Reflect and Refresh! {Part One}

Happy Summer friends! Summer is the best. I love being home with my kids and love actually having some time to spend reflecting on the year and refreshing myself for a new and exciting year!

I'm so excited to be linking up with some absolutely fabulous teachers for the {Reflect and Refresh} linky! Right now we are sharing Part 1: Looking Back, so make sure to check back at the end of the summer for Part 2!

Communication: It seems that the longer I teach, the better I get at communication! I was telling my husband the other day that I really struggled with telling parents anything negative about their child at the beginning of my career, and while it isn't any more fun, it's definitely gotten easier to be honest! I used to sugar coat everything, and now I realize how important it is to just tell it like it is!

This year for Parent Teacher Conferences, I was MUCH better at telling parents how their students were performing and behaving! It made it easier to have conference forms filled out before conferences as a guide!

As a parent, I just LOVE hearing positive things about my own children! Every year I always say I want to call parents more about positive things! However, I truly never have enough time to make those extra phone calls. So, this year I started using Sunshine Notes! They were one of my favorite things I did all year and I will definitely continue to use them in the future. They are super easy to fill out at the end of the day and send home with students who had a sunshine day!

Organization and Classroom Management: I felt super unorganized this year! I didn't get a good start at the beginning of the year, and just felt chaotic all year! This summer is going to be spent getting myself refreshed and organized for August July! My binders, to-do lists, planners and everything will be ready to go!

I'm OCD and LOVE having all my supplys organized, but after a few years in the same room my supply closet got pretty messy. Since I had to move rooms, it'll be easy to reorganize and clean out everything!

This year was one of the more challenging years that I've had and simple classroom managment tricks that I've done in the past just didn't seem to work with this group. I feel like I spent a good bit of time at the beginning of the year going over procedures and routines, but this year was just different!

So, I tried to implement as many positive behavior things as I could! One of the biggest things was trying to get them to work together!  I tried {Compliment Cookies} and {Brownie Points} to get my students to work together as an entire class to get a compliment from another adult! Once they filled up the pan, they got to have a cookie or brownie party!

I also tried doing Team Points! Each team worked together to earn team points for making good choices. The team with the most points at the end of the month earned a reward!

Content: In seven years of teaching, this was the very first year that I that I truly started planning with my team members. And, boy did I LOVE it! We didn't actually plan each subject together, but instead each took a subject on ourselves and planned it for our team.

I was in charge of writing and I was really able to focus on creating good, solid writing units! My sweet friend, Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher, planned our math lessons and created some amazing math units! It saved time on Sunday afternoons and our kids got to do some pretty amazing things! Win - win for all!

I'll be co-teaching next year, so I will still get to collaboratively plan and I am so excited!

My Big Summer Project: Since I'm switching grade levels and moving classrooms, my big summer projects are to get me ready for the transitition! My co-teacher and I have already decided on a cute theme for our room (that isn't too different than what we were already doing), so this summer is going to be full of crafting, crafting, crafting and creating, creating, creating!

I also need to find some great first grade units! It's been a few years since I've taught first and I had really just found Teachers Pay Teachers, so I can only imagine all the amazing stuff there is out there!!!

Thanks for joining in on the fun!! Want to link up and share your own reflections and refreshment!? Grab the image and link up with us!


  1. I was the same way about talking to parents but this year was the same for me, I had a "lovely" group that just loved to shower me with "issues" <---- my nice way of putting it. But after about 4 or 5 conversations of sugar coating it and never seeing improvement, I did just what you said, told it like it was (in a professional way of course). I SO could've used your sweet treats management systems, might have to get those for next year!

    Terrific Teaching and Learning

  2. I really like your parent conference forms... I'm curious if this is something that would work in my life skills class. I may have to try it for the first marking period!

    Thanks for linking up!

  3. I love the way you communicate with parents. I was the same way. I sugar coated everything, but I think that was because I was younger than my students' parents.

    Made with Love

    1. Thanks, friend! I completely agree! It's so intimidating to talk to people older than you! I think that's another reason I'm getting more comfortable, and being a mom has really helped too!

  4. I love your parent communication forms! I'll be in my first year teaching this year (first grade) and am SO EXCITED!!!! Nervous, but excited. I know I'm definitely nervous about communicating with parents since I will be younger. Are these forms on your TPT? Already downloaded your Sunshine them so much and can't wait to use them!

    1. You'll do GREAT! Just remember to be yourself and do your best! I'm moving back to first!!! It's such a fun year!!! The forms are in my TPT! Here's the lin ----> I hope they help!!!!
      Good luck!!

  5. Chandra, I loved reading your post! Those Sunshine notes are the BEST! What a joy for the kids and their parents to hear positives! Happy Summer! :)
    Peggy @ Primary Flourish

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