Progress Reports and a New Bundle

Are you required to send home progress reports?  In my district we aren't mandated to do so, but we do like to send them home so that parents are fully aware of their child's progress between conferences.

With progress report, I don't like to dwell on what is going wrong.  This is a time to focus on what is working and what we need to do to keep improving. 

We are provided with a template to use at school, but it doesn't focus on the areas like I would prefer.  So I created one to fit these needs.  You can see an example below:

I think the two most important parts of this progress report are the Showing Progress and Something to Work On sections. 

The focus isn't on the grades exactly, it's meant to celebrate something as well as make a recommendation that will help the progress continue.  I could go on and on about what needs to improve, but I find it a better use of everyone's effort if we focus in on one or two things that parents can do at home that will pay off in the classroom.

I also left an area for my general comments and an area for parents to comment back to me.  The student signature is something I am excited about because it will encourage parents to look over the report with their children. 

I received requests for this template on Instagram, so I put it in my shop.  I made the text editable so you can use these as progress reports, or report cards.  You can also change what it says in each heading as well. Click HERE to check it out.

I decided to make a Parent Conference bundle that includes these helpful resources:

I absolutely love using these parent conference reminders!  I copy them back to back in English and Spanish and they are so quick to fill out!  I keep a few on hand for parents that need an extra copy.

I also like to pass out these flip books at conference and progress report time to students that need extra support at home.  They were originally created for curriculum night, but I'm finding them so useful when I need to give a parent suggestions about what they can do at home.  They can lift up the tab and find lots of tips and strategies that they can use at home right away!  My parents have commented over and over again about how useful they have been.  This flip book is also editable :-)

Interested in the bundle?  Click HERE to pick it up. 
Like these ideas?  You can also find me on:

Five for Friday (November 28th, 2015)

It's time for a little recap. So yesterday was Thanksgiving and our whole family came over! We had an amazing time.  I can't say enough how thankful I am for everything. This little marquee from Target was perfect :-)
 I saw the kindergartners making handprint turkeys this week.  I absolutely love those! This comic below put a fun twist to that :-)
 We used The Creative Classrooms turkey bag freebie and one of my firsties drew an angel...gotta love first graders!
 I picked up some more Elf on the Shelf goodies.  My elf is going to be so stylish this year!

 We also had some fun counting by 2's.  We used Moffat Girls' watches for this one. The kids were obsessed with these!

Like these ideas?  You can also find me on:

Now make sure to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share your week!


Five for Friday {November 13, 2015}

It's Friday and that means it's time for a little recap of my week.  In my case, it was a week full of fun shopping ;-D

1. This week I put together some centers to use with my firsties that need some intervention.  I found these awesome resources from some seriously talented TpT authors!

2. I was casually looking through the Target Dollar Spot and ran into these headphones! They were only $3 each and they have microphones.  I tested them out and they are working really well so far.  I'm really hoping they last!

3.  I was strolling along the mall when I saw this...
Yeah, I'm pretty excited to have our elf join us this year! 

4. Some more fun purchases :-) I went in search of those Poppin' pens.  I LOVE Flairs, but when you need ballpoint pens, these are my go to's (until flair develops ballpoint pens that is.) While I was searching for them I found this AMAZING Post-it dispenser!  I love all things photography, so it was as if it were created for  me!  

5. And now for some educational goodies.  I got my hands on these three resources that I am so excited about.  I'm hopping to make some time to blog about how I'm using them with my students.  In the meantime, you can click on each picture to check them all out :-) 

Like these ideas?  You can also find me on:

Now make sure to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share your week!


Nurse and Health Aide Pass FREEBIE

Last year I created some passes for our school nurse, but they were made quickly and I was never happy with them.  I decided it was time to do something about it and recreated the new ones from scratch.  Our health aide LOVED them immediately and copied them for the entire school on the day I gave her the copy. 

TpT teacher confession: It makes my day when I see kids around my school walking around with my passes :-)  

Want to grab a copy for yourself? Please click HERE for your own copy and feel free to share with your entire school ;-) 
There are two versions included for those of you with a nurse, or with a health aide. 

Like this idea? Be the first to know about classroom ideas and freebies by following below :-)


Five For Friday {November 6, 2015}

Time to link up for one of my favorite linky parties!  Here is what I have been up to:

1. My life has changed ever since I started using these writing templates!  No more copying, cutting, or stapling rubrics onto my students' papers!  My grading time has been slashed!

2. I was thrilled to find these phonics bag books from The Creative Classroom!  My kids have been loving them!

 3.  Anyone out there have serious arachnophobia? I do! I can't even look at pictures of real life spiders.  I'm so jealous of those of you that can stomach handling pictures to show the kids.  I'm so thankful Gail Gibbons created this spider book.  Lots of detailed drawings and rich information.  This has made our spider study complete.

4. I almost forgot to make my November newsletter and calendar but remembered in the nick of time! My goal has been to get these done a week before the new month, but October flew right past me.

5.  In an effort to make note taking more engaging for myself, I created some stationary and busted out my flairs.  I swear, these colorful pens can make any situation a fun one :-)

Now make sure to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching to share your week!

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Time Saving Writing Templates with Embedded Rubrics!

Hello! I'm dropping by to share something I started doing that is saving me tons of time, not to mention paper!

I have been teaching for nine years, and something I have always dreaded was stapling rubrics onto my students' writing.  I was wasting so much time and paper copying these things and stapling them onto each child's writing.  But, this year I finally realized I could just embed my rubrics ONTO the actual writing paper!

How did I not have think of this before?  Now I can just pass these out and grade immediately.  Life savers!!

This is what they look like:

Are you interested in my templates? Please click on the picture below to check them out:
Did I mention that I made them editable? This way teachers can include what they need on the rubrics themselves.  Primary lined paper is included as well :-)

Now, I'm off to do some grading :-)

I have updated this file to include many more templates.  You will now find designs with larger picture areas, without any picture areas (for older students), and a whole EXTRA file that includes rubrics with three columns for grading areas that read: 
N= Never, S= Sometimes, A= Always
Check out the updated file below:

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Conferences 101

I'm linking up with some of my favorite educators Ashley and Angie to talk about parent teacher conferences!

I want to share some tips I wish I had known when I was new. 

 To begin, send home conference sing up sheets (if your parents have access to technology, an online sign up system is best) and try to schedule around sibling conferences.  My sign up sheet has space at the bottom to include sibling names and teacher names.  All I have to do is email the sibling's teacher and line up our conferences back to back.  It makes it so much easier for parents to come in just once instead of multiple times in the week.  (Sometimes yours will get skipped over if the parents have to come to school multiple times.)

Once you have your times have been scheduled, send out conference time confirmation sheets as soon as possible. I tell my kids to put the reminders on the fridge for their parents to see :-) That has worked really well!

On the day of the conference, it doesn't hurt to send an additional reminder.  I stuck these little reminder stickers on my students' shirts and they did the trick!

Now that you are ready for conferences, make sure to organize EVERYTHING for each child.  Have a folder with lots of work ready to go as well as papers that need to be signed, permission slips for upcoming events, Donors Choose releases, etc.  You will feel much more prepared for parents if you have everything ready to go.

During the Conference:

1. Start and end with positives.  Parents will be more willing to hear you out on the areas that need improvement, if they feel that you like their child and see positives.

2. I don't show the report card immediately, I prefer to have the child share their work and explain what we had to do on the assignment. Once parents see the work, they are better able to understand the grades on the report card.  *I should also note here that the grades shouldn't be a surprise.  Graded work can go home on a consistent basis so that parents aren't blindsided at conferences.  If there are big concerns, those should be communicated early in the year, possibly spoken about multiple times prior to the conference.

3. Have data ready.  This is especially handy when you are trying to explain areas of weakness.  You saying that a child is behind in reading doesn't mean much, but if you show them a graph with your class data and show a parent where the child is, your feedback will be more valuable and parents will understand why you are bringing up the concerns.

4. Be specific.  If their child is struggling in reading, explain how they are behind.  Maybe they don't know their letter sounds, how to blend, or are struggling with comprehension. Hearing "your child is behind in reading" can mean very different things.  When you are specific, parents will have something to work towards at home.

5. Be prepared with strategies parents can use at home to help their child.  I realized I kept referring to the same advice over and over again during conferences.  So I put together a foldable book for parents to refer back to.  Parents appreciated having this tool to help their child with at home.

6.  End the conference on a positive note, tell parents why you enjoy having their child in class.  Possibly set up a future time to speak (if there are concerns).  Parents should feel like you are working together to help their child succeed, because that is exactly what you are trying to set up. 

I hope these tips will help your conferences go nice and smoothly!  Now make sure to click below to check out even more tips for parent conference time :-) 

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