Welcome to the jungle...

...aaaand we're back.  We've been back for awhile - it's been a crazy few weeks/months here the in the meat sphere, but as it is every year, there's a fresh new crop of second graders to school.  Let's get started!

I'm determined to have bathroom/hall passes that survive a whole school year, come hell or high water.  The extra strength dog chewy toys are are proving capable so far.

I updated my emergency "sub tub" over the summer with some slightly less moldy activities.  I've had the flu twice in my life - one as a young kid, and once my first year of teaching.  I think I missed eight total days of work - and had a different sub each day.  Oy vey.  I was very fortunate that, at the time, I taught on a team with seven other grade level teachers who were able to scramble and put stuff together for me each morning so I didn't actually have to get out of bed.  For the next time, I now have a 2 Week/10 Days Emergency Sub Plans for 2nd Grade or 3rd Grade set available at my TpT store.  They're 100% no prep printables, so you can email them to whoever's manning the copy machine, take another swig of NiQuil, and go back to bed.  Each day has reading, math, writing, science, social studies, geography, spelling, grammar, art projects, as well as review homework.

I feel I have mastered the art of not bringing grading home over the past couple of years.  I now have the kids come to me so I can check their assignment as soon as they finish.  I find it helpful for a number of reasons - 

-you can give immediate feedback

-you can catch any errors right away

-it helps to keep the kids accountable

-grading in the moment = not grading later.

When the kids finish, they come up to me.  I check their work, and make marks on anything that needs fixing.  They make corrections independently and come see me again.  If I find a kid is really struggling with a concept, I pull them aside at my work table and give them some one-on-one help.  I keep an attendance sheet on my desk that I use to make quick notes about whose work I've seen and how well they did (met the standard, approaching the standard, needed intervention.)  I do this with the majority of classwork, excluding tests. 

Once I've put a star on a student's totally completed assignment, they find their "finished" hand-in folder in the bin and put their assignment inside.  I use my note sheet to fill their grade in my online grade book.  Each week, I have the students empty the contents of their finished folders into their backpacks to take home.  No time consuming paper pass-backs, no lugging around papers for me, and best of all... no grading papers at home!

Granted, I do teach second grade, so this method may not be so helpful for upper grades with longer, more complicated assignments.  I'm lucky that I'm able to know what the reading or science responses will be, since we do everything very guided and together in class, as well as being able to check the math mentally without needing to use reference materials.  

Is there anything better than log gin onto Teachers Pay Teachers and seeing your store on the front page?? I THINK NOT!! (Although admittedly, I've only seen myself twice since starting about a year and a half ago... it's still awesome, though!)