Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back to School Tips Link Up!

OMG seriously, is it BTS time already?  I feel like I have not gotten a summer at all.  I started my last 8 credits for my Masters & it's killing me!  Plus, I am in a 3 year STEM program so even though summer school ends this week (finally), I have to do a week of STEM in August!  If that is not enough to steal my summer, I work at a priority school so we have a ton of meetings!  Oh yeah, did I mention I am pregnant? LOL  So, lack of energy definitely has not helped this situation.  On a good note, I am going to finally take next summer off! :)

Okay okay, enough ranting and whining!  Sorry, I just had to get that out!

On to my BTS tip!  I am linking up with Hanging Around in Primary for her BTS Linky!  For some awesome tips, check out all the blogs on the link up!  There are some amazing tips I would have never thought of!

My 1st BTS Tip

My first tip is for OPEN HOUSE night.  We do open house the week before school starts.  I finally got this organized last year!

I set up STATIONS for my parents and students to visit as a self-guided tour in case I get busy talking or helping someone out!

So, these are the stations I set up....

First, is the school supplies station!  Students can sort their supplies when they bring them in and this makes it so much easier on the first day of school!

Next is the volunteer sign up station.  We have an FBI Program (Families Being Involved) and I also like to have a sheet of parents who are willing to help out in the classroom!  They have to get a background check in order to help so I also have that form here.

SNACK sign up!  This year, I had the families pick a DATE that they would bring in snack every month.  This worked SO MUCH BETTER!  I still had to send some reminders sometimes but having the same date every month made it easier for parents to remember!

So, if a parent chose the 16th, then every month on the 16th, they would bring in snack.  I would copy the monthly snack schedule onto the back of my newsletter as a reminder as well.  If their date fell on a weekend, then they would just send it the Friday before or the Monday after!

Since I am a Whole Brain Teaching Staff/Intern, I have parents sign a video/picture permission slip.  I am currently updating this to include specific social media for schools that are more particular.  Our school does not require anything so I use this basic form & just keep them all on file!  This year, I am also going to have a CLOSED Facebook group just for my class.  I feel like this is the best way to keep parents up to date with what their child is doing!

You can get the permission slips & a Whole Brain Teaching explanation letter for FREE in my TpT Store by clicking here!

I found this awesome Information flip packet but I cannot find where I got it!  I searched my TpT purchases and the product but there is no logo or information anywhere!

I hate not being able to give credit!  But this flipbook worked out perfectly!  Much better than handing out a million papers that parents will probably never read.  This year, I would like to make magnets with important information but I am waiting to find a good deal!

The last station I had is for the kiddos!  I put out a BTS coloring sheet & fun paper for them to do while their parents are busy filling out a million forms :)

Next to this is my classroom library that they can also visit and read books!

How do you set up your room for parent visitors?  I would love to hear some more ideas!  Comment and let me know!

MY 2nd BTS Tip

My 2nd tip is DATA FOLDERS!  Get these things ready for the 1st week of school to introduce to your students!  Make it a working document and let students know THEY ARE IN CHARGE!

I downloaded a Data Folder from Andrea Knight last year.  I loved having my kiddos in charge of tracking their own data!  I am currently in the process of making supplements to this so I can work in Common Core Standards and Whole Brain Teaching!

I will definitely be posting when this is ready!

The first addition to these folders will be my spelling check ups from my Spelling, Fluency, and Sight Word Unit!

I am also going to make a graph for words from Super Speed 100 and Super Speed 1000 so that students can track their progress on their own sight word knowledge.  They do this anyway in these games by recording their level on the progress page when they advance, however, for admins & parents, I wanted to have a graph in their data folders to be able to show as well!

Here is one of my students from last year graphing is progress in number recognition!

Students also graph their reading levels.

I also put Super Speed games in this folder!  This is my formal super speed assessment but students also have copies in their desk to play during center time or if they earn it from Scoreboard!

I buy the vinyl folders from Walmart for $0.50!  SO WORTH IT!  They last all year!

Okay, so that's it for my BTS Tips!  I hope you found something helpful!  Please comment and let me know how you prepare for back to school!!


  1. Hi Heidi,
    I love the idea of using picture frames for the signs at stations. I find so often the instructions get lost in the shuffle of papers once a few people have been to the station. I'm definitely going to use this. Thanks for sharing!
    The Brain Ninjas
    Brain Ninja Notes

  2. What a great idea for the data folders so kids can see their own growth! Easy to use during conferences too! I'm thinking about using these and calling them Super Improver folders since they are charting their own improvement.

  3. Hey Heidi- I love your little booklets about the WBT rules for the kids but I couldn't get it to download. Can you help? Thanks!