Friday, June 28, 2013

Next Year and Exit Passes

Summer feels like it has just begun, and  I'm getting ready to start week 5 of my summer break! 

So this past year I got thrown back into the classroom teaching a subject I swore I wouldn't teach again: Writing and Grammar. To my amazement, it was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I spent most of my year figuring out how I could do what I just taught better the next year. For that I have to thank my supervising teacher during my student teaching. She made me go back every day and write down on my lesson plan one thing that worked well and one thing that didn't go quite as planned. At the end of the week, we would sit down and brainstorm ideas to try and make sure what went wrong wouldn't the next time. 

On that note, I found out in March that all the teachers at my school were going to go from having unlimited copies to only being able to make 1,500 copies a month. That was quite a shock! At that point in the year I was in review mode for all the other subjects on my hall because my state test was at the beginning of March. I promptly got all the review worksheets together and made as many copies as possible before the codes for the copiers were set up. So what does this have to do with next school year? I've decided I want to try to make as few copies as I possibly can next year. So far I have come up with three ideas: (1) composition books for my foci, (2) task cards instead of worksheets, and (3) exit passes on card stock and laminated to make them reusable. 

The one I want to talk about today is the exit passes.  I am required to have my students complete some sort of an exit activity everyday to show whether or not they understood that day's lesson. Last year I was lucky if I got this in one day a week. One day when I was surfing Pinterest I found a Pin for exit passes and it got my mind going. The lady had two passes on a page. I thought this was one of the neatest ideas I had seen. Only one problem, I wanted three on a page.  So I made my own and got my three to a page. I teach 6 classes a day with each class averaging 27 students. That left me with how am I going to tell one classes exit passes from another classes and even better, how are the students going to know which ones are theirs to use? I color code as much as a can and it hit me that I can color code the exit passes. Each grade level's color was decided by what color textbook was used in class: green, blue, or red. 

Tada! Michaels had their card stock on sale this week. And I got to use my teacher ID to get an additional 15% off. Next was how or where are the students going to turn in their exit passes. I don't always make it to the door to collect items when class is over. Shocker I'm sure. This idea came to me one night watching TV and I hope it works. One of the command strip commercials came on, the one where they hang curtain rods. I don't know why, but that gave me the idea to hang baskets up on the wall next to the door. It also meant another shopping trip, this time to the Dollar Store and Lowes. 

I can't wait to print out and laminate my exit passes or to hang my new baskets! I only have to wait 6 more weeks. 

I haven't figured out how to post PDFs yet. If someone would share that with me, I will post the exit passes. 

I hope this sparks some ideas for you all.

Until next time,


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finally back after a long hiatus!

I can't believe I haven't posted since before my school year started and it's already over!!!! This year was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Teaching over 150 students a day is much harder than I had anticipated. Plus having three preps for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade writing when the pacing guides for each grade level are different isn't fun.

So to get my feet wet again in the blogosphere I am participating in Farley's June Currently over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

And because my amazing neighbor, Andrea, is the one who got me started and restarted with my blog, I wanted to share her 600 followers give away at Reading Toward the Stars!.

Hopefully I will be much better about posting in the future.