Archive for March 2014

Conference Mania!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Oh boy, what a treat to come back from spring break to… opening my planner and realizing I have an early Parent Teacher Conference coming up TOMORROW! I don’t know about you, but I can never sleep the night before conferences because I am always afraid I will have some question or issue sprung on me.  No matter how prepared I am, I always feel like I should have done more- more notes, more student work samples, more anecdotal stories… In the end, the 20 minutes FLIES by and I never even cover a third of what I had intended to. 
One thing that has always helped to minimize conference stress is my PT Conference pack.  I created this trusty packet as part of a graduate school project about five years ago and it has yet to fail me.  
There are two documents in there for successful conferences.
First, I give each child a “survey” the week prior to conferences.  It covers the basics- favorite academic subject, favorite special, favorite time of day (hello, we all know it usually is recess so, here is where they can write it!), what they are working on/have improved, and what they are proud of.  I always like to begin my conferences by showing these surveys to the parents as a peek into school in their child’s eyes.  The parents usually get a bang out of it and it is a nice friendly way to open communication. 

The other document that is a lifesaver for me is the “Parents’ Homework”.  I send this document out the week prior to conferences.  I basically give the PARENTS a little survey asking the basics: how does your child feel about school, what are your goals for your child, list any medical information/allergies and anything you would like to discuss.  I find that this wards off any “surprises” at conferences and gives me an indication of where the parents stand before they walk in my door.  I also know that if they have any concerns about a particular subject area I make sure to have lots of examples of the child’s work and also typical materials we use during class. 
I am coming up on my 12th set of conferences and, KNOCK ON WOOD, all of my fears and terrors about conferences have yet to come to fruition.  So far, so good!  Hop on over to my TpT store to download my conference pack for free!
 PT Conference Pack

Good luck to all you teachers out there with spring conferences just around the corner!  

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How Do You Do?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Oh my goodness, it appears I am already falling off the blogging wagon!  I am savoring the last few moments of a splendid spring break with a cup of chamomile tea and scouring TpT for some good Morning Work.  I head back to school tomorrow after a blissful two weeks off.  It would probably make sense to formally introduce myself before I dive head first into my day-to-day school life tomorrow.   Here goes…

My name is Elizabeth Vericker, I am First Grade teacher in the New York metropolitan area.  Teaching has been my passion for the past six years.  I began my career as a special education aide in an inclusion Kindergarten classroom; and then I spent a year in a Direct Instruction mixed grade level room for children on the Autism spectrum.  From there, I moved to an all-boys school where I taught First and Second Grades as an Assistant Teacher.  Many people may react with, “YIKES! ALL BOYS?” but I loved it and both my all-boys and special education experiences have proven to be invaluable.  I call upon those “tricks of the trade” I picked up during those four years in my current classroom.  For the past two years I have been a First Grade Head Teacher at a co-ed school in NYC.  It has been a wonderfully exciting experience to have my own classroom.  I am fortunate enough to be at a school where teachers are “pioneers of their own curriculum” meaning we create every single thing we teach ourselves. It is both incredibly liberating and invigorating, yet also terrifying and a ton of work!  Another bonus- no Common Core or teaching standards to adhere to. Phew!

Okay, I am starting to sound too much like a resume here. Time to get personal… I married my husband this past July 20th.  We met New Years Eve of our senior year in college and finally tied the knot after five years of dating.  When we met his AIM screen name (remember those?!)  was TheKMan03 so that is what I will affectionately refer to him as from here on out.  I am the eldest of four children, one brother (25) and two sisters (22 and 13).  My youngest sister is adopted from China, which makes my family unique and I love it!  I also have a Westhighland White Terrier named Lucy who was a Christmas present way back in 7th grade (1998!).  Well, you have probably had just about enough of me for one night so I am saying, “sweet dreams”.  And good luck to all of you out there who are heading back to reality tomorrow ! 

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Here Goes Nothing!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hello, blogging world! This is my first official post as Miss Vericker’s Adventures.  Kevin McCallister’s line from Home Alone comes to mind, “This is it; don’t get scared now”.   I have always been astounded how incredible bloggers (such as The First Grade Parade Doodle Bugs TeachingKindergarten SmilesFun In First The Hands On TeacherLearning with Mrs Langley , Clutter Free Classroom + sooo many more),  are able to be mommies, devout church-goers, TpT mega houses, have their own classroom (no small feat!), oh yeah, and on top of that have ROCKIN’ blogs!  I could never imagine how these ladies (and some men) fit it all into one day.   Did they have some kind of time machine that added and extra 5 hours to their 24-hour days? How did they do it? 

While having a blog seems like a great deal of work and effort, it also seems to have countless rewards- sharing trials and triumphs of everyday teaching and life, swapping innovative ideas and activities, learning more about life outside of our own singular schools, plus, the social aspect, blogger besties, meet-ups, a whole new support system. After careful consideration, I have decided that I am going to give blogging my best shot. SO here it is, Miss Vericker’s Adventures!   My tagline is “teachin’ it one adventure at a time”(a clever spin on “taking it one step at a time”).  Teaching truly is an adventure.   You can have the most beautiful plan book filled with spectacular and engaging activities for a Wednesday morning during literacy block and then, whoops!, someone throws up on your meeting area, or there goes the fire alarm!  Or a parent phone call devours the prep period you needed to set up your math stations.   Life happens!  So, come along and follow me while I am “teachin’ it one adventure at a time”.

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First Post!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ah!! This is exciting and, let's face it, a little scary too!  I have been an avid blog follower for the past six years and finally have a moment to BREATHE and put some of my abounding energy into my own adventure... Miss Vericker's Adventures!  Here goes nothin'...!

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