Friday, August 23, 2013

Classroom Management and Zen

My Classroom Feels Like This... WHHHHAAATT????

Week one has ended.  My brain is tired and many weary hours have been spent at school this last week preparing, organizing, and thinking.  I wanted things to run as smoothly as possible this week and I, along with the help of my wonderful colleague Jules, created lots of new management/procedural stuff to help the classroom flow and support learning.   I'm instituting a LOT of new management and learning mojo into my classroom this year: 
  1. We are following standards based grading this year in my classroom including pre, formative, and post assessments.  All grading is based 4 point (Marzano style) rubrics directly taken from the standards.  The goals is to have students focused on the skills and seeing how they can get better directly from the rubrics. Students worked so hard on their pre-assessment for plot elements and main idea/supporting details today!  I'm excited to see how they do and how that can shape what I teach!
  2. Students will track their learning and goals set.  We will keep all assessments/rubrics in a learning binder that stays in the classroom.  Students will track their learning on a "track my learning" sheet that stays in the binder as well.  Students will be officially introduced to this next week. 
  3. Since the classroom is focused on what students learn, students have the option to retry when they don't do well.  This year, I'm instituting a Request to Retry form.  Taken from pintrest and adapted to fit my students needs...... 
  4. I also have made a behavioral form to help students not only figure out how to resolve their behavior, but also to help me keep track of behavior and calls home.  

    Side Note:

     I am reading Touching Spirit Bear to my 5th period class when they return from lunch (5th has an extra 15 minutes in it to accommodate all 3 lunches in our building).  And this form reminds me of the "schoolified" version of the Circle Justice program Cole (the main character) is going through.  It's a great book to show kids how to deal with anger and hurt.  You should check it out! 
  5. Missing work form - taken and adapted from E, Myself, and I to help keep track of those kiddos who don't turn in their work
  6. While You Were Out form -  this form has been incredibly helpful!  First, it helps me explain what the students missed and second, it allows me to just put it in the folder and teach the student to be responsible for their absent work.  I've created a lovely little station of file folders for my students to find their absent work.  Today, I gently reminded one of my freshman who was absent yesterday to check the absent folder for the work she missed (hopefully, but the end of 1st Q it will be come natural to them just to check there and I won't need to remind) and she had it all ready to go! I didn't have to remember where yesterday's handouts were or get all the directions together for her.  

At the end of 7th period today, my intervention specialist told me that the classroom "just feels peaceful." And she's right.... the room has an aura of peace. Whether that is a beginning of the year thing, a personality thing, a management thing, or just a room thing.... only time will tell, but I'm going to relish in it for now!  

Off to grade Freshman pre-tests... I'm actually kind of excited to see how they do.. I'm such a nerd. :) 


  1. Hello Teacher Blogger!
    I wanted to thank you for your participation in the Middle School Blog Log on the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.
    Some changes are coming to the blog log. We have a new and more colourful button that I feel will attract more traffic to the site and our blogs. Please update our button on your teacher blog with the new code located at Middle School Blog Log
    We have also started a Closed Facebook group to stay connected to one another for marketing and social purposes. Please join us at the group called Middle School Bloggers in the Facebook groups area.
    Thanks for all you do. I read your blogs via bloglovin and so jealous of all your creativity.
    Kristy @ 2peasandadog {at}

  2. Kristy, Thank you for the update:) I'm glad you enjoy the blog!


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