Saturday, November 22, 2014

WW: November Necessities

We're back a week early, bringing you some of the things we are thankful for in our classroom!
Of course I'm thankful for the technology my school provides me, my Flair pens and Mr. Sketch markers, and my HUGE classroom library… but today I want to share an idea you could take back to your classroom.

Insert my self-inking date stamp:
I LOVE this thing! I use it for several purposes in my classroom. I stamp all of my homework with the due date. Since I give a week to do all homework, it helps my parents stay organized, and it also keeps my hand from cramping up, since I don't have to write the date. I can also enlist a student to help me with this task. They LOVE to use my date stamper!
I also use the stamper to date work samples that go in my students' portfolios. It's just a quick and easy way to label these important papers and saves me a ton of time.

If you decide to buy one of these, here's a bit of advice. DO NOT throw away the stamp pad inside the stamper (it's self inking, remember?)! They don't sell replacement stamp pads, that I know of at least. You buy a tiny bottle of ink and drop a few drops of ink on the stamp pad to "refill" it. I threw mine away and had to buy a whole new stamper. And at $20, that was not a fun purchase. If you don't want to spend that kind of money on a date stamper, you can also buy the date stamp and stamp pad separately.

What do you need in your classroom? Comment below! Then stop by and see what my friends are sharing on their blogs. Happy weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bright Ideas Round Up

This time of year always makes me nostalgic, so why not take a look back at all the Bright Ideas that have been shared in 2014!
I love how this link up showcases genius classroom ideas from so many amazing bloggers! Literally, thousands of "ideas only" posts have been shared over the course of the last 10 months. Let's take a peek at some of the Bright Ideas I've shared this year:

This post shows how I organize my guided reading groups and paperwork using a set of two-pocket folders. I love that I'm not constantly flipping through pages in a binder or lugging a huge binder to and from data meetings!

Going along with the guided reading theme, this post shows how my team and I have compiled our guided reading books into one central location. We actually ordered a TON of books this summer and will be needing another cart! Not sure where we're going to put it though! 

In this post, I took a break from classroom ideas to share a trick for tying shoes that I learned in college. It works wonders on my kindergarten son!

 Lastly, I shared this post during the back to school season that explains how to use visuals to establish classroom routines and expectations. I love how my students' faces are all over my classroom!

Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me this month! I hope that you've been able to use or have been inspired by the ideas I've shared. Grab your coffee and snuggly blanket and check out the other Bright Ideas Round Up Posts from my friends below. Have a super weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SUPER Thankful Thread

I am linking up today with my girls over at Primary Powers for a Thanksgiving linky: The Super Thankful Thread. We're sharing the things we're thankful for. Here are mine:

I'm sad that's the only family of 5 picture I have. I'm going to have to fix that ASAP!
Despite all the extra demands and stresses that face us all in education (no matter what state you live in… we're all feeling it!), I really do work at the best school!
Can't say enough about my BBFs (Bloggy Best Friends) <3
I could've kept going, but I didn't want to cover up that SUPER cute turkey! Dang it! I should've added clip art to that list. Oh well :)

So what are YOU thankful for? Head over to Primary Powers to grab the blank image and link up. Or if you're not a blogger, leave me a comment below. HUGE HUGS to you ALL!! <3

Saturday, November 1, 2014

1,000 TpT Follower Giveaway

1,000 really smart, awesome people follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Ready to celebrate?!
I'm so thankful to my bloggy friends for helping my to celebrate by donating towards FOUR amazing prize packages. After you check out all the awesomeness, make sure you enter all the Rafflecopters at the bottom of this post to increase your chances to WIN :) You'll also want to double check to be sure that you're following my store because I will be sending out a freebie to all my followers next week! ARE YOU READY???

November Morning Work from The Tutu Teacher
November Math Workshop from A Burst of First
Subitizing Pumpkins from 2nd in Line
Shady the Shark: A sh Digraph Activity Pack by A Sunny Day in First Grade
Beginning Number Bonds by The Daily Alphabet
Vowels Digraph Pack from Teaching Little Miracles
November B.A.T. Book from Lucky to Be in First
Winner's Choice by Second Grade is Out of This World
Winner's Choice from An Apple a Day in First Grade
Winner's Choice from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade :)

How Many Ways? from The Kinder Garden
Winner's Choice from 2nd Grade Snickerdoodles
Winner's Choice from Wiggling Scholars
Winner's Choice ($10 value) from One Sharp Bunch
Winner's Choice ($10 Value) from Surfin' Through Second
Winner's Choice from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade :)

iPad Lessons-Selfie Snaps from I Live 2 Learn I Love 2 Grow
November Daily Practice from Smiling and Shining in Second Grade
Number Munchers Place Value Centers from Teaching Maddeness
Disguise a Turkey from Swinging for Success
Winter Celebration Scrapbook from Totally Terrific in Texas
November Writing Center Kit from Creative Lesson Cafe
Winner's Choice ($10 value) from Stuckey in Second
Winner's Choice from Sailing into Second
Winner's Choice from Diving into 2nd Grade
Winner's Choice from Teach Two Reach
Winner's Choice from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade :)

Patterned iPads from EduKate and Inspire
Reading Genres Poster Set from Buzzing with Ms. B
Popping into Place Value from Saddle Up for Second Grade
Captain Capitalization from Once Upon a Classroom: The Tale of Two Teachers
Winner's Choice from Owl in a Vowel Tree
Winner's Choice from My Second Sense
Winner's Choice from Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard
Winner's Choice from Table Talk with C and C
Winner's Choice from Second Grade Math Maniac
Winner's Choice from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade :)

Prize Package #1

Prize Package #2

Prize Package #3

Prize Package #4

Thank you so much to all 1,000 of you! Here's to the next 1,000!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

WW: Organizing Student Work

Welcome to another installment of Weekend Warriors!
This month's theme is organization.

I'll pause for  a moment so you can have a little chuckle at my expense.

If you know me, you know that organization is NOT my strong suit. AT ALL. Remember, I asked for my teacher desk back this year so I could have a place to pile my schtuff? In my defense though, I DO know where everything is!!!

When I first started at  my school, one of the supplies I was given was a wire basket. I decided to use it as a place for students to turn in their work. It soon turned into this:
It was awful. At the time I was doing centers during my guided reading block, so I would get at least one worksheet from each student every day, plus various other worksheets, tests, writing drafts, published writing, and more. I didn't always check in center work every day, so it would pile up, and when I wanted to grade spelling tests (for example), I had to dig through all the other stuff to find what I needed. I am also the type who gets intimidated by lots of papers to grade/check off, so as the basket got fuller and fuller, my motivation to empty it got smaller and smaller...

Enter the 4 compartment paper sorter. I seriously love this thing. I love it so much that I bought two! LOL! I use one for organizing student work and one for organizing homework. Here's a a picture of my student work sorter:
Close Up...
Far away. It sits on top of this 10 drawer paper organizer that stores all of the graphic organizers my students use throughout the day.
My compartments are labeled Math, Spelling, Reading Stations, and Stories for Conference. Now when I want to grade spelling tests, I can just grab those and leave the Word Work worksheet my students did in there and check them off when I can get to it. I still use the basket (it's on top of the sorter). It's the catch-all when something doesn't fall into one of the cubby categories, or if something is too big to fit into the cubby. I also have my kids sort their homework which is SO NICE! Now I don't have to separate the reading calendars from the Home Links from the spelling contracts. And it's really not hard or time consuming for the students to do either.

OK, so here's the sad part. I bought this organizer from an office supply store maybe 10 years ago when I first started teaching, and it appears as though they don't make them anymore. But GOOD NEWS!! I bought a 6 compartment organizer this summer from Target for $9 that I use for my guided reading groups. It's not as sturdy, but it gets the job done. Plus, it was cheaper than the ones I originally bought.
Sorry for the far-away photo. 
The Weekend Warriors and I decided to create a Pinterest Board to keep all of our FAB ideas in one place. Click the image below to check it out!
Looking for more organizational tips? Check out what my WW gals blogged about below!

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