You've made it! Another one bites the dust! Your school year has ended, or if you are like me, you are in the last week or so and things are winding down. Despite this year coming to a close, you are a teacher and teachers are planners, and you are already looking ahead to next year. How to teach differently, how to do things more efficiently, how to work smarter not harder.
Unless your district has gone paperless, one thing we all struggle with is the paperwork, the daily handouts, the assignments for absent students, the extra copies. My tip for you...
...create a "while you were out binder."
You will need a large binder, two or three inches, and plenty of page protectors. Make plenty of copies of this free "while you were out" sheet. Each day that you give out handouts, fill out the sheet and place extra copies of handouts behind it.
You can check off the different activities completed in class and fill in notes about the assignments or any important announcements. This would be a great job to assign a student with great attendance (work smarter not harder!) I place the most recent items at the front of the binder so students have less pages to flip through to find what they missed.
Having this binder puts the responsibility on the absent student to get the information and materials he/she missed. When a student asks you, "What did I miss yesterday?" you can just point to the binder. No discussion needed, no class time wasted. This binder is also extremely useful for that point at the end of the marking period when that student who has slacked off all marking period suddenly wants to get caught up with all his/her work. Everything is in order and missing assignments can easily be given again.
If you are looking to start the year, each week, and each day right, check out this must-have product...
Because so many words in the English language include Latin or Greek roots, focusing on roots rather than just vocabulary terms at random will increase your students' vocabulary exponentially. Each week, before introducing one root and five connected vocabulary terms, have students make predictions about the meaning of the new terms based on context clues.
Weekly PowerPoints provide student friendly definitions as well as warm-ups/bell ringers, word practice, and exit tickets/closings for each day of the week. This resource also includes a homework choice board and choice-based assessment, both of which can be used weekly. Using this resource means part of your Mondays are planned (introducing vocabulary), part of your Fridays are planned (assessing vocabulary), and the beginning and end of your classes ALL week are planned (warmups and exit tickets). Can you say time saver? You can even download this sample for free.
In between reflecting on last year and planning for next year, your best year ever, be sure to also make time to rest up and relax. It is summer time after all!