Monday, August 1, 2016

7 Things to Do When Moving to a New Grade Level

Happy August!!
How many of you are starting school this week? Or at least allowed to go into your classroom and get things done?
Let me tell ya!
For me it was a race against the clock because I had to set everything up in about 3 days, right before meet the teacher night. I am fortunate to have great and supportive friends who are willing to lend me a hand in moments of need!
Goodness gracious! It was a silly time of stress. You know how it is. We worry over the small stuff, when we know better that HE will take care of it for us. Silly me!!




So one of the reasons  why I was a bit nervous about not having enough time to get things done, had to do with the fact that I was switching grade levels. But I figured that while I was still on summer break, I could finish up some things when the boys when to bed. I work really hard at leaving work at work and bring as little to my home as possible... but sometimes (like the brutal beginning of the year) you have no choice. These are some of the things that I am SO glad I did at home, it has saved me tons of time and sanity!

1. GET TO KNOW THE NEW STANDARDS

Boy oh boy but oh boy! This one is a biggie.
My BFF Marie from The Literacy Spot is moving back into the classroom (to 2nd grade!) after spending many years as a literacy coach, Reading Recovery teacher, and literacy consultant. In one of our nerdy conversations, we discussed about the complexity of each standard and how to build proficiency, we must teach our students an array of strategies. A year or so ago, we did a book study with Colleen from Literacy Loving Gals on The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo. In my opinion (not that you are asking) this book is the most perfect resource for an awesome PLC.
So anyways,
We took each standard and selected the strategies from Serravallo's book for literature and informational text. And made this:



Click HERE to download the Literature standards and strategies for 2nd grade!

And Marie worked on the informational text ones:



You can click HERE to download!

2. VISUALIZE YOUR NEW CLASSROOM




What is the first word that comes to your mind when you think of your classroom? For me it is the word ZEN.
Yes, you read that right. 
I want my classroom to be calm but yet with high expectations.
I want  my students to trust me and their environment.
I want them to collaborate with no constraints.
My classroom this year is very small, but yet full of color and happy!


3.PREPARE FOR YOUR NEW CLASSROOM LIBRARY



My classroom library is the soul of my classroom. I wrote about it HERE. I visited yard sales, The Goodwill,  learned a lot about bumping it up a notch, and gave my classroom library the makeover of a lifetime.

4.CHAT WITH YOUR NEW TEAM

My new team has been so supportive. They have shared so much.  They have listened so much.  I am so grateful for their friendship. Truly, thank you.


5.GET USED TO YOUR NEW SCHEDULE




I am an animal of habit. I thrive amidst structure and organization.
But holy smokes changing schedules?
Lord have mercy. On my soul. Really.
I am still getting used to having itinerants at a different time.
I made my own lesson plan book and bought the BEST calendar/planner/organizer ever! This Bloom  Planner has it all to be more focused and goal oriented. I highly recommend it!



6. PREP FOR THE LITTLE THINGS

Like birthday little gifts:




Click HERE to download.


7. PREP FOR THE BIG THINGS

Like your focus wall:



Or your favorite 2nd grade TPT sellers.
In this respect, I need some help! Who are your favorite 2nd grade TPT sellers?

And learn the nitty-gritty of writing: (Click on the pictures to get from Amazon)




And Math!



I have yet to learn so much more, but this is for now!
I'll see you all later in the week, let me catch the end of the bachelorette. I'm so glad JoJo picked Jordan!