If you are on the path to National Board Certification, you're on a crazy journey!  I certified EMC-Literacy in 2010, and it was a huge undertaking.  Here's a bit of advice that was super helpful to me when I was working on my portfolio.  (Disclaimer:  I'm not an expert, just giving friendly advice.)
Click to visit the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
Set yourself a schedule.  Enlist support from family/friends to stick to that schedule.  My kids were 2 and 7 when I took NBs, and it was difficult.  One day each weekend, my kids would visit grandparents for the day or my husband would take them out and about for the day.  I spent at least one full day every weekend working on this from Jan-March.  April and May were spent studying for the Assessment Center.  I had a fabulous study group, and we would meet, have coffee, commiserate, and make flashcards together.

Make sure you are collecting work samples from several children (I work with kids who move a lot during the year, so I chose between 5-10 to keep samples on).  If you think you might forget what the assignment was, jot it on a sticky note and attach or take a picture with your phone to help you remember.  Also, get all parent permission forms signed early, so you know which kids can be in your videos.  That way, you have plenty of options about which student(s) to highlight in your portfolio.

Videotape often!  Even if you just keep the camera set up without using it, you'll be able to get your class (and yourself) more comfortable about being videotaped.  It also lets you try different camera positions/locations to minimize anyone accidentally knocking into your camera while you are videotaping.  If you can, enlist help with videotaping.  When I was a Technology Specialist, I helped several teachers with using the equipment, setting it up, troubleshooting, and burning DVDs for submissions.  A tech-savvy friend can be extraordinarily helpful.  Sure, you could spend the time figuring it all out yourself, but time is a luxury.

If possible, try to have some videos recorded before Christmas break.  This allows you a bit of time to watch the videos and reflect on them while you are a bit more relaxed.  You can always go back and record new ones, if you want!

Try to have your videos completed by Jan/Feb, so you can go back and write.  Enlist the help of at least 5 people to help with editing.  Be sure to include someone who is not in your field and a Grammar Geek, since they will help you sound clear and precise.

There are also many resources online to help.  Angela Watson's tips from The Cornerstone For Teachers is amazing, and she answered so many questions I didn't even realize I had!


If you want to see pictures of my portfolio getting packed, click on the picture below to see a post about it...

Best of luck!!  Happy weekend, y'all!  :)



The title kinda says it all...  Here's a quick and fun Thanksgiving word search freebie:
Click Here for TpT, Click Here for TN
If you like it, feel free to share this with other teachers by leaving feedback, blogging about it, or pinning the freebie!  Thanks!!!  Want more Thanksgiving Freebies?  Visit the Linky at Tales from Outside the Classroom for others!
We had a winner in the Pick Your Chevron giveaway!  Karen, check your inbox and let me know where to mail your scarf!!  :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're looking for some really fabulous ELA resources for grades 3-4, check out this Educents deal that I am a part of...
Click here for the post I wrote about this deal, including a freebie from my CCSS RL packet for grades 3-5 (included in the bundle, and pictured below.)  There's still one more day to enter the Giveaway, too!!


Have a wonderful weekend!!  Here's a little chuckle for you...

Y'all are so amazing!   I peeked at my Teachers Pay Teachers store this morning, and saw this:

To celebrate 1,000 TPT Followers, I have put my best seller, Context Clues - Task Cards, Scoot, Assessment for FREE for 100 hours.  That's a little over 4 days, folks.  I'd love some feedback if you download this set.



Enjoy!!


Whoo-woo!  I'm so super excited to share this with y'all - I have been bursting to tell you for weeks, but it had to be kept very hush, hush.  You know... I can keep a secret.  :)  Anywhoo... I've been working (again) on these Comprehension Strategy Sheets for Literature Standards, Grades 3-5!  I keep coming up with more ideas that I just. have. to. add.  I began this project because it was such a challenge to find targeted informal assessments to use for remediation and enrichment options, as well as to inform parents of the standards covered in Common Core.  This pack includes graphic organizers and response sheets for all grades 3-5 RL standards.
Here's a peek inside!

Now more than 100 pages!!



What teachers are saying:
"Excellent bundle of resources, thanks!"
"Great resource for literature response aligned to each standard. Thank you!"
"A very practical resource that can be used to implement the common core."
"So wonderful!! I will be buying the RI set as well!"

Here's a free sample from TpT:



Follow the link below for a quick printable word search and create a word for Veteran's Day!  Enjoy, and thank a veteran for their service!  :)

Download for free from TpT


For real... my kiddos need to work on fluency.  Many of my students are ELLs, and need help in understanding figurative language.  Enter the Knock, Knock jokes!  Particularly in grades 2 and 3, the ability to effectively deliver a knock knock joke (or speak up in class discussions!) is a skill to hone.

Teacher Tip: You can establish an instant connection with a student usingKnock Knock jokes.  Here's a few to add to your bag of tricks:

Knock, Knock!
Who's there?
Boo.
Boo, Who?
Don't cry.  It's just a joke.

Knock, Knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting cow.
Interrupt...
Moo!

For maximum annoying-ness with your Knock Knock jokes, which usually gets the best response from 2nd and 3rd graders, start over-explaining the answers.  (Get it!?!  Boo, Who sounds like crying.)  Then, they'll start trying to tell you jokes, which will help you smile, since it's really pretty funny when they make up their own...  Here's a freebie to help your mental health, and your kiddos increased fluency.  Print, copy double-sided, and viola!  Instant joke book.  There's even space on the back for them to write some of their favorites...  Enjoy!!

Free Knock Knock Jokes book


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