Friday, July 27, 2012

What to Put in your New Student Folders

I had a request from a reader to share the documents I place in my new student folders.   Here you go!

Welcome Letter

Student Information Sheet

Supply list

Class Syllabus

Parent Homework

Class calendar (I give out a new one at the beginning of each month)

Copy of your school's bell schedule

Package of Skittles

Mechanical Pencil

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Student Folders

I want to share an idea that made my life so much easier last school year. Living right outside a major urban city, we get a lot of turnover in our student body.  Every school year I get a little flustered when new students unexpectedly show up at my classroom door. Do you stop everything and  help them settle in, or do you just tell them to go sit down and hope you will have time at the end to visit with the student?

To help alleviate the disruptions and help the new student feel welcome, I've started making New Student folders.  During the summer, I buy about 20 folders for each prep and set each one up with all the papers I give out on the first day or two of school.  My folders contain a welcome letter, a student information sheet, a parent information sheet that they will get signed and returned, a supply list, a calendar of our first unit, and a class syllabus.  And best of all, I put a little piece of candy in there to make them feel welcome.

My note says something like this:

"Welcome to our class. Whether you are new to Paradise High School or you are just had a schedule change, change can be stressful. This packet will explain everything you need to know about this class. Please complete the following steps:

1. Fill out the student information sheet (yellow)
2. Please take home the Parent information sheet and have your parent (or guardian) fill out and return tomorrow
And so on . . .

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Make a Check List in Word 2007

It looks like the rest of my summer is going to be a mad dash to the first day of school.  I just finished my graduate classes, and after 8 months of constant neck, shoulder, and foot pain. . . all on my right side, the doctor is telling me that I MUST have surgery on my foot before I go back to work.  I've tried every cure I could think of from doctors, chiropractors, and massage therapists all to no avail. The consensus is that my back and neck will not be getting any better until the problems in my right foot are fixed.

All of that would be well and good except that my husband and I have a cruise booked for August 4 -9. Which means I will return from the Western Carribean on Thursday morning, and on Friday morning, I will be under the knife.  After surgery I can expect to be off work anywhere from 2-3 weeks which means I will miss all my inservice days and possibly even the first week of school. 

So now, I am in a mad dash to prepare for my first ever cruise, get my lesson plans for the first month of school set in stone, and set up my classroom.  In reality, I have about 8 days to do this  because some of my days in the next two weeks will be taken up with pre-op appointments.

So what I am I doing wasting my time with a blog entry??  Well I just learned how to do something I think is cool.  I learned how to make a check-list on Word 2007.  All of you computer geeks out there probably already know how to do this, but I thought I'd share it in case in of you are like me. . . sometimes a little bit technologically challenged.

How to make a check list in Word 2007

1.  Open a Word 2007 Document
2.  Click the Arrow on the right side of the Bullets button
3.  At the bottom, click Define New Bullet
4.  Click Symbol
5.  Select Windings
6.  Look through the selections and pick any kind of box you like.
7.  Click Ok
8.  Make your To-Do List!

Last year, before school, I made a detailed list of every single thing I did in the two weeks leading up to the beginning of school.  I saved that list and made this year's to-do list from it.  If you'd like to just download mine, you can edit it to fit your needs.

I also used this feature to make Student Supply lists to hand out during Orientation.

Back-To-School To Do List

Monday, July 23, 2012

Make Classroom Posters with Microsoft Excel

Maybe you all already knew this, but I just learned that you can use Excel to make Clasroom Posters. I love to make teaching posters to emphasize whatever topic we are learning. I will put the posters up as we learn the topics and they stay up all year until it is time for state testing. During tests, I will see the kids searching the walls for the information they need or just a reminder that they are on the right track.

Anyway, here is a four minute video explaining the process. The teacher in the video does a great job of explaining a process. I can't wait to get started!

Make Classroom Posters with Microsoft Excel

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