Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Operation Getting Ready for Work Week - Part 2


     Oh how I wish I could freeze time sometimes!  The teachers are here!  I am so blessed to have THE BEST group of para professionals that help me get all of this together prior to the teachers returning.  Without them, none of this is possible.  

Look at these people! BEST STAFF EVER! DREAM TEAM!


Bins, Binders, and Buckets Oh My!



Each teacher has a bin that contains "ALL THAT STUFF"! I'll go ahead and list so I can remember for next year.  #TURNING40BRAIN 

  • Student Packets with the district required forms for Meet the Teacher Night
  • 504 plans ready to go
  • Emergency Folder with all the goods inside of it
  • Good Office Visit cards (Thank you Ashley Jackson
  • Our teachers are a creative bunch. Each grade level makes their own student information sheet.  They send me what they want and we copy it for them.  
  • Colored windshield cards for car riders (I'm proud of these this year! We put the procedures on the back! Boom!)
  • Sub Favorite List with numbers
  • Master Schedules printed in color
  • Bus rider tags for backpacks (Not ready in time to make the bins this year, but soooo wanted to.)
  • A sweet treat!
  • Our Staff Binder which contains more good stuff! See previous post.

Staff Binder for Whole School or Leadership Teams

Like the Bobcat?  He came from my friend Mary Kay. She's so talented!

We also give each teacher a new spirit shirt each year.  The teachers love a practical and useful gift! I've worked with many t-shirt companies and these guys have excellent customer service and are very timely. http://www.elementaryspiritzone.com

But Wait, It's not cute!

It was time to call in an expert. I got together with my dear friend Reagan Tunstall! I said I'm thinking of spray painting a pot with a stick coming out of it. What do you think??  In typical Reagan fashion she knew exactly how to make it happen for me.  We found some awesome inspirational quotes and bright colors and voila!  Now I have centerpieces to use all year long for other school events. Yay! Oh and the pots are plastic and cost less than a dollar. This project was totally worth the black fingernails! #Astrobrights











Make this your best school year ever everyone! Good Luck and remember to balance and breathe!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Operation Getting Ready for Work Week - Part 1

My inner geek loves the thrill of the Back to School season!  This year, my goal is to WOW my amazing staff with having as much as possible ready for them that first day back.  As a teacher, it was always very stressful getting those packets 15 minutes before I had to welcome the kiddos and their families.  So our goal is to be proactive and get "ALL THAT STUFF" to them faster and in a manner that is organized and of course fun!

They each will receive an updated staff binder that will keep them organized all year long.

Click here to get your own.

Staff Binder for Whole School or Leadership Teams



Our theme this year is Dream, Believe, Achieve!  So the theme is on the front as well as our mascot.  We're the Bobcats!  If your school happens to be the bobcats too you can snag this cutie here. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mary-Kay-Erben  If not, the binder is editable so you can insert your mascot.  The colorful dividers have an inspirational quote and can be in any order.

Here's the line-up:
Leadership Committees


  • Every teacher is a leader on our campus.  We have 4 leadership teams.  In this section we include the big ideas/goals for each leadership team.  In addition, the team member keeps their notes and ideas for their leadership committee in this section.  It keeps it easy to find when they share with their grade level teams.
**I will share all about the leadership teams in an upcoming post with editable Big Idea/Goals that you can use with your team or staff. **

Team PLCs 
  • Grade Level Groups include their notes/agendas from PLCs here.  Having them organized greatly increases the chances that the next step goals are being worked on and enhances follow through. 
Check out these two books.  They are a great choice for a small group book study with your Instructional Leadership Team.
 
Data Driven Instruction


  • We use our binders collaboratively.  The data that we keep in this section is more big picture and trends.  We track every student on a grade level spreadsheet that includes all of their Benchmarks, Universal Screeners, etc.  Our goal is no surprises.  We also have shifted our growth mindset in that if we say the word intervention then we must follow-up with the word enrichment.  It is truly about progress for EVERY student.  
  • Data at our fingertips for team planning and vertical planning. 
Educational Resources


  • We reserve this section for amazing articles that we find. Some are from my studies and some are from our superintendent.  However, the very best feeling is when I am sent articles from teachers.  I am blessed to work alongside of the very best learners around!  
Vertical Planning


  • Our grade level teams each have subject experts.  These subject experts meet vertically with the Writing, Reading, Science and Math teams.  The goal this year is that the Vertical Team will meet 7 times this year.  Every person receives a copy of every subject area notes and next steps to be kept here.  This area can not be overlooked.  We strengthened our alignment and goal focus as a campus. This year we intend to focus on common academic vocabulary.
Campus Improvement Plan


  • Let's face it.  Every school has one, but no one really reads it.  However, it should be a living document that drives continuous improvement and highlights the campus' targeted instructional needs. We take our Campus Improvement Plan and whittle away and get to the nitty gritty and identify our Priority Needs.  It's just like having priority standards. This is what we include here. 
Staff Handbook


  • Not a lot to say about this. Without rules it's chaos.  :)
Handouts to Keep


  • This one is a biggie.  We keep important documents that teachers will need to refer back to in this section.  Some items include our discipline matrix and positive behavior procedures, pickup and drop off procedures, cafeteria layout, master schedule, early release schedule, PLC schedule, calendar, and more. 
Now here's where it gets messy. I mean c'mon back to school is tough stuff! I realize that all teachers want to do is get their rooms ready and get their class list.  So we try to keep all the essentials in a handy dandy bin so they can get back to designing amazing learning environments for students.  Part 2 will have the bins all beautifully displayed, but for now I'm showing the process.  Just like a classroom, my conference room and hallway outside of my office becomes an absolute hurricane before the teachers first contracted day.  I say first contracted day because they've been volunteering their time all summer to prepare for the next year. I LOVE TEACHERS! 

Teacher Bins


Binders in Progress


What's in the bins?
  • Student packets for Meet The Teacher Night
  • Each grade level has their own student information sheet.  We copy and place them in the bins for them.
  • Kindergarten gets an invitation to the Boo Hoo breakfast that we have for their parents on the first day of school.  
  • Pick up signs for car riders.  
  • A phone list of favorite substitutes
  • A colored copy of our school calendar
  • Bus tags for bus riders
  • Emergency Operation Folder
  • Staff Binders
  • I know I'm forgetting some things...Oh yeah, chocolate!
Stay tuned!  Principal reveal coming soon!