Saturday, May 31, 2014

Diggin' Into Next Year: Classroom Organization

This summer, I am teaming up with Laura from Where the Magic Happens and a great group of bloggers to bring you ideas for your classroom. Each week there will be a different theme. First up: Classroom Organization! 

Organize my language arts and math centers and monthly projects.

BINDERS: 
I LOVE my three ringed binders! They keep me organized and I can usually find things at a moments notice. 
My large main binders are for monthly projects, math topics, and language arts centers. I have smaller binders for specific topics such as main idea and details, grammar lessons etc.

Everything goes into plastic sleeves. This way I can easily take them out to make copies. It also is a great way for me to store the samples I make. 

BINS:
This is something new I started this year. I have 5 table groups in my room. I bought 12 bins from Really Good Stuff and created labels for each table. I use 5 bins for my language arts centers and 5 bins for my math centers. This allows me to prep the centers ahead of time and make them mobile. The center bins can be used for early finishers or during structured center time as a whole group activity. I love the flexibility they provide. When we are not using them, they are stored in a book shelf for easy student access.

Now, I like to be organized and for the most part my system works for me, but there is always room for improvement. Nothing is perfect. I am always tweaking things to make them work better for me. As my binders grow, I have to remember to take out the ideas that didn't work, or I know I will never use again. Last year, I had one binder for language arts centers. Now I am up to three and they are busting at the seams. So, this summer I will be "investing" in more binders and making room for new ideas!




Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Ideas, Freebies & Giveaways DAY 2

And the Magnificent Mathematical May ideas continue with Day 2!!!! If you missed out on the posts from Day 1, click HERE!

Do you stress out or feel unorganized when you are trying to put your finger on that ONE specific center or follow up activity that you just can't find??? I want to share with you how I organize my math materials.

 First off, I must admit, I. AM. A. BINDER. ADDICT!!! There... I said it! I use three ringed binders for EVERYTHING! Our math series is organized into sixteen different topics. It is common core aligned, but needs SERIOUS supplementing to make it work for my students. Here are my binders in action:



At the moment, I have 3 large binders for all the topics. I am constantly adding to it and taking things out that just don't work. EVERYTHING gets put into plastic sleeves. This helps me keep track of all the samples I have made as well.


I label each section by topic number to match my math series. I also use smaller tabs to name specific topics I want to find quickly. This picture shows that "odd and even" is part of Topic 5. There are many concepts covered in Topic 5, but I want to find my odd and even activities at a quick glance, so I made a separate tab.
The binders simplify my teaching life! They keep everything in one place. No more detective work needed. I know EXACTLY where I can find what I need. I hope you are able to get some ideas and inspiration to help organize or reorganize all your math ideas. Now...
Make sure to hop along and gather as many new tips and tricks as possible. While you are at each of our blogs, don't forget to enter each of our giveaways!  Enter below for a chance to win $10 to my TpT store! Happy hopping my friends!

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Ideas, Freebies & Giveaways- DAY 1

I am so excited to be teaming up with some of my fabulous blogging friends to bring you a blog hop with incredible tips, tricks, and ideas the last weekend of each month! We are kicking off this month with mathematical ideas to use in your classrooms! 

I LOVE teaching math! I am always trying to find fun ways to get my kids up and moving or working together to solve problems. One of my favorite units to teach is telling time! After I teach my kiddos about the hour hand and minute hand, we make our own watches! The kids each get a blank clock face and a strip of colored paper. I have each of my students draw the hour hand and minute hand on their watch face. I tell my second graders to pick a  time to the nearest five minutes. If your students are younger, you may choose time to the hour or half hour. Next, they glue the faces to their "watch band." Then, the students put on their watches.
After the watches are assembled and on everyone's wrists, the real fun begins! Each student is assigned a number. I have 21 students in my class, so everyone gets a number 1-21. They write this number on the band of the watch. Next, I give them an answer sheet with numbered boxes. Students must go around the room and ask each student, "Excuse me, what time is it?" The student must show their watch WITHOUT saying anything. The student who asked for the time must read the watch and record their time on their answer sheet. After everyone has walked around the room and gathered the times, they return to their seats and we review the answers together as a class! Easy peezy and SO much fun!

If you would like to use this activity in your classroom, just click on the picture below so you can download this FREEBIE for your students too!

Not only are we sharing our tips with you, BUT each blogger is also hosting an AMAZING giveaway! Enter below for a chance to win $10 to my TpT store! Make sure to visit each blog to enter all the different giveaways- you don't want to miss out on any of the goodies!


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Five for Friday & a FLASH GIVEAWAY!!!

Hard to believe another Friday has arrived. I only have 13 more days and two Fridays left for this school year! What??? Where did the year go? This is going to be a quick post, but make sure to read all of it because there is a little surprise in store for all of you that do!


I started making my kiddos end of the year gifts this week. I made one of these for each of my students. I am going shopping for photo frames this weekend. I hope they love them. This adorable Subway Art template is from my sweet friend Amelia at Where the Wild Things Learn. 

We were lucky enough to get a visit from a local farmer. She came to talk to the kids about what she grows on her farm and how she grows her fruits and vegetables. She brought some fresh produce for the kids to try too!

We reviewed fractions this week with some of Amy Lemons activities from her Fraction Fanatic packet. The kids loved making these cookie booklets and showing off their fraction knowledge!


 I just finished and uploaded my newest creation- Perfect Penmanship: A Printing Practice Unit.  Even though I teach second grade, I still have kids that do not make their letters properly. It frustrates me! I always spend the first semester of school working on clear printing. If I can't read what they write, they don't get credit. I wanted the printing pages to review important skills, as well as practicing their letter formation. This packet is filled with over 75 pages of printing practice. It also includes review of common sight words, identifying vowels and consonants, sentence writing and much more.
 FLASH GIVEAWAY! 
I want to give away a copy of this packet to one lucky follower. Just leave a comment below with your email. For another chance, pin this product or share it on your FB page too. Leave the URL below in another comment. I am also giveaway away a copy of this packet to one lucky follower on my own FB page. Head over there for a chance to win! Winners will be announced at 9pm PST tonight!
CONGRATULATIONS Madelyn V. you are the lucky winner! Look for a message from me in your inbox.

If you haven't heard, a bunch of my blogging buddies and I are sharing ideas and freebies for the End of the Year. Click HERE to get started on the blog hop!
Happy Weekend!