May 03, 2015

Create a Teaching Portfolio

It is the season of job hunting in education.
Teachers are retiring
being promoted
changing grades in the same schools, 
and maybe looking to change schools.
There are also new teachers trying find their first teaching job.

Teaching job situations vary all over the county.
Some state have a huge shortage of educators 
while other states are extremely hard to even get an interview.
I know of many fresh out of college teachers take positions as 
Teaching Assistants or substituting to get their foot in the door of schools 
and on the minds of principals. 
As the teacher who wants THAT job, 
you have to do whatever you can to set yourself apart from others.

I suggest putting together a 
showcasing you as a professional.

I suggest doing this for you as much as for your potential interviewer.
 This will help your organize your mind for any job interview that comes
and help you show off what you do best
... teach!

And honestly...
You don't want to leave an interview and 
suddenly remember the 3 things you really wanted to mention.
And please don't "copy" this portfolio.
This was just a creation of mine... 
the way my mind flows...
the way I want to represent myself.
And we all know I like to color code everything, 
as I did this.
You want to do this your way.

I have my portfolio opening to this page immediately.
I want my potential employer to know these things about me,
esp that I am married with children.
Whatever school I teach at is the school my children will attend.
{I did block out my specific town for privacy reasons.}

The first section in my portfolio is for Education & Documentation.
Most of the time these background items are the reason you got an interview to begin with.
But I have found that one person might know this information.
But if you are doing a panel interview
they might not all know your background and experience.

You can see the elements I have listed. 
TKES is our state evaluation system for teacher reviews 
and for classroom walk through assessments from administration.
GKIDS is our state grading system for Kindergarteners.
And ESGI is the Software I use for classroom assessments,
which is shown below.
Since I wasn't sure the reader(s) would know what ESGI is...
I made sure I described ESGI on the left and showed evidence of my use on the right.
I wanted to show the actual charts/graphs because 
that is a talking point I use to show how I use the data to drive my instruction.
I made sure I blocked out student names and anything that would violate confidentially.

 Next, I have a tab for Classroom Management.

 I show the specific way I set my classroom up for success.
I wanted to showcase how I adapt my Monkey Clip Chart
to the school wide PBIS Behavioral System my school adopted.

I also added a section for Collaboration.
This is my weakest area in an interview
because I don't remember to mention the way I collaborate
when given a close ended question like
"Do you collaborate with your team."
On this section's outline I made sure I listed
the numerous ways I collaborate with others

I also showcase theses phonics sheets I created and 
shared with my county to help support a new phonics system we implement a few years ago.
And a the SPED collaborate teacher,
I do a LOT of collaborating to support teachers.
I show evidence of each way in all the sections listed as well. 

Of course I have a whole section dedicated towards technology.
This is only because I am passionate about using technology in the classroom.
I would not add this section to your portfolio if it is not a strength for you.

I showcase my favorite technology ideas
 that I can show evidence of using in the classroom.
I have a page for Computer Center Sheets.

I also dedicate parts for QR Codes integration which I call QR Scan & Learn.

Another section in my portfolio was to showcase 
My Classroom in Action.
I want to make the readers feel like they could see my classroom
 and almost see me in that room teaching.

Again, I show off the things I am proud of as an educator.
Here are the pages dedicated to Sight Word Stations.
And a literacy initiative for my county...
Daily 5 and CAFE.
I tried to capture the ways I made this big level decisions and goals 
work in my classroom and for my students.

I hope you gives you some tips and 
help to create an awesome Teaching Portfolio. 

May 02, 2015

Center Saturday
 Hi sweet friends.
We are almost done with school here in GA.
In fact we have 15 days left or 3 weeks of school.
What does that mean?
This is one of the last 
 for this school year.

So let's to it and allow me to show you our math centers for the week
while we learned about insects.
We used the book The Grouchy Ladybug
as a learning tool this week. 

My yellow table was our time center.
Since the book, The Grouchy Ladybug, has clocks in it, 
we used this Write the Room activity.

There are two similar record sheets
One sheet has the minute hand on it and the second sheet does not.
My students look at the letter on the leaf on the card. 
They see that clock and write it in the matching letter card spot on the sheet.
They write the matching time on their sheet and write in the time.

The orange table hosted our making sets of 10s using these ten frames. 
I made several sets of matching cards
but with different animals for sorting and management.
Here is one set of cards that use the skunk.

And here is another set of cards at this same center, 
but with the ladybug images.

The red table was home to our subtraction cards, 
which are also Grouchy Ladybug themed.
These cards contain a lead with ladybugs,
 and a partial math problem on it with a
___ -(number to take away) =
 on it.

My students have to count the number of ladybugs on the leaf 
and write that number on the first blank.
Then they take away the number the cards tell them to 
and find the solution or answer

This table has the ladybug cards and these egg cards.
Both are the same but with different images.

 Some of my little ones do not need to cross off to solve the problem,
while others do.

The purple table was fun for our students to write numbers to 50 on it.

And boy are my little ones getting neater and faster.
Check out these differentiated mats.

The blue table was tougher...
because I made about 50 addition problems on these ladybug notepad
then cut off the heads.
I put all of them in the blue basket and had my students make the ladybug whole again.

There are 4 friends a table at a time, 
so all 4 students could work together.

The last center was green and it was the hardest station.
This was one step closer to mixing addition and subtraction.

Check out these cards.

We had to make an addition sentence
 and a subtraction sentence using the ten frame picture on the page.

Here is the pack I used for most of these math stations this week.

April 26, 2015

Insects {Print & Play Pack}

Hey all!
I am so excited to introduce you guys
 to my newest Print & Play Pack...
This one has gone BUGGY...
as in all about INSECTS!

Check it out.
This printable and playable pack is designed so
you can pick the topic
 and order.
And you can easily get
 age appropriate FUN printables
and playable activities.

The first section in this pack focuses on "What is an Insect?"
This section comes with all these materials.
Here are the teacher charts and student printables.

I use the blank chart to project and write in to prompt my learns to see what they know about insects. 
Here is my chart we use in my class.
Then we got busy sorting picture charts into which were  
INSECT and which were NOT AN INSECT.

 We went through our filled in chart or 
referred to the chart we made together 
to make sure the insect cards were actually insects.

 Next, we used one of these printables to make sure we knew the 
difference between an insect and not an insect.
The only difference in these two printables is 
the boxes on the leaves to guide little learners on where to glue.
It wasn't a problem to glue down the pieces using the printable without boxes.
I think it is more natural, but that is just my opinion...
insects on leaves just feels right.

We also used one of the printables in Daily 5 to write about what an insect is.
We used the teacher chart and insect cards here too.
Check out some of our work.
We wrote on the right and drew pictures on the left.

The next section in this pack covers "Where Insects Live."

 Let's face it...
as adults we know insects seem to live anywhere.
And everywhere we don't want them to live.
It grosses us out, but kids think it so cool
Here is a shot of some of these easy to prep materials.

Here are the teacher charts for this topic with the student printable.

We completed the teacher chart together.
My students filled in the blank boxes on their printable, 
but left the writing area blank.
This provided them a word wall. 

Then, they picked an insect card from the day before 
{the cards from What is an Insect?} and 
wrote about where THAT INSECT lived.
Then we can use these sorting pieces for pocket charts.
This is hard because insects can be found all over.
BUT this sorting activity is ideal for making students THINK about where they actually live.

Here is what we decided as a class..
We knew some "bugs" walked across water or needed water, but none lived in the water.
In fact, my students said they only see dead bugs floating in water.
We also knew bugs were not on the sun or moon.
Fire was def out.
And we knew that every continent has insects on it, 
but we thought they hibernated when it was too cold.
Therefore, they couldn't live in an igloo.
No one saw bugs living in their fridges either- thank goodness.
And an insect would crawl out of a cage, but not a terrarium.

Was I happy with their thoughts and processes?
Was every little thing correct?
NO... but learning is an evolution.
As we read more books about insects and learn more facts, 
we can change the cards around.
I strongly feel that backing up our thoughts is important at this age. 

The third section covers the topic of "Why Do We Need Insects?"

 Here are the charts for this topic.

And the pocket chart sorting pieces.
 This sorting activity has two types of cards.
The top cards have green text. 
They are the cards that tell us some ways insects help.
The other cards are insects.
First we use the green text cards to talk about ways insects help us. 
Then we use the insect cards to talk about the way EACH INSECT helps.
Most insects do more than one thing to help. 

Here is one image of our pocket chart.

 We knew that beetles and grasshoppers were in the ground,
and thanks to A Bug's Life references, we knew they helped the ground.
We didn't put ant there because we live in the south and have fire ants.
They bite us and it hurts.

We knew that all insects that fly help pollinate flowers. 
We were not sure which insects help keep plants healthy.
{They were overlooking the ladybug... 
but we will get to that next week.}
Bees make wax and honey, so that was easy.
But they also pollinate flowers.
And MOST insects are food for others.

Here is how simple this section is to print and prep.
{Takes a few minutes max.}

The last section of this pack covers the "Parts of an Insect."
I used an ant because it is easy to identify the parts of an insect with this image.

This pack also has parts of an insect pocket chart pieces and a printable.

 Here is the header and parts to match.
This is the only section we didn't use yet...
it is scheduled for Monday!

I know you are going to LOVE this whole pack.
Here is an image of all the parts printed out, cut, and organized in my favorite...
 I made sure the orders of each section ALL MATCH.
This is a huge help with management and sorting.

I placed each section of cards into matching colored baggies...
from WALMART...
And we are ready for business.