New Year's Resolution Activity for 2019

Click here to see the updated 2021 post!


When I taught 5th grade, my class and I had a lot of discussions about resolutions and goals for the new year. The biggest areas they needed to focus on was being responsible for their work and cleanliness.

I had a few students who always went above and beyond when it came to cleaning our room each day, and most times it wasn't even their mess they were cleaning! Of course, like all teachers, I had several students who misplaced work or frequently forgot to pass in assignments.

Rather than just having my students brainstorm a goal, I decided to make an organizer that would help them to gather their thoughts and self-assess to see what areas they need improvement in.

There are two checklists in this set - one for school goals and one for home goals. First they read through and check off any goals they have already met.

Next, they choose 1 goal that they did not check off. If they have more than one, they will look closely to see which is the most important to them at this time.

Included are 2 graphic organizers, one with a sentence starter and one without.
Lastly there are 2 writing templates; a template for 1 goal and a template for 2 goals. I always liked to differentiate writing assignments by giving my class the option of completing a graphic organizer, or a writing paper for their final copy.

My class really enjoyed this activity. It was a great way to help them to narrow down the areas of school and home that they needed to improve on. 

If you are interested in purchasing this item you can find it in my shop here, or just click on the pictures above!

Happy 2019!

Parent Communication with Digital Newsletters

For the past few years, I have tried to stay on top of parent communication. One of my teammates used to send a note home weekly - but that never worked out for me!

I decided to do monthly newsletter, and then has worked better. Though I always seem to miss December and June! I wonder why? 😆

Even on the months that I would write one, I would have the hardest time getting to the copier. I would have it ready to go, literally in my hand, then our copier would break, or I would have to go to a meeting...you know the drill!

Plus, I have a confession to make...I absolutely detest having to copy them each month and put them  into mailboxes. I can always think of at least 10 more important things that I need to do instead!

I decided to switch over to digital newsletters for the upcoming school year. I'm hoping that these colorful templates will be a bit more eye-catching too, rather than a black and white paper piled amongst many others!
All of the headers are editable, so they can be changed to suit any schedule. There are text boxes already in set in place, so once you upload it to Google you are ready to go!

It'll just take a few seconds to add in all of the upcoming events and units we have been studying in class. Then I can simply share it with my parents through Google.

I am all about obtainable goals, and I know I can easily send home a newsletter each month this way!

If you are interested in these digital newsletters, click here!
Prefer a printable copy? Click here!
How do you communicate with families in your classroom?

Assessing with Exit Slips in Kindergarten

phonics exit slips

When I first started teaching Kindergarten I used lots of full sized worksheets. I would watch my students struggle through each one, most of the class only completing half of the sheet. It seemed like such a waste of time...and paper!

letter exit slips

Between the uncompleted work and the excessive time I was spending copying and prepping papers that did not seem to be helping my students, I decided to rethink what I was doing.

tracing exit slips

Did I really need to stress my students out just to do a quick check on their understanding?

tracing exit slips

Should I really be spending one whole prep period each week copying piles worksheets for the next week just to see if they understood what I was teaching? 😛 I felt like my time was better spent preparing hands-activities that really allow my students to explore and direct their own learning.

handwriting exit slips

This year I switched to using exit slips for all areas of our daily routine. We use them for motor skills, handwriting, phonics and math. I knew it would be helpful for me time-wise, but I had no idea how much it would benefit all of my students as well.

handwriting exit slips

They love the smaller sized papers (1/4 of a sheet.) Even my most reluctant writer or math student is willing to sit down and give these mini activities their best effort. They enjoyed them so much that they were disappointed whenever we didn't have one to do because of assemblies or holidays! 😂

medial sound exit slips

I found that I got the same, if not more information, from these exit slips  than I used to get from a worksheet.

I think it is because they are willing to take the time to solve the less intimidating exit slip. Before many students lost interest when presented with a full sized paper and did not do their best work.

I love how these exit slips only take a few minutes to score and put into my grade book which is another plus!

exit slips for K

One of the best parts is how much paper and time exit slips save! I only have to run off 6 sheets to cover my whole class. Even if I run off 5 days worth, I am still only using 30 sheets of paper. It just takes a few seconds to cut them up and I am ready for the week ahead!

After using these all year I found my students were much more relaxed when presented with these exit slips. I still got all the data I needed and the slips allowed them to have time to play and work on hands-on activities, which is much more important! Also, when we did do a full sized sheet from time to time, they worked very hard and seemed to give more effort than I had previously seen.

I had a much easier time managing paperwork and was better about sending work home to their families. I just find correcting a small stack of papers way more motivating and easier to maintain in the long run! 😆

If you are interested in checking out any of the exit slips I have available, please click here or on the pictures below!




Looking for more Kindergarten handwriting ideas? Check out this blog post!