Saturday, September 5, 2015

Five for Friday (Including a Useful Assessment Freebie)

Happy Friday!
I cannot believe we just wrapped up our fifth week of the new school year.  It has been a total blur.  But, things are really starting to come together for my little class.  I can tell because I am not absolutely dead tired at the end of this week.
I actually have enough energy to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share 5 things from my classroom during this week's Five for Friday Linky.
Here goes...
Number 1
I brought in a couple of super exciting additions to our classroom.  Click and Clack are our new class pets.  They are adorable parakeets.  The kids are totally in love with them.  They come home with me on the weekends to visit with our kitty, bunnies, and dog.
Things are working out great with these colorful guys.

Number 2
Back to school means lots of assessing.  It's so important to have a strong understanding of where your young learners are.  Some assessments are informal, some are done whole group, some are formal, some are on the computer, and others are individual.
It can be a real challenge to fit in individual assessments with primary students, especially at the beginning of the year.  They are so not independent on most tasks.
A couple of assessments I like to use are running records (Reading A to Z) and my data binder basic skill assessments.  If you would like a free copy of my data binder assessments, click on the picture below.

Number 3
While doing my assessments I used a new little goody from etsy (The Preppy Ladybug), my monogramed clipboard.  I've had it on my wish list for a while.  I finally got around to picking out the details to order one of my own.  It is so cute, that I had to order a second one, this time in my school colors.

Number 4
In my free time (hehehe-really just staying up too late), I made a new set of pieces for our class agenda.  Students really like to know what we are doing each day.  Having an agenda helps them feel more at ease and they don't ask nearly as many "when are we going to..." questions.  It also helps me stay on track to better fit everything in.

Number 5
Each year my students' first homework assignment is to learn to tie their shoes.  During that week, they can tell me when they are ready to demonstrate their shoe tying ability.  At the end of the week students that can successful tie their shoes, join the Shoe Tying Club.  They are awarded a certificate and visit the principal's treasure box.  It's a pretty big deal to my firsties.
For a FREE copy of my shoe tying certificate, click on the picture.

I guess that's about it.  I hope the beginning of your school year is going smoothly.  Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting Five for Friday.

Enjoy your long weekend.


  1. Hi Amber,
    I just found your blog and I have to say, the title of it is perfect. What a happy classroom you run. Thank you so much for the assessment binder freebie. It's a goldmine for teachers like me. I so appreciate your generosity. Have a wonderful weekend! Julie

  2. I love your agenda pieces. You are so right! Kids want to know what's next. You have inspired me. I want to make my own :)

    Made with Love

  3. Click and Clack are adorable! You can tell they're "guys" because their noses are blue (female parakeets' noses are tan). I've had parakeets since I was a little girl so I've got a lot of experience with them. Warning - pretty soon as they get used to your classroom, they'll start making a LOT of noise! Also, towards the end of September or start of October, they'll start to lose their summer feathers and get their winter feathers, called moulting. Be prepared for LOTS of loose feathers in the cage and flying around the room. But male parakeets are easier to teach to talk, so don't be surprised if they start to echo you! If you have any questions about them, you can contact me at

  4. Hi Amber,
    Do you editable agenda pieces in your store?