Category: Organization

Classroom Setup Part 2

While far from done I did want to post some pictures of the progress I made in my room last Friday! The more I’m in this room the more I think I’m really going to like it despite the fact that there are no windows.

View from the door to the back left corner.

They still haven’t taken out all of the history stuff, I’m about to put the smack down! Also if you notice I have 6 pods of 4 and then 2 pods in the back of 2 because I didn’t want to have to move everything up in the room to make room in the back for another pod. Is this a good idea or should I say goodbye to my personal space upfront?

View from the door to the back right corner: My command center. I would have loved to do an L-Shape but it would have blocked drawers and cabinets. Plus I like that my desk is in the back so when they are taking a test I can easily spot and trouble makers.

My first bulletin board. (I need to get some kind of fabric to go on these but I just don’t foresee that happening in the near future as I’ve spent WAY too much on school stuff)

The idea for this came from Sarah (thanks so much I steal everything from you) Rubin over at Everybody is a Genius. My mom works at an office where they have a GINORMOUS printer, only downside is it only does things in black and white, nice thing is that if I decide I want to change these I can have that puppy spit a new one out on demand.

The “Student Corner” of my room.

This is where all the info they need can be found. The two black baskets are where I will use hanging files to put any print outs/ homework worksheets/ etc inside so if they are absent they can just come pluck one out. Or if a student comes in late in the year they can go and find all the important stuff – AND it also will be good for me to keep track of original copies. I’m also going to have things like hand sanitizer, a stapler, a pencil sharpener, etc here (is that too much? Help me classroom feng shui people).

I plan on making the bulletin board into something similar that I saw here for when students are absent and they need to find out what they missed.

The little table I’m going to put commonly used papers (no homework form, graph paper, college ruled paper, warmup sheet) and I’m also going to have 4 little bins to serve as Algebra 1 & Math 3 – LHS & RHS. Funny story about this table, I was walking thru the hallway around my room and spotted it just sitting there all be his lonesome. I decided since I couldn’t find any soul around to ask, I would drag it into the very back corner of my classroom before anyone came looking for it. (In another life I was a hunter/gatherer/scavenger) Later that day one of the maintenance guys came around and asked me about if I had seen a table in the hallway – I played coy saying “OH RLY? A TABLE YOU SAY? IS SOMEONE LOOKING FOR IT?” Once he told me he was just going to taking it to storage – I fessed up :)

These are where I will store my INB supplies as well as things we commonly use, so I have whiteboard markers and sleeves there currently. The little blue buckets are an idea I saw on some elementary teachers blog as well as several others (I’m talking about YOU @msrubinmath) and they are for when the students are cutting to put their trash in them instead of getting up every two seconds to put it in the real trash can.

Inside of my INB store caddies.

Any suggestions on how to get the cups to stay stationary? I was thinking about using wall mounting tape – that stuff you get with dry erase boards that when you take them down you take part of the wall with you? Any other ideas? I’m also going to stick some #2s in there, anything else I’m missing? Is this too much? GAH.

Buckets to keep their INBs in – each class will be assigned a color and I will make little signs. There are two for each class. I don’t have the $$ or the wall space for any more.

My desk area!

Yay look at my little Bee!!! Anyway – the circular table I think I want to use at the “turn-in” station. So this is where they will plop their quizzes/tests/ and any other forms.

So Yay or Nay people? Help me get my stuff together before Wednesday!!!

Time is Money – A Fresh Start

While it is going to be my second year teaching, I’m starting at a brand new school and am really looking for a fresh start. There are two major things that I plan on implementing this year that I really hope improve my classes productivity and overall experience.

1. A Timer.

I want students to know that I value their time as well as my own, and I want them to know that in my class we use time wisely. Last year I would always say things like 5 more minutes and then what do ya know but 10 minutes would go by before I would actually buck up and tell them to quit what they were doing. I think because of this my students became more relaxed and knew they could take their good ole time. Not this year. I plan on implementing the timer on the first day to show that I mean business. Not only am I doing this for them, in terms of motivation, and as always preparing them for standardized testing, but I am doing this for me. A timer will give me more structure and help me pace my class. In terms of everyday class, I can say ok we are going to work on the warmup for 5 minutes, and set the timer. When its up so is the Warm-Up. Then I can set the timer for another 40 minutes – this will give me a ring a ding ding when it is time to close up class. I can give closure on the lesson, make sure all their notebooks are ready to go, and all supplies are put away. I can also use the timer and say ok peeps you got 20 minutes for this quiz – ready GO! The possibilities are endless and the more I think about it the more benefits I see.

Have you ever used a timer in your class? What benefits did you see or what did you not like about it?

2. Interactive Notebooks

So along with everyone else and their brother, I am going to give Interactive Notebooks (INBs) a shot (you can find out more information about what they are here). I think these are perfect for the classes I’ll be teaching which are Algebra 1 and Math 3. I think they will give the students great organization as well as a really useful tool that can be used in math classes in the future. I also think having a notebook like this will give students a lot of stability and a sense of consistency, without being necessarily consistent. I plan on incorporating all different kinds of ideas in my INBs, especially foldables. I used to think in college graphic organizers were things for 6 year olds because all they talked about were KWL charts – yawn. I love that foldables are a graphic organizer that have long term uses, especially when they are used to review concepts. I think students will immediately buy into them thinking they are an arts and craft project but really they are a way for students to keep all their thoughts and reflections in one place and in an order than should make sense to them.

Here are a couple of basics that I’ve made for my INBs:
Table of Contents

Intro to INBs: A total rip off of the one Sarah posted about here.

Rubric: Adapted from Megan’s Rubric which can be found here along with a TON of other INB resources.

Made 4 Math #6

I cannot believe it is already the SIXTH #made4math

This week my post is very inspired from other #made4math -ers as well as all those elementary teachers out there who are always making super cool printables. The post that really got me going was from the MathSmith, she had a great post about ColourLovers and how you could use their patterns for your blogs background (PS Its how I have a new chevron background :) ). This got my wheels spinning on how I could use this to make binder covers. Warning: This does take a lot of patience and time, but I think the fact that you can customize these to be whatever you’d like is really priceless.

First up you need to go to colourlovers.com and make an account. Its free and easy!

After you’ve made your account go and look at the patterns – don’t worry about the colours, we can change those later!

Once you find a pattern you like you have three options.
1. Use this one as is
2. Browse similar patterns
3. Color this pattern (for tutorial purposes we’ll be coloring our own pattern)

Now over to the MathSmith’s post she shows you how to go through a cropping process to get the image to be seamless, well after I wrote this post the first time (and cropped everything myself) I figured out how to do it the easy way!!! *facepalm* (PS OMG doing it this way makes it so much faster!!!!!)

Once you’ve created your pattern it’ll take you to this screen. Look over on the bottom right of this picture and you’ll see all the different size options. Click on preview! It’ll take you to the picture, right click and save it somewhere on your computer!

Here are the two patterns I made for my binder cover:

Now onto the binder cover!!!! Open up PowerPoint!!!!

First thing we need to fix is the size of the slide, so go to File > Page Setup…

Change the size of the paper to standard paper size of 8.5 x 11 – your computer might prompt you saying it needs to resize the file that is fine. You can’t print out an 8.5×11 color picture you need to have a little space around the edges anyway.

The easiest way I’ve found to insert your pattern into the file is to use the rectangle tool and place it where you’d like it to go.

Now don’t worry about the sides overflowing it doesn’t matter, the left is what your page will look like. You need to format your rectangle though, so take away its drop shadow and also its line, we need to fill it using the fill effects option.

Go over to the picture or template and browse for your pattern. Click the tile button and press ok and then your rectangle should look like the one I have in the background.

Use a couple more rectangle tools and you should have a basic background. Next I used a rounded rectangle tool put it in the middle and added some text.

Here is my finished product, now just save it as a PDF and print that sucker out!

Here it is all printed out and stuck in a binder!

Well I hope you found this tutorial useful, it can be used for endless things – I just really needed some binder covers!!

Made 4 Math Monday #3

This past week all sorts of math bloggers have been posting their school supplies haul ( @druinok, @fouss) and I was getting super jelly. So I overcompensated and went to Walmart, Target, and Michael’s. I got a bunch of great stuff for my classroom! One thing I got, well I got 30 of them, were rulers. Last year being my first year teaching I had zero supplies and I always had to ask other teachers for their stuff. The things I borrowed most were: rulers, whiteboards, scissors, and protractors. Since I’m not teaching Geometry this year I figure I can hold off on the protractors but I did buy the rulers and also a class set of dry-erase pockets. I’m also planning to make whiteboards out of shower board a la @fnoschese.

To keep my rulers together I, along with many other #made4math -ers went out and bought some pringles. After the cans got gobbled up by my family I wiped them clean and put on some patterned duct tape. I picked the checkers because I thought they would be the easiest pattern to line up out of my vast collection of duct tape.

I think they turned out pretty schnazzy!

Next thing I was inspired to do was a teaching binder. I’ve seen a ton on the web but they have all been for elementary until @druinok made hers, so fair warning a bunch of the stuff I have was taken from her post. The thing I like about this binder was that I made everything to custom fit my needs, or at least what I think my needs are as of now. I’m sure the binder will morph throughout the year but for now I’m really satisfied with it.

First off I made a nice cover for my binder so that I could spot it from anywhere in the room if needed.

Then in the first few page protectors I put in the school calendar and all the different bell schedules. Then came my calendar. Although I made a monthly and weekly calendar, which I love still, I redid them for the binder so they were black and white and all one direction.

Next I have my lesson plans. I will be teaching Algebra 1 and Math 3 (an Integrated Alg. 2 course) next year so it was nice that I made this template myself instead of having one that was meant for 3+ preps.

After my lesson plans, I have a place for my to-do lists because I’m obsessed with them. I always have a trillion post it notes flying around the room because I need reminders, hopefully with this I can just stick them on the page and hopefully have an easier time remembering everything I want/need to do.

All that’s left are my parent communication logs, my meeting notes, and then a section for miscellaneous items because I know I will have some.

Well that is my binder as of this moment! Tips I have are print your section covers out on card stock to make them sturdy and on the other side put a master copy of whatever goes in that section, that way when you need to make a copy you don’t have to run to your computer and print a new one out you can just go straight to the copier! Also if you do a calendar you might want to print it out on thicker paper since if you are like me you get a little rough flipping back and forth between the pages.

Now I will leave you with my favorite purchase! I had a 40% off coupon to Michael’s as well as them having a teacher discount, so I snagged this poster of my main squeeze. Seriously I would go back and forth between him and the pink ranger for my Halloween costume every year.

A lot of people have been asking me to email them my files – I figured just posting them might be easier!!!

To-Do List

Parent Contact Log

Meeting Notes

Lesson Plans

And then here are my dividers: (Click on the image to make them full size)

By the way check out this post to see how these were made :)

 

Made 4 Math Monday #2

For over a year I have been envious of the “Teacher Toolbox.” When the #made4math creation happened I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to actually make one. From what I can tell the first one ever comes from create-teach-share. I’ve pinned probably over 5 different versions of these because I’m so in lurve with them. It’s great for me because organization is what keeps me sane. I love how knowing where things are can literally save me hours in the long run. Last year I bought little drawer organizers but I didn’t like the fact that I still had to group things together because of limited size options of the organizers. The teacher toolbox is the perfect compromise. It allows me to organize everything I have in it’s own little space without taking up too much room. I haven’t seen my new classroom but I’m sure I’ll have a place for it, ideally it will go on a table against a wall behind my desk so that everything I need is just a chair spin away! Not to mention it gives me an excuse to twirl around relentlessly. “Oh I grabbed a pen – silly me I wanted a pencil *spin spin spin*. ”

Want to make your own teacher toolbox?! Then keep reading!

Step 1: Get in yo’ car and head for the home improvement store!

I know for a fact that both Lowe’s and Home Depot both carry the 22 stack on drawers – they also have 2 other sizes but I liked this one best. It costs about $16 so try to get a coupon before heading out. I had a $10 off $50 which meant I had to spend $50 (keep tuned in to see what else I bought in another #made4math post).

Step 2: Make some labels!!

There are 8 large drawers 2.12″ x 4.25″ and 14 small drawers 1.38″ x 2″. I made them on photoshop but another option is scrapbook paper, construction paper, microsoft word, etc. I made the labels based on my particular needs. For example in a lot of the elementary examples I had seen they have a space for brads. I don’t use those (I had to look them up to figure out what they even were :P). Below is a pdf of my labels in case you want them! Tip: I printed them out on cardstock – this makes them extra sturdy!

Stick your labels in using double stick tape and you are done! Another cosmetic option is to spray paint the skeleton, this blogger has photos of the process.

I chose to keep mine grey for now but if I were to paint it I would go with white, I’m just a little worried about wear and tear with white. Here she is in all her glory – my teacher toolbox!

I love it!!!

So what do you think #made4math -ers will you be making a teacher toolbox???

Weekly Planner Printable

After so much positive feedback from yesterday’s #made4monday post I got a request for weekly planner pages. Since I was already planning on doing this and didn’t have much on my plate I decided to get to work.

They are in the 12 different colors that I made that calendar in just in case you want to color coordinate but really its up to you, you could just print out one color if that’s all you want. The nice thing about these is that they don’t have to be used for any specific month or year so you could use them for-ev-ver (sandlotttt reference).

You can grab them here:

P.S. The little white flags are for you to write the number down in if you so choose

-ashley