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Time Saver

How to Be More Organized This School Year From the 1st Day of School

Documentation, Lesson Planning, Teachers Pay Teachers, Time Saver
Hey y’all!  I hope you had a festive 4th of July!

I’ve been thinking about how I ‘m going to organize all of my “teacher stuff” next year outside of myself/lessons. You know, all of those meeting papers and “extra” stuff you get and have to keep straight throughout the school year?

Well, I began looking at teacher binders online and wasn’t satisfied with ones I was coming across so I created my own! In this file you will get 2 cover options (a black and white polka dot cover and a colorful cover) as well as black and white printables to match! This product is an ink saver and will have free updates for life!

I created covers of each type for the following categories:
-Student Assessments
Professional Development
Substitute Binder
Faculty Meetings
Lesson Plans
IEP Caseload
Class Information
-Team Lead Information
Attendance Binder
Behavior Binder
Evaluation Binder
State Standards
-Teacher Binder
-Parent Communication Binder
Data Binder.

Colorful Cover Option


Black and White Cover Option


There are also printable sheets that can be inserted in your teacher binder. The printables include:
-Class Birthdays
-Dates to Remember
-Usernames & Passwords
-To Do List
-Notes
-Substitute Report
-Weekly Planner
-Task Tracker
-Locker Assignments
-Parent Teacher Conference Form
-Daily Schedule
-Class Roster
-Seating Chart (Graph Paper)
-Parent Communication Log (page layout for 1 student)
-Parent Communication Log (page layout for multiple students)
-Calendars At a Glance August 2016-July 2017 (Monthly Layout, 2 months per page)
-Monthly Calendar August 2016-July 2017 (1 Month per page)
-Checklist Page
-Year at a Glance
-Sticky Note Suggestions 
-Gradebook Grid
-Attendance Grid



Sub Report Sample Printable
Parent Teacher Conference Form Sample Printable
I hope you love it! I can’t wait to get to school and print mine out! If you think of anything I missed let me know and I can create it and provide it in an update of the product!

p.s. Want to start a teacher blog just like this one? My friend, Suzi, wrote an ebook that can help you get started and grow your blog!

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How to Streamline Behavior Documentation in a Middle School Classroom

Behavior Management, Documentation, Featured, Middle School, Time Saver
This process has SAVED my team's sanity! How to Streamline Behavior Documentation in a Middle School Classroom
I can’t believe it has been about 2 months since my last post! I came running back to the blog tonight because I have to share something I found on Pinterest (of course) that is streamlining some behavior documentation in my classroom and on my team: Using QR Codes with Google Forms. 
If you’re not tech savvy and the terms “QR Codes” and “Google Forms” scare you…just hear me out! 

What It Is

On the original post I saw (shoutout to PeppyZestyTeacherista.com! Check her out!), the teacher who has a 1:1 iPad classroom uses QR codes to help her document missing homework assignments from students. The students come in, and those who don’t have their homework scan a QR code that is on a poster on her wall, fill out the Google Form and boom! She has everything documented in one spreadsheet! This got my mind rolling. Now, I definitely don’t have a 1:1 iPad classroom (I have 3 desktops and no tablets) but I knew I could somehow use this to make life easier for me and my team. It hit me: team behavior documentation!
Let me backtrack a minute. . . as an 8th grade teacher, my school works in teams. One ELA teacher, one math teacher, one social studies teacher and one science teacher all share the same students. Previously, we were spending a good chunk of time documenting and tracking behaviors that we needed to follow up on like who was tardy to class, who was out of dress code, who needed to take a break in another classroom, who has lunch detentions, etc. Now, this is NO MORE!

What I Did

I made a Google Form to correspond with anything I wanted to track, and then linked that to a QR code. I then printed it on a half sheet of colored paper, laminated, and put it on a key ring to keep it together. Now, if someone is tardy to class (or whatever else happens that I scan for) I can quickly fill in the information I want and done! The best thing about this is that when any of my teammates do this as well, it all goes to a shared spreadsheet I can access in my Google Drive! 
Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.02.31 PM
  How to Set It Up
  1. Download a QR Code reader on your smartphone. I have an iPhone and have “QR Reader for iPhone”.
  2. Go to your Google account and make a new Google Form for whatever you’re wanting to track and be able to scan.
  3. When you’re finished building the Google Form, copy the link that Google gives you that is attached to the form (the link you’d use to share it with someone else).
  4. Google a QR Code generator. I used this one: https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com.
  5. Select URL on the QR Code Generator and copy the link to the Google Form you made into the “Enter URL Here” box. From here, a custom QR Code should be made.
  6. Save the QR code that you just made.
  7. Insert the picture of the QR code you made onto a word document, label what the code is for and print.
  8. Use the QR Code reader on your phone and scan the QR code to test it. The Google Form you filled out should pull up on your phone or device.
  9. Fill out test information in the fields and then visit your Google Form response spreadsheet in your Google Drive to make sure everything shows up. If it does, you’re FINISHED!
So what do you think? Will this make anything easier for you in your classroom? I’d love to hear how you use Google Forms or QR codes in your classroom!

Again, shoutout to Amber at PeppyZestyTeacherista.com for the original post! 

Peppy Zesty Teacherista


*UPDATE: I’ve received many in-depth questions about how to do this, so I created a more in-depth Step-By-Step Guide! Check it out here.

 
Also, check out How to Differentiate Using Google Forms here


 

 

p.s. Want to start a teacher blog just like this one? My friend, Suzi, wrote an ebook that can help you get started!

How to Lesson Plan: The Easy Way

Lesson Planning, Middle School, Time Saver
Each year, like most everything else in my classroom, I adjust my lesson plans and create newer materials for all of my lessons (powerpoints, bell ringers, exit ticket activities, worksheets, rubrics, etc.). Each class each year is different, and what kids struggle with from one class or one year to another changes. You have to differentiate differently. You figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
When I first started teaching, like most first year teachers, a lot of times I found myself working “harder, not smarter” and re-creating the wheel for every little thing. Even after my first year, I never had a great way to organize  my lesson materials.
I’ve tried many systems. I made folders on my computer and labeled items by topic, but at the end of each year I’d look back at my documents folder and have a bunch of videos, powepoints, and worksheets labeled with just a date. “9.17.15”, for example. What the heck did I do on September 17th? That would lead me to have to click each folder, or document, and figure it out. Out of frustration, when I couldn’t find things, I would end up just re-doing something I knew I had somewhere.
I’ve also tried to keep a “Master Copy” binder. That doesn’t work for me either. I will start off the year strong and then stop following through with including everything in there. I had struggled to find a system that is efficient, and that works for me, until this year. 
Now, I’ve found a system that is efficient, easy to use, and keeps everything all together in a calendar style (by date), and also by units and now I couldn’t lesson plan without it so I’m excited to share it with you: PLANBOARD.
Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 4.11.52 PM
Planboard is an “online, free lesson planning tool designed to help educators simplify their planning. The site allows teachers to save and share calendars and schedules, making it easy to re-use these plans in the future”. So far, this has been a lifesaver for me.
Planboard has cut down my prep time, and organized my lessons in a way that I could never do effectively before. If you’re an educator looking to try another system of organization and prefer a paperless model, you should try Planboard.
Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.07.57 PM
image found here
  1. It’s free. Enough said. There are a few other similar tools out there, but many have a monthly subscription. No thanks.
  2. You can make your own schedule. Have a weird bell schedule, or a rotating system? No problem. When you set up the classes, you can put in the times of the classes each day and it automatically situates it on a calendar for you.
  3. You can create your units. This feature has hands down fixed the date naming epidemic that my documents folder was plagued by and organizes anything I do (or throw in last minute) by unit, and chronologically–so I can look back when I plan for next year and see the progression I followed the year before!
  4. There is a sticky note feature. Automatically on the side of each lesson plan page there is a “sticky note”. Need to remember to tell 3 students to go to the band room at 10:45am? Have a faculty meeting after school? Whatever you write on the note will show up on the  calendar at the top of the day to help keep you organized!
  5. You can make a lesson plan template to use each day. I am a stickler for following a specific format each day, thus, I use a specific lesson planning template. You can start off with a blank slate each day, or create a template you may have to use for your school to fill in. If you’re a middle school or high school teacher like me where you teach multiple periods of one subject, you can copy your lesson onto other days/periods for convenience.
  6. You can stay organized  from year to year and plan for future years more easily without having to re-create the wheel.  As I’ve touched on above, this is the best system for me to pull up the calendar and see the progression of what I did the year before, keep all of the powerpoints/activities/rubrics, etc. together by how they were presented, and to see how many lessons went into each unit. I am so excited to start planning for next year just because I already know all of this will make it so much easier!
Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.08.12 PM
Image found Here
7. You can attach the standards to your lessons and track progression. You can attach a set of Common Core Standards to your account, then just search the standards and attach! Done! This has saved me so much time! No more checklists of when standards were taught and re-taught!
Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 8.08.30 PM
Image Found Here
8. Collaboration and sharing is made easy. You can easily export your lessons into a PDF format, or email them to a group of people. You can also import documents from Google Drive, or from other resources shared with you from other members of Planboard.
9. Color-coding! I color code everything, as many teachers do, from classes, to groups, and everything in between. You can color-code your class periods and documents within your schedule, which may sound like a small thing, but ultimately, makes looking at the calendar format more user-friendly.
10. The system is intuitive. If you spend a lot of time on your computer and are a technology guru, or just want to move to a paperless system but aren’t an expert with technology–no worries, the Planboard system is easy to use, has a clean, simple design, and can be navigated around with ease!
That’s it! I just had to share a secret that has helped me so much stay organized. Do you use Planboard or any of the other Chalk.com products? Or do you use another online system? I’d love to hear from you!
p.s. Want to start a blog just like this one? My friend, Suzi, wrote an ebook that can help you get started!