Teaching Portfolio (And Back-To-School-FREEBIES!)

With the school year quickly approaching, I’ve spent the last 24 hours refreshing my teaching portfolio, reviewing standards, and making some new materials. I’m not in my own classroom |yet| BUT it’s never too early to work on stuff anyway!

I took a trip to Staples last night and bought a new binder, dividers, and page reinforcers. I have a blue and white obsession. Just a standard 1 inch. 13936820_10209894090494020_2047740475_n.jpgI then created a cover page. Being that I LOVE old literature, authors, and books, I decided to stick with that theme for my cover. My name, certification, and “teaching slogan” grace the front with a collection of beautiful, old, blue bound books.13884380_10209894089053984_1950627798_n.jpg

Here are some samples of what I have hiding INSIDE my portfolio. Obviously, not every page is shown, but you can see what was included in the table of contents.

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Now, I did promise some back-to-school-freebies. Sadly, I do not have free STUFF but I do have some free resources! Woo hoo! Feel free to download and use away!

1 The first freebie is a quick, easy way to assess students either during class or at the end as an exit slip. The front (first page) gives students the ability to self assess if they understand, sort of understand, or really don’t get it. The back (second page) gives them the chance to write down a specific question and their name. Simply print, copy 1 sided->2 sided, and cut between the boxes! How-are-you-doing

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2 This second one is very similar to the first. Instead of self-assessing understanding, this slip holds students accountable. If a student does not finish an in-class assignment, they will need to turn in this slip. If they turn it in filled out (honestly) partial credit or the opportunity to get extra time to finish. If it’s turned in without this sheet or not at all they get a 0. Harsh, but again, accountability. i-didnt-finish-because…

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I’m sure you noticed that the unit in my portfolio is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is absolutely one of my FAVORITE pieces to teach, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to teach it 3 times between my pre-service and student teaching. All components have been tested, used, and enjoyed by many students! Again, feel free to use or adjust any pages as you see fit!

1 One of my intro activities to the unit is a scavenger hunt around the room to answer these questions- Shakespeare Scavenger Hunt Qs

2 Gives students the space to identify which side characters are on and their personality traits- RJ Character List

3 This is one of my favorite assignments. The first year, I had the students focus on characterization by creating “Fakebook” pages. My freshmen informed me no one uses that so I created the same assignment for Twitter.

4 To help them brainstorm for their Twitter assignments, each student was given a character cloud sheet to collect their thoughts. Character Cloud WKST

5 The following are the assignment hand out and rubric for the Twitter project. I copied them so they were on one page front/back. Romeo and Juliet Twitter handout  / rj twitter rubric

6 Twitter page sample done for Queen Elizabeth I –RJ Twitter GQB This second page is an extention of the first- Twitter pics page GQB

7 Blank Twitter can be used for any book-RJ Twitter Second part of the assignment page- Twitter pics page

What do you have in your portfolio? Any suggestions as far as what to add?

What resources would you like to have added? If you would like any more from my Romeo and Juliet, JUST ASK!

Follow me on Instagram @brunetteswithbrains to keep up with the latest posts, adventures, books and news!

Look At Me! I’m Organized!

STUDENT TEACHING HAS STARTED! Last week I got into my classroom for the semester. I have my own little desk, book-case and corner that’s ALL MINE! I can’t even begin to tell you all how excited I am and what it has taken to get here. Everything the last 4 years has led to this! I am in a wonderful school district, with a co-op that I LOVE.

Yesterday was my first day, and I finished moving in. Here is what my little corner looks like thus far.

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The front of my desk is rocking bead buddies and stained glass projects my summer school kids did this summer. If you can’t tell, the stained glasses are Beauty and the Beast themed.

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Recognize that pot? See how I made it HERE! Miss Swenda is written and facing front towards the students. “Called Equipped Prepared” is a reminder just for me! Cinderella’s glass slipper and the Disney princess cup are from a bridal shower I was at a few weeks ago.

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I am really proud of these drawers. Yes, I have an entire drawer of snacks. I have a schedule that gives me the ability to snack every few periods. I regret nothing. My other drawer holds my tea, binder clip collection, stationary, and other rando things.

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I have a nice little bookshelf to keep all of my stuff. Obviously, it’s full of classics and the majority of the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. My brother hooked me up with Dancing Groot and Albus Dumbledore and I certainly couldn’t leave them at home! Bob my Philadelphia Flyers Gnome has a place of love as well. One of the best things I learned from my previous co-op was unit binders. You can see the stack of them to the right of the above picture. For each unit, I have created a binder. Over the years I have and will continue to collect handouts, projects and general things to go with the different units. IMG_7189

The cool part of having a mom that has been working in schools for so long, is that she has some pretty fun decorations and ideas. Ma hooked me up with these cute little fall leaves. Together, we came up with “What Miss Swenda is reading…” The top leaf has the name of the book. The bottom leaf lists the author, genre, number of pages and style. I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. It falls into sci-fi/fiction/historical, has 414 pages and is written like diary/journal entries, letters and newspaper clippings. For different holidays/months I will have different shapes to show my what I’m reading. As an English teacher, I feel it’s important to show the kids not only that I am reading, but also give them a glimpse of who I am through my reading.

We have some awesome projects planned for the kids this year- I can’t wait to share some of them right here! 🙂

The Package

Everyone LOVES getting mail. Who doesn’t? It’s even more spectacular when it’s a WHOLE BOX OF GOODIES! Really, how much more exciting could that be? I must say, I watched the FedEx tracker like my Springer/Beagle on the scent of a bunny in our backyard. I texted my mother from work this afternoon about every hour asking her if it had arrived yet. And finally, it happened. I got the text. “Your package arrived.” And what was in this glorious little package I had been waiting for so impatiently!? My new Erin Condren Teacher Planner.

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It arrived in a pretty box, and was wrapped so gingerly in bubble wrap and matching purple tissue paper. Pealing away the paper revealed my pack of goodies!

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My markers, head/planner bands and thank you stickers were right on top! Though I love these, the real treasure was underneath.

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This is my cover and inside flap. I won a gift card and had the extra few bucks to add that little personal detail. Picture by the wonderful Kimberly Kunda. She is Eric’s cousin so we’re slightly biased. ANYWHO! The covers a super thick and sturdy. I have no doubt that they will last dragging it around to college, high school, my house and Eric’s over the coming year.

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Here are some better pictures of my add on goodies. I was able to get 2 packs, one for me and one for my cooperating teacher. They are bright, fine tipped and don’t bleed. PERFECT for grading! The planner/head bands are AWESOME! They will be great to wear running around and working out!

Now for the nitty-gritty!

The planner opens with a page for personal information, classroom info, Holidays & Dates to Remember, Birthday Pages to keep track of student Birthdays, pages to keep track of absences and missed work, and graph paper.

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There is a year at a glance section where you can write things in like breaks, quarter endings, conferences, testing etc.

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Each month has a pretty cover, month over-view, and note pages. The month overviews have circles for you to manually enter the date. Kind of a pain in the butt, but I understand the purpose of it. There is also a nice quote that is relative to teaching at the top of each month over-view.

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After the monthly views, there are the lesson plan sheets! There is room for 7 classes and the 5 days of the week. I know that I am not teaching 7 solid classes, and actually will be teaching the same lesson multiple times in most cases. I am using at least 2 columns for my own personal classes. Thank goodness I am ALMOST DONE with school myself!

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There is the equivalent of an old-school grade-book. Being that I’ll just be student teaching, this will be more than enough room for what I’d be using it for. You do have the option to have extra of these pages added when buying. As a future high school teacher, we don’t have quite as many grades as, say an elementary school teacher.

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The planner came with 4 sticker pages. The stickers read as follows: Reminder, Progress reports due, Benchmark, Testing, Computer Lab, Conferences, Library, First Day, Last Day, Emergency Drill, Field Trip, Observation, Assembly @_____, IEP, Duty, Staff Meeting @_____, furlough, and Holiday. There are then 2 full pages of blank stickers to fulfill any other sticker needs you may require. Below, you can see the stickers that I created separately.

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After the sticker pages is a 2 sided folder. Tucked in this folder was my personalized stickers. My stickers read as follows: Test, Quiz, Payments, Spirit Week, Finals Week, Observation, Movie and First Day HS. Because I am still in school, I will have additional observations throughout my last field experience and student teaching. Both the high school and college have spirit weeks. OBVIOUSLY these are extremely important. Dressing up for 80s day is a MUST!

After the folder there is 3 awesome things. The first is a heavy duty, clear sheet protector. Perfect place for important school and emergency phone numbers/phone lists. The next awesome thing is a clear zip pouch. This hold paperclips, pens, stickers, what ever floats your boat. It is not removable so I would be careful keeping pens/pencils so as to not have bumps writing in the planner. Inside the pouch there were personalized stickers with my name on them already with blank To: and From: stickers. The third awesome thing is a 2 year calendar over-view. Awesome because you have to manually enter the dates in the month over-views, and also just nice to be able to look at it all laid out.

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There were 2 unexpected surprises with this purchase. The first was a $10 EC GC as a Thank You/Welcome gift! The second was a sample pack of gift stickers that say “Enjoy-Anna, Just a little something from Anna.” There are a few variations and they come in multiple Erin Condren patterns. As per all of the planners, teacher or life, it came with a ruler that is great as a place holder for what page you are on/using.

I have already started entering some little things into my planner. Stay tuned for more decorating and organizing as I begin to use the planner in earnest and begin both my last year of college and continue my trek to becoming a high school English teacher! I am obsessed with this line and all of Erin Condren’s great products. By using this link, you can get $10 off of your own EC Planner! I’m sure you will see more posts on new goodies coming to me in the near future as well!