Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Essential Binders

Yesterday, I shared that I made my yearly binder and student info binder.  Today, I'm going to show you exactly how I set them up!
A week or so ago, I was working on my binders when I saw a post from Bridget at Little Lovely Leaders and I saw her Yearly Binder.  It was too cute to not buy, not to mention it saved me a TON of time!   Everyone has been posting about having 1 binder with all of their info in it.  That's not for me...how big would that binder be?!  Between lesson plans, curriculum maps, and IEPs, add in all the data that we need to keep track of and that binder would be too heavy to carry around.  
I split this up into 3 binders: Yearly Binder, Student Info Binder, Sub Binder (well, I actually used my free whale-themed sub binder). 


The Yearly Binder begins with my lesson plan section.  If this gets too full, I'll have to empty it out each quarter...we will see!  My lesson plan format was adapted from Kristen from Ladybug Teacher Files.  You can see hers here.  I have an outline of my day on the side (including when students are pulled out) and 4 lesson boxes for the big subjects.  I made a second page for small group lessons (4 boxes for math, 4 for reading) with a space for my center activities on the side.

Next is my curriculum calendar section.  I have monthly calendars and my curriculum maps and report cards there.  I'm also going to keep any planning tools (copies of the Literacy Continuum) in this section.

The final section in this binder is the meeting notes.  To me, it made the most sense to keep my plans and planning tools together.  We have a lot of meetings about common core so keeping meeting notes here made sense too.

Onto Binder # 2!

The Student Information Binder starts with the student information section.  That has basic info about each student (contact info, birthday, medical info).

After that I have a Student Data section.  Behind the cover, I have tabs with #'s for each student.  All major assessments will be kept there.

Next, I have IEPs - self explanatory.

Then I have a Parent Contact section with my contact forms.  I thought about keeping this separate but if I'm going to a meeting on a student, I'd want this documentation with me too.

Finally, my grade book. It's not printed yet so no pics!

 I'm also considering adding a meeting notes here too.  When I go to RtI meetings, parent conferences, or any student centered meeting, I will only have to take this binder.  

Finally, my sub binder was explained in this post so I won't go through it again.

I hope you found this helpful!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Made It!

It's been a few weeks but I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics again for Monday Made It!

I've been busy the last few weeks trying to get everything ready for school.  I didn't make anything ground breaking but I'm sharing anyways :) 

The first thing I made is a quick IEP goal assessment.  Some of my kids are working on identifying numbers 1-25 so I made this little cat matching activity: 
It goes up to 25 and also has the numbers in word form.  If you could use this, you can grab it here

I also made my science journals:
My school requires us to make our own science notebooks.  I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to need to put in them so I made a pretty generic one.  I made a few different Scientific Process pages for recording experiments, lined paper, and QPEOC posters (question, predict, experiment, observe, conclude). 

Next, I made my teacher binders: 
I will post how I set up my binders this week.  I'll also be sharing my lesson plan template that I LOVE.  I bought the binder kit here

I made my communication folders.  If you want to know more about them go here

I made my class rules posters that you can get here for free.  

In other news, my room is ALMOST done!!! I'll be posting pictures sometime this week :) 
Thanks for visiting! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Freebie Friday!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for the last day of teacher week...freebie Friday! Click the picture to link up with your freebie too.  
Many people say that a class should create rules together.  It is easier to enforce rules that students made (it was their idea!) BUT many of us teachers want to have our rules in place before school starts.  I know I like to have my posters printed and laminated and up  before students come...not to mention we like to put the rules on parent letters, on class sites…you get the point.  This year, I am using 3 generic rules (Respect yourself, others, and our school).  On the first day, I have students brainstorm rules on post it notes and put 

them on the board.  I make a big deal about how many rules they thought of and how  I would need a giant poster to fit all of them. Then I read them aloud and after a few start grouping them together (“These two rules both have a theme of respecting our school and the things in it”). We continue to sort until all the post-its are under the  3 themes we “magically” found.  We decide as a class that we will use those 3 Respect rules because they covered pretty much everything on the board. Then we move on.  When the students go to specials or lunch or recess, I quickly stick the rules posters on the board.  When they come back, I tell them that I made the posters while they were gone.  We add (with a wet-erase marker) some of the most important post-it ideas to each poster (you could also do that while they are out of the room).  Finally, everyone signs the “Our Class Rules” poster.  Now you have rules that are prepped ahead of time but the students also feel like they created them.  It’s a win-win!  As an added bonus, these rules also cover just about anything that can happen!  
You can grab my class rules posters here!   
(*Edit-Google Docs wasn't letting some people download these so I uploaded them to Teachers Notebook)
Don't forget to follow my blog (if you don't already)!  I will be having a giveaway soon!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Communication Notebooks

I had a request to share how I set up my communication notebooks so here it is! 
Many teachers use composition notebooks for this but I feel like that you are left with a half empty notebook at the end of the year.  I decided to go with folders.  I bought a gray sturdy plastic folder for each of my students (and a few extras).  I printed out a cute label that has each students number in the corner.  

I found this daily progress report here (it's in the download cafe under classroom management - this one is report 2 I think) and whited out the home learning pieces (I don't plan on giving homework).  You can't read it in the picture but it has a checklist for amount of work completed, quality of work, and behavior.  I LOVE how simple it is!  I copied it double sided with lined paper so when I open the notebook the checklist is on one side, and there is paper for extra notes on the other side.


Everyday, I can quickly check off how the students day was.  I can write a short note too, like "100% on the spelling test!".  If there are any meltdowns or big problems, I would write that on the lined side soon after the incident (so it's not all left for the end of the day).  I'm also attaching a ziplock in the front for field trip or lunch money.  

I just finished setting up my teacher binders so I'll be sharing that with you soon!  Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Top 5 Teacher Items

I realize that I'm a day late but yesterday was a rough day and I came home from school with a migraine (I was only there for 4 hours and students don't start until September! - not a good sign).  

Anyways, these are items that have made my life so much better/easier that I wouldn't give them up!  

I'm an iced-coffee girl.  I have one of these almost every (school) day. I tend switch back and forth between Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. And typing this made me want need coffee...

Next up is this guy:
Scotch Thermal Laminator 2 Roller System (TL901)
I use my laminator AT LEAST once a week.  I tend to do a lot of work at home and I'm not always planned ahead as much as I'd like to be so this really comes in handy for those last minute projects.  I buy my laminating sheets at Sam's Club (200 for $20).  Honestly, I wouldn't mind one of those giant will-laminate-anything laminators but they are thousands of dollars :( 


 
If you are a new teacher, go to either of these sites!  I have had an observation or two where I my lesson ideas really weren't clicking.  I went to those sites, found exactly what I needed (laminated it) and ended up with awesome evaluations.  

Lamps or soft lighting are a must for me.  I love being in my room in the morning (before everyone gets there) with the lamps/Christmas lights on.  The kids also love it and it creates a calm environment.  I have a push pin lamp in my room and white Christmas lights around the room.  I think I have to lower them because of fire safety rules.  

Finally *drum roll please*
My laptop.  Currently I have a dell (mine is green - I had a VERY hard time deciding between the green and pink).  Mine is old and starting to act up so I just ordered a new laptop :)   I couldn't risk this one dying on me in the middle of grad school.  

Those are my Must Haves.  Link up with Blog Hoppin' to share your must-haves too!





Friday, August 17, 2012

Classroom Pictures Part 2

I've been spending a decent amount of time in my room lately.  I knew it would take a long time to get things in order but I've been there over 15 hours (with helpers...strong men helpers) and I'm not done!  

So weeks ago I posted pictures of how I left my room in June.  Here's the cliffnotes for my new followers:
Accepted a new position the last week of school (that teacher retired)...the last day of school she moved her 30 year collection to my room...I posted pictures of that collection here.

Here is how my room looked as of yesterday (Sorry some of the fonts are a little blurry): 








Hopefully, next week I'll post Part 3 - the completed room :)

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Where I Teach Wednesday.
Link up to share your room too!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sneak-a-Peek at my B2S purchases!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to show you what I bought during my TPT back to school shopping



I bought a TON of stuff to help get me through the first few months of school!  Between grad school and a new position, I need to be as prepared as possible.

Okay so here's what I bought:

First, most of my 2nd grade social studies curriculum is communities so I bought the Bubbly Blonde's unit:
I'm pretty sure it's everything I need to cover the entire curriculum.  If you teach communities - buy this!  

I also bought her Readers Response Journals:
This is so simple and cute - I already sent my September journals out to be copied.  

Since I love her stuff so much, I also bought her Johnny Appleseed math centers.  I can't wait to introduce these in September! 

 (Not sure why this is uploading sideways...)

Next, I went over to Cara Carol's store and grabbed her back to school Mystery Messages to use as morning work the first month of school.  
2012-07-17

I also purchased her Chevron Alphabet...Luckily, I brought the 6'4" fiance to school with me and he put up the alphabet for me :) LOVE how cute this it!  (Not the best pic...sorry!)

For my reading centers, I bought the 2nd grade Literacy menus (Sept-Nov) from Sarah of Sarah's First Grade Snippets.  I'm thinking daily 5 is going to be too much for my kids so I'm combining it with these Literacy menus.  


My students need constant review of important skills which is why I bought these two items:
Slide1
The daily calendar bundle from Growing Kinders and


A graph a week from Sailing Through 1st Grade

For more math centers, I snagged Hope's Gobble It Up math activities
Slide1
and from Sarah:

To help me get started with math journals I bought this place value set from Tales from a Traveling Teacher

Now I need to start printing, laminating, and cutting :) 

Link up to share what you bought too!

P.S. - After over 15 hours of work, my classroom finally looks like a classroom again!  I'll start sharing progress pictures soon.