Saturday, May 31, 2014

Diggin' Into Next Year- Classroom Organization

 Organize My Classroom

As a 1st/2nd split grade teacher, I have to be incredibly organized!  

I have a drawer devoted to upcoming work and copies.   I have a folder for each day, so that I can throw in copies/materials that I will need each day.  At the end of the day, I take out the following day's folder and put it in my daily basket.  I also have a section for copies (ex. handwriting, making words) that I copy for several weeks at a time.  This way I can just take out the next day's handwriting, etc.

My district is well known for binders as we receive new ones on a regular basis.  Being a split teacher, I have double the amount.  The two that I use the most are for science and social studies.  I have them divided by unit so that I can see what resources I have for that unit.  I like to make packets by unit, rather than send home individual sheets of science/social studies as much as I can.
As I will no longer be teaching a split next year (as of right now I am teaching a straight 2nd grade), my organizational system will be a little bit more simple next year.  Right now I have 1st grade and 2nd grade bins for many things such as science/social studies and math.  Now they will be for groups (I love small group instruction) instead of grades.

I have folders and sub folders for each curriculum area.  Then I have seasonal folders which are broken down into months, and then further into holidays/topics.  This works well for me.

I have both leveled books and books by topic (non-fiction).  Students know their level/color to find books appropriate for them.  The fiction books are by level, and the non-fiction ones are by topic.  Each book has its own color (range of F&P levels), so students know what color is appropriate for them.
 I am fortunate with the split to have a smaller class size, so I used some of the cubby space for storage.

I have some free and paid products that may be of help to you as you think about organizing your classroom for next year :)  Please leave positive feedback if you find them to be useful and get TPT credits (for paid products) good for saving money on future TPT purchases!  :)

Curriculum Map: this is a MS Excel file so you can use it to feed the needs of your class ($1)

Primary Grades Weekly Lesson Plan Form: this is a MS Excel file so you can edit it to fit the needs of your classroom.  You can either print out a master for the year with your set times and fill it in weekly, or type & print it out each week.  (FREE)

Literacy & Math Centers Planning Sheet: this is a MS Excel file where you can write/type in your literacy and math centers each week. (FREE)

Weekly Classroom To Do List: this is a MS Word file that can be edited to fit your needs. (FREE)

Writing Lesson Plans: this is a MS Word file where you can write/type in your lesson plans for writing (FREE)

Click on the image below to see all of the other great ideas out there!

Please join me next week, when I talk about math workshop!  :)  Have a great week! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

One year ends, and a new begins...

One year ends, and a new begins...although technically this year has not ended yet (I still have 8 more days), we are almost there!   I will miss my class, as this year has been so wonderful, but I am so excited to think about next year too!  I decided to join a linky party about this throughout the summer:)
Look at all of the wonderful teacher bloggers I will be linking up with!  Hopefully you have some time to check out their fantastic blogs!  :)
It is being hosted by Lauren from:
Throughout the summer, I will be blogging and reflecting on this year, and at the same time thinking about my classroom next year:)  Look for our first topic this weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Learning While Traveling

I have less than 2 weeks of school to go so I am really thinking about summer vacation!  Although I do not have any children of my own, I was blessed as a child to travel extensively with my parents and sister.  My parents really saw it as an opportunity for learning.

I recently had two students in my class who took a week off of school to travel, so I made a travel & learning journal for them to take with them.  This product can be sent with them to enrich their learning experience while on their trip whether it be during the school year, or during the summer vacation.

-detailed directions for parents
-travel planner
-writing (informational, narrative, and opinion including multiple reviews)
-souvenir spending (money)
-space to glue ticket stubs, etc.
-spaces to glue pictures
-plus a few more pages

All of the pages are unique and not numbered so you can choose which ones (if not all) to use for each student, as well as if you want them to complete multiple reviews or have a lengthier story.

You can see a video about how another teacher used it with her children here: 

I am excited to offer this product + a $10 credit to my TPT store!  Good luck!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day Blog Hop

I am excited to be linking up with fellow teacher bloggers for a Memorial Day Blog Hop!  I can't believe that it is already here as this year has really flown by for me!

You can pick up a sample of my product "May & June Word Problems for 1st Grade" for free at my Teachers Pay Teachers store until the 26th.  This product includes sample pages from my regular May product including: 16 summer/Mother's Day themed word problems for 1st graders. It also includes a printable for students to write their answers on, as well as an answer key. I use these as a math center, but you could use them in many other ways as well. You could hide them around the room and have your students see how many they can find and answer correctly individually or in pairs.

I modeled them after what is in my 1st grade "Math Expressions CCSS Edition" book, so they do include more reading than some other math problems.

Click on the cover to download a copy to use in your classroom!

May Word Problems for 1st Grade (SAMPLE) 

I made these for every month (just have to finish up September and October), so if you are interested in others, they are all available for purchase in my store:)

Now, I hope that you will visit 
I hope that you enjoy the rest of your break, whether it be for a long weekend or for the summer!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Time & Mother's Day Projects

I had a great day Friday as my favorite mascot visited my school!   The students really enjoyed having a special visitor!  And of course, I did too! :)
But we have been busy working on some other things too...

We made tea for our moms by coloring a tea pot/poem, cutting it with fancy scissors,  adding a background, and then of course attaching a "calming" tea bag with a piece of yarn:)  Sorry that my picture is not great...I was on my prep when Sparty was there so I didn't have much time.
We have also been working on telling time lately.  Our new Math Expressions program includes clocks for the 1st graders to cut and glue into a book about their day.  I think that they turned out nice and were a great way to integrate writing and math.  I usually do something similar with time stamps, but this worked out better.  Plus, I love how the hour hand and minute hand are color coded!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teachers Appreciate Teachers SALE

I am so excited about the Teachers Pay Teachers sale over the next couple of days! I already have my cart filled and ready to buy some great things to finish off the school year ( days), and also as I look forward to next year! As of right now I will be teaching a straight 2nd grade which will be the first time in 4 years for me (had the 1/2 split for the past several years).

So to help you to get even more excited for the sale, a few friends of mine and I have decided to do a special pre-sale!  Each of us have chosen 1 item to put at 50% off throughout the sale starting TONIGHT!  You can see my Link 4 Game here.  You can also see a link to all of my other products that will be on sale here Make sure that you use the TPTXO code so that you can get 28% off for the TPT sale!

I hope that you have a great teacher appreciation week!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Field Trip and Other Science & Social Studies Fun

We went on a field trip yesterday. This year was the first time that I took two field trips in one year, and both to places I have never been to so that was nice:) We went to a local plant nursery and I feel that the students gained a lot of information, and had a lot of fun too.

After reviewing the needs of plants, students got to plant their own flowers to take home.

Then students went on a tour of the greenhouses.  They even got a behind the scenes tour of how they make flats of plants, and the various machines that were used.  I think that the students liked that, but they also enjoyed walking around and learning about so many different plants.  This place was great as they have "kid stop signs" all over for what the students will be interested in.  We also had a great guide the whole way through to talk and answer questions.  One of their favorites was the chocolate mint plant that smelled like Girl Scout cookies :)
They also really enjoyed seeing how the various plants are watered throughout the greenhouses and the many different ways they are watered.
We have also enjoyed social studies recently with a letter writing project.  After reading Look Out, Washington, D.C. while we were studying American symbols, we wrote letters to various museums and organizations around D.C. asking for information.  I had students each choose who they wanted to write to so we are receiving brochures daily the last few days.  They love seeing who the latest piece of mail is from, and who it was sent to!  Today we got two pieces of mail from Ford's Theater, and the F.B.I. :)
I feel that these are both great activities for students to learn about plants, and American Symbols.