Teacher Binder Essentials

Teacher Binder Essentials

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Hello and happy Saturday. A few weeks ago, I posted about my new teacher notebook and how it has everything I can possibly need. I’ve used it for almost a month now in my new job and it is pretty awesome, but I know fancy notebooks like that one are expensive and not everyone wants to spend a ton of money on them. I also know that a notebook is not convenient for all teachers, and that some of us prefer a binder that we can customize.

In today’s post I bring you a little something to help you with your teacher binder. It’s literally an essentials pack, so you don’t have to sort through a bunch of formats just to select what you really consider necessary. You can check out the resource here .

Last year, I had a binder I put together both with free resources I found online and my own formats, that is, formats I created, which helped me be more organized in my job. I decided to share them with you and I really hope that you find them useful.

What do you get in this resource? You get both monthly and weekly planners. I personally use the monthly planners to write down school-wide events or deadlines I have, and the weekly planner for my own lessons. I also added weekends because I know that teachers have to go to school at least a Saturday or two a year, and that must go in the binder as well. I included a checklist, and if you’re like me, you never have enough of those, so know you can get as many copies of it as needed.

I’m a planner, so we all know I need to see the big picture, which means that monthly and weekly planners will only do as much. For that reason, I designed a yearly planning format. That’s what saved my sanity when I transitioned from my first to my second year as a teacher. Basically, during my first year, I would write down everything we did in class after it was over, and then I revised and rearranged that information, which is what I used to plan the following year. Using this format helped me reflect on what I’d done in class, and it served as a tool to improve the following year, but it was also a time saver in the sense that I already had the plan of what I was supposed to do, I just needed to make it more concrete.

I honestly hope that you find these formats useful. In the comments, let me know what you prefer to use for planning and keeping organized at work.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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Story Creation Mini Unit

Story Creation Mini Unit

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Hello and happy Saturday. Today I want to share with you a resource I thought about a while ago and finally decided to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I got the idea of making this mini unit when I was a student teacher with second graders and we were working on the topic of story elements. I personally love this topic and I think there’s a lot to it that can be explored and exploited, so I created this set of worksheets that would be awesome as a final assessment or review exercise.

Basically, through the mini unit, students get to create their own story, but in order to do this, they must answer questions related to story elements such as who the characters are, what the setting will be, and so on. At the end, taking these elements into account, students will write and illustrate their own story. You can check out this product by clicking here.

In the comments below tell me what your thoughts are on the topic of story elements and how you teach it.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Estudio del Libro “Volar”

Estudio del Libro “Volar”

Volar Cover.jpgHola y feliz sábado. En este blog por lo general comparto ideas y material que he creado acerca de libros en inglés, porque para ser honesta la mayoría de libros que leo son en este idioma. Hace unos años, de hecho, intenté hacer un blog en español, pero después de algunas publicaciones lo dejé y me dediqué al 100% a escribir en inglés.

En esta oportunidad, aprovechando que durante este todas mis publicaciones van a ser en español, quiero hablarles sobre Volar, el último libro de Yolanda Reyes, y del material que creé para trabajar con él.

Volar es uno de esos libros que a partir de cierta edad, más o menos los ocho años en mi opinión, cualquier persona podría leer y disfrutar. Es corto y el lenguaje es sencillo sin ser excesivamente fácil. Lo que quiero decir es que es un libro que está bien escrito, que respeta el hecho de que está dirigido a lectores más jóvenes sin caer en la simplificación en la que muchas veces caen los libros para niños.

Es una historia que bien podría leerse en una hora o menos, y que precisamente por ese motivo se me hace perfecto para que los profesores lo trabajen en su clase. Por eso desarrollé un estudio de libro al que pueden acceder haciendo click aquí  . Como siempre, el formato de los estudios de libro que tengo en mi tienda de Teachers Pay Teachers incluye preguntas de pre y post lectura, así como preguntas de discusión para cada capítulo o sección del libro.

Este es el primer producto en español que desarrollo y pongo a la venta, pero me gustaría en el futuro tener más material disponible en este idioma. ¿Qué tipo de productos les gustaría ver en mi tienda de Teachers Pay Teachers? ¡Háganmelo saber en los comentarios!

Feliz sábado,

Con amor, Miss Camila

Soccer Players Mix & Match

Soccer Players Mix & Match

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Hello and happy Saturday. I know you’re probably watching a World Cup match right now, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet. My name is Camila and I am genuinely into soccer. Yes, I occasionally watch other sports, but my absolute favorite is soccer, or football, which is how every country in the world but the US calls it.

I got into soccer in 2015, when I was a student-teacher, and I was able to work with second-grade boys. In Colombia, most boys that age have one thing in mind: soccer. They were the shirts from their favorite teams and players, they discuss the latest matches and news, and obviously in recess they play soccer.

It was because of those students I had over three years ago that I created the first version of my Soccer Player Mix & Match, which is now available in my TpT store. You can check it out by clicking here. I truly believe that students are more successful when we present them with topics they are passionate about, and when we combine said passions with our academic goals. I believe that teachers are allowed to have fun in the classroom too, and that actually when we do, our students are even more engaged because they sense that we are into what we’re teaching.

In the comments below, tell me about a passion of yours, and the ways in which you integrate it with your students.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Call Me Miss Camila

Call Me Miss Camila

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Hello and happy Saturday. I’m exhausted but I feel super accomplished and excited today because I’m (finally) officially Miss Camila in TpT.

TpT stands for Teachers Pay Teachers, an awesome site I love because I have access to a ton of resources made by teachers like myself, and I can also create and sell my own products. I’ve had my store for a while now, and one of my objectives after quitting my job would be to dedicate that extra free time I had to my little material development projects.

My store was originally called The Cool Teacher Diaries because that was the name of my teaching blog and Instagram. Now, when I created this unified blog and my unified Instagram account, I thought it would be nice to someday change the name of my TpT store as well, but I didn’t give much thought into actually doing it until a few months ago.

Changing the name of the store was easy, and took no time. The annoying, exhausting part was having to change each individual product as well as its cover design because these all had my old name. I procrastinated for quite a while, advancing on other TpT and blogging projects until today I decided that I just had to get my store’s name changed and move on with my life. So, yes, I’m finally Miss Camila in all of my public social media, which makes me super happy.

If you want to check out my store, click here. I’m always open to suggestions and requests in terms of the products you’d like to see in it.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Updated Multi-Class Weekly Planner

Updated Multi-Class Weekly Planner

TpT Cover Design.jpgHello and happy Saturday. I think I’ve told you before that I teach different subjects in different grades, which means I need to be super organized with my planning so that I don’t go crazy.

I am a planner, both in my personal and in my professional life, and that means that before each week starts, I have to write down what I’m doing each day. In my post on how I keep organized, and then in my update, you can see that I tried a format for weekly lesson planning, which I complemented with color-coding so that I could easily find each class and know what I had to do.

The system worked for me for a few months, but I wasn’t in love with the design of the planner. You see, the full pages only held two or three days each, so I had to constantly flip through pages, which is annoying, and I felt that there was a lot of extra space I was wasting because there were eight slots per column, but I was only using five.

I felt like I could work better with a simpler template, and that’s when I decided that instead of looking through the perfect planner on Pinterest to print and download, I could come up with my own. Basically, I needed a chart with the days of the week on the top row, and the names of each of my classes on the left-side column. I still color-code because that way it’s even easier for me to spot a class and see what I have to do.

I fill out my planner by hand, and it serves two purposes for me: one, if I look at each column, I can see my full day of classes; and two, if I see each row, I’m looking at a week’s worth of lessons for each of my classes. I find that filling this planner is way easier, and I’m also saving paper because I’m using one sheet at a time as opposed to one.

You can get this template for free by clicking here. If you use it, let me know how you liked it. Remember that I’m always creating new resources and putting them in my TpT store, so be sure to check it out.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

How to Use My New Resources

How to Use My New Resources

My Teaching Resolution.pngHello and happy Saturday. It’s been the longest while since I last created and put a resource up for sale in my TPT store. What is crazy is that it’s been an even longer time since I last created a product that I could actually use with my current students, but here I am, writing this post about not one but two products I created for my classes, and which you can now get and use for yours.

In my school, we work with the Splash books for Pre-K and Kindergarten, and then with Journeys for Transition (1st grade), and sometimes those books by themselves and activities they propose are not enough, at least not for me as a teacher. I’m a creator at heart, and I love developing new materials, so whenever I see the chance to make a new worksheet or even something more complex, that I know will benefit my students (or other people’s students) I go for it.

With my Kindergarten boys we are working on nursery rhymes and folk tales, as part of the theme “established” by the books. As part of my own planning, I decided to work with the rhyme “Jack Be Nimble,” and so the idea is for students to recite it, we even reenacted it, and to work on some basic vocabulary.

For this, I thought it would be fun and challenging enough to have the boys complete the rhyme using drawings, given that they don’t write in English yet. I used the Mother Goose Club version for the lyrics, and designed this sheet, which has the rhyme with a blank space at the end of each line for students to make a drawing. If you have early finishers, you can encourage them to trace words from the rhyme.

My Transition boys can do more complex activities, so I designed a multi-step worksheet for them as a follow-up to the story Turtle Splash!: Countdown at the Pond by Cathryn Falwell. This book comes with the whole Journeys Kindergarten pack that is sold to schools, so I’m not sure whether you can buy it separately. There’s a video of the story you can watch and use in case you don’t have the book, which is actually what I watched when I was designing the worksheet at home.

Basically, what I used both the story and the worksheet for is to review a set of concepts we worked on the previous year. Firstly, the boys had to read the names of numbers (if that actually makes any sense), and trace them the colors I told them. Then, they had to complete each sentence using an action (from the story). It’s important for me to continually review vocabulary related to action words with my boys, and to have them write and read more complex words.

Finally, after each sentence, there is a space for students to draw the amount of turtles mentioned at the beginning of the sentence. This can be seen as the fun reward for them (my boys love drawing!), but it’s also a way for teachers to assess if they really are making an association between then number in written form and the amount it indicates. You can get that worksheet clicking here.

If you get these products, or any of the ones in my store, let me know what you think. If there’s something you’d like me to create, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to help!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila