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July 31, 2013

Dollar Off Day - Top 5 Most Wishlisted Items

Hi everyone!  I'm home today getting more projects done and having a PJ day with my boys.  I've already tackled updating my Hall Pass Magnetic Board, hot glued colored laminated paper onto clothespins, and taped on the birthday dicuts to my pencils.  I've posted a picture over on Instagram of the magnetic board if you are interested to see how it turned out.  

The real reason I'm popping by today is to share that I put my 5 most wishlisted items on TPT as a dollar off for today only.  If you are interested, the links are the titles for each of the 5 items.    

What are the most wishlisted items?

Usually $2.50 - today only $1.50

Usually $3.00 - today only $2.00

Usually $3.00 - today only $2.00

Usually $3.00 - today only $2.00

Usually $3.00 - today only $2.00

I hope you have a great day today -  whatever you are doing and wherever you are. 


July 30, 2013

My Mess Got Organized (More Pictures)

I'm posting late tonight since I had a date.  :)  Of course it was with my hubby!  

So, today in the classroom I logged 7 hours.  I'm feeling a lot more settled with the to do list... of course I didn't get a chance to cross out many of the things on the 5 pages... that will happen soon...

My enormous project today was organizing those 2 cabinets.  I didn't take a before picture since they were disgusting.  Well, not totally disgusting but pretty much.  4 years ago when I moved back to 4th grade I shoved my boxes inside the cupboards and over time I basically only kept the construction paper neat and tidy.  So today I pulled everything else out of the cupboards, grabbed the old book buckets (plastic shoeboxes) and labels, and got to work.  I sorted, I stuffed, I realized that I had a container full of pipe cleaners!  

The getting there picture was about 3 hours into it.

This cabinet has bigger tubs - each tub being a different subject, then other ones for movies, index cards, paper products, ziploc bags, etc.
My shoe boxes are sorted by school supplies (near the top), then craft supplies, then paint stuff is on the bottom.

I will no longer be worried a sub will open up the cabinet!  

I also got around to organizing my math manipulatives in these 3 drawer units.  I still want to make matching labels... it's on the to list for tomorrow.  

I put up my cupcake birthday months.  I still need to laminate some colored copy paper and cut rectangles for candles (to put the kids' names on them).  

Bucket Filler station is all ready to go too.  Last year I used paper cups, this year is full size plastic ones.  The classroom numbers come from 4th grade frolics Homework Club set.  I've used them so many places in my room.  

Supply bins are all assembled and on a small bookshelf.  A retiring teacher passed it down to me in May.  It's perfect!  

I have my FACE board all started.  The FACE (or CAFE bulletin board set) came from Ladybug's Teacher Files last year.

My updated helper tags are in the pocket chart - waiting for finalized student names to finish it up.  

My inbox and highlighters are on an extra student desk up front.  

I passed out the pencil boxes, ipod name tags, and then each table has a basket that at the moment holds all the journals, folders, and whiteboards for the table.  Since the journals and folders are different colors, I'm going to give kids the option of choosing their own color - they can switch within the table.  I still need to hang up the table numbers.  Another day...

I made up these clips for another project, but I loved the idea of being able to just start out Monday morning with all the clips up, and then as the week goes on clips are removed (there is a little crate to hold them below) when students forget something.  Easy way to see who gets to attend Friday PAT.  

Last picture of the day - outside my portable as I was about to drive away... all that stuff was trash after my day of cleaning.  2 huge plastic party trash bags, 2 big scholastic boxes filled, an old laundry basket filled, an old file box filled, and 4 big plastic bins also filled that are cracked (since I now have those new blue ones to take their place).  I love purging! 

Hope you had a great day!  

July 29, 2013

Monday Made It - First Day in the Classroom

Linking up with Tara to share what I accomplished today.  I've already shared a bunch lately about all the projects I've tackled... so here's what I did in my classroom on the first day back.  

First, some before pictures... I did get some bulletin boards started on that last day of school before I checked out.  It was sweet relief walking in being reminded of everything that was done.  

This was about halfway through the day - everything unloaded from storage, desks and furniture arranged, my new blue storage bins unloaded and things starting to be put away - every surface is still covered...

Then, here's how it looked when I left today.  My husband and boys helped bring all the stuff in, and then they left so I could think straight.  

It took me 14 years to figure out to put wide ribbon on the base of all my bulletin boards.  I let the kids sit on the ground a lot, so the paper borders never hold up.  I hold everything in place with pushpins until it's staple time.  

I put up the goals and bucket fillers under the whiteboard, and put border around the board.  It's not done yet...
I hung new fabric on this wall, and then separated out all the different notebooks vs texts against the wall.  I now have a big carpet space going into this next year.

I changed up my word wall to this bulletin board.  I think I'm going to add some clothespins on the tops of the pendants...
This was my Scholastic Bonus Point purchase last year - Super Hero Parts of speech.  
Thought clouds come from Tonya's Treats for Teachers.

Last year I used those red Silo cups to hold Marzano's Thought Clouds - this year I picked up some metal buckets from Target's Dollar Spot.  Definitely more sturdy.

Daily 5 and Math Rotations come from 4th Grade Frolics.
On my big black metal thing, I hung up a pocket chart and stuck both the rotations for Daily 5 and Math.

My behavior chart is ready to go - up and down
This is also from 4th Grade Frolics.
 Comprehension Levels are above the whiteboard now too.
Ladybug's Teacher Files VOICES bulletin board set.
Finally, I reworked my Voices board... still have more to add to this board though.   

Well, that took about 5 hours non stop....

More on tap for tomorrow, my parents are taking the boys all day to visit them... so I have the whole day to keep on working.  My goal is to get as much done these couple of days so I can sit back and breathe those 2 days before meetings start next week.  Check back in to see what got finished!

July 28, 2013

Last Day of Summer...

Okay, okay... it's not technically the last day of summer vacation - but tomorrow I move all the school stuff out of my house and have access to my classroom.... given previous experience I will probably live there the majority of this next week before meetings start the following week... alone and with my kids trying to get everything *perfect*.  Of course we all know that perfection in the classroom really doesn't exist - especially while chasing a 3 year old - there is always something that can be tweaked.  So after today there will be pictures of my classroom, and how I'm trying to set it up differently with the same efficiency as I had the past years.  We'll see.

I've done a lot this summer to help prep.  I know it drives my dear, wonderful, considerate husband batty (can you tell he is probably reading this?) with all the stuff I do - but it really makes the transition easier having it done.  Not that my school list is short - no, it's not - but I'm on my way.

So what have I prepped this summer?  Figured I would make a list with links so you can see it all in one spot.  Then there is the reason that at the moment I need to know I actually did a bunch of stuff since I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.  

Okay, here's some of what I did: 

*Fill a Bucket Mailbox - posted on Instagram

*Answer Key Binder

*Numbers on Clothespins - ready for CAFE goals

*Name/Picture Squares - ready for their smiling first day of school pictures

I know that's not everything, but a lot of it is just prepping paperwork - printing, making copies, laminating, etc... not exactly the fun stuff to show off here on the blog.  

So overall, what am I hauling in tomorrow?

*5 big blue tubs stuffed full of prepped materials - pencil boxes, journals, folders, supplies, etc
*2 Task Card sorters
*2 big boxes and 2 crates full of labeled notebooks
*2 crates of binders and teacher's editions
*4 empty crates
*an empty 3 drawer storage thing
*a box of read alouds
*my mailbox
*my patience ruler
*one or two 4 ft. fold up tables

Probably will need 2 car trips to get it all in... maybe... the point that it has to get out of the house ASAP!  

Have a wonderful day.  Remember that today is the last day to enter the $50 TPT Gift Card Giveaway - Pinterest Style.  

July 27, 2013

What's in my students' desks?

I know I've told you already, but this year I'm providing my students with exactly the supplies they need (rather than them bringing in their own supplies and not matching everyone else).  Some of these things will start off the year in a basket to keep them separate, but will end up in their desks after we learn some rules.  

Spiral Notebooks: 
Spelling notebook - We aren't allowed to write in our spelling workbooks - don't know why, but we aren't.  The kids practice their spelling words, patterns, word work, and cursive in this notebook.  
Mentor Sentences - Something new I'm starting this year.  This will take the place of our traditional DOL.  
Journal - I have my students do random journal writes throughout the year when I need them to brainstorm, or when they have a chance to work on writing.  On Fridays we also do our 3, 2, 1's in them.  (3 things they learned during the week, 2 things they loved, 1 thing they would change - or 1 goal to work on.)

Composition Books: 
Math - I'm getting rid of all the random papers in their binders, and it's all going into a composition book.  Problem of the day, Notes, Reflection, Tables, Graphs - basically anything that goes on an anchor chart will end up in here too.  
Reading Vocabulary - Every week we have new vocabulary we are learning for our reading.  We stick them in here in addition to our story maps and making connections lists.
Reading Log - This is mainly for their weekly homework assignment, though we will start off in August doing this full class.   

Binder - 

At the moment the binders are still locked up in my cupboard at school but they will contain their subject dividers and other things in sheet protectors.  Sheet protectors turn these papers into graphic organizers they can write with dry erase marker on.  These pages also act as dividers and help keep the kids organized.  A couple of weeks ago I made up my ipad themed Student Notebook Set - I LOVE IT!   
*Math divider (front) - App bubbles will be for units we learn.
*Multiplication Fact Sheet (back)
 - This section will contain different math grades, areas to work on (their Think Central and IXL sheets), and any random math papers that they aren't done with.  We make a math game list on binder paper for easy reference too.  
*Reading divider (front) - Same thing as math - each app bubble will be for our unit.
*Story Map (back) - Sometimes we do a quick story and I have them give me a story map on it.  This will help save some paper.  
*Boggle (front) - This helps out for the weekly word work game.
*Reading Strategies (back) - This goes into more depth than the regular story map.  
After these sections will come papers not in sheet protectors since they will be recording information directly on them.
*32 Book Challenge
*In class story summary - after silent reading we are taking a few moments to record what we read (not pictured - still need to buy it from TPT).

For writing it's a little different...

*Heart Map (front) - Student Generated
*Rainbow Edit (back)
This section will contain their rough drafts and works that need to be finished.  Once finished they turn it into me. 

Folders - My kiddos get 2 paper folders (other than their Homework folder)

*Classwork - inside one side says "Save", the other says "Finish"
*Sight Words/Leveled group work - these folders are kept in a basket ready for intervention moments.  I have their fluency information inside with their appropriate sight word lists.  

Then of course is their text books, workbooks, pencil boxes, etc... Books are stored in crates (1 crate per team) right next to their desks.  

What do you give your students to keep them organized throughout the year?

Linking up with Kristen and Elizabeth for their Organization Party.