Friday, July 31, 2015

Five for Friday July 31

I'm linking up with Kacey for Doodle Bugs Teaching for  Five for Friday! As always, thank you for hosting, Kacey!

I made this simple little back to school journal that I use as we begin Writer's Workshop. If you would like a copy, just click on the picture below.  I did a page or two as a whole group, but then worked on some pages in my small groups.  I love activities like this in the beginning of the year in small groups, because they are very non-threatening. They give me a chance to get to know my little ones better and just listen to their stories as they draw and write.

 I found these wonderful freebies from Common Core Galore and More.  They are CCSS Cheat Sheets- all the standards on one page- one for Math and one for ELA- for all grades!  I made one for my lesson plan book last year with all the standards on it, but the font was so super tiny- I love this more.  It's great to include with your lesson plans, and you can even highlight the standards that you are going to be working on for the week. They are awesome!

                  Kindergarten Common Core ELA Standards CHEAT SHEET (ALL stKindergarten Common Core ELA Standards CHEAT SHEET (ALL st
Common Core Math Cheat Sheets for Grades K-5...ALL Standar

As the new school year approaches, I wanted to share again how much our kindergarten team has loved using ESGI as an assessment tool. I was so excited to be able to meet some of the wonderful people from ESGI  this summer in Las Vegas. I finally got to meet my friend Melinda in real life. You can just tell the quality of this ESGI program from the quality of the ESGI staff.  Everyone was so kind and helpful- and I have to say, the ESGI booth was the place to be!  It was hopping with stars!  I met Heidi Butkus and Deedee Wills there ( to drop names... ) because both of them are friends of ESGI, whose assessments are offered with the program.  It's saying a LOT  when you are in LAS VEGAS, and the place to be is the ESGI booth! But, that's the truth! 

Our kindergarten team is in the process of creating all new report cards, and creating new assessments for ESGI.  That is one of the beautiful parts of ESGI, assessments are provided with the program, but you can also create your own (easily, I might add!) to match your report card assessments perfectly.  Here's a little explanation of the beauty of ESGI!
I know that we all have running records, benchmarks, and other "tests" that we must give to our students. Some are useful, some- not so much. A few years ago, I think all of the us in our district felt like all we were doing was assessing, which was taking away from our teaching time.

This past year, our district bought ESGI for our kindergarten team to use, and it has saved us so much time. ESGI is an online assessment tool that lets you choose the assessments that fit exactly what you need- or let you create your own. You give the assessment right on the iPad (or computer) and the data is stored there- forever- to be accessed from where ever you need it.

No paper, no mess, no losing anything, no looking for the assessment sheet you need for this child or that child.
The data is available in all different ways at the touch of a finger. It's usable and practical. And the kids lovvvve doing it with you. It's like a game for them.

That is my favorite part of ESGI. It was created by a kindergarten teacher, Greg Gorman - and you can tell. ESGI has all of the components that a teacher would think, "It would be great if..." It generates flashcards for areas a student needs extra help with that you can print.

It creates parent notes to inform parents about areas they could work on at home. YOU don't have to do it. It is done!

I KNOW! And just when I thought it had everything I could think of, they added MORE.
I'm in a Kate Middleton kind of mood, so let's see how Kate feels about ESGI, shall we? Here is my Kate Themed Review! 

Yeah, it's pretty clear...

I would imagine a conversation with her would go something like this:

Me:  "Kate, what if you could NOT  use ESGI to easily and effectively assess your students?"


Me:  I know!  Me, too!  Now, how do you feel knowing that you CAN use ESGI- and even try it for FREE for 60 days to see how well it works for you?


Me:  Oh, I'm so glad!  Now, how do you feel about people who don't want to give it a try?


Well, she's a woman of few words, but I think her point came across loud and clear.  

I posted ALL about the benefits and some examples of what ESGI offers HERE. If you want to learn more about ESGI and to get a free 60 day trial of the software, click here. If you like using it and want to purchase the program, you can use my special PROMO CODE B1119 and receive $40 off your purchase for the first year. The price is usually $199 a year, but with the promo code, it will be $159 for the first year. Check with your administration because they may be able to purchase it for you. They can use the code and get it for $159 for the first year, too.  It's a great time of the year to try it out. 

This week I found a few wonderful reminders for the new school year that I wanted to share. Here is a little picture story for you.  

When your day starts like this:

And keeps going like this:

Just remember...

And remember that, no matter what else happens in the day, we LOVE teaching children. 

And if you are putting your students first, teaching what they need to learn, having fun with your students, and enjoying your days with them, then you are doing something right!  If something isn't working for you or your students, you can find something that will be just right for all of you! Don't be afraid to try new things!

And when it comes to  adults, remember...


In other, less fancy, more harsh,  words...

Finally, for sticking with me through all these picture stories of the week, I wanted to share my Fun in Fall Prezi with you for FREE this week at my TPT store.  I put together lots of videos and links that you can use with your class on the Smartboard for Fall! I use it so many times- for actually teaching (lots of science) and for making those "extra minutes" throughout the day productive.  

I'd love you to leave me some happy feedback on TPT  if you can use them! Enjoy!


Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Bahaha, your Kate pictures are hilarious!! Good analogy! :)
    Moore to Learn

  2. I love Kate! What a hoot! I saw we are listed in a row in the linky and had to stop by to say hello. Thanks for the freebies- when we write in the little book I'll think of you. And I'll use the prezi as a resource even if I don't have a smart board! Take care, Carolyn. Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom

  3. I love Kate, too! Thanks for sharing her responses. Lol. I also like your quotes. Some of them are good enough to steal! Sara

  4. I love how you use photos and quotes...I'm that way too! I LOVE LOVE those common core cheat sheets you directed us helpful. You have a new follower now :)

    Apple Blossoms


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