The last day of the year (AKA not even a week ago) went a little something like this:
6:30 AM - My arrival at school
6:31 AM - Ponder how many students would be in attendance
6:32 AM - Fret about all of the pressing items on my "to do" list
6:33 AM - Fret about losing my coworker (and best friend) next year :(
6:34 AM - 8:00 AM - Enter the teacher time warp
(For those of you that do not know about the teacher time warp, consider yourselves lucky, as it is the equivalent of unknowingly traveling through time at light speed.)
8:05 AM - Exit time warp just in time for the first of my students to arrive and think to myself, "What did I even accomplish these past two hours?"
8:10 AM - All other students and coworkers arrive
8:10 AM - Realize I'm dangerously close to be late to an IEP meeting, shame the copy machine for collating my prints by page number (i.e. Page: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1... 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2...) for said IEP meeting, and rush off to the teacher's lounge (a location I've never been... even after a year of employment)
Wait, what? I'm only at 8:10 AM?!
Skip a few hours ahead to...
2:30 PM - Driving to the airport to check in for my 3:30 flight to... [my vacation destination ;)]
And I've been here ever since.
Don't worry; I haven't eloped. I'm just on vacation!
Aside from the sun (and birds) rising at 3 AM, I love it!
Yes, it is 3:00 AM in this picture!
I love exploring the city!
Last clue: Coffee is a popular drink here!
Any guesses as to where I am? (If you're the first person to comment with the correct answer, I'll send you any one of my TPT products for FREE! (Oooooooh! Get my new Customizable Chevon Communication Mega Pack at a 100% discount!) Only one guess per person!
The good news is, almost 24 straight hours of air travel allowed me to begin prepping for what the next two months will bring:
1. Summer Class
2. CBA Learning Modules
3. Research Thesis
4. Upcoming IEP Meetings
5. Summer Employment
6. Staff Training for 2014-2015
On second thought, 24 hours wasn't long enough!
I digress (but only because I'm excited for what's in store for the future!).
Focus. Focus. Focus.
Okay. I was hard at work today building a communication packet to use for next year. "What's wrong with your existing WEEKLY NEWSLETTER AND MONTHLY CALENDAR MEGA PACK?" you say? Absolutely nothing. Except I love
So, my new calendar pack is a bit revamped. It includes THREE ways to communicate with families (daily, weekly, and monthly). In our classroom, we believe communication is important, so, we use all three. [If any of our classroom's families are tuned in - here's a heads up for August as I know it (so far!)] Here's a little breakdown of how it works in our classroom:
The Map of Our Month is an overview of the upcoming month's activities/events, day schedule, and any other holidays or changes to the school routine (i.e. early dismissal, no school). It is (ideally) sent home a few days prior to the start of the month to give families an overview of what to expect. I like to think our families hang this up on the fridge at home ;). We also post a large version of this in the classroom for students and staff to reference. It works wonders!
The Peek of Our Week is sent home the Thursday or Friday beforehand. New this year, I've included a QR code to the blog for easy access ;). Additionally, the Peek of Our Week reminds families of the upcoming week's activities, contact information, our current theme/focus, and any other news. It also includes birthday announcements and snack week reminders!
Finally, Daily News are sent home with each student every day. As part of our regular schedule, a staff member is assigned two students to work with 1:1 (in an alternating fashion) or in a dyad. Originally, the lead classroom teacher filled all of these out at the end of the day but now, each staff member completes the Daily News for his/her previously designated student(s). In short, it's a life saver, saving the lead teacher a bit of time/anxiety while allowing the Daily News to be more detailed and accurate.
Our Daily News includes a brief description of the programming the student was exposed to that day ("Today, I worked hard on... expressive number labels, turn taking, ABBC patterning"), any related arts or services the student attended, and a lunch report. Additionally, there is a space at the end of the news for any teacher comments/special messages.
New this year (to see last year's version of daily news, head over to my coworkers TPT store), is a "behavior rating." I wanted a quick and easy way to give parents a feel for how their child's behavior was at school that day. (Trust me, this is yet to be launched in a classroom but it may be something I beta-test during my time teaching at a summer program for Kinders!)
With this communication pack, you'll be set for daily, weekly, and monthly communication for years to come! (Dates aren't included so you can use it as many years into the future as you wish.) The files are available in both PDF and Word/JPG form to make customization easy peasy! Use my provided templates as a springboard for ideas or edit it any way you like!
Grab your own copy of my Customizable Chevon Communication Mega Pack now! Or comment a guess as to where I am on vacation for a chance to win your choice of one of my TPT products for FREE! Ready? Set? Go! Go! Go!
:) Kortnie C.
P.S. For our classroom families that read, I hope you like what you see! Check back soon for more updates and announcements regarding our Adventures with ABA in AS!