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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.


  1. Hi! I love your iPad style graphic organizers! Do you have them available to share???

    1. They are over in my store. I can add the link above.

  2. I agree, giving out supplies is a much better idea! I wonder why you can't write in the Spelling books?

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  3. Thanks for sharing how you set up your notebooks. I'm also trying Mentor Sentences this year! So excited!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. For the first time I ordered/ personally bought all of the materials my kids will need for next year. I am allowing them to bring their own markers/crayons if they really want to go buy something. Honestly I'm a bit nervous about how parents will feel about this. Are they going to be relieved or am I taking the fun out of back to school shopping? How has it played out for you in the past?

    Polka Dots & Teachng Tots

  5. What an awesome post! I love how everything is so organized, labeled, and color-coded! You have motivated me to get cracking, Emily!
    Awesome job!
    Joy in the Journey


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