This time every year I re-evaluate my systems. Did I train my kids in Daily 5 well enough? Do they all know the opening and closing day routines without reminders? Did the changes I made to last year’s schedule work well for me and the kids? In December, I ask these questions and observe. Then, in January, I make a News Year’s resolution to make changes and re-train based on those observations.
So when I had the opportunity to review The Together Teacher by Maia Heyck-Merlin, I knew this gem of a book could help me set up my routines and expectations even better.
In the book, there are twelve chapters, focusing on subjects such as making a calendar, creating organizational systems, establishing solid routines, taking notes at staff meetings and anecdotal records of student behaviors, planning ahead, managing email, cleaning your classroom, organize student “stuff” (backpacks, supplies, etc), and dealing with your mounds of papers that need to be filed, graded, and filled out. Seriously, this book has it all.
And, it has a CD to boot! It has several templates to use in your classroom that are in Word or Powerpoint, so they are completely editable and customizable for you. I love that!
This paragraph from the forward really hooked me:
An inveterate organizer, [Maia] crafted minute-by-minute plans for each day, orchestrated routines to keep students on-task, and carefully assigned desks. She distributed elaborate writing assignments with step-by-step instructions She constantly circulated among her students, clipboard in hand. She asked for “exit tickets” at the end of class to track student progress. She handed out “differentiated homework so students’ nightly assignments were customized to reflect precisely where they needed to review or to stretch toward more challenging material. Maia’s relentless consistency made her students feel safe, productive, and self-sufficient.
Now isn’t that the classroom we all want? I feel I am a highly organized teacher and person, but this book really helped me zone in on the areas that I can work on to be even better. At a Daily 5 workshop last summer, Joan Moser said “Our students deserve the most exquisite instruction and teaching.” It’s true! And this book can help us all get there, just by tweaking systems, routines, and habits. We all know WHAT to teach (standards) and WHAT to do (best practices), the hard part is HOW to do it. This book offers some real solutions for finding that how.
So, who wants to read this book? Enter the rafflecopter below and I will mail you my extra copy from Shelton Interactive! a Rafflecopter giveaway