Saturday, May 31, 2014

Diggin' Into Next Year ~ Classroom Organization

...........organization in my classroom. If you asked around at my school they would tell you I am the most organized teacher in our school. I want everything in its place so I know right where it is when I need it. I can't stand things just lying around. So here is what I do in my room to help with that. 

The first is I chose this pocket chart as my free item from Highlights. Did you know if you send home their subscription forms all parents have to do is sign that they do not want the subscription and you get free items from that?? I chose this red pocket chart that I use to organize my papers we will need during the week. I labeled different sections of the chart with the days of the week and then on Friday afternoon I just slide in all of my copies in the appropriate place so I am ready for the next week. It also helps during the day for me to see what we have left to accomplish {or sometimes what I forgot about...Oops!} I actually thumbtacked this to the front of a bookshelf to hide the ugliness behind it.

This next idea is super simple it just took me actually getting it together but it makes my guided reading/math life so much easier. I used a crate and hanging folders to organize all of my group materials. Each group has their own color folder and I keep two sets in the crate. One has materials for this week and the ones behind have their materials for next week since I'm an ahead of the game kind of planner. Most weeks we use close reading passages in our small groups. 

The huge binders separate my math and reading sections. Click {HERE} to download the binder labels. You can't see but in front of the binders is another hanging folder that stores the materials I need for all groups such as my schedule of who meets when, reading strategy cards that I printed 4/page on, laminated, and put on a ring{I got them HERE from Cara Carroll}light pointers {Read that post HERE}, and my response sticks

Here are just a few simple ideas. The basket on top say sharp and not sharp so the kiddos know where to put pencils. The tubs below this have each subject and are known as our "I'm not finished yet" tubs. If time is up they know where to put unfinished work (and that they have to get it back out during recess).

This is how I store my math materials and craft stuff. Everything has a box and label so I know right where to go to get what I need.

My next idea to share with you is how I have set up my reading area for next year. This past year I just had all books on a shelf since I just moved to this room and didn't have a chance to organize them. This drove me INSANE. Here is how it is set up for next year. I bought these tubs at the dollar store and used some chevron tape and hot glued labels with book levels on the fronts. I would share the labels with you but it would never work for you the same as it does for me. Some labels have several levels while others have one or two labels simply based on how many books I had of that certain level. 

The next idea is how I will store my monthly materials next year. This past year I used gift boxes that I put a sticker label on the front of. I noticed the more materials I accumulated the more smashed my boxes got from being stacked on top of each other so I had to go with something more sturdy. I bought these large tubs at Walmart and put two months per tub. I labeled them and keep everything for that month inside (mostly centers).

Each of my centers are in a large envelope with the directions laminated on the front. This is mostly what goes in these tubs.

As I mentioned above my monthly tubs have a lot of centers. Here are some of the ones I have stored. Each of these will be 20% for the next three days!

Thanks so much to Laura over at Where the Magic Happens for hosting this. Check out her blog for the full list of bloggers giving some amazing organization ideas!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mathematical May-Weekend Warriors

I have joined a group of wonderful bloggers and we're calling ourselves the "Weekend Warriors." One weekend per month we are going to bring you some ideas that you can hopefully implement in your classrooms. 

Since our theme is Mathematical May, I want to share with you how I do my math block because I just changed it this year and LOVE it! I moved from doing mostly whole group teaching to mostly small group teaching and noticed so much growth in my students. I did have 90% of my class make benchmark this year (not to toot my own horn : )

On Mondays,  I  introduce all of the games they will be playing throughout the week so when they go to play they won't be totally lost. I rotate the game basket every 2 weeks so I don't have to change it our every week.

We then have a 10 minute mini lesson before we bust out into our rotations.

Here is what my guided reading rotation board looks like.

The numbers across the top are the rotation number and the numbers down the side are the group numbers. The group signs on the right have their number with Velcro so they know what group they are in. As I said above I do four 15-20 minute rotations each day. The shapes say "Teacher Time" "Own My Own" "Math Games/Manipulatives" and "Practice Math Facts." Teacher time of course is with me. On my own is a workbook page or some type of page that covers the skill from the mini lesson. I have also been doing a lot of math journals during own my own. Notice the smaller rectangle below the blue octagon? That is blank and I write what page number in their workbook or whatever it is I want them to work on. For practice math facts we use Fast Math which is awesome. For math games we use games that cover various skills that I use from my TPT shop, other TPT shops, or the curriculum closet at our school.

At the end of the rotation I ring a bell and they know to clean up and quickly check the board to go to their next rotation. The first week we did it, they were awesome. They caught on so quick. They have memorized the order of their rotations and the transition is so smooth!

If you use Envision for math {HERE} is a pacing guide my district sent us with the lessons that align from common core along with several other lessons and activities that I use during teacher time. 

And that's it! Super easy...Super fun!

To thank you for stopping by all bloggers are hosting a giveaway where you can win $10 to spend in our TPT shops! Just enter the rafflecopter below. Make sure you stop by each of the other blogs in the linky below and enter as well. Thanks for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the 4th Be With You

Some blogging buddies and I have teamed up to share with you our top four selling items on TPT.

I love this idea because there is a linky at the end of this post and I can go through and look at amazing resources from others and read all about them in use in the classroom to see what I would like to try out for next year.

So with that being said here are my top four:

My number one selling item is my common core assessments. With the individual packets (ELA and Math) or the bundle you get full size color standard posters.

Mini colored "I can" posters for students:

Tracking sheets for individual students as well as trackers for the whole class:
And assessments for every single ELA or Math common core standard. Some even have multiple assessment options:

If you want just ELA or math individually still click on the bundle picture and there is a link for the individual packs in the product description.

I have 2nd grade Math and ELA combined.

There is a 1st grade option as well.

Now, if you don't need the standard posters there are options for both grade levels at a cheaper price without them. Again, if you want math or ELA individually click on the bundle picture and there are links to both in the product description.

Number 2 is my morning work basket work for the year. This is by far my favorite product in my shop and the one that has saved the most time in my teaching life. Here is how the routine works in my class every morning.

 First, every table in my class has their own morning work basket with a number on in.

Inside of the baskets are all of the materials they will need for the whole week. (We rotate baskets each week). These materials are a ring with 5 morning work task cards all aligned to CCSS, books, morning work sheets, and a bag with their name for unfinished morning work.

When the kiddos first get to the room they have their basket already on their table. They pick a card from the basket and get to work. Some cards may ask them to read a book from their basket and complete a task and others may ask them to get a morning work sheet to complete. All of this work is done in their morning work notebook. The pages are numbered in their notebook so they know what page to complete each task on (makes easier for grading). The cards are simple enough that they can complete one card each morning. At the end of the week, I take up the notebooks and baskets and grade them. On each page I either put a check or I circle the number if they need to go back and look at it again. I might even put a note as to why it was circled. Most of the time it is because they did not follow all of the directions on the card such as color your picture.

On the inside of their notebook I put the date and the grade they got for the week. As you can see in the picture the first time we did these I waited and graded at the end of the month of August (we had only been in school 2 weeks) and the girl missed 10. After that they start to get the hang of it and do much better.

I mentioned above that each kid has a bag in their basket. Some days students just don't get finished with a card and if they need to they can put the card and any materials they were using in their bag. That way the next morning nobody gets their card before they get to class.

Click on the picture to be taken to the bundle. If you do not want the bundle you can still click on the picture or my shop link  and then search my shop for the month you want to try out.

My 3rd best selling item would be my common core math packets. They each include pre and post assessments, crafts, centers, games, activities, and so much more. I have them for Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Geometry, Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, and Measurement and Data. They are also bundled together {HERE}at a discounted price.

And last but not least is my newest product 2nd Grade Math Tasks.

I made them with 9 per page so I could put them on a ring and stick in a math center for review.

I also made them 2 per page so my students could show their work on the page.

I even put them up on our projector some days and have them first work it alone then share how they got their answer with their group. I have each group pick the paper that they feel showed their answer the best way and I put that paper on the projector and have that student explain their answer to the class. This way each student sees their own answer, the three answers from their group members and several more examples from other groups giving them a chance to see multiple ways to arrive at the same answer. So, if you are looking for a way to review all of your 2nd grade math standards before your state test make sure you check out Common Core Math Tasks!

If any of these products caught your eye make sure you check them out soon. They are on sale the 4th and 5th along with every other product in my shop!

Now since you have read all about my best sellers make sure you check out some of these others.