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What You Can Do Now for Next Year [episode 10]

now-for-next-year

Click below to listen to what you can do now for next year:

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Morning Message: 

[0:58] What’s the nicest thing a student’s parent has ever done for you?

We’ve had so many wonderful parents who have gone above and beyond for us! We remember all the parents who took the time to write a heartfelt note at the end of the year spending time with their child and a parent who took time to make a backdrop for our classroom.

Our viewer responses include a personalized quilt for my first baby, thank you notes, being told I was the best teacher in the school, brought my lost dog they found at the shelter to school one day, an Insta Pot, any book I wanted from Scholastic, and years later, a parent bought my groceries. 

What we’ve realized is all of our responses, though different, routed in the same idea: heartfelt and meaningful. One thing we can’t deny is that you never truly know the legacy you leave as a teacher!

We’d love to hear your responses to this question and future questions, so let us know over on Instagram!

Here’s an overview of episode 10:

Nothing makes us feel more accomplished or more on top of our life than doing something now that we will be grateful for later. At the end of the year, it’s hard to think about the beginning of next school year, but that’s exactly what we want you to do! In today’s episode, we’re discussing what you can do now to make the back to school season easier for you.

In order to prepare for next year, there are several things that we want you to start thinking about, or actions to take. We’ve come up with a list of questions to consider regarding how your content, procedures, and routines are either working or need improvements for next year’s class. We advise taking this opportunity to reflect in order to start making a new plan for success.

After reflecting and you realize a procedure’s not working, try a new one this year! The end of the year allows you the freedom and opportunity to try without feeling the pressure of instant success. A bonus is you can see firsthand what it will be like before you commit to a whole routine or teaching method, and can figure out the problems or challenges to be more prepared next year. We also talk about the easiest step you can take! 

The beginning of the school year is the furthest thing from our minds at the end of the year, but it’s actually the perfect time to plan for the upcoming school year. So give a gift to your back to school self by trying out some of our ideas to get ready for next year as you finish up this school year! 

In this episode on what you can do now for next year, we discuss:

  • 7 action steps you can do now for next year
  • 6 questions to ask yourself regarding the effectiveness of your routines and procedures
  • An example scenario of how to think about reworking a routine that’s not working
  • The importance of decluttering and keeping all your supplies organized and creating new systems that best serve you
  • The importance of trying something new this year for more successful implementation next year
  • Why making lists is the easiest action to take

This week’s teacher approved tip:

[26:17] Make a time filler activity file

Ever have unexpected time to fill? Try making a time filler activity file for those special occasions! You first need to find the perfect container to keep everything in, and then find activities that take 30-60 minutes to complete. 

Be sure to ensure these activities are fun, academic, but don’t require too much prep work. Lastly, give yourself permission to actually use it! As teachers, we tend to keep activities for “later down the road”, but don’t hold off on using it. Remember, you created it for a reason!

What we’re giving extra credit to this week:

[27:48] Emily is giving extra credit to Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

[28:28] Heidi is giving extra credit to ZENB Pasta

Resources:

Read the transcript for episode 10, What You Can Do Now For Next Year:

Hey there, thanks for joining us today. In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing what you can do now to make back to school season easier, and sharing a teacher approved tip to help you fill unexpected free time.

We’re starting our episodes with a morning message just like we used to do it morning meeting in our classrooms. This week’s morning message is what’s the nicest thing a student’s parent has ever done for you? Emily, what about you?

Well, honestly, it’s nothing groundbreaking. But the parents who took the time to write a really heartfelt note to me about my time with their child really meant a lot to me. And I can think of one in particular that was just so kind. And it’s been a really long time since that particular parent now and I still really remember it so fondly.

Yeah, thank you can really go a long way. Yeah. For me, I think it was that we had pirate themed classrooms. Oh, yes. I remember. I had a parent for Teacher Appreciation, paint a pirate scene on a poster board and then write the top 10 things we learned from Miss V. And of course, they were all pirate themed. And they were so clever, like, learn how to count our two balloons and learn how to spell the balloon and like it was just so cute. And then I would I use that for years as my back to school bulletin board before I had student work to put up. So it was just happy memory allaround I love that. And we have some responses from our community. Brenda said that they made me a personalized quilt for my first baby. Well, that is super nice. I hear you never forget that. Jenny said I think the best are the heartfelt notes. I keep them and occasionally look at them. Especially on a bad day. Love that. Shannon said yesterday I had a parent tell me I’m one of the best teachers in our school. And that any wins her child has is a win for me too. It’d be my day. Oh. Gina said brought my lost dog to me at school after she found it at the shelter. Oh, she walked into my room with a happy English bulldog and a happy teacher. I bet Oh, apparently the year, Jordan said I did have a parent buy me an Instant Pot. Wow. I also had a parent that ordered me the whole series of Magic Treehouse, and any other books I wanted from Scholastic.

Oh, that’s awesome. A fairy book mother, that’s a dream come true. Evelina said saw me at the grocery store and paid for my cart of groceries, was several years after I had his children in my classroom. Oh, that’s so nice. Just shows you never know what kind of legacy you leave as a teacher. Yeah. And we would love to hear your thoughts on this question over on Instagram, you can find us at @secondstorywindow.

Nothing makes me feel more accomplished or more on top of my life than doing something now that I will be grateful for later. I like to think of it as a gift to future Emily. Today, we’re going to be talking about what you can do at the end of the school year to give a gift to your back to school future self. So at the end of the year, when I thinking about my plans for next year, the first thing I always think about is what’s working right now and what’s not working. And I always start with content. I like to think that I sit and reflect on all of the awesome things I’m doing and what’s going so well. But let’s be honest, I tend to jump right into what’s bothering me the most – You and me both. So you should not be like us. You should write down what’s going really well for you. And give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.

And then start thinking about what’s not working. So it’s probably already obvious to you where you want to improve. What content areas do you need to teach, but don’t feel like you have a good handle on at the moment. Example Writer’s Workshop, you will hear that this was a pain point for both of us. I feel like my lessons are well planned out. But it doesn’t seem to be transferring. How do I fix that disconnect? So do that same exercise yourself. And then start with one area where you want to improve your teaching next year, and start making a plan for how you’re going to improve it. That might look like taking a class or reading a book. It could be talking to a mentor or listening to an awesome teaching podcast to help you get ideas for how to approach this area of weakness next year. If you’re able to tackle another area too at some point during the break, that’s great, but don’t go too deep, too fast, like, don’t plan to overhaul every subject that you teach. Just start with one. What’s the next area we can start working on for next year, Heidi.

So after I evaluate what’s working and not working with my content areas, I try and do the same thing with my routines and procedures, because, honestly, at the end of the year, those procedures and routines are getting a little loose. So I look at those, and particularly the ones that are driving me crazy right now, and try to identify what’s gone wrong. And these are the types of questions I ask myself about a procedure or routine that’s not working. Number one is, Do I have a clear vision of what should be happening with this procedure? Because if I don’t know, the kids can’t know, right? Number two, did I introduce the procedure or routine properly at the beginning of the school year? Maybe that’s where the problem is that I just didn’t break it down for them enough. Number three, did I explicitly teach my expectations to the students? And did they practice it enough? Number four, did I reteach during the year when needed? Number five, did I follow through with my expectations when things were slipping? Number six, if I did all this, and the procedure still didn’t work well, do I need to reevaluate the procedure? The goal with these questions is to find the disconnect in the process, so that you can make a plan to do it better next year. If I know I did teach a procedure explicitly, but it’s not working well now, then I can look at the other reasons why the procedure isn’t working. So you can plan ahead for when procedures don’t work. And be prepared to realize that maybe the reason you’ve struggled with a procedure is because it’s not right, you may discover that some of your procedures need to be revamped to work the way you want them to. And we will be talking about this a lot during the summer here on the podcast. But it’s really helpful to take a good look at your procedures. Now, while you’re still doing them every day, you will really be able to identify your pain points and frustrations with your procedures. while you’re still in the thick of it than you will be in July.

So one of the routines that my class frequently struggled with, especially by the end of the year was having to pick up the lunch tub at the end of each day. So each class had like a giant Rubbermaid bin like one of the giant ones, and it would take two kids to carry it. And it would go down to the foyer, we call that the vestibule by the lunchroom, and it would hold like the jump ropes and the bouncy balls and basketballs. And then kids could put their coats in there and lunch boxes and all the catcha all of going to lunch, you know. And then after lunch was to pick up your kids, they take the lunch to back and you go back to class, I had two problems with that. Because first of all, I didn’t pick up my kids outside the door where the lunch tubs were. And then we had planning time, right after lunchtime, so we wouldn’t go back to class. So I would forget to remind kids to go pick up the lunch tub and so it’d be the end of the day, kids would need their coats on lunchboxes out of it, and the tub is clear on the other side of the school. So I would send the kids who were supposed to have gotten it at lunchtime to pick it up. And you know, because it’s the end of the school year, it’s now become game time. And I have more than once had other teachers have to walk those children back to my class, because they were causing disruptions in the hallway, you know, trying to push each other in it trying to tug of war, and all the things kids can do unsupervised in the hallway. So I need to take a minute to kind of figure out where this has gone off the rails. Yeah. So let’s apply these questions that we just talked about to this routine, and see if we can work out a plan together. So do you have a clear vision of what should be happening with this procedure?

Yes. So I want in my ideal world, I would go to meet my kids after lunch, they, you know, smiling at me, and they’re two straight little rows and waiting for teacher. And then when I start to take them inside the two kids that are supposed to get the tub that week would just you know, remember and walk off and go get it to get back to the class and then join us for whatever specialty class we had.

Okay, so did you introduce the procedure or routine properly at the beginning of the school year? Yeah,

I feel like I did a good job. Like we walked through it as a whole class, even though only two kids would be doing it at a time.

Okay, so did you explicitly teach those expectations to the students? And did they practice it enough? It sounds like you guys walked through it.

Yeah, the practicing was hard because like, I only have one lunch tub. I guess maybe I could have rounded up everyone’s lunch. It’s just an impractical procedure to like, repeat. So that that probably makes it hard then and especially because like, the kids might be doing it because I have kids assigned for a week at a time. So a kid might not be doing it for 25 weeks, you know, yeah, between when I introduced it and when they are learning it.

Okay, so the rotation is something that maybe should be reconsidered as you make a plan for next year. Or maybe you want to keep it and work in some practice of it at the beginning of the year more than what you already did. Okay, so did you reteach during the year when needed? And no, I never did. So that can be a problem right there. If I were reteaching it more than the kids that hadn’t had a turn yet, and they’re gonna have a turn to like March. Yeah, I can see like, oh, that’s how you do it.

Okay, so and then did you follow through with your expectations when things were slipping? So when you notice that the kids hadn’t got it on time? Did you follow through with whatever your expectations were?

No, I didn’t, because it was the end of the day, and I was tired.

Absolutely. Okay, so then it sounds like, you know, a couple ways that you could revamp this procedure for next year. So what are you thinking?

So I think reteaching would be a good idea. Maybe after Christmas break and after spring break, just to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Yeah. So like, schedule that in? Yeah. And originally, I think it’s something where, like, I hand them a note, I carry a note with me when I go to pick them up after lunchtime. But then I think that’s going to create the problem of I still have to remember something. So that’s not gonna remember. Yeah. So if you had like a closed pin on your lanyard that you gave to them, but then what happens on the day, you forgot to put the clothes on your lanyard? You have to think through these whole dominoe effect. In theory, that would be like, That is a great idea. I bet that will work. But you have to plan for if you do want to go that route. What are you going to do on the day you don’t remember the clothespins? So? Okay, so it sounds like maybe you want to have them practice a few more times explicitly at the beginning of the year. And then I think maybe some kind of consequence. And I don’t mean that necessarily in a negative way.

But just like a natural consequence, yes. Because you’ve forgotten to do it at this time you were supposed to, here’s what will happen if that happens. So maybe I’ll have like some default lunch tub getters. Like if you forget to do it after lunch, then at the end of the day, these two kids that I know were responsible and can like get it without drama will just be the automatic substitutes. Or maybe I have like a, like a hall monitor or something that goes with them to let me know, did I want it like me telling thing, but I think the default lunchtime getters would work because they would probably so much not want to have someone else do their job that they’re going to do a better job of remembering in the first place. Right? Plus, it’s a job. That’s kind of fun to do. So I would imagine they don’t want to miss out on doing it. Yes, absolutely. Okay, so I think we’ve got a good plan. Yeah. So these are the questions you can apply to your troublesome procedures, and make a plan for what you want to do differently next year.

And the next thing you can do at the end of the year to help you out next year is to try something new. Because there’s so much freedom at the end of the year, it can be frustrating how things start to come undone at the end of the year after you’ve worked so hard on them. But the freedom does have an upside to it. And that it creates an opportunity for you to try new things without pressure. Because you’ve already tackled the important things you need to get done, kind of grab this window of opportunity. So take a minute to dream a little about your ideal classroom, what’s something you’ve been wanting to try that you haven’t had the time or energy to do before now? The end of the year is a great time to try something new, because you can see firsthand what it will be like before you commit to a whole new routine or teaching method. So if there’s something like guided math, you really wanted to start next year, play around with it a little right now before you fully commit to it. And it also might help you see what some of the problems without or challenges may be when you try it out right now. So it’s a really good trial run to get you more prepared for next year. That might look like giving morning meeting a try for a week or two if you haven’t done that before now. Or maybe you want to try out Poem of the Week or Weekkly Vocabulary Routine. So commit to do those for a week and see how it goes. Do you like it enough to do it next year? This could also go for a new routine or some new technology that you want to try out. There’s no harm in changing things up at the end of the year, so you can get an idea of what might work better next year. Okay, what’s next for us to work on it.

So the end of the year is a great time to start a declutter. As our favorite Gretchen Rubin says outer order contributes to inner calm. So decluttering at the end of the year will not only help your feet yourself, but you’ll be helping with the end of your chaos as well. Start with just observing, nothing big, open every single one of your cupboards and drawers and just look at what’s in there. Do not do not take everything out yet. If you just start pulling everything out, you will find yourself in the deep end of mid project regret syndrome. I think we’ve all suffered from this MPRs it’s a known phenomenon.

The goal here is just to get an idea of what you have and all of your cupboards and drawers. You could even snap a picture and then take a look at them later at home. Just so you’re not tempted to start yanking stuff out of there. Oh, it’s a hard impulse to fight against.

So when you’re taking a look at your cupboards, what do you notice? Do you see some things right away that can be tossed or donated? Because there’s no sense in organizing what can be removed. So start there, easy wins, right? That should immediately free up some space in your cupboards and drawers. And you will feel like a whole new teacher with all that junk out of the way.

And if that’s all you get done that right, there would still be a win that is huge.

Then make sure that all of the like things are together. Did you discover you have dice in one cupboard, and place value blocks in a totally different one? Guilty right here. Get all of your math manipulatives together, get all of your classroom supplies in one spot, you’re much more likely to know what you have, and then use what you have when it’s all together. Once you’ve gathered everything, do you notice any holes in your supplies? Are you completely out of your stash of post-its, which would be a tragedy? Yes, it would are your letter tiles half missing? Make a list of what you want to work on replenishing, replacing or adding to your supplies for next year. And lastly, ask yourself how your storage is working? Do you have a filing system setup? If not, can you get that started so you have a better system in place for next year. We all know how paper clutter can get completely out of hand if you don’t have a plan for what to do with it during the year. And next year. You will thank you for getting this set up in advance

1000 times yes. And now that you’ve cleared out the junk, you can see all your stuff together in one place. Do you need to add a better storage system? Would your phonics materials benefit from a drawer system or some Grab and Go bins for your math manipulatives. One thing that I battled for a long time was how to store the morning workbooks. Because Emily and I both kept our students desk turned around so they couldn’t keep anything inside just for management.

We’ll talk more about that in another episode.

So like where do you put the stuff that kids need? Right. So for a lot of years, I had like big magazine files, kind of boxes with like a side cutaway. And I would keep stuff in there. And that would work really well at the beginning of the year when the materials were sturdy. But by the end of the year, things are getting real kind of floppy and slushy a little bit. And so everything starts to fall over and fall out. And so those magazine bins weren’t a great fit. So the end of the year when you’re I decided to switch from magazine racks to adrawer system, life changing. I do the little chef kiss and it was so good.

I can attest because that’s what I used after you started using it. And I loved that drawer system. And that was an end of year win that benefited both of us. Yes, thank you for that anytime. So the end of the year is also a great time to make lists. And like we mentioned a minute ago, make a list of the supplies you need to replenish or the manipulatives you need to acquire holes, you want to fill in your classroom library, anything like that, it will help a lot to head into summer with those items in your mind. And you’ll know exactly where you need to focus your spending if you get allotted any precious classroom dollars to spend. At back to school time, there are a million things a teacher needs to remember. So starting your lists now will help a lot in that busy time. Some lists you might want to start are: what you need to plan for back to school, open house or meet the teacher night. Just start making the list now, the copies you need to make for welcome packets and homework folders, or which classroom materials you want to do a Guided Discovery on when you introduce them next year, you can make a list for what items you want to label for each student at the beginning of the year, your Walmart shopping list for when their school supplies go on sale, you will thank yourself if you have that list ready to go. So that you can always get your colored folders for homework, your spiral notebooks, your pencil boxes, pre sharpened pencils, glue sticks, you know the drill, or if you send a supply list home for parents start working on that now if that’s something your school does, and start an Amazon wishlist to help fill in the other materials that you need to replenish. And then if you have a parent offering to add some things to your classroom, you’ll have a place to send them. And unlike a lot of the suggestions we’re giving you today, this one’s really easy. So if this is the only thing you’re going to do start some lists. You could even make them on your phone, you don’t even need a notebook.

One thing that you might consider doing at the end of the year is doing some of your classrooms set up for next year. Maybe you put up the calendar for September, or you could change out your bulletin boards for back to school things. But this suggestion comes with two rather large caveats. First, it only makes sense to do this if it won’t disrupt things for your current students; don’t make more work for your current self to try and make less work for your future stuff. The end of the year is hard enough without your students behavior being ramped up, because the disruption to their physical space is giving them that feeling that hey, the year is over now. Yeah, and second, in many situations, there isn’t really a lot you can do to set up your classroom in May, when likely your room is going to undergo a major cleaning during the summer. In some schools teachers have to absolutely have everything off the walls and cupboards. And in our schools where we taught because we didn’t have air conditioning, the swamp coolers are running and everything just fell off the walls anyway. And the humidity would make it so that sticky things now were no longer sticky, it was just such a mess. And then they’d clean the carpets, and then the carpet drying fans would just blow everything down anyway. So setting up our room for next year wasn’t something we ever did much of No, but if it works for you, we applaud you. And this is a great way to get a leg up on next year.

But even if you can’t set up your room, what you could do is put together a need first box, where you gather all the things you know you’re going to need access to as soon as you’re back in your class. So think of those things like labels, thumbtacks, sticky notes, Command Strips, all that stuff, you need to set up your class another time. And another helpful idea, if you can’t actually do your bulletin boards in advance, is to take pictures of things before you take them down. You can also take photos of desk arrangements, your library set up, how you do your centers, or anything else you might have to take down and put away during the summer. And you will be so grateful that you did this when it comes time to set everything back up again next year.

Oh for sure. If you really want to get a leg up on the next school year, or if you want to get moving while you have the time now batching is a great thing to do at the end of the year. So batching is when you identify something that needs to be done that you could do a lot of all at once. So meal prepping, for example, would be considered batching. You’re doing all the chopping and prepping all at once to make dinnertime easier in the coming days. So batching is one of our favorite things to do at the end of the year, because it really does feel like a gift to my future self. So here are some areas that might work for batching. You could batch things you use routinely. For us that would be like we batched morning messages for the whole year, plans for your morning meeting, copies for your morning work if you’re able to send copies to a copy center like our district had, get your copies on for the whole year for morning work. Oh, you will be so happy every morning that your morning work is ready to go. One thing we always batched is we do a spelling method that we call chunk spelling. And for that we needed an anchor chart every week that was partially already filled in. And so we would batch those in the summer the year before. And our mom actually would come and help that’s those for both of our classes. So thanks, Mom. lifesaver. You can batch things you use for special occasions. So holiday art projects, parent conference, hallway displays, anything for back to school night, a great one to batch is gifts. So like Christmas, birthday end of year gifts for your students start getting those together now, then you could batch things that make life easier like an inside recess activity box or a time filler activity box, things for your theme days, or putting together a sub binder or new student packs. And then you can use batching to help you with things you wish you did. So all the stuff your ideal teacher self envisions doing, but never gets around to. Maybe you will actually do these things if you batch them in advance, we can speak from experience that that is very true for us. Things we’ve asked are the things we finally managed to do. So that could be if you listen to a previous episode, it could be notes for your sixth graders. That was an episode eight. We had thought of that. Yes. Parent, volunteer, thank yous, back to school gifts or notes for your team, co worker birthday gifts, all the stuff you see on Instagram that you’re like, Oh, I wish I did that.

Well do it. If you have the time and the energy, batch it now. But if you’re batching stuff ahead, the key is to remember are first plan for extras, make extra copies, grab extra gifts, we fell into this trap before when we batch some things for preschool, totally didn’t plan for extra gifts. So I thought I was prepared until it’s you know, two days before I need to hand them out. And I’m driving all over town hitting up bookstores to find extra copies of books that I was so prepared and bought on clearance the year before. Yes, sometimes

when you batch things, if you didn’t plan ahead for extras, you just check it off in your brain and then you don’t think about it again until the moment you need it. So be careful about that. Don’t fall into that trap. Know how much you’ve actually finished of these batch tasks, too. You don’t want to mistakenly assume you finished a task that you actually only started. Also know this one from experience. And then know where your stuff is stored. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done something in advance and then can’t remember where I stashed it. So you could start a spreadsheet to keep track of what’s done and where you put it. You could send yourself an email. That’s what I do. So when you can’t find those birthday gifts you prep. You go search your inbox for the message you sent yourself of like, oh, I put them in the cupboard by the sink. Yes. You could set up a photo album in your phone to keep track of what you’ve batched, just make a special album with pictures in there. Or you can just keep a running list in your plan book, or even use the Peek Nest app which we’ve mentioned in a previous episode. That’s kind of perfect for this particular use. Yes, that’s what I use it for all the time.

So in summary, if you’re looking to get a start now on back to school tasks, to give your future self a gift, here’s what we recommend. Number one, evaluate what’s working and what’s not working with the content you teach. Number two, evaluate what’s working and what’s not working with your procedures and routines. Number three, try something new. Number four, Declutter. Number five, make lists. Number six, set up your room. And number seven is batching. Again, a lot of the suggestions we’ve made today might feel overwhelming when you’re burned out at the end of the year. But if you can only manage one thing from today, start a list. Just start a list. Even if you can’t fully fill it out right now. Just having a notebook with all your lists started is already a leap forward in the back to school prep race.

Now let’s talk about this week’s teacher approved tip. Each week, we leave you with a small actionable tip that you can apply in your classroom today. This week’s teacher approved tip is make a time filler activity file. So a time filler activity file is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a file of ready to go activities, you can pull out on the spot when you find yourself with unexpected time to fill, like when your students are supposed to go to art class, but there’s no sub that day. So guess who doesn’t get planning time. This can save you on those days when there’s a fire drill scheduled for the middle of math and you need to stall before starting your lesson. Because no sense wasting a good lesson on a fire drill. Or a guest speaker doesn’t show or you get back from field trip with an hour left in your day. Live through all of those right? To make your activity file, decide on the container that works for you. You might want a hanging file or a binder, a magazine box might be the perfect size. And then find a few activities that could fill 30 to 60 minutes. Think of things like a math Color by Number or you know, color by problem solving, or a writing prompt with a simple art project. Try to find things that are a little fun and a little academic, but don’t require much prep. And the key here is to give yourself permission to use it. I hate to use up stuff in case I need it later. I think a lot of teachers are like that. But remind yourself that when you’re in the situation of having to fill some time, this is exactly what you’ve prepared for. And you can always batch again next summer and to refill your file for next year.

Absolutely. To wrap up the show. We’re sharing what we’re giving extra credit to you this week. Emily, what are you giving extra credit to this week?

I’m giving extra credit to the book Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I recently read this book and I just loved it. I could not put it down. It’s about Elizabeth Zott, a scientist in 1960s, California who ends up the unlikely star of a daily TV cooking show. And it’s kind of on the quirky side I will warn you I based on the title mistakenly assumed that this was a rom com. It is not but I still found it to be a really compelling and interesting story that I just flew right through and I highly recommend it. Heidi What are you giving extra credit to?

I am giving extra credit to ZENB Pasta actually don’t know if that’s how you say it. I have tried a lot of gluten free pastas and this brand is my favorite by far. A lot of gluten free pastas use something called xanthan gum, and that is a no go for my tummy. But ZENB is just 100% P flour. So it also gives it more protein and more fiber than traditional pasta. So far I’ve tried the rotini and the penne and they have a few other shapes. Those are the ones I’ve tried so far. And I have been really impressed with them both. I’ve not found a gluten free pasta that holds up quite this well. So if you are also in the market for gluten free pasta, or you just want pasta that has more protein and fiber, I think you’ll be really happy with this one. That’s it for today’s episode. Give a gift to your back to school self by trying out some of our ideas to get ready for next year as you finish up this school year. And don’t forget today’s teacher approved tip to make a time filler activity file.

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Do you ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to be the kind of teacher you really want to be? The Teacher Approved podcast is here to help you learn how to elevate what matters and simplify the rest. Join co-hosts Emily and Heidi of Second Story Window each week as they share research-based and teacher-approved strategies you can count on to make your teaching more efficient and effective than ever before.