Friday, August 30, 2013

 Meet the Teacher Night

Today is a furlough day for my district.  I will be going in to work for free today...and probably again this weekend before our first day anyway....Last night was Open House/Meet the Teacher Night.  Here is why I LOVE LOVE doing Open House, BEFORE school starts. 
1)  I don't know the kids, so I unable to answer the, "How is ________ doing so far?"  Why do parents ask that during open house.  Answering is so uncomfortable with all the other families around the room.
2)  I have a face for every student so I can greet them by name on the first day.
3)  All their supplies are already sorted and put away, so they don't have to be dealt with on the first day.
4)  They share their transportation plans for the first need to guess or hope they know where they are going
5)  I had them label their folders with their more upside down, backwards folders.
6)  Lunch magnets are done!  They can walk in and make their lunch choice.

Room looks ready.  I need to go to Ikea and get the polka dotted rug, that everyone has, to cover up that cord.
 Tubs for big supplies....kleenex, clorox wipes...etc.
 Scholastic News Money collection.
 Supply bins to sort supplies.
The sign says, "Grand Opening Tuesday"  I didn't want people messing with the highly organized library:-)
School info packets.  I also put their first book order and all our classroom information inside as well.
How to label folder.  On each seat, I paperclipped their name labels and all the labels they would need for their things.
Short and off to work,
Room reveal coming soon...
Happy Friday,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

 Tips and Tricks

Teacher Week 13: Tips and Tricks
This tip is super easy!  Keep a journal. of cards, e-mails, and notes that encourage you.  I save them and tape them into a book.  Then when a day....or a year feels awful, I reread them for a pick me up.  I also keep track of how many kids I have from year to year and who my teaching partners were.  Some years, I write more about day to day things, or more reflective type entries, but that usually depends on how demanding the year has been.

I don't save them all, just the ones that make my heart happy!
Happy Saturday,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

 Taming the Wild

Teacher Week 13:  Taming the Wild

I have used all kinds of classroom management plans.  For the most part they function, but I don't love them.  Last year I started using a bit of Whole Brain Teaching.  I am looking forward to implementing much more of it this year. 

I do think my chickadees need as much praise as possible.  So they have punch cards (thank you vista print).  Any day they get a rocket (a slip of paper tied to PBIS) they can turn in their card for a stamp/punch.  Once the card is full, they get to trade it for a choice from the Chickadee Card Choices Binder.

A Chickadee Punch Card
 This is the Chickadee Card Choices Binder

Inside the binder are all kinds of choices, that cost me nothing, and the kids love! 

Warm Me Up, Snack Freedom, and Pet Shop were most popular last year.  I have a few new ideas to add.  Do you have any suggestions?

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

 Organizing for Instruction

Teacher Week 13:  Organizing for Instruction

1.  Pick-Me Sticks
One of my favorite tools for sharing is popsicle sticks.  That way I can make sure everyone gets an opportunity to share.  Everyone's name goes on a popsicle stick and then I put them all in a jar.  When I need a volunteer I choose from the jar, flip the popsicle stick, and return it to the jar.  However I can never remember which side of the popsicle stick I should be pulling from.  To solve this problem, I used a blank popsicle stick and velcroed it to the jar.  That way I can use the blank popsicle stick direction and flip it around to match the rest. 
Put the sticks in a cup of paint so one side is different than the other.  Add names to popsicle sticks.
Add velcro to popsicle jar.  Add velcro to popsicle stick and attach to jar.  Make sure it matches the direction of the popsicle sticks in the jar so you know what popsicle sticks still need a turn.
2.  Work for the Week
I used to have boxes labeled by days of the week.  Many of you do as well.  It never worked for me.  I would run out of time or something else would come up.  So I switched and made bins for subjects then put materials in the bin based on subject, rather than day of week.
3.  Back to School Checklist
Every year, I would hand write a list of things I needed to do for back to school.  After a few times doing this, I realized I was writing the same basic things all the time.  I typed it up, saved it, and now all I have to do is print it each year.  (I have the same plan for packing also:-) 
4.  Student Turn-In
Spending time sorting student work is not something I really want to spend my time on.  Students are fully capable of this.  I used, one of my many, sterlite drawers and labeled them for each of the three weekly things that are turned in each week.  Math has a different turn-in box.  Even 1st graders could do it, I just added pictures.
I need all the organizing help I can up!
Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

 Show Your Digs (Rought Draft Style)

Teacher Week 13:  Show Your Digs

We don't start school here til the day after Labor Day.  Fortunately we are allowed in during the summer, so I will photo dump what has been done so far.  Then do a better tour when it is done.

 The view from my conference meeting area and going around the room-
 View from the door-
The Library-fiction picture and chapter books
 non-fiction books
Stay tuned for updates!

Happy Tuesday,