ATPE News

Winter 2016

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at ATPE.org.

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NEED HELP FUNDING YOUR CLASSROOM MAKEOVER? ATPE has joined forces with DonorsChoose.org to help our members get the tools they need for their classrooms. Through this special partnership, ATPE will match 50 percent of members' projects (total cannot exceed $1,000, includ- ing fees) once the first half of the funds have been donated. To take advantage of this member benefit, you must identify yourself as an ATPE member in your project title or description. See atpe.org/DonorsChoose for details. ATPE NEWS 23 Photos courtesy of: Nicole Clark; Katie Rendon; Valerie Satterwhite; Brittany Templeton; Sarah Williams T I P # 1 Have a plan for your classroom. Know how you will decide who gets to sit where, if and how you will rotate the students, and how you will make transitions. After I taught the routines and procedures for each area, students became independent and successful in transi- tions and worked much more effectively. — Katie Rendon, special education resource/inclusion teacher, Beaumont T I P # 2 There are tons of resources available through other educators on Twitter. I follow the hashtags #desklesstribe and #starbucksmy- room. There are teachers all over the country willing to jump in and answer questions anytime you have one. —Sarah Williams, first-grade teacher, Waxahachie T I P # 3 We play a round of "Goldilocks" for the week as kids test out chairs. At the end of the week, they give me their top three seats and the one seat they hate. I need a seating chart, so this allows me to give them choice while providing me a little structure. We change seats every grading period. —Brittany Templeton, seventh-grade math teacher, Kingwood T I P # 4 One challenge was what to do with all of their stuff, specifically pen- cils. I found an idea on Pinterest where someone taped large straws to the desks as pencil holders. This has worked wonders in my class! There is always a pencil at each spot. They keep their "tool box" of supplies in their book box along with a couple of books to read. They can leave it on the shelf and go get things as they need it, or carry their book box with them to their spot. We have baskets for each subject's journals and students help pass them out. —Jennifer Jones, third-grade teacher, Leander T I P # 5 The first question everyone asked was how my students would take assessments (I have no desks). My students use what they have learned about how they work best to choose their optimal work space for assessment. We just took our first district common as- sessment, and it was amazing! Students were comfortable, they were easily able to keep their answers private, and I was proud of their results. —Nicole Clark, fourth-grade ELA and social studies teacher, Willis

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