7/03/2014

Organization Day 3: The Kids Desks! (AHHHHH!) :)

Oh my goodness...how do we keep those desks organized and looking nice? Such a great question! I am so glad you asked! lol.

If a kid has a messy desk...it can really effect their learning...no joking about that. In inevitable we will have those kids that have the hardest time...NO MATTER WHAT! We can only do what we can do...but here are some things that I have found work pretty well!

First I supply each child with a basket (mine are black) for all of their supplies. I have tried it all...gallon bags, supply boxes...and this is the best I have found. I bought mine at Wal-Mart...2 for $1.49...I had to by 12 sets (24 baskets)...so it was a little under $20 I believe. I really did not want to spend the money but they help up great and I am on my 3rd year with them! I believe they are worth the money! I love that the kids are not opening and closing something and we can keep them out on the desk most of the day so the kids are not rummaging through their desks!

I also am a big fan of folders! Cheap, paper, colored folders! The kids come with 3 every year from their supply list and I usually need one more for each...so I purchas 24 of them from Wal-Mart when they are on sale for like $.19 cents each!

Blue Folder-Unfinished Work
Red Folder-Homework
Yellow Folder- (Depends...handwriting, centers...each year is different.)
Green Folder- Graded Papers

My rule is...NO LOOSE PAPERS IN THE DESK! lol. I have a desk fairy (me!) that comes around and looks in the desk! Go grab these, they are super cute!

My kids get something from the treasure box or a NO HOMEWORK PASS if they receive one of these! I bet you can guess what my 3rd graders pick? :)

I am also going to try something new this year...pencils seem to be eaten in my classroom! Okay not really...but where do they go!!??? lol. I am going to try The Great Pencil Challenge!

 
 

I will let you read about it, but I am pretty excited about the life of my pencils...I hope to save some! :)

My students also have the other things in their desks like Compositions Notebooks, Spirals and Silent Reading Books!

I have very simply techniques for those...label, label and label! I just print labels that say "Writing Journal" "Reading Journal" "Science Spiral" etc...and for their silent reading books we use gallon baggies!

My kids desks stay pretty awesome looking! I was proud of them this year! However we all still have those sweet kids who have a wave of trash come out of their desk each day! We love them anyway though!

How do you keep your kid's desks clean?  Thoughts? Would love to hear them!

7/02/2014

Organization Post Day 2: Teacher Area

I know as teachers we do not spend a lot of time at our desk (contrary to popular belief) but we do have to have an area all to ourselves so we can keep the students papers, our lessons plans, etc. I am always changing this area but I did like what I had this year! Maybe it will stick! Lol.

The first thing I want to mention is my desk organizer! Yes, I made one of those thousand drawer, labeled, masterpieces. Lol. It actually was super easy! I found the instructions here.

I really love this thing because I can keep all of my items for myself but also items for my sweet kiddos. Band aids are huge! I love when they say...I need to go to the nurse for a band aid...and I say...nope sweetie, I have one right here! Plus it makes the teacher desk look very organized. I will give you a small tip though....if you are anything like me, I use paper clips very often. I found that I need those out on my desk in an open cup. Just a thought, but I made a drawer for them and became very aggregated every time trying to find them. So they are in a cute bucket on my desk.

Behind my desk I have a bookshelf with all of my teacher resource books on there. On top of that book self, I have colorful book holders, but I use them for my daily work and lessons! I have used these for 3 years and will never go back. It's great for when a sub is around, or just for me daily! I like them because they are big, I put all of my read alouds in there, worksheets, games, and group work! I highly recommend doing these!

I plan on redoing my labels this year though, I am sure I can find cuter ones! :)

Here is a better link to some...they are much cheaper than my Mardel's ones! Book Baskets! I love that they already have a space for the days of the week! :) Maybe I will buy these and replace my others! :)

Another gem I want to share that has served me well are these:




I do not even know what to call them, but I love them! Lol. I put all of my extra sub work, emergency sub plans, etc in my sub work drawer. With a toddler I have had many a days that I have had to call in unexpectedly and say I would not be in due to ear infections, stomach bugs, etc. My subs have always been very positive about this drawer. Emergency sub plans are a huge deal! I have an Emergency Sub Work BUNDLE on my store if you are in need of a PRINT and GO kind of NO PREP Bundle. :) Go take a look and add it to your wishlist!



I also like the graded drawer and file drawer...I would love to act like as soon as I use a master copy of something I can file it immediately, but No...haha. I use that drawer daily!!! Then I file at the end of each six weeks! The graded drawer is self-explanatory! But I love grabbing the papers out of that on Friday afternoon and then heading home!

Speaking of grading! I love using these binder clips...I thought they were silly and a bit overpriced a first, but they are really handy!


Oh and another adorable thing I am having made this year are THESE! :)

I have a set of stamps, but Vista Print can make these with your name on them! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Now I haven't done it yet, but I suppose I should soon! These will stay on my desk too, then when I do grade papers during conference or whatever, I can stamp those sweet kids papers! :) Read this girl's blog post about them!

Lastly,
I set up a teacher notebook. You are welcome to purchase mine in my store! I love it! But regardless, get one!! It is so handy to pull out at parent conferences, file staff development papers, take on field trips, etc!!! It truly is a must have!! Here is mine in my store: Teacher Binder (right now it is a best
seller, I am super excited about that!) haha yes I am a nerd.

Anyway, I used mine last year until it was falling apart! It is truly best to get one going now though, then when you get your kids names, numbers, etc...you can start filling it in!



Bottom line is, I just feel organization in my teacher area makes me a better teacher. I don't spend time trying to find things, I don't have a sub running around asking teachers for things, and I don't have junk all of over my desk! Well..sometimes I do! Haha. But for the most part, I stay organized and that makes my life easy!

What are some of your favorite things that keep you organized in your teacher area? I would LOVE to know!! :)

7/01/2014

10 Days of ORGANIZATION! Day 1: Classroom Library!

Well,  I have decided to steer my blog in a different direction! I am going back to post about fun teaching things...organization, teaching tips...etc!

First being...10 Days of Organization!! Are you excited?? I am!! lol. I love organization in the classroom. Probably too much? haha. But I believe if your class is organized, your students function better. What do you think?

So for the next 10 days, I will be posting a new topic on Organization! They won't be long posts (as I have a toddler) haha.

First Topic: Classroom Library!

It has taken me years to get my library the way I want it...(then they make you take it down every year for cleaning lol...) but I always go right back to my trusty way of doing it! Again, these are just tips and I hope you find some of them useful!

I believe labels for your books are very important but I don't do my levels by lexile or rigby levels. I do them by genre (really that is nothing new...) but I thought I would share it anyway! I love Beth Newingham's labels for genres! You can find her labels HERE. Here is what they look like...she has one for every genre imaginable!

 
While we hope that this is enough for the kids (putting labels on baskets and they know where to put them) Most of our elementary kids do not know all of the genres! (That is what we are supposed to teach them!) So I also label my books with dot stickers...I call them garage sale stickers. haha. I do not think that is the technical term though!
 
These:
I buy ummm...everything through Amazon...okay well not everything but most things! So I found these here. But of course they are at Wal-Mart, Office Depot, etc. I just put numbers on these, then the same dot sticker with a number on it on Bethnewingham's Labels...and BADABING! The kids are learning genres and can put the books back in the right place!
 
I also believe a cozy library is a welcoming library. I will do a post later on my reading corner...but my library is also cozy feeling. I couldn't afford those crazy expensive teacher rugs for my entire library...so I went to Target and bought these little gems in neon colors!
 
 
They are bathroom mats! I bought orange, teal, pink and lime green! $7.99! (Plus I have the cartwheel app...and they were 20% off.) So around $6.40 ish? Not too bad! It really dressed up my library...I also bought my baskets from Target...teal and lime green! (I would include pictures but my room is not put together since they are waxing the floors!) I'll put pics in later! Here is the link for the rugs!

I also make sure that my kids have bookmarks readily available...I leave those in a basket in my library! We use these FREE bookmarks from Creative Clips! The kids love them!

 
Lastly, I include my set of comprehension posters in my library area! They dress up the area a bit, but mostly, I like the refer to them when I am asking the kids questions about what they are reading!
 
 
One thing I added last year that was a lifesaver for me (and my books) was a Book Hospital! I found the sticker here!

I put it on a basket, then anytime a book was "hurt," my kids put it in the basket and I could fix it later! It was sooo nice! I hated when the kids would come up and say...this book ripped. I know they were just being sweet, but it always interrupted what was going on that moment! Small procedure, big difference!

I hope this has helped you! Again, tune in each day for a new post on organization! I am excited about this! :) Feel free to comment and let me know what you do in your library! I am always looking for new tips!

6/25/2014

"Pop" into the New Year!

I have finally completed my "Beginning of the Year" Bundle! I really look at this one at the "First Week of School" Bundle. I have always had a pet-peeve with the "Back to School" packs. I feel like they are just busy work...I know that we need to get to know the kids, but can't we do that in productive ways? I just hate wasting time with my kiddos! I put together this bundle so the kids could have fun, but still review and learn at the same time!

So...Ta-Da!! Out came my first week of school BUNDLE!
It is a Bubble Gum Themed Bundle and has EVERYTHING you need to start school!























That is just a sneak peek! :)

Bundle Includes:
Gift Tags for Parent Night
Word Searches
Writing Prompts
Letter Writing
A Craftivity
Reading Passage Access and Writing Prompt
Even and Odd Practice
Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication Practice
Graphing Practice
I am Poem
Multiple Sorting Games
Bubble Gum Art Writing Topic
Readers Response and Reading Interest Inventory
Class Interview (tied into writing)
And don't worry, instruction pages for each activity are included! :)

This is a MUST have! Check out the preview to see ALL of the pages included!
Happy Teaching!

6/22/2014

BOGO!

I am super excited! I reached the $2,000 for this year already! To celebrate I decided to do a BOGO! To find the info, go visit my Facebook Page! If you haven't liked my page yet, do that, the look for the BOGO! link! It will tell you all of the specifics!



My Facebook Page

Also, go take a look at my store and see what you may want!! My Store!

6/10/2014

Shape Showcase!

Here is my newest item! It is called "Shape Showcase!" This year when I was teaching my students shapes, I was at a loss for materials. Of course I could have bought materials but wanted to create my own. At my old school, we did some awesome activities with shapes...one being with toothpicks and marshmallows. I am sure you have heard of that one, but it is where the students make their own 3D shapes using toothpicks as the edges and marshmallows as the vertices (to connect the edges), my kids LOVED it! Now it is an annual thing in our classroom! I also created a Shape Bingo game...I have bingo for addition, subtraction, multiplication, ETC! But not shapes...and all I could find in the stores is the basic shapes...I needed rhombus, parallelogram, you know...those "not so basic" shapes. :) I think the kids will really like this one next year!

I digress, there are tons of fun things in this bundle! I hope you enjoy it and come to find yourself using them annually like me! :)

TPT Store: Shape Showcase 

Teacher's Notebook: Shape Showcase

Engaging Readers in Informational Text

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