Sunday, August 30, 2015

Weeks 2-4 + New, cool TPT products! (1 FREE!)

Wow -- time is flying by! I can't believe the 4th week of school is already over. Only 32 weeks to go! ;-)

I wish I would've updated this blog each weekend, because I've already forgotten what we did in T1 during weeks 2 and 3...oops. But here's the general rundown:

  • Meeting with groups:
    • I have been meeting with a group in every grade level except 5th (Because there are only 3 5th graders on our list, and 4 T1 staff members!) 
    • My groups for K and 3 are Resource groups - kids I won't be working with after TI officially starts.
    • I have been doing guided reading with every group except K. I am starting to get to know the kids I'm working with and I'm feeling good about the dynamics of our groups...
    • Unfortunately, these groups will only be in place for 2 more weeks. Then...real Title I begins! Which will be great, as well, but I'll miss my current groups.
  • Helping with things:
    • NWEA testing was this past week. We helped the teachers get their kids set up, helped troubleshoot issues, and helped put computers away and cart them around the school.
    • Car rider duty, as always
I've been using to help keep my plans organized, and it's great! I make all of my guided reading lesson plans on Google Docs, share them with my team in case they need plans for those reading levels, and then attach the links to my planbook. I print them all out each morning, staple, and I'm ready to go. 

One issue I've been having already is with traveling around the school. It's tough for me to carry everything I need for multiple grade levels at a time, and to move quickly enough to use every minute I can to teach. I need to invest in a basket to help me carry all my supplies. I also hope that we, as a team, can map out semi-permanent meeting spots for each group. It would be great if we could each have our own space to store a big easel with chart paper and a whiteboard...a place with a table and chairs...and silence...wait, pinch me, I was just dreaming there ;-) 

We usually use the tundras/vestibules in each grade level, and certain rooms are typically empty, like the leveled library or the psychologist's office. But, other than that, it's the hallway. If anyone has any tips for using lots of materials, keeping kids engaged and focused, and being an effective teacher in the hallway, please let me know! I've found it challenging thus far just because there is always so much noise in the hallway, and the kids have to sit on the floor, which makes them get wiggly. But hopefully we can each find a small room to work in - that would be ideal! 

Overall, it's been a great start to the year and I'm excited to see what's next!

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I have some new products on TPT! Hope you like them! See below for links and descriptions.

Teacher Goal-Setting Sheet
As a teacher, it's so important to set goals. This is a goal-setting worksheet with ideas on how to write your own SMART goals.

These are great for small groups. Each of these products is a set of cards designed to be laminated and put on a key ring. The HOTS cards will help you ask questions in your groups that require higher order thinking skills. The formative assessment cards will help you vary your methods for informal assessments.

I also added a free resource - an objective/expectation poster! I laminated one for each group and I always write our goals in with a dry erase marker. YAY FREE!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week 1

Just finished my first week as a teacher! Minus the whole teaching part.

One thing I didn't realize about being in a Title 1 position is that nothing can officially be done until w e have data to qualify students for our program. Because of a new testing system in our district, we won't actually get this data until mid-September. But, fortunately, we can unofficially work with students before that date to help them work on their reading skills before they're tested on them.

That being said, this past week was still a busy and crazy week. Our team was put to work doing non-professional duties -- car rider duty AM and PM (which we are assigned to all year) and Kindergarten lunch duty (which was just for this week.) I know there's a big debate about teachers in non-professional school roles, but that's probably for another day...or another blog...! After a full semester of every-day recess duty with 1st graders, it didn't seem so bad.

We also did some training for a couple of the many interventions we will be administering to our T1-ers this year. As of now, I am fully trained to administer the orange (kindergarten) kit of LLI, I know the basics of Phonics First, and I know the overall ideas of the blue, red, and green kits of LLI. There is still a long way to go for training. When will that get done? No idea.

However, the bulk of our week was spent organizing, labeling, and doing other clerical work. Since Title 1 is a government-funded program, our materials can only be used by the Title 1 staff and students. Therefore, we had to label each book twice to claim it as ours, look up the book level and sharpie it on the front, and organize every book into a bin, by level, and in ABC order. Then type each title into our inventory. And there were only about...oh, 300-400 new books (?!) Yes - it was a task! But a necessary one to make our year go smoothly, and I'm glad we were able to get it all finished before Jumpstart.

What's Jumpstart, you ask? It's that unofficial way of working with struggling readers. We have a list of student concerns, kids who might not be on-grade-level with reading. We will use push-in and pull-out models, depending on the grade, to work in small groups with these kiddos. We plan on using conferring and guided reading as our main strategies these first few weeks. On Monday, we will start going in and actually working with these students. We will be administering reading interviews and just getting to know them as kids and as readers.

I've developed some handy dandy forms, which I'm happy to share. One form is on my TPT store for $2, but the others are linked below for free. As I said before, it's so hard to find Title 1 resources, and I want to help change that as much as possible! We'll be using the reading interviews next week to get to know the students. The anecdotal forms will be used throughout the year to document what goes on in each session. Having a standardized form for note-taking should also help our team with collaboration and communication. Feel free to use these, I hope they help!

Excited for a fabulous year,
Miss T.

*FREE* Reading Interview for K-2
*FREE* Reading Interview for 3-5
*FREE* Anecdotal Notes Sheet for Groups of 4 or Less
*ONLY $2* Anecdotal Notes Sheet for Individuals

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Hi there! My name is Miss T, and I'm going into my very first year of teaching. When I landed my job as a Title 1 teacher for K-5, I was thrilled! I immediately started searching for tips and resources online. As a frequent Pinterest-user and blog-peruser, I knew I would find several resources for K-5 teachers...but I was surprised to find that there is a noticeable lack of online ideas for Title 1 teachers/literacy coaches.

Obviously, my first year will be busy and stressful, so who knows if this blog will be frequently promises! Even so, I figured it would be nice for other teachers like me to have a place to find ideas, share thoughts, and collaborate.

I look forward to the many adventures to come...and I hope to have several fabulous ideas to share as soon as things get rolling.

Much Love,
Miss T