Do This Not That Blog Hop: No Stress!

©nenadaksic/Dollar Photo Club
We are hoping to help teachers make Back to School smooth and easy this year!

I have to admit that I am already back to school, and today was not smooth and easy.  It wasn't.  I forgot that the beginning of the year is just as tiring as the end.  Seriously.  I almost feel asleep in my dinner, which would have been bad considering I had two pieces of lunchmeat and a fun size bag of M&Ms for lunch.  Last lunch is NOT fun.

Stop Trying to be Perfect

Now, those of you that have read my blog posts know I really like crafts.  I do.  However, I want my fellow crafty teachers to stop and say this pledge.

 "I, (insert your name here), give myself permission to not be crafty during Back to School time.
  I recognize that I have far more important things to do this week, including keeping up with hourly schedule changes and learning the new unit planning system.
  I acknowledge that the really cute student gifts are nice but not necessary, and that students would have them lost or destroyed before bedtime on the first day of school anyway.
  I understand that students are more worried about meeting their classmates than getting a craft on the first day of school.
  I will not neglect my (insert appropriate words here such as family, pets, sleep,  etc.) during Back to School in order to make my classroom look like Pinterest."

Did you say it?  Did you MEAN it?
Honestly, teachers put so much stress on themselves.  One of our newer teachers had herself in knots over getting a Boggle Bulletin board done by the first day of school.  Don't sweat it - it is okay if you start stuff like that the second week!  Or even the third week!

I had to totally revise my plans today after I realized that it would take approximately 4 million times longer to collect school supplies than I expected.  (Honestly.  I moved down a grade.  The learning curve is steep.)  Half of what I planned to do I didn't get done anyway.  It's okay!  Part of being a teacher is learning to roll with it.

Plan Now, Craft Later

Now, in order to do those crafty things later on in the year you need to be planned.  I mean really planned.  I have a framework in mind for where I want my class to be each quarter, and and idea of what activities I want to use regularly to get there.  Having a set plan for certain things, like grammar and vocabulary, really helps take the stress away - because I know what I am doing.  It also leaves more time for me to plan the more detailed units (and make crafts!)

Vocabulary Lessons for the Year

Greek Latin roots, vocabularyI know many teachers are using Greek and Latin roots now for vocabulary.  I have been researching spelling and vocabulary, and honestly spelling just does not transfer well in upper grades.  They might spell it on the test, but very few students do in their writing.

Spelling and vocabulary need to be given a dedicated time if you want students to retain what you are teaching.  10 minutes a day is just not going to do it.  I read a terrific book this summer called Word Nerds.  It has a lot of great ideas for vocabulary.

From my own childhood, I can tell you that using roots stuck with me from 2nd grade.  I still remember studying them with Mrs. Blackwell.  Knowing those word part meaning has long helped me to understand words I don't know.

In order to help a teacher plan their vocabulary for this year, I am giving away a copy of my Greek and Latin Word Study Bundle. It includes 40 weeks of lesson plans and activities! Each week features 10 words from 1-2 word part families.  If you are interested, you can try the first week free!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a $100 TpT Gift Card!

 Don't forget to enter our giveaway on the Lesson Deli blog for a $100 TpT giftcard!  Just keep hopping through to reach it!  Both giveaways end at 12:00Am on Monday, August 16th so enter now!

Visit Caitlin at the Room Mom to learn more about getting organized!


22 comments

  1. Your pledge made me laugh! You are so right though! :)

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    1. I have been telling myself that pledge quite a lot. My students have still told me I am the nicest teacher ever, even if the room isn't "perfect perfect" as my new principal says. He is wonderful. He told us that it is okay to not be "perfect perfect" - we work to support our families, and families come first!

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  2. I love the pledge. I am stressing about getting ready for back to school, and the room looking perfect. The pledge reminded me that it doesn't have to be. Thank you!

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    1. The kids want to connect with YOU. You make or break your room, not your decor. I try to remember that, It helps keep me sane when I think I need to spend a million years doing something.

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  3. My product would be some really great Math and ELA lesson plans. I am jumping from sixth to first, and so I need HELP! :) However, I don't know if they are going to "fit" so I have to wait and couldn't use the TPT sale. However, I did spend too much. :)

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    1. Wow, that is a big jump. If you have teammates, I would probably talk with them before I bought a lot of things. I am really hoping there is another sale soon - last year there was an extra sale day toward the end of August. I moved down a grade and need a few things that I didn't get at the last sale.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your resources. Being a history and social studies buff I will be following you to get some great resources in the future.

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    1. Thank you! I am working on a 6th grade world history and finishing 8th grade American HIstory interactive notebooks. I am also hoping to write some reading passages that I can use as ELA/social studies integrated lessons.

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  5. Love the pledge. I think I'm going to say it each day until school begins.

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  6. It's easier to say and think than it is to do!! :-)

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  7. I need some more science activities.

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  8. More science resources!! Especially for micro organisms...it's hard to do science since all of the standards are so different for each state.

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  9. I've been looking for a product that would provide age-appropriate resources for vocabulary work through Greek and Latin roots. There are a lot of products on the market, but finding the best for my 4th grade Gift/ESL Cluster classroom has been hard.

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  10. Greek & Latin Prefix Suffix Root Interactive Notebook Study 40...

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  11. I have been looking for a calendar math activity for bigger kids. Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  12. Any science or social studies for 4th grade.
    chief9937@Yahoo.com

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  13. I promise to take your pledge seriously, since this is my first year teaching 6th grade after teaching kinders.

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    1. Wow - what a big change! I first interned in preschool, and then was placed in 6th grade. I was terrified. I loved 6th grade so much that I had a hard time moving down. You may be surprised:D

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  14. Thank you so much for this post. I am always stressing to be perfect!

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  15. Love the Greek and Latin Roots bundle

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