Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Memory Book

I created a New Year's Memory and Resolution book with my boyfriend this year so that each year we can look back at our greatest accomplishments and goals.  I have seen so many different versions of these made for kids on Pinterest and wanted to make one that works for a couple.  I made several copies of the same page so that each year we can just fill in the year and begin with our recap.  This will provide us with some great trips down memory lane! Best Budget System Ever!

New year means new budget!  This app is free and is also a website if you do not have a smart phone. can help you create a budget, choose your amount, link all accounts and view your spending in multiple different charts to help you understand your finances.  I have the app on my phone so I can quickly check how I am doing financially.  

Classroom Organization

I wanted to share a few of my favorite classroom organization tricks!  I learned fast that organization is key when trying to be a great teacher.  I wanted to spend the least amount of money possible to create a fully functional and organized classroom.  Here are a few of my tricks:

I make anchor charts on the daily and try to make them look colorful and appealing. I got this little bucket from the Target dollar section (one of my favorite places to find cheap classroom items).  It holds all of my markers and can be stuck on a command hook on my white board when I need to use them on chart paper.  

Instead of buying a planning book that did not match my schedule, I decided to make my own.  With some help from a co-worker, we developed a weekly lesson plan template that fit our exact needs!  I copied enough for the entire year and keep it in my Teacher Binder.  

This is one way that I have found to work when trying to organize the three different subjects that I teach.  I have a magazine holder for each subject (also found at the Target dollar section).  Starting on the far left, I keep my teacher manuals, then Science, Math, and Language Arts.  I keep all the books I will read, tests, quizzes, and worksheets for the subject all together.  I usually copy for a week at a time or per unit.  

The "I Can" Statements have become a must-have in Common Core classrooms.  Since my classroom is owl themed, my header reads: "Whooooo Can?  I Can...".  Then I have a child friendly "I Can" statement for each subject I teach.  Sometimes I have to change them daily, sometimes weekly, and sometimes per unit.  

I needed a way to organize our laptops and keep the cords from getting all tangled together.  I purchased a dish rack and they fit perfectly!  It holds all of them and the cords stay separated through the side slots.  

I needed a way to organize and store all of the students back to school forms, medial information, and notes I receive from parents.  I use a crate and file folder for each student.  I labeled them by number so I don't have to redo each tab each year.  I can easily grab out parent information or file student inventories.  

I despise students sharpening their pencils in the middle of a lesson so I had to come up with something so that students could quickly grab a sharp pencil.  I found these labels on Pinterest and used modge podge on the inside of each drawer.  When a student needs a new pencil, they place their pencil in the pencil hospital and can take a sharp pencil.  I have a student at the end of each day sharpen all of the pencils in the pencil hospital.   I notice that the pencils that they come with at the beginning of the year last much longer this way and they don't end up having one inch long pencils.  

I use binder clips with a small label to label my shelves  (Monday-Friday) .  I use this tray to organize the materials that I will need each day of the week.  

Once again, I use binder clips to label (notices, copy, file, morning work).

Since my students need to master their multiplication facts, I have monthly centers for them to do whenever we have extra time in math.  I got the white shelves from Target and the blue tubs from the Dollar Tree.  I found free multiplication games on TPT and Pinterest to use and rotate them out each month.  This has really helped the students memorize their facts in a fun way.

With our math series, we have so many manipulatives that the students need on a daily basis. It takes so much time to pass them out at the beginning of each lesson so I put together a "math tool box"  that has each manipulative and enough for each table.  I got the green baskets from the Dollar Tree and have one for each table.  At the beginning of math, the student in charge of the table gets the basket and puts it on their desk to use. 

In order to create a community atmosphere where my students are responsible for their actions, I guided the students as they created their own class rules.  They each signed it and we hang it in our classroom.  They take pride in their rules and enjoyed having created them.  

Elf on the Shelf

This year I made a new little friend named Snowflake.  This was one of the most fun and magical things that I have done in my classroom so far.  I first read the book to the students explaining all of the "stipulations" of having an elf in our classroom (no touching being the main rule).  We also had to think of a name for our elf.  Each student wrote a name on our white board and then we took a vote.  It came down to Snowflake and Billy Bob Joe (they were very creative).  Then, I told the students that he should be coming any day!  They were so excited walking into school each morning looking for where Snowflake had moved to!

Snowflake climbed onto the document camera.

Snowflake hanging from the flagpole.  

Snowflake hanging on the white board.  I noticed that the day went much smoother if the he was up high and the students weren't tempted to touch him.

Spying on the kiddos in their favorite place- the ticket jar!

Snowflake playing computer games.

Snowflake reading a Christmas book in the book nook.

Snowflake hanging out on the book rack.

Playing Uno with the owl with mini cards.

Snowflake hanging from our "blue lantern".  

Snowflake getting into our indoor recess games. 

                                                  Peeking through the Math Enrichment tub.

Setting a good example of following the rules.

After a long few weeks, Snowflake was taking it easy on the tissue box.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peek into my Closet- December

Here is a peek into my closet:

Scarf: Etsy
Top: Old Navy
Pants: Kohl's 
Shoes: Payless

Jacket: H&M
Dress: Target

Dress: Forever 21
Jacket: H&M
Scarf: Target

Jacket: H&M
Leggings: Target:
Boots: Target

Skirt: Meijer
Top: Target

Top: Target
Scarf: Etsy
Pants: Target
Shoes: Payless

Sweater: Target
Scarf: Mall Kiosk
Pants: JCP
Boots: Payless

Sweater: Pac Sun
Top: Target
Pants: Kohl's
Boots: Payless

Jacket: Rue 21
Pants: Target
Shoes: Payless

Sweater: Kohl's
Pants: JCP
Boots: Target

Shirt: Forever 21
Pants: Kohl's
Boots: Target

Household Organization

Ladies, do you ever wonder how to organize the many products that you use to get ready in the morning?  Here is my solution:

I bought the basket from target and lined the bottom with a paper towel.  This way I can change out the paper towel and the basket it clean again!  Then I bought a smaller container to fit inside the basket (that is the one on the left holding my make-up products).  I lined the edges with the rest of my products and it looks much better than all of the products lining the sink.  If I need to get ready in my room or the bathroom, I can just grab the basket and get myself ready for the day!  

This bag was the best invention ever!  This is from 31 and comes in many different sizes and colors.  You can even have it monogrammed!  I use this everyday for work and can fit everything I need! On the outside, it has five pockets and two mesh pockets.  I keep my water bottle on one side and sometimes my coffee/tea on the other.  On the five outer pockets, I keep an umbrella, my keys, pens/pencils, lotion/hand-sanitizer, and the last pocket is for my phone.  I stick my teacher binder, purse, and lunch box in it and I am set for my day!

I needed a way to hang up all of my jewelry so that I could see what I am working with each morning.  I also was so sick of my necklaces getting all tangled up!  I bought this organizer from Amazon (for less than $20).  It was originally white and I spray painted it black to make it look a little classier.

With all of the bills and items that I have to be responsible for, I needed to figure out a filing system that did not take up much space.  I bought this organizer at Meijer and was able to file everything that I needed all in one place!

Here is what it looks like open:

Another way that I organize my life is through my Home Management Binder:

I keep my calendar for each month in the front and then these five tabs:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Classroom

Here is a peek into my classroom!  A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into making this room what it is and did I mention it all happened in less than one week! That's right!! I was hired less than a week before school started!  It's a good thing that I had a rather large stock pile of things and pins saved!  I must give credit to my amazing co-workers, family, and boyfriend who all pitched in when I needed it the most!

On the bulletin board, I have hung all of my math vocabulary for each unit.  I laminated construction paper and stapled that to the board so I can easily tape and remove the vocabulary words! Below the board is a section of m leveled library.  I assess the kiddos quarterly and they can then choose books that are just right for them!

This is the Book Nook where my students love to relax and open up a good book.  They loved it so much that I had to limit the area to six at one time!

This is the back corner of the room which contains the Science bulletin board, my behavior management clip chart, and the rest of my leveled library.

 I needed specific class jobs so I thought I better make my own!!  I got the top label from  Ladybug Teacher Files and then created the jobs in Power Point.

Here is a zoomed out view of the whole room!

I love doing Bucket Fillers!  It teaches so many good values and helps the students gain self-confidence.

On the back of my desk I have my lunch count.  I use post-it note tape to section off our MANY lunch choices and then each morning the students move their number to their choice.

As a part of my behavior management system, I have Refocus Forms and a ticket jar.  If a student clips down twice, they have to take a refocus form to fill out and return back to me.  If a student clips up, they can take a ticket.  I draw tickets for prizes each Friday.

I have quite a few students who are working at a higher math level this year so I created a math enrichment tub filled with task cards that students can take back to their seats and work on when they have extra time.  The system is working really well so far!