Team Meeting Strategies

Because there is so much pressure on you, your peers, your principal, and your district to integrate the CCSS effectively, this priority needs to be everyone’s priority. It’s highly likely that the teachers in your grade band will be asked to join forces to tackle the CCSS together.

To keep such work sessions productive and positive, it takes a bit of smart planning. Here are some strategies for making these team meetings effective and efficient. We’re sharing them with you because they work!

Time’s Up!
If you are part of a team meeting, set regular meeting times and remind others ahead of time. Have a rule that you will begin on time and end on time. Then, stick to that. Allow some time for team members to connect though, as it is important to gel as a team.

At the Helm
To avoid too much burden on any one person, it often works best to rotate who leads the meetings, provides a healthy snack, and is in charge of logistics.

Sharing this leadership can help to create a supportive climate for all participants. Set a time limit for each meeting with a specific agenda of what’s to be accomplished—and by whom. Collaboration starts with you!

Pay A-TENT-ion!
When it’s your turn to “host” a team meeting, set the stage by using tent cards to sprinkle the meeting space with positive and motivational messages. Promote active listening.

Use the tent card downloads attached here to get you started. We’ve also provided a template so you can add a few messages of your own.

1911_042_tent cards download   1911_042_tent cards download 2

1911_042_tent cards download 3   1911_042_tent cards download 4

Sign Up at the Start
Each team member should sign up to host and run a session. Build a schedule and include an “understudy” so that if someone is out with the flu, “The meeting must go on.”

Duly Noted
Designate one note taker to distribute notes and action items for confirmation by all attendees. This note taker should be responsible for circulating final notes to those who were not in attendance, too. This will save “catch-up” time at the next meeting.

Be a Goalie
As a team, begin by setting a limited number of strategic goals for the year. Make sure they align with the goals of your school’s administration. Start with three big goals, breaking them down into sub-goals and tasks.

Check In
After a few meetings, be sure to make time to ask one another how the meetings are working. If you’ve instituted a few practices, check in to be sure they are working. If something’s missing, refine the game and meeting plan.

Expand Your Own CCSS Meeting Process
CCSSKTFS-2TAs you begin your team meetings, check out the amazing meeting tools that are part of the Common Core Kit for Success by Teacher Peach. This kit includes a meeting pocket folder, meeting notepad, and arrow-shaped sticky notes for team planning and collaboration. There’s even an erasable marker! Yes, not every initial idea remains unchanged. The playbook in the kit gives you step-by-step strategies, hints, and prompts to guide you through your team meetings, too. You team might even opt to use this playbook as your guide. It makes a great “piece of evidence” to support your team’s accomplishments!

Stay tuned for more CCSS ideas in future blog posts. What strategies work for your team meetings? Are you meeting with peers to make collaborative progress or are these get-togethers in need of some structure and improvement? Share what’s working—and might work better—so we can help to create products that will support your school on its CCSS discovery journey.

Connect with Families about the CCSS

The school bell rings and you’re off and running—often in all directions! September continues to be a month of adjustment for everyone—students, families, teachers, and administrators.

September is also the time to focus and get back into school routines. This year, you’ll undoubtedly have added demands about infusing the Common Core State Standards into your work. While the CCSS have likely affected your classroom the past few years, chances are they will become an even bigger area of focus during this school year. With this additional concentration on the standards, you will more than likely Continue reading “Connect with Families about the CCSS”

Map Out Your CCSS Game Plan

Infusing the Common Core State Standards has become a reality in today’s classroom. Unlike the back-to-school activities that are one-time-only actions, tackling the Common Core State Standards is an ongoing, ever-evolving process—a process that will take longer than one school year to fully master. However, even though the Common Core State Standards journey is a long one, you can effectively build a strategy that allows you to build powerful lesson plans that incorporate the evolving standards year after year.

Cover the Basics
Start with the present. Get organized with everything you’ll need
 to make this year a success. Find any new resources you’ll need to
 start this year’s Common Core Implementation Planning. Create folders for all of your important files. Talk to peers about which organizational tools help them the most. Get ready to start recording your journey.

For each month of the school year, Continue reading “Map Out Your CCSS Game Plan”

Big-Picture Goal Setting for Big Successes

Now that school is in full swing, turn your focus to your big goals for the school year. Use these tips and Teacher Peach’s freebie download to help you set your big goals for the school year.

Set Your Goals
Every class in every school in every year comes with its own special twists and needs. Build your goal-planning process by considering the unique challenges this school year presents. Set or revise your goals after you get to know your students. Set milestone goals for the execution of your plan. This will help you to sketch a visual for the school year.

To achieve cohesive results by the end of the school year, begin with Continue reading “Big-Picture Goal Setting for Big Successes”

Teacher Peach Freebies: CCSS Big Picture Graphic

Understanding the Big Ideas of CCSS
The Common Core State Standards have gotten a lot of press over the past few years. The initiative has shaped today’s educational landscape. Whether you think the Common Core State Standards are a good thing or a bad thing, the initiative probably shapes your classroom in one way or another. As a result, you will most likely find yourself in a situation where you have to explain the CCSS and how they affect your classroom to someone who doesn’t know much about the standards. We have a simple solution for that problem.

Post a Graphic of the CCSS
Click here and post this freebie graphic in your room for you, your students, and their parents to see. Posting the form will help everyone understand the core ideas of the CCSS and how those standards turn into objectives for your classroom. This simple chart may also help parents understand what the Common Core State Standards are and the reasons behind them. The chart helps the standards become something digestible rather than some obscure, undefined thing they’ve just heard snippets about on the news.

You can further augment this document with any additional ideas of your own.

Help See the Details
Teacher Peach's Jumbo Text MagnifierWhile this graphic showcases some big picture ideas, sometimes you need to see the small details—literally. With small fonts and misplaced reading glasses, keep this Jumbo Complex Text Magnifier on hand in your classroom to ensure that you can read fonts of all sizes.

Announcing Teacher Peach’s Freebie Initiative

Giving Away Great Freebies
With constrained budgets and limited resources, finding a cache of valuable freebies on the Internet can be a huge time-saver. Freebies not only save you money, they also can spark many ideas.

At Teacher Peach, we want to help you save time and build your cache of go-to resources, so we are giving away a regular stream of powerful classroom freebie downloads. These freebies are one of the many ways Teacher Peach gives back to the teacher community. Be sure to follow our blog to make sure you don’t miss any of these freebies as you kick off this next school year. Start the year on the right foot with these freebie downloads.

There’s Nothing Standard About These Freebies
For the first series of freebies we’ll be rolling out over the next few weeks, we are focusing on the critical start-up steps that teachers need to do at the beginning of the school year when faced with tackling challenging standards, either Common Core State Standards or the specific standards required by your state.

Check out these coming attractions. From class profiles and peer team forms to lesson observation checklists and big picture support tools, these freebie downloads cover all the bases. And the best news of all is that these are totally free. So keep checking our blog to discover which freebies are posting each week.

Ready for More Than Freebies? Check Out This Kit!
CCSS Kit for Success
The Common Core State Standards Kit for Success can be used with both the CCSS and state-specific standards; the process is the same.

  • Each kit includes a playbook, a to-do list, a writing tablet for your team meeting notes, pens, sticky notes, and a folder to store your materials.
  • The kit is designed to help plan your approach, chart your course, and reflect upon your progress for the entire year.
  • It’s quick and complete, with only 6 pages per month for you to incorporate into your busy work life.
  • The backbone of the kit is Common Core State Standards Playbook for Success.
  • This 80-page playbook contains key strategies, resources, and timelines designed to help you create a game plan to navigate the world of rigor and standards in your classroom.
  • This playbook makes an excellent addition to your Teacher Evaluation documents. Impress your principal with your completed playbook.

Be sure to follow along as we release each of the freebies in their own blog posts. Then check out some of our other informational blog posts while visiting our blog. These freebie downloads will kick off your year and get you going. Check out the Common Core State Standards Kit for Success at to explore the benefits of starting your year in a standards-focused way. Many teaching teams get one for every teacher, compare notes, and use this inexpensive kit to bring teachers together, collaborate, and create amazing classroom results. Take a look.

How will you be launching your new school year? Let us know.