Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Organizing for Instruction

 I love an organized classroom and have a few tips to share! 

I have a file folder for each day of the week. I use these folders to keep handouts, supplies, notes, etc. organized. I keep these on the right hand side of my desk, always within reach. Before I leave school on Friday afternoon I make sure everything is organized for the next school week. When I walk in on Monday morning everything is organized and I'm not scrambling to put together last minute lessons. I just open up the folder and all of my supplies are organized by the order of subjects for any given day. I laminated the folders so they will easily last all year. 

You can pick up your own set of labels in my TPT store HERE

I assign every student a number at the beginning of the school year that corresponds to their name in alphabetical order. Students are required to write their name AND number on each assignment. My aide (yes, I have an INCREDIBLE teacher's aide) and I can quickly put assignments in alphabetical order by looking at the numbers. 

Each student has a mailbox with his/her number. On Friday morning all graded assignments and projects are placed in the student mailboxes. My aide files all of the papers for me. We don't waste valuable class time passing out graded assignments! The mailboxes are shoe organizers from Target. I bought them 5 years ago and they have worked perfectly ever since. I rarely interrupt class to give a child a note or reminder from the office. I usually just drop it in their mailbox and they know to check it for mail at the end of every school day.

I used labels and binder clips to write the numbers for each mailbox: 

I have a ton of storage space in my classroom, but I'm always looking for more! I do not like a cluttered classroom so I bought some table skirts: 

And look at all the storage I have underneath! If this was visible to my students and parents it would drive me NUTS! I have a few desks and chairs hidden under another table. Table skirts provide instant storage and a pop of color to any classroom! 

I dust and clean every square inch of my classroom at the beginning of every school year. I've been putting it off for a few days, but I finally climbed on top of my cabinets to wipe down the dust and hang up my alphabet! 

What are some of your favorite ways to stay organized? Share your tips and tricks in the comments! 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Classroom Tour

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for a Classroom Tour. My classroom isn't completely set up yet, but I'll share a few pictures. My classroom was repainted (YAY!) over summer vacation so I had to hang everything back up on the walls. I'm not a big fan of having an egg shell colored classroom so I've filled the spaces with bright colors! I'm loving my Dr. Suess theme again this year. 

My students love to create messages with the magnetic letters on my desk: 

view from my desk - 21 students (smallest class ever!) this year: 

front of the classroom - I love my SMARTboard! 

Travel books! This table is full of books about other states, countries and cultures: 

our spot for counting to the 100th day of school: 

The polka dot rugs, small black table & red shaggy rug are all new this year. I always sit in the rocking chair for class read alouds: 

Truffula trees from The Lorax

I have books scattered ALL over my classroom: 

If you want to read about my love of $5 books from Kohl's, check out this blog post

My students love sitting in the beach chair with a good book: 

I still have some work to do, but it's almost ready for Monday morning! 

What does your classroom look like? Be sure to link up with Blog Hoppin' and show us!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Teacher Week '13 - Meet the Teacher

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week '13. I'm excited to meet some new blogger buddies this week and read about some great new ideas to implement in my classroom. 

Monday's Topic is "Meet the Teacher!" I'll tell you a little bit more about myself using pictures. We call this a photo essay in 2nd grade!

This is what I look like according to my students: 

I grew up in Indiana: 

and moved to San Francisco after college!

I teach 2nd grade & love it! Check out the frog life cycle below. Does it get much cuter? 

I do not like giving up control of my classroom to a substitute teacher. I leave so many post it notes, reminders, supplies and extra activities it's ridiculous. My desk usually looks like this when I have to take a day off: 

One of my favorite science units every year is teaching the students about plants. We conduct several experiments to learn the functions of each part: 

I used to be a gymnast when I was young. I competed with a club and my high school team. Sometimes, I still like to pretend I'm a gymnast: 

Since I'm not quite used to flipping around anymore (and usually see silver stars when I try!),  I decided to take up long distance running. I ran my first marathon last December and I'm currently training for my 2nd one! 

Sometimes, I find time to sew and make pilgrim outfits for colonial day: 

I usually have a booth at our school's annual Christmas Faire too. My days in 4H have paid off!

I am obsessed with avocados and making homemade guacamole on a near weekly basis: 

I love to travel and experience other cultures: 

Be sure to link up with Blog Hoppin' all week!