27 July 2014

Organization, Classroom Management, and RtI...OH MY!

The Back-to-School season is a bit cray-cray to say the least...feelings of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and perhaps an impending panic attack. I don't think I've met a teacher yet, who doesn't experience all of those feelings at some point or another during the B2S season, and to be honest, it's my favorite time of the year.

I enjoy going back to work, getting back into a routine (although, I'll miss pajama days on a random Thursday, er, I hope that's not just me), and organizing, arranging, and decorating my classroom. OH, and the back-to-school sections - swoon.

I don't know about you, but my to-do list has roughly 1,748 items on it. Just a little overwhelming. With so much to do, who doesn't love a a few tips and tricks to make life easier?!? So I'm linking up with some fabulous teachers and bloggers who will be sharing "Two Stars and a Wish!"
For my stars, I'm going to share a couple of things that I think will help make your life just a smidgen easier! For my wish, I'm going to share something that I'm really
With so much to get done, I'm constantly writing things down, making notes in my phone, and then I can't find them, because I can't find the sticky note, or whatever. Plus, I'm trying to remember what I need to accomplish at home versus at school, errands I need to run, things to buy...ay - it's just a lot to keep track of. 

For the past couple of years, I've been using a single sheet of paper, with various sections on it. It's where I write down everything and anything related to back-to-school! It stays in my purse, and that way I always have it with me! Easy, and it really helps me manage my time. You can grab a copy here for free, or by clicking on the picture below!
My second star idea is related to classroom management. I love all things related to classroom management, and it's something that I'm constantly evaluating, and learning about. Although my basic beliefs about classroom management have not changed (routines and procedures, baby, routines and procedures), the way in which I motivate my students, and execute the plan does change. 

For the past couple of years, I've strayed from the more tradition list of rules, and have gone for generic expectations that serve as an umbrella under which, most everything else falls. I like this approach because it eliminates the need to create a rule for every little thing, and what's more, is that when you have rules, there tend to be exceptions. With expectations, there are no exceptions. It's always appropriate to be respectful, responsible, and a role model. 

These three expectations, guide everything we do in my classroom. They aren't rules for second grade, they are guiding principles for life. You can grab these for free here or by clicking the picture below.
As a teacher, I'm constantly reflecting and evaluating what I do, how I do it, and areas that I want to improve. This year, I really want to fine tune and become an RtI expert, if you will. "Expert" is probably too strong of a word, but the RtI process is definitely an area of opportunity for me. 

I've worked in 3 different districts, 3 different schools, and 2 different states...and it doesn't seem like anybody has the process straight, or the same answers, which means I just need to improve myself and be more committed to seeking out opportunities to learn. 

I'm asking for your help...do you have a product or resource that has been a lifesaver as far as being able to track and record data. I don't necessarily want something that has specific interventions because those will depend on the student...I need something that can help me organize and keep track of the data.

If you enjoyed this post, consider following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest where I frequently post finds, tips, tricks, and star ideas!

For even more star ideas from more than 40 bloggers, please browse through the link-up below, and choose topics that interest you. Thanks for visiting!



  1. Hi Theresa! I keep a Data Notebook each year on my students. I have a Tab/Divider for Reading, Writing, Math, & Science. In each section I keep track of my whole class data trends. I am able to print class data graphs by district assessments & benchmarks. After analyzing the data I then choose the intervention and a progress monitoring tool. I also have Tabs/Dividers for each student where I graph progress students make on their specific interventions. I also incorporate individual student data analysis/reflection into my student interactive notebooks. Students spend time analyzing their own performance on assessments and set goals for themselves! I found this practice to be valuable!! My students had the most growth in all subject areas last year than ever before! I wish the best year ever for you!


  2. Great tips! I love your sheet to keep you organized. So important at the beginning of the year!

  3. Love your 1st star. Keeping it in your purse is a great idea! Thanks for sharing. We currently use MAP data for our RTI time. Isn't it crazy how different RTI time can look? Even within my school it is constantly changing.
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  4. Thanks for the handy list! I love your 3 rules! I'm sure everything that comes up falls under those 3!Sally from Elementary Matters


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