Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School ----aahhhhhh!!!!

It is very hard to believe that next week we go back to school. Where did the summer go??

My blogging has been nonexistent and I feel terrible that I have neglected this part of my life for the past couple of months. Today I have happily been updating my TpT store with a couple of new products I have been working on over the summer. I am really excited to get back to school even though I don't feel like summer has been long enough. My to-do list did not get nearly enough crossed off from it yet, but I still feel like the plans I have for my classes are going to make for a great year.

On this years plans for new or significantly revised things...
  • A bulletin board in my room to post assignments so that students who are absent can pick them up.
  • Improved interactive notebooks for biology. Lots of new handouts, improved grading, better organization. We are going to rock science notebooks this year!
  • Homework notebook for chemistry for review problems and I will be doing a weekly notebook "quiz". I am hoping this will help me cut down on the number of assignments I have to collect each week but still provide the needed motivation to complete practice problems.
  • More chemistry labs - YAY! I got a huge chemical order in over the summer so some of my supply issues have been resolved!
  • One of the things that I will be continuing to use is my daily catalyst and I have lots of new questions to use this year including some updated power point versions. Check those out on TpT - I posted 6 weeks worth of daily catalysts, in editable power point format. These work great with the FREE catalyst forms that students record a whole week of answers on!
  • My awesome owl theme! Using lots of free clipart I found on TpT and fall d├ęcor that I found at a 50% off sale!
  • Finally, as both a classroom management tool and extra credit opportunity I created a "Things to Do When I Finish Early" menu. Students will all have a copy of the chart and if they finish an assignment or task early and don't owe any make-up work they can complete one of the tasks for extra credit points. The idea here is that the tasks will keep students focused on science and occupied rather than sitting and waiting and potentially causing interruptions for students who are still working. This can also be found on TpT by following the link above.
  • I also have started my own Teacher Binder where I have organized my calendar, to-do lists, class lists, IEP's, curriculum, meeting notes, etc. Each has its own tab and section. Yay for starting out super organized!
The first few weeks of school promise to be very busy and I hope that I can make all of my ideas and plans work. One thing that will help is that I only have two classes to prep for this semester (2 sections of biology, and 1 section of chemistry). Compared to previous years when I have had 3 or 4 different classes to prep, this should be a breeze!