Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Organization Day 2

Back for Day 2 of Organizing October...


Today I thought I'd do a little Throwback to some of my previous posts that include some ideas and freebies for you to organize yourself.  

First one up are these Binder Covers.


Do you ever have something that when you see it it just makes you smile?  That's how I feel about binders that keep my organized.  I LOVE having important papers all in one place, and even more than that, I love when those things are also pretty.  It's not the most important thing, but it does make me smile :)  (Click the picture above to go the post and grab these for yourself)

Here is a post all about one of these binders I am referring to - the most important one really - Student Data.  I am constantly in and out of this binder and just love having all my student information in one place.  (Click the picture below to go that post and read about my Student Data binder)
This next one I found on Pinterest from Math, Science, Social Studies, Oh my!, because of course all good ideas end up on Pinterest at some point.  


 I wanted to use something like this in my classroom as a lost and found for crayons.  Kids lose crayons ALL THE TIME and never seem to have the right colors when they need them.   I used small plastic drawers for mine because I didn't have a lot of space.  


When my classroom supply letter went out this past summer I asked for students to bring in two 24-48 packs of crayons (We switch crayons in January.  It's a VERY exciting day!  You would think I told the kids they were going to Disney World with how excited they get about new crayons).  I also asked them to send in a pack of 8 or 16 crayons to be shared with the class.  I use these boxes to replenish my crayon drawers when they get low.  So far this has really helped eliminate many of our crayon issues in the classroom so I would highly recommend this little trick.  Click on the picture above to go to the post and grab the crayon drawer labels.

So, if you are looking to find more ideas, check out my Classroom Organization and Decor Pinterest board.    I am always looking for and pinning more organizational ideas for my classroom, too.  And if you have a Classroom Organization Pinterest board, leave the link in the comments - I'd love to check it out!


As a matter of fact, you can find more Pin-worthy ideas by clicking on my lovely friends' blogs below and checking out what they have to share with you today.  

Thanks so much for joining me for Weekend Warriors!!!





Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Guided Reading Organizational Tips

Coming at you this weekend with some of my absolute FAVORITE bloggers for our monthly Weekend Warriors posts.  This month's theme is...

Today I'm going to share a little bit about how I *try* to stay organized for my guided reading groups.  


First, and most important, I like to keep everything I need as close to me as possible.  I try to find a spot in my room for my guided reading table to be where I can have bookshelves, plastic drawers, and whatever else I can to hold all my STUFF!  Because after 13 years of teaching - I have A LOT of stuff!  



In the picture above I am showing just a few things I keep close by for guided reading time.  There are so many things that are not pictured, so I will try to list as many as I can that are not pictured.  I always keep: plenty of sharpened pencils, erasers, highlighters, markers and crayons, whisper phones, sight word flash cards, letter tiles (pictured below), letter stamps, running record timer, table top pocket chart, sight word/word work games, and SO MUCH MORE!



Then there's the question of where to store the centers and activities students work on during guided reading time.  I have a variety of different centers so I have multiple storage techniques, but this is one of my favorite ways to organize centers (when they fit).




I have tons of these file organizers.  I have one for each "set" of centers that I use and then a bunch more for flash cards.  I actually need to buy more :)  

So those are just a couple ways I try to stay organized during guided reading.  I need to utilize my time for instruction and not finding materials because 5 reading groups go by in a flash and need to be time well spent.

If you are looking for more resources for your guided reading time - click HERE

Now hop around and find out some more organizational ideas for your classroom.  I am on my way too because I can always use more organizational tips.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Favorite Witch

I think I just need to get used to the fact that the first month, more like month and a half, of school EVERY SINGLE YEAR is going to feel like I'm drowning and can't keep my head above water.  

Why is that???

This is my 13th year teaching.  But somehow, although it IS easier, it is still tough.  There is very little sleep to be had, hours of planning each week, and clearly no time to share any of this with anyone - like you wonderful people who visit my blog.  You can see a pattern in my blogging history with my lack of posts in September and October.  

I guess I have to just admit it - I cannot do it all and I will never pretend that I can.  Please tell me I am not the only one.  

With that being said - I do still want to share ideas when I have the time to do so and I really love knowing that some teachers find their way here and take time out of their busy schedules to read what I have to say.  It's an honor!

So let's jump right into Halloween, shall we?

The last couple years I have been loving all things witchy around Halloween time.  This bulletin board has appeared two times so far and I just LOVE putting it up.


When the kids come to school the day after this goes up they just stop and smile.  Some of them try to high five the witch.  It just makes my day!

So since then, I have been sloooooowwwly working on some fun witchy activities for Halloween.  But since I can never get ahead in October (see above) - I have not been able to pull these ideas together into a final product......

until now!

Can I get a Woot! Woot!!

I'm just so excited to introduce my Halloween literacy pack: Bewitched.



I've loved watching this come together and now am finally able to share it all with you!

I'll start with my favorite part.
This original story was inspired by the poem Five Little Pumpkins and is called Three Little Witches.  I was lucky enough (and so honored) to have Nikki from Melonheadz design a custom set of clipart to go with my story and I just adore them!!!!  She is Ah-mazing!!!



This next part is always a favorite of my kiddos so I wanted to include it and spice it up a little.





Along with the Witches' Brew recipe I included labels for your bags (cuter than my handwritten ones) and an adorable writing craftivity where students create their own Witches' Brew recipe.  We had tons of fun with this one.  

In order to create the recipe we needed to review nouns and adjectives so I included a center for that.  


To add onto the nouns and adjectives center, I included a haunted house writing activity.  Students can create a book, or you can make a class book, called What's Inside My Haunted House?  Kids just love talking about oozing eyeballs and hairy spiders and whatever else might show up in their haunted houses.  Gross, but oh so fun!

I also added some activities to go along with two of my favorite Halloween read alouds: Room on the Broom and The Little Old Lady That Was Not Afraid of Anything.  I included sequencing, rhyming words, story maps, and a few more writing activities.  


If you are looking for some more activities to add to your Halloween repertoire then I hope you'll check out this pack.  Or if you are also just trying to get ahead, maybe this will help you so you don't have to feel like you are drowning.  


And if you are searching for something to do after Halloween, try this one out:





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