Category Archives: back to school

Vacation Journal- a must-have!

It’s almost spring break!  Every year around this time, I have families emailing me saying that they are heading out of town for vacation!  It’s very exciting for them, but can be stressful for me as the teacher to prepare homework in advance or collect classwork while they are gone.

Instead of assigning homework ahead of time, I decided to start sending a trip journal as “optional homework” instead, and families have loved it!  It keeps the kids writing and thinking through their trip, and becomes a fun keepsake for the child afterwards!  It also is fun for the child to share with their classmates when they return.  It’s a win-win!

We used it this last year for our own kids when we went on a family road trip from MN to CO for a family wedding.  I recommend it to anyone who has kids.  It can be appropriate for any age- from preschool to upper elementary.  Preschool will require support with writing, but would still enjoy drawing the pictures.

You can find it here at my TeachersPayTeachers store, Miz Riz Elementary Resources!

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It is a 17-page download, with a printable packet! The packet has a fun cover and a note to parents, explaining the purpose of the journal.

 

 

The rest of the pages are interactive pages for students to complete!  There is a page for students to record how they traveled!  Here is an example, thanks to my daughter Kayla, who used this for our Colorado vacation last year.

 

 

 

Also, students can record who they travelled with, what the weather was like, and where they went on a map (both USA and world map included!).

 

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The rest of the pages are simple journal pages for students to record what they did each day, with a blank spot for pictures and lines for writing.  I have included 7 days worth of journal pages.  If you need more, you could always add a couple before copying the packet.

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I hope you find this useful for your classroom and your family!  Enjoy!

Check out my TPT store, Miz Riz Elementary Resources, for more downloads to support teachers and parents!

-Laura

 

 

 

Dismissal Template- “How Do We Get Home!”

It’s the end of the day… Do you know where your student is heading?

Those first few weeks of school, I always found it stressful as the end of the day approached.  So many students, so many destinations!  It is absolutely imperative that the teachers knows where each student is going.

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Several years ago I made this template for dismissal since I had students going different directions every day for dismissal- some to after-school classes, some getting picked up, some bussing.  It ended up being so useful that most of my school started using it too.

Here it is for you in one handy download!  Enjoy!

-Miz Riz

(: Emoji Bulletin Board/Door Decorations! :)

I love door decorations and bulletin boards.  I especially love them if they are easy to create and I don’t have to run to the teacher store to buy them!

Here’s one you’ll love!  Everyone loves emojis!

Download this document and follow the simple directions to make a fun, memorable door or board!

Enjoy!

-Laura

*Must Have* Class Roster!

Yes, every teacher has to have a handy roster.  We use them constantly- for attendance, for keeping track of forms, for assessment and grading, for email addresses, whatever!  I seriously go through dozens of these each year.  One handy download, and you’re set.  And better yet, you’ll look like you actually put some time and thought into making a cute roster, rather than the basic, computer generated ones given to you by the office.  Enjoy this quick download to make your back-to-school week easier!  🙂

 

-Laura

Meet the Teacher Introduction Note!

“Who’s your teacher?”

“Have you found out who your kid has for a teacher?”

“What class is she in?”

 

It’s that time of year!  Kids are getting their letters, revealing who their teachers are for the upcoming year.  They want to know as much as they can about their teacher before the first day of school. Who is this mysterious person who will be in charge of my life at school for the next nine months?

Here is a simple printable for teachers and subs alike to introduce themselves to students and their families.  You can send it with their letter telling who their teacher will be, or you can give it at Meet the Teacher night.

I made it in a simple word doc so you can edit the pictures and info.  Enjoy!  Pass it on to your teacher friends!

-Laura

 

 

Back to School: Curriculum Overload!

It’s back to school time!

Bulletin boards!  Meet the Teacher Night!  Class Lists!  Labelling!  Laminating!

And on top of it all, they throw a few new curricula at you!  Yikes!

I have been there.  I have been teaching for eight years and not a single year has gone by without at least one new curriculum or program added.  That is a lot to handle, especially when you oftentimes get handed the books just days before you’re supposed to teach them.

To help us handle the overload of different curricula that we needed to teach, my team developed this Scope and Sequence Planning Chart.  It’s a basic excel document, but it will save you so much trouble!

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Why you need it:

-With big teams of teachers (mine was five teachers per grade!), it is imperative that we all stay on the same page, teaching the same units at the same time.

-With several curriculum per unit of study (two language arts, two math, one social studies, etc), it can get very easy to get behind.

-Starting with a laid out plan will save you from getting to May and realizing you haven’t taught a unit yet!  Yikes!

-With a plan in mind, you can work the units around the quarters (or trimesters), school breaks, testing windows, and school events.

-It will make you look super organized to both administrators and parents of students.

 

Here’s what you do:

-Download this planning chart for your team.

-Set a planning meeting with your whole team.  This will take at least an hour.

-Set the basic parameters of the planning chart, editing in Excel.  Add in your notes, trimesters or quarter breaks, and your curriculum titles at the top.

-With your team, physically collect and lay out all the curriculum you will be expected to teach this year.

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-Decide as a team what units you will aim to complete each week, month, and quarter.

-Print and save!  Stay on track all year!

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Check out this and many other useful resources at my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Miz Riz Kindergarten Resources! 

-Laura

 

First Day Folders!

Hello, teacher friends!

It’s that time, when teachers  get antsy  for school to begin.  Don’t get me wrong- we LOVE summer.  But we love teaching too.  And it is the natural rhythm to begin thinking of our back to school to-do list at this point in the year!

So I am sharing a must-have for back to school:  The First Day Folder Packet.  This is a packet filled with information about your school and classroom. I have revised, developed, and edited every year since I started teaching.  I feel like I have a solid product to offer now!  Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.07.23 AM

This is a packet that is meant to send home on the first day of school, to answer as many questions that parents may have at one time.  You could also send it at open house or “Meet the Teacher” too.

It WILL need to be edited, of course, for your information.  You may need to delete or add sections.  But I hope having this template to use will make the process easier for you.

It covers these topics:
-Communication: Email, folders, directory, website
-Drop off/Pick Up routines
-Lunch/Snack options
-Birthday routines
-Volunteering
-Specialist schedule
-Homework
-School forms
-Rest/Nap time (specific to Kindergarten, may need to be deleted for other grades!)

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The format is easy to read, with bold headings and short paragraphs.  At the end, I also include a daily schedule and a form for parents to fill out so they can receive my emails and photo sharing posts.

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I hope you enjoy this product and find it easy to use!  Now, get back to your summer and enjoy those last few weeks!

 

-Laura