow.  Your list will get done.  But I find it’s best to let it go until the next day instead of sacrificing time from something else trying to fit in those last five papers to grade.

Now go make your list for tomorrow and go run the world.  Beyonce would want you to.

signature

 

Why assessment is the most important thing you do.

Question: How many times a day are you assessing your students? 

Answer: Constantly.  (If you said anything less than this, I’m glad you’re here.  Read on.)

Recently in my Method course at a local university, I had students turning in lesson plans without assessment in them.  Confused by this, I asked them why most of them had left out such a crucial piece of every lesson.  Their answer?  Well it wasn’t the end of the unit.  I wanted to fall off my chair, BUT, I realized that that is so often what we associate assessment with.  And if you’ve never been in the classroom full time or have been there very recently, that may be what you think you should do.  Teach a lesson/unit.  Give a test.  Repeat.  And I realized that it is still that way for most teachers who are in the classroom right this minute.  This is one of the very reasons why I created the Teacher Anchor to included student data as a crucial piece.  Teachers I know and have worked with needed this piece of the planning puzzle.  They were only using assessment to see if their students got it.  And even if some didn’t, they moved on anyway.  So, let’s talk about why assessment is so important and let’s get you on the right path (if you aren’t already there).

assessmentpics_cjayneteach

When do you pre-test?

  • At the end of the previous day’s lesson
  • For Morning Work
  • Any time that will give you accurate time to review the results
  • If the skill is a reviewed skill, you may pre-test in the beginning of a lesson.

For every Common Core standard you teach, you should be pre-testing your students to see what they already know.  For example, if one of my standards is CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.2 Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s and I’m tackling skip counting by 5’s (5, 10, 15, 20…) and my students already know how to do that, I’d be wasting precious school time of theirs and mine going over it again, right?  But how would I know if they can skip count without a pre-test?  You can’t.  So let’s start there.  When I was in the classroom, everything I did included a pre-test.  Once I had my standard(s) laid out, I’d create an assessment to evaluate how many of my students had mastered* this skill already.  So before I’d even begin to teach, I’d give a pre-test.

*Mastered means just that.  They know it front, back, and sideways.  Not just every once in awhile or just on this day.

Types of pre-tests

Now if you are thinking of a “test” being with pencil and paper, that’s not what I mean. There are various types of formal and informal measures.  Here are just a few that I would use:

  • Formal: Written assessment (multiple choice, fill in the blank, open response), Digital Data Collection system (Student Response system by SMART, Clickers, Survey Monkey, Socrative)
  • Informal: Oral assessment (white boards, thumbs up/thumbs down), Entry Tickets, Checklists* (whole group, small group, or individually)

*I used checklists most often.  And if you have the Teacher Anchor or you’ve purchased one of the Student Data sheet sets (which are still available even though the Anchor sold out), then you already have these checklists built into your planning system.

So let’s walk through a pre-test.  Let’s say I’m teaching skip counting by 5’s, as I mentioned before.  (CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.2 Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.)  I may pre-test by using my SMART response system, by asking students a variety of skip counting questions and have them weigh in with their clickers (only allowing me to see their results).  Don’t have a fancy system?  Let’s go old school and ask them to skip count one at a time.  I’ll call them up to my desk as they come in in the morning, ask them to count by 5’s to 100 and mark my checklist with a yes they did it or no they couldn’t do it.  Easy as pie.

I pre-tested.  Now what?

Now you proceed with your whole group lesson (unless every single person in class has mastered it.  Then you put your checklist in your Anchor and move on to the next standard).  As you teach your whole group lesson, be aware that some students are above and below target.  When you break up to do an independent activity, plan to pull out or provide differentiated activities for those students who are above/below target.  The student sheet set also has these differentiated anecdotal notation forms available too.  Or you can purchase an anecdotal notepad right here in the shop.  It’s important to make sure you are enriching for your high learners and scaffolding for those who are below target.  This is why planning and differentiation is a crucial part of the assessment process.  You have to meet each student at their level.  Bloom’s Taxonomy and Higher Order Thinking skills are SO SO important to help you meet each students needs.  Visit those links listed there to help you differentiate via various levels of questioning.

Post-Testing

So you’ve finished your lesson.  You’re done differentiating.  Now what?  Time to see what they’ve learned!  This can be done on the same day or the following day.  Or even when you’re done with the standard.  Here’s are some guidelines to post-testing:

  • You must give the SAME post-test as you did pre-test in order to show growth.
  • You can add questions to the post-test, but you must keep all of the original pre-test questions on there too.
  • Post-test at the end of each skill lesson or at the end of your unit. (For example, if your skip counting lesson is just part of a bigger unit, you may choose to pre-test at the end of this skip-counting lesson to assess this particular skill but then give a overall “unit test” where you pull questions from each post-test throughout the unit to gauge their overall learning of the unit.  Make sense?)

How did your students do?  Did they show mastery?  If yes, then wonderful!  File individual student data in your Anchor and move on!  If no, re-teach the standard in a different way.  Provide enrichment for those who have mastered and assistance for those still below target.

Want a summary of this entire post?

I created a flow chart to give to my Methods students and wanted to make it available to you, for FREE!  Hole-punch it and stick it in the front of your Anchor.  You can also find it in my TpT shop for free download as well.

Download the Assessment Flow Chart here.  Or click on the graphic below.

assessmentFLOWCHART_cjayneteach

Why does assessment matter?

USEtheDATA_cjayneteach

Your data should drive what you teach.  The way your student perform on each pre/post test should determine how you proceed with your plans.  No more testing and moving on.  If you do that, then stop it right now.  If you don’t use the data to drive the instruction, then you are wasting everyone’s time.  Most importantly, your students aren’t learning and what good is that?  You should pre-test and post-test for every single standard and objective that comes across your plans.  Use the flow chart to help you.

And as always, if you have questions, please contact me or email me at chandra@cjayneteach.com  And if you feel like you need a little extra help, the student data sheet sets are still available.  They come with a complete explanation on how to use them and how to best benefit your students learning.  Trust me, they’ll make you a better teacher.  And your students will thank you.  🙂

signature

 

Blog Love + Last Day for the SALE!
CJT_BlogLove5

I hope you all are enjoying the last day of your long weekend.  I have two more fabulous blogs to share with you today, Fabulous in First and Mrs. Wills Kindergarten!

Michelle from Fabulous in First is not only awesome because she’s a Miami grad too but because she has amazing, unique ideas and a really cute blog.  She was sweet enough to review the desk pad and other products from the product line and I couldn’t be more grateful!  Thank you Michelle!

Deedee from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten was also kind enough to review the product line and some custom stationery I designed for her in her blog colors.  I love Deedee because she’s really creative and really funny.  Our emails always made me laugh and I love what she says about my rubber stamps in her post – ha!

SaleLaborDay

Also if you haven’t taken advantage of the 20% off sale this weekend, you only have a few hours left to do so!  Take 20% off all desk trays with code KICKOFF to celebrate this opening weekend of college football!  It is so fun seeing the teams you all root for when your orders come in.  I love it!

Have a great week everyone!

signature
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Periscope