Back to School Blog Hop

Thank you Linda for all the back to school tips!  Is it really that time, ALREADY!?  *sigh* ...I guess it is.

In an earlier post I showed you some pictures of my classroom.  Well, here is a photo dump update on the progress! :0)  



Look at that adorable little helper!  I love bringing him to school with me. 

My back to school to-do list is HUGE right now…PLEASE tell me yours is, too!  Anywho, one thing that is at the top of my list is to get my kiddos Data Notebooks ready.  I created and implemented these bad boys last year and they were wonderful!  I use them to give the kiddos some responsibility along with the parents.  Plus, any time I had a parent-teacher meeting they were extremely helpful!

Getting our Data Notebooks  ready is super easy.  But I'm not going to lie, it does take a good chunk of time.  First, I copy the cover and back on colored card stock  then laminate for durability.  Then, I copy each category separator on a different color of card stock, again for durability.  These puppies have to last the entire school year, and believe me, they get A LOT of use!  

Back Covers

Category Separator 

After that it smooth sailing... copy, stack, repeat!

I have all the Data Notebooks put together, with the kiddos names on them for our Back to School Night.  It is the perfect opportunity to explain what a Data Notebook is, what we will be using it for and what they are expected to do.  There will be TONS of questions, no doubt, but it is easier to answer the each question ONCE instead of 25 times!

My kiddos record their math and spelling scores in their notebooks every week (usually on Fridays).  Graphing is something that we spend a lot of time on in the beginning of the year.  Mastering those skills makes this process a whole lot easier.  Graphing their results motivates them to improve, they always want to see that graph get higher!  

At the end of nine weeks I spend time evaluating their skills in each category.  I send Data Notebooks and report cards home the same night.  The kiddos are expected to have a student-led conference at home with their parents, reflect on the quarter and make attainable goals for the next quarter.  The parents must sign their child's notebook, then return by the due date.  When the parents sign and return, that tells me that they know exactly how their child is doing at school.  At the end of the year, there should not be any surprises! :0) 

If you are interested in seeing more about my Data Notebooks, you can head on over to my tpt store and see a preview!  

Now...on to a FREEBIE! Parent Communication Log...I have a file folder for each kiddo and keep thier Parent Communication Log in there.  It is a great communication tracking tool.  I hope you find it useful!   

Before you head on over to see what Mrs. C has for you at Second Thoughts, don't forget to like my Facebook page!  

Be sure to enter the drawing to win a $75 gift card at the end of the hop!


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Sunday Funday!!

Happy Sunday!  The hubs and I just arrived in Hilton Head Island for the week.  In celebration of this Sunday Funday, I will be having flash freebies tonight!!  I will post the flash freebies on Facebook, so go follow me and get reeeaaadddyyyy!!!


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Spelling Patterns

This year we adopted a new reading series, National Geographic’s “Reach for Reading”.  So far, I LOVE it!  The readers are fabulous for guided reading…they make me do a little happy dance!  SOO I’ve spent most of my summer break getting ready for the new series. 

Spelling was an area that I struggled with last year…it was boring and I don’t do boring well.  :0)  This year I will introduce our spelling pattern with my Spelling PatternMini-Posters

After introducing the pattern, I plan to hang the poster in the room for the kiddos to use as a reference point.  When a kiddo says, “Mrs. Rippy, how do you spell bean?”  If we have studied the ea pattern, I 
can refer them to the spelling pattern posters.  I try to do EVERYTHING possible to make my kiddos independent.  I know they are only in 1st grade, but they can do it! These mini-posters are going to give them the tools they need to be more independent!

If you would like a copy of my Spelling Pattern Mini Posters you can head over to my tpt store and pick up a copy.  Later this week I will be blogging about how I use and implement my Data Notebooks...stay tuned! :0)  


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Indiana Blogger Goodness!

Yesterday was the Indiana Blogger meet-up and it was ahhhmazing! 

When I was first contact about the blogger meet-up I was SO excited.  As time got closer I become more and more nervous.  I mean, I have been stalked other meet-ups through blogs, but I’ve never met a blogger like Hilary Lewis in REAL LIFE!!  So I decided to drag convince my best friend to tag along from Teaching with a Smile.  I'm so happy that we went, because we both had a blast!

That morning, before I left home, my husband tried to talk me out of going.  He was CONVINCED that someone was setting up all these teachers and we would be abducted.  I think we MAY watch too much Criminal Minds and Dateline! {SIGH}  Anyway, he was happy when I returned home safe and to find out there weren’t any scoundrels there.  

The meet-up was so much fun.  It was wonderful to talk to other teachers about “teacher stuff” and not one single person had to pretend that they were interested in the conversation (I hope! :0).  We were all in our element discussing what we love!  Run Teacher Run also gave me a little mini-lesson on verbs, which I also enjoyed.  

A big thank you to Heather from Teaching Through Turbulence and Ciera from Adventures of Room 129 for putting it all together.  And thank you Jenny for all of the photos! They planned a white elephant apple gift exchange!  I ended up with EXPO markers and Ticonderoga pencils...who doesn't love school supplies!?  

Check out this little beauty Ciera put together for all of us...I already found a home for it on my desk at school. 

I'm going to put some of these cuties together for the rest of the 1st grade team, go check out Ciera's blog, Adventures of Room 129,  for the link to download!

Check out all the ladies...I mean, we ARE pretty fabulous if I do say so myself! ;0)

From left to right:

Top Row: me, Nicole at All Things Apple in 2nd, Hilary atRockin’ Teacher Materials, Mary Beth Riley at Run Teacher Run, Hilary at Second Grade is Out of This World, Brenda at Primary Inspired

Second Row: Kristen at Teaching With a Smile, Jenny at Ignite Learning, Aimee at Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

Third Row: Ciera at Adventures of Room 29, Whitney at The Crazy Schoolteacher, Anita at I Live 2 Learn, I Love 2 Grow

Front Row: Amy at Math, Science, Social Studies, Oh My!,Heather at Teaching Through Turbulence, and Dorothy atTwenty-Something Teacher Tales

If you attended the Indiana Blogger Meet-up, link up with Teaching Through Turbulence.  Everyone else check out these wonderful bloggers from Indiana.


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