Sunday, October 21, 2012

Did you know?

You probably did....But here goes anyway! I've been playing around with printer settings a lot lately as I create things for my classroom.  I've been creating anchor charts, posters, and signs, and then printing them poster size on my printer.  Here's a link to a brief explanation: Helper Poster Chart Freebie.  I also create a lot of card games for my students to play for practice with sight word recognition and nonsense word fluency.  I usually place 6-8 cards on a sheet that looks like this:
I like this size for playing in whole group, it's easier for everyone to see the cards that are drawn out.  I wanted something smaller for small groups of students to play or for individual students to play at their desk, but didn't want to re-create the whole file again.  So, I found out that you can print multiple pages onto one page, the printer reduces the size of the graphics/words to fit.  YAY!  All you have to do is go to your print settings under page size and handling and select "multiple", then choose "pages per sheet", take a peek at your preview and see if that size works for you. 


Those are the steps for my particular printer, but I'm sure you'll find a similar setting for most printers.  Enjoy!



 

Friday, October 19, 2012

O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.E.D.!

So, I should start this post by saying: "I'm sorry it's been more than a month since my last post!" So, I'm sorry it's been more than a month since my last post.  AND  I mean that in all sincerity.  As every other blogger and blog follower knows--the beginning of the year is always CUH-RAZY.  This year is even more crazy than normal.  Everyone is dealing with the Common Core Standards right?  Well, in my state, New York, we are dealing with a hybrid version of the Common Core, called Engage NY.  It's like the Common Core on steroids, and it's CUH-RAZY! Not the standards themselves, but the implementation of those standards, which are still in "DRAFT form" and require heavy use of trade books, which have not been provided to us.  Needless to say, the public library is an awesome place, it's just not where I want to spend every weekend.  {Love the online public library catalog that my regional library offers though!}


So, at this point, I should say: Anyway....{WHEW}  Can I tell you that  Race to the Top has brought about some super crazy teacher evaluations this year as well.  Let's just say that 47 pages of a rubric for a teacher evaluation is a tad too much.  On the up side, I have a super sweet class this year.  (SO FAR! LOL) 

Anyone else out there doing MAPS testing this year? The NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) provides an online testing program, which my district participated in last year.  This year is the first year of MAPS Primary: for students in K-1.  So, some of you may have experience with this.  NOT ME! LOL This is my first year of MAPS.  A percent of my "big teacher evaluation" will be taken from my students scores.  Well, really it will be taken from their improvement from beginning of the year to end of the year.  Our student's first day of school was on September 10th.  The teachers had professional development the week prior to the start.  So the beginning of the year, the base score for my students, should be September right? Not the middle of October (which is when they actually started MAPS), especially when the amount of improvement my students make determines my efficacy as a teacher!  OH BOY! 

OK, I'm going to stop whining now.  I love my job, I work hard every day.  I adore my students and I get way too excited when I see them "GET IT".  So, today I was working with one of my lower groups on letter recognition and sounds and one of my kiddos is trying to figure out the lower case letter b.  She quoted a phrase that I snagged from the super awesome Teacher Tipster.  "Bat before the ball, bat before the ball, /b/  /b/  /b/, /b/  /b/  /b/.  Can I just tell you that I jumped up and down and said "YAY!"  
Check out The Teacher Tipster, he rocks!
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