What I'm Prepping: SALE: the Week Before School Starts

I have been working away in my classroom! It's not going to look like I have done a lot today when you see my pictures, but what I did get finished took some time and I'm feeling good about next week. I'm trying to get the "big rocks" in first and then the little pebbles (like all the deets about EXACTLY what I'm doing Monday) will fill in easily :) I wanted to share with you what I'm prepping this week that you can also find in my teacherspayteachers store along with some amazingly helpful freebies from other sellers that I recently came across....

and Wednesday 8/19 you can get everything in my store at 28% off with the code MORE15

because TpT wanted to give you ONE MORE day of back to school love! Heck, I'm even going to run my sale on Thursday 8/20 in case you are crazy busy like me and need another day to shop. You won't get the additional TpT discount, but you will still save 20% on anything in my store! 

Okay, I know that you are supposed to save the best for last, but I just can't wait to tell you about my FAVORITE thing I prepped today! I started looking through my Building a Reading Life reader response and back to school bulletin board file to get my reader response journal materials ready and I decided that it was time to revamp the journal sections. {I'm also updating the cover and backgrounds for the posters and all the updates will be ready to re-download by this weekend! It's time for me to hit refresh on an amazingly helpful resource! If you are interested in this resource, as is, it's ready to go without the updates!}

I read The Book Whisper and Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller this summer and she just sang all that I believe about reading instruction. So, I've decided that I'm calling my kiddos WILD READERS (and learners) this year and our journals are going to be called Wild Reading Journal.

I am in LOVE with the clip art accents from Ashley Hughes that I decided to use to label each section. {This thing is packed full of journal response sheets for learning about what kind of readers your students are AND awesome quotations about reading that I have printed and posted all around my room...It is a STAPLE resource that I have used to launch my  readers workshop at the beginning of each year since I created the product!} I printed the journal sheets in different bright colors and went ahead and made myself a journal. The papercliped slips you see in the pictures are quotations that I will use to have students respond to and spark "wild reading" discussions. I LOVE building a reading life! Excuse the really bad pictures...I'm exhausted and really want to SHOW you my reading journal, but don't have the time to make it pretty tonight!

Finding Donalyn's templates online today (the ones from the Appendices of Reading in the Wild and so much more at her slideshare site) was a god-send this afternoon! I've printed so many of them in 1/2 sheet sizes and prepped my journal so that I know how I want students to lay out their reading journals. I also found an AWESOME and CUTE free resource at Third Grade Bookworm. You just have to RUNNN now and download this freebie from her post! Finding these freebies made my planning so much easier today!

Next, I prepared my "Community Meeting" journals. I'm keeping one for myself this year so that I can have a better record of what actually happened in our meetings. I'm doing the same with my reading journals. Plus, having my own journal with journal sheets glued in ahead of time sure is making me feel really great about my plans. I went ahead and made journal copies for my 5 beginning of year themes:

Belonging, Kindness, Compassion, Conflict, and Perseverance. I hope you are following my take on "Implementing the Community Meeting Series" {new post on Saturday!} and learning ALL about my community meeting!

This year, I have decided to implement the Words their Way Derivational Relations Spellers word lists with my whole class. Because learning Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes are so important in 4th and 5th grades, I decided to implement my Derivational Relations notebook whole heartedly for the whole class. {For students who fall well below this level in word study, I'm going to have them do an extra chunk of word study based on their level during guided reading/independent time}. If you are familiar with my word searches for Words their Way, you know that I believe my "blind" word searches are perfect for teaching students to look for spelling patterns. {They complete the word searches without a word list prior to working through the notebook pages and DISCOVER the word list as they search for words.} I can write more about this later, but I LOOOOOOOOVE using the word searches and notebook pages and can't say enough about how excited I am just to jump in and implement this will my whole class this year!  {To prep these, I just decided to use the coverpages included in the resource and print back and front, staple or double staple, and hole punch. Students will put these in their binders.} I'll share my new Word Study routine with you soon!

One of my FAVORITE things that I prepped this week was my teacher binder. I.AM.NOT.a BINDER person!!! But, with the beautiful binder covers offered by Mandy Neal @teachingwithsimplicity, how can I not fall in LOvE? I also found really cute grade level and subject area covers in Jen Jones' store. I realized {thankfully} last weekend that perhaps if I had empty binders ready to hold the stuff I would print during the year, then I would be more organized as I moved on to other subjects and concepts. Can you say AhHAH??!?!?! I also keep thinking about advice given at TpT Vegas (it was about planners and time management) to commit to trying a system for a few months before you give up on it. I've labeled a "Back to School" binder and my math binder has dividers for each content area. I'm thinking at least this will remind me of what I did this year when I look through it next year. {My binder commitment issues are mainly because I have everything saved in a file or on TPT at this point, so it's tough for me to keep paper copies around. But, I'm going to reform myself this year!}

{Part of this post turned into alphabet soup :( and I don't want to cry about it! Forgive me for the shortened explanations. I will try to add more! I wrote a lot about my new binders and that just makes me double sad that it's gone now.:( :( )

I'm sure I've prepped a few more things, but golly I'm tired and need a shower! Can you say pre-back to school teacher workdays = 12 hour days?!?!??! I'm just happy that I have the MOTIVATION and the ENERGY to keep going while I can. I'll rest Saturday and mentally prepare some more on Sunday!

I hope your back to school season is treating you well. Do all you can to remain "as cool as a cucumber" and that you are looking forward to all that 2015-2016 has in store! I know you can make this your BEST year yet! Sending "teacher love" your way!