Sunday, September 20, 2015

Parent's Night Freebies & Ideas

We have Parent's Night coming up tomorrow evening at our building. Thus, in honor of this auspicious yearly event, I thought I would share some ideas with you all that I have utilized in the past few years that I have found to be useful for the occasion.

One thing that I have consistently done each year is set out sign ups (in an obvious location) for each of the parties that we will have throughout the year. This gives me an opportunity to get a list of individuals who would be willing to help right off the bat. I can then easily refer back to them and email out to those parents for assistance when the time comes about. I also usually leave out a list for parents to sign up for assisting with little projects from home. This is a great way to include those parents who may not be able to come in during the day, but wouldn't mind organizing, cutting, creating, etc. something for me during the evening when they are available.

Furthermore, I always post a "Wish List" which usually includes items in which a whole class set was not necessary or that may be deemed "teacher materials".  I post each item on a post-it so that parents can easily scan items needed and take the post-it with them as a reminder of what they have selected (only if they would like of course) to purchase for our class.

On each student's desk, I set out any key information for parents to fill out and/or take home with them for the evening. For the past few years, I have been creating magnets via Vistaprint (posted in upper left hand corner) with my contact information. These can be created on the cheap if you find yourself a coupon code. I love how it not only gives parents a way to contact me, but a means of posting their child's work up on the fridge, etc. if they so choose! 

Before or after my presentation, I encourage parents to leave an inspiring note for their child for the year on the "you are a superkid because..." page shown above. I have them stick it inside their desk as a lovely little surprise for each student when they arrive that next day.

One of my amazing colleagues created this little gem pictured above a few years back, and I have been using it ever since. It's short, but contains such an important and sweet reminder. I have posted about this one previously, and you can find it at a former post I did on Parent's Night here.

Finally, to give parent's an overview of our year (and something to look at besides yours truly), I usually put together a little presentation highlighting key ideas and information for them to note. After the evening, I then upload the presentation to Google Docs to be shared with all to review as the year progresses. This is also great for families who for one reason or another may not be able to attend. Furthermore - it's a huge paper saver! 

Here is an example of some of the slides from my presentation last year:

I have compiled all of these above ideas and more into a simple one page list to assist in planning for Parent's Night below. Feel free to use for your planning this year, in the future, or to share with others as well. Let me know if you have anything you think I could add to it as well, as I am always looking to hear new ideas from you all! Click on the image to grab your free copy of the list and good luck with Parent's Night 2015!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pinterest Boards for Coaches

I have been perusing Pinterest these past few weeks in search of not only some quality instructional coaching tools, but also some boards created by fellow instructional coaches that I can continue to peruse and snag ideas from throughout the school year. I was excited and impressed by the amount of resources already out there to share and thought that they may be of use to some of you as well.

The following are ten Pinterest boards chalked full of resources for instructional coaches that I would encourage you to follow:

1.  Krista Happ (that's me ;)): Instructional Coaching Ideas (I have created this to be a collaborative board. So if you are interested in pinning your ideas and finds to it as well, feel free to follow the directions on the board and/or let me know in the comments below and I would be happy to add you. The more the merrier!)

2. Kristin Houser: Instructional Coaching

3. Jana Wilson: Instructional Coaching

4. Rachel Kjonass: Instructional Coach 

5. Wendy Olson: Instructional Coach

6. Miss Shipp: Coaching

7. Aarolyn Wright: iCoach

8. Janet Pyland: Instructional Coach

9. Raquel Sterczek: PD

10. Paula Pippen: Instructional Coaching

If you have a board geared toward coaching or teacher leadership that isn't on this list, I would love to hear about it and follow along. Feel free to leave your link in the comments so that other resource seekers can as well!

Monday, September 7, 2015

New Year & New Role (Again)

For those of you that have stuck with me for the past few years, you have probably realized by now that I am a bit of a chameleon when it comes to my teaching role. Within these past 4 years alone, I have had a different position each year. While that may drive some completely bonkers, I try to welcome and embrace each change and each new year as another opportunity for me to grow and learn as an educator.

That being said, when we begin the 2015-2016 school year tomorrow, I will be taking on another new  role of part time instructional coach and part time interventionist in our building. As some of you may recall, two years ago in my former building I was a Dual Language Instructional Coach. I am looking forward to building upon the knowledge I acquired during that year to improve upon my practice in the Spanish Immersion setting this coming school year. Not only that, but I am uber excited for this new dual role of coach and interventionist because it gives me a chance to work with both our incredible students and staff each day.

I love this quote because I think it embodies all of our roles be it teachers, coaches, interventionists and even students within the school building. As I begin on this new path this school year, it is my hope that I can assist our students and staff on this journey through doing each of these things so that they can ultimately fly in a direction that enables them to do their best learning. It is also my goal to be on this journey right along side them - acknowledging that none of us has reached our "final destination" and that this year will be chalked full of opportunities for exploring, discovering, making mistakes and hopefully learning from them and each other along the way if we are open to it.

Let the adventure begin.

Happy beginning of the school year, all!