Friday, September 14, 2012

{Turn-In Station}

My first year teaching I felt like I spent a ridiculous amount of time putting my papers into alphabetical order. I needed a fix, and I needed it fast. I saw these hanging wall organizers at Lakeshore and came up with a plan. Each kidney bean has a spot, and they turn all of their work into this place. It's organized and functional, two of my favorite things.
My kidney beans put their homework, tests and classwork into their spot and instantly everything is in ABC order, ready to be graded or filed. It is also a super easy way to check and see who has yet to turn something in.

The one on the left holds 27 so I had to find another single column one for the side. I wish they matched.

My kiddos have been doing this since the 4th day of school. It takes some patience to teach them how to nicely place their papers into their slot but it is totally worth it in the end.

How do you collect papers? I'd love to hear your ideas!

And FOLLOW ME! Once I get more followers I will be hosting my very own GIVEAWAY! Spread the word!

Friday, September 7, 2012

{Job Jeans}

During my student teaching I learned about many things, but the job jeans are one of my favorites. Jana Kotsur was my mentor teacher that introduced these lovelies into my life. My fabulous mother-in-law sewed these together for me and I have used them ever since. I have six jobs that the kidney beans keep for one week. I write their names on popsicle sticks with a colored dot on the other end. After a kid has had a job I return their stick into a cup with the dot side up. Once all of the sticks are dot side up then the rotation begins again.
Our classroom jobs:
  • 2 Line Leaders (one boy, one girl)
  • 2 Cabooses (one boy, one girl)
  • 1 Door Holder
  • 2 Cleaning Crew Members (one boy, one girl)
  • 4 Office Managers (one from each table)
  • 2 Subs (one boy, one girl to take the place of any kiddo that is absent or has lost their job due to bad behavior. The subs become the line leaders the next week since sometimes they don't get a lot of job time.)
What jobs do you use in your classroom?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

{Curriculum Night}

Meeting with parents in bulk can be a little bit intimidating. You never know how many questions will be asked, how many parents are actually going to show up, or what the general mood of the crowd will be like.

Tonight was curriculum night. All in all, I feel that it went wonderful. In my class of 32, about 22 families were there. They were a quiet bunch but I felt that they generally appreciated the information and were glad that they came.

I know parents are busy people and taking an hour out of their night is difficult. I wanted curriculum night to be something fun, something that when they left made them think that it was time well spent. I tried to make it a big deal. I sent home an invitation a few weeks back and asked for an RSVP. I got a great response and it was helpful to know about how many parents I should plan for. I got my kidney beans on board by making a gift basket to raffle off. I went to Target and got a bunch of fun school supplies and put it together. All day today it sat on my desk and the kids were so anxious to win it. They went home and talked their parents ears off about it, making sure that they were coming tonight so that they could enter in the raffle.  Boy did it work!! Parents that came tonight told me thats all their kiddos talked about when they came home.

I also baited the parents with free snacks. Free food is always the way to go.
I used duct tape to make my water bottles look a little better. Since we have a superhero classroom I found some tape that looked a bit superhero-ish.
I found a cute poem about sugar cookies and teaching. Check it out HERE.
At each table I put post it notes for parents to write on. If they had a question they could come and put it on our "parking lot". My group was pretty quiet so only one parent put a note on it. I think I might use this for open house for parents instead. That way if I'm busy with another family they can write their question and name and I can answer them later.
Each parent sat at their kiddos spot. Each spot had a packet of information that has ideas for handwriting and fine motor skills, a list of our sight words, a bookmark with reading tips, a Doodle Note for parents to leave a message for their kiddo and a paper for them to take notes on.
Tonight was a fabulous night. I enjoyed meeting with the families and getting them on board for our fabulous year!