Monday, July 9, 2018

Updated Teacher Binders and "The Nice Kid" poster

Happy Summer, teachers!  I have updated my All-In-One Simple Style Teacher Binders for the 2018-19 School Year.  If you have already purchased one, but sure to redownload the file for free!  Here they are:

Click the above image to see them in my TpT Store.

I have also created a poster with Bryan Skavnak's popular quote:

You can purchase this in my TpT store as well!  

I hope you continue to enjoy your summer break. It seems to go faster every year!

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Turn-In Trays

I posted my "Turn-In Trays" on Instagram and received lots of questions about them!  This is how I have my students turn in their completed work.  I love this because it takes up very little space and keeps the subjects separated.  I also train my students how to lay the papers in the trays all facing the same way, which saves a ton of time with sorting!  At the end of the day, I have a student stack all of the papers up for me and clip them together.  

I purchased these trays at Staples almost 10 years ago!  I found a link to them HERE.

I created subject labels and a header card, printed them on card stock, laminated them, and hot glued everything to the trays.  If you'd like to purchase the labels I used, you can find them HERE in my TpT Store.  The download includes a PDF of the exact labels I used.  I also included a PPT file where you can edit the subject labels.  

Hope this helps!  :)

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Character Poster *Freebie!*

This is one of my most favorite sayings and we refer to it CONSTANTLY during the school day.  It's a freebie in my TpT Store!  Enjoy!  :)

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Updated Binders & a FREEBIE Binder for Small Groups

Happy Summer, teachers!  I have updated my All-In-One Simple Style Teacher Binders for the 2017-18 School Year.  If you have already purchased one, but sure to redownload the file for free!  Here they are:

Click the above image to see them in my TpT Store.

Awhile back I shared my CAFE binder set.  See old post HERE!  I will still be using CAFE in my classroom, but I have simplified my forms/binder and condensed my math and reading intervention documentation into one spot.  I am hoping this will keep things more simple this year!  Here are the forms and how I plan on using them:

1.  Create flexible reading groups (1=lowest group  5=highest group)

 2.  Keep notes on each group.

3.  Hold individual reading conferences with each student & keep notes on reading behaviors and strategies taught.
For this section of the binder, I have numbered tabs (1-30), one for each student.

4.  Create strategy groups for students who have common needs for reviewing or practicing specific skills in reading or math.

Here is the binder cover and tabs I will be using to organize it:

This binder is a free download in my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you're interested.  The packet also includes a PowerPoint file for you to edit/personalize your own cover.  I listed the Kimberly Geswein fonts I used, which you can download from her TpT Store.

I won't be using the binder to write lesson plans, rather just to keep notes and to keep track of groups.  Midway through last school year, I started using for lesson planning.  I was reluctant to start, but I will never go back to handwritten plans!  I am going to plan small groups on here as well.  Here is a snapshot of how I have my planbook laid out for next year.

Under "Reading Centers", you can see which groups I will be meeting with and how often.  I will be adding more detailed plans once the school year begins, but this is the basic template I will be using.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Made It - Rag Banner + Bell

I'm linking up with Tara {4th Grade Frolics} for Monday-Made It!  I haven't made nearly as much cutesy classroom stuff this summer, but did finally make a rag banner to hang above my classroom windows.

It really was quite easy to do and probably only took 2-3 hours total (and that was with a baby crawling all over me pulling the fabric strips down).  HERE is a great tutorial if you'd like to try one out!  My fabric strips are 2x20 inches.  I was excited that I was able to use up a bunch of fabric from my old bulletin boards!  I had to make mine pretty long to reach across the windows, so depending on your space, it may not even take that long.

My other Monday Made It is embarrassingly simple...I spray painted my new classroom bell to match my color scheme.  I kept trying to find colored or cute call bells online, but could only find plain ones.  Once my bell arrived from Amazon, I realized how simple it was to take it apart.  I spray-painted the base and reassembled...took several minutes!  I keep the bell at my small group table and use it to transition between Daily 5 rotations.  I ring it twice to signal "pick up" and ring it once after a minute or so to signal that the students should be at their own seats, heads down, quiet, and picked up.  This really has cut down on transition time.  :)

{Wire basket + tins are from Target}

I'm also pretty excited about the new stools I scored at Family Dollar for $5!  My IKEA stools didn't even survive two years of wiggly second graders.  Gladys from Teaching In High Heels uses the metal Family Dollar stools in her room and said they've been sturdy and are going strong into their fourth year.  Thanks for the tip, Gladys.  Hope these last! 

It's our last week before school starts.  Which means, it is time to set aside the fun projects and start lesson planning.  :(  Hope everyone has a great start to the school year!  

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Word Collector Display

I love the idea of using personal and class "Word Collectors" in the classroom.  I was inspired to do this after reading The Daily Cafe.  After teaching the mini-lesson over "tuning into interesting words", I pass out personal word collectors for my students to keep in their writing folders.  This really has helped my students expand their vocabularies and encourages  them to give more attention to new words in the books they read.  Students may add words to their collectors at any point during the day.  We also have a whole-class collector posted in the room where we write words we want to remember from shared read alouds.  The kids are obsessed with this!  In the past, I made a new class word collector every year by using a large piece of butcher paper and drawing [crooked] lines with a yardstick.  It was one of those summer tasks I dreaded doing because it always turned out so ugly.  So, I made one that I could print, laminate, and write on with dry erase so it can be used every year!  (You could also write the words with permanent marker and use the Expo marker or hand sanitizer method to remove the words at the end of the year.)  Out with the ew, in with the new!

Definitely don't try to cut corners and not use card stock.  I did this the first time around and it looked bumpy after putting hot glue on the back of each square to hang it.  Needless to say, I pulled it all down and started over.  (I'm going to pretend that I don't see the smudge marks our school's laminator made at the top of each square the second time making it.)

I have this Word Collector in my TpT Shop if you are interested!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Strategy-Based Fact Drills

 Do you ever feel like you teach a strategy for basic facts, but then don't give the students enough time to practice the strategy in isolation before having them apply it in class?  I know I do.  I feel like I quickly move on to the next strategy without giving the students enough time to master the one that was just taught.  I have yet to find a perfect solution to teaching basic facts in my classroom.  I feel like my students knew their facts the best when I used the Saxon Math program, but that is no longer an option for me since our school has adopted a different program.  I loved how Saxon provided practice with a given fact strategy before moving on.  So, I created strategy-based fact drills that will give my students plenty of practice with the strategies I'm introducing. 

I plan on using this only as a supplement to my current fact program.  I am using Rocket Math in my classroom and have been happy with it.  Still, I think my students would be doing much better if more time was spent on practicing fact strategies.  I still see SO MANY fingers out and my students are relying almost completely on "Counting On" and "Counting Back".  I plan to spend the first 10 minutes of my math block on fact practice every day.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we will do Rocket Math.  (I only do this three times per week since it takes awhile to go through each student's Rocket Folder.  But, don't let this scare you from trying it out.  If you have a good system down, you can check over folders for the entire class in 15 minutes.)  Tuesday and Thursday's fact practice will consist of modeling/practicing a fact strategy.  Depending on the difficulty of the strategy, we may do one or two strategies a week. 

Here are the strategies I've included drills for in my packet:

Each strategy includes two different fact drills (25 problems) and answer keys.  The strategies are labeled at the top of each page with a short reminder of how to use it. Each drill is also labeled as A or B. These would be great to copy back-to-back (A/B) so students could complete side A at school and side B at home. Also, the answer keys make this conducive to independent work in centers.

Click any of the images above to check it out on TpT or click HERE.  :)

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