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July 12, 2014

Summer Time Prep Work

Hello.  I wanted to share what I've been prepping lately for next year.  Just a couple of projects that have kept me busy.

The other Saturday I headed to my favorite thrift store to do some searching.  I say favorite because it's always filled with treasures, it doesn't smell bad, and they are kind of picky about checking over their items.  On the last Saturday of the month they also put everything on a 50% off discount, so I could really go nuts.

Last month I headed there and found quite a few board games.  Chutes and Ladders, Scattergories, Outburst Jr., in addition to a map of the USA, and division flashcards.  Since they are anal about checking for all the pieces, I know that I have nothing to worry about.  I've already gone through the Scattergories cards and made them appropriate for 10 year olds, and then I turned to Chutes and Ladders.  Decided this 50 cent game would be perfect for an Order of Operations game.  Just took a Sharpie and did a pattern of +, -, x over and over again.  Kids will play just like they normally would, but this time they spin and write the symbol and number on a piece of paper.  Then they solve using Order of Operations.  Sliding, climbing, etc - it's all just part of the fun (and practice).

Another project that I've been busy with was copying all the pages of the Math Interactive Notebook. I grabbed them up a couple of years ago from Create Teach Share.  In my classroom, I found that it was good to have the first page (with the standard) to give them as a cut/glue - but the second activity page was easy to just have the kids create themselves using her examples.  To save paper and to make it fit into their composition books, I printed them out 2 sheets per page.  Each introductory lesson will have half a sheet of paper for students to work with - making the cutting/gluing go fast.

Each class set was then tucked by standards into these expanding file folders.  They are the big folders with 13 dividers inside.  My own file cabinets are pretty full at school, so I wanted to keep the math notebook stuff separate and within easy reach.

I also have started doing my back to school shopping.  See my cart?  It was overflowing with goodies (and then no one wanted to stand behind me in line).  I picked up 4 more class sets (33 each) of composition notebooks.  I am SO SICK of spirals for note-taking... I can not emphasize that enough - papers falling out, the metal bending in their desks.  In past years I haven't cared so much about color, because with a label on it it should be clear enough for students to keep organized... but it never is.  So this year I grabbed one color for each set.  I already had a black/white set at home, and now have red, blue, yellow, and green for the other subjects.  Easy for me to see from a distance to make sure we all have the correct book out.    

Here's how I'm planning on dividing them up:
Black/White - Reading Log and Reading Response - HW and Classwork
Green - Science/Social Studies - divided in half
Blue - Reading Vocabulary, OCR stories, CAFE
Red - Interactive Math Notes, Word Problems, Math Journal - divided into thirds
Yellow - Mentor Sentences, ELA Interactive, and Grammar - split in half

At least that's the plan as of this point in time.

Hope you had a wonderful day!


  1. Emily! I love your interactive notebook ideas! Especially storing your pre copied math standards and intro lessons in expandable file folders! I have used the same math interactive notebooks last year! Are you willing to link this post up to my Week #1 Interactive Notebook Linky Pary? It's my first Linky Party and your post is perfect!


  2. Wow! You are awesome. I need to be so organized. Love the idea of putting IN worksheets in an accordion file folder (I'm stealing that little treasure). Thanks for sharing.


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