Aug 10, 2016

Simple Assessments to Start the Year Off Right

Back to school time is always so busy with getting ready for your new kiddos. You are decorating your room, planning engaging lessons, working on long range plans, and much much more. One thing that used to stress me out about back to school was assessing all of my students. Let's face it, we must know what level they are at so we can best meet their needs, but I dreaded all the time it took me to complete those assessments. Well, I have great news for you! I have found just what you need to complete these assessments quickly, easily and possibly even win a $50 TpT gift certificate too!

What you need is ESGI. It is a total life time saver. I have been using ESGI for the past 2 1/2 years and I can't imagine not having it. If you haven't heard of it before, it is an online assessment system specifically made for pre-K to 1st grade teachers. There are pre-loaded assessments for you to use, total time saver. You can make your own, if you prefer. You administer the testing online with a laptop or iPad. No more shuffling papers and and trying to aggregate all your data, ESGI does it all for you.

After giving your assessment you can easily review your data. There are bar graphs showing how many students were correct/incorrect. Making it easy for you to plan your lessons. You can view these reports whole class, for individual students or by groups. After my initial testing I put my students into like ability groups in the program that way I know what to focus on when we meet for Guided Reading or RTI groups.

You can also look at an overview pie graph of all categories tested. This also can be viewed by whole class, individual students or groups.

In addition, they have a classroom management component that you can set up. I use it to track homework, forms turned in, book orders, etc. Plus you can print name cards, cubby labels, class lists, as well as many other items.

Honestly I could go on and on with how great this program is. If you want to read more about the specifics of how I use it in my room check out the post I did a few months back by clicking HERE.

However, if you are ready to give it a try ESGI is offering a very special deal for back to school that you don't want to miss! Here the the must have details:

1. New members can sign up for a FREE 60 DAY TRIAL by clicking on the button below or using my promo code B7284 during the special back to school window (August 1st-September 30th)

Pre-Kindergarten - 1st Grade Classroom Tools

2. If you fall in love with ESGI, you can purchase a one year license using my promo code and save $40!

3. As a bonus, just for being a trial user you will be entered into a raffle to win one of ten $50 TpT Gift Cards!

What have you got to loose! You get to try out a fantastic program, save $40 off if you decide to purchase the program and possibly win $50! 

Be sure to share this exciting info with your teacher friends and teammates so they can get the great discount and chance to win too!

A huge shout out of THANKS to ESGI for being such a great supporter of teachers everywhere!

If you have any questions,be sure to leave them in the comments below, or send me an email and I would be happy to help!

Aug 3, 2016

My Top 3 Pinterest Finds for Back to School

Can you believe that it is that time already. How can it be August 3rd and I start back to school in just 1 week! Wow, this summer has just flown by. I have enjoyed time with family and relaxing, but I have also been thinking about my classroom and some new things I want to try this year. 

I am excited to be linking up once again with Ashley at Just Reed, Lisa at Pawsitively Teaching and Marissa at Inspired Owl's Corner for this month's Pinterest Pick 3. This month it is all about back to school. I am so excited to share with you some of the things I have found!

I know there has been a lot of talk over the last year about flexible seating. In fact I myself got rid of all of my tables, except for my guided reading table, last year and I absolutely loved it. My kiddos were more engaged and on task than ever before and I will never go back. I have bath mats, yoga balls, scoop rockers and crate seats currently in my room. With that said, I still wanted to find some additional creative seating options. Here is what I found.

(Click the picture to view the original pin). I thought these tire seats were a fantastic idea. So cute and totally doable, especially for me. My husband has several old tires laying around at our Auto Body Shop that I could take for my own. I haven't made any yet, but it is on my list. I may not have them for the beginning of school, but I figured it would be fun to introduce them when we come back from fall break to kick things up a notch. 

Another area I want to incorporate into my room this year is STEM. I did do a few select stem projects last year, but I would like to have it be a weekly thing in my room. But I just wasn't sure how to really accomplish that. Then I came across this pin.
(Click the picture to go to this pin). Brooke Brown shows you exactly how to set up a STEM center in your room and how to utilize it. This totally made it seem doable and easy for me to have STEM be an integral part of my room. I can't wait to see what my kiddos create!

I saw this pin and thought this was just perfect for back to school! We all need to have a little emergency kit and this one is just adorable!
(Click the picture to be taken to the original pin) I do keep a little box with most of these items she includes and a few more. I add a bottle of Tylenol, feminine hygiene products, some Starbucks Refresher Via, and a few protein bars. Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, I need snacks! There is a free printable included in this post too. This would make perfect teammate gifts or even for your child's teacher!

Hope that you found something that you can use to make this the best back to school ever. Hoping you all have a wonderful year! Now be sure to check out the other posts to find more great back to school ideas!