Simple Ways to Stay Organized in the Classroom

Hello and Welcome to the Bright Ideas Link Up! This is the ultimate Link-Up for the best ideas in your classroom.  Be sure to click on more links below after reading my post! 

I just wanted to capture some of the things I do in my classroom to keep things running smoothly.  Some of these ideas might be what you already do, and if you are a new teacher, some of these ideas might be helpful to you.  Either way, I love sharing, so enjoy a glimpse of my classroom!

I file everything by week.  Since our units revolve around our reading program, this weekly organization thing is possible for me.  If I wasn't able to organize by week, I would probably organize by theme.  I will lay out the week I am teaching, and two weeks ahead.  That way, I can just file in masters or activities when I get a chance.  I don't have to do it all at once.  Who has time for that anyway?  I can file as I go, and when I am ready, I can take the folder into the copy room and fly through my copies.  If you are really lucky, you could get a copy parent to do all this busy work:)

Putting a paper waste bin on each table has really helped me with keeping the paper pieces off the floor.  I took it a step further and saved even more space by taking Starbucks cups and using them for table points.  The nice thing about the cups is that the chips won't spill into the paper waste bins! I just have the captains empty them twice a day! Makes my job so much easier!  

I even got more efficient with the paper waste bin, and I have partner cards under the bins to remind my table groups of their numbers and peanut butter and jelly roles.  This has always helped me with managing groups and partner sharing.  I also don't have the sticky tape mess and changing out partners to worry about.  

 This idea came from a colleague, but you can organize your books by level so that the students know which books are appropriate.

The last thing I would like to share is the way I document my parent communication, behavior, and homework.  I send a early primary-friendly calendar home, and I make my parents sign it each night.  On this calendar is the date, behavior for the day, and homework for the day.  If the parent has any comments, they can write comments on the line.  I love this because it really opens the lines of communication for the parent and the teacher! I was so surprised by how many parents actually use this to communicate small messages with me.  It has been such a blessing this year!

If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted on the latest from me! 

I hope you were able to take away something from this post! I am so glad to be a part of The Bright Ideas Link-Up and, I hope you visit some more posts from over 150 bloggers from the Linky Directory below! 

Butterfly Life Cycle Unit and Close Read And A Special Freebie!

Happy Spring everyone! I put this Butterfly Unit together this winter in excitement for our long awaited springtime! If you are teaching Butterflies this year with your little ones, this is a must have.  My class LOVED doing all the activities and they sure learned a lot along the way.  Click on any of the pictures to find this in my store, or follow this link to find out more!

Bring your Butterfly Unit to life with REAL pictures!

After a few days of learning, my kiddos were excited and ready to write about what they learned! 
I keep the fun activities for Fun Friday, but this "Read and Illustrate" activity was still tightly aligned to the vocabulary they were learning during their butterfly investigations!

Don't forget to download this freebie to give your students a visual they can manipulate! A Butterfly Life Cycle Wheel! Just have them cut and help them put a brad in the middle.  My kids loved using this to help them with their writing!  Click any of the pictures, or the link to learn more about this freebie!

Have students draw their own pictures, or choose the option with the black and white photos already in the boxes.

Then cut on the outside lines.

 I used the color option so I didn't have to color, because let's face it...I am a teacher, and I am always pressed for time!  The kids were so funny...they asked me how I color so well;)

The finished product! My kids were so excited to take these home when we finished!

Spring Cleaning SALE! Now's The Time To Save!

Just wanted to let you all know about the BIG Spring Cleaning sale going on at TpT.  Get your wishlists cleaned out and SAVE 20% during this 3 day sale! Click on any of the pictures or the link to my store to see what's in store for spring!

Be sure to check out my Butterfly Unit and Close Read as well as my Spring Interactive Printable Packet! Both must-haves for Spring!

Be sure to check out all the other fantastic sellers where you can save 20% in their stores too! 

Spring Printables and Earth Day Freebie!

Needing some quick and easy Printables this Spring?  You are in luck!  I have created this packet just for teachers like you that have little time to plan, but still want to keep things academic and engaging.  You fill find each and every one of these activities engaging and fun for kids!  Click any of the pictures or the link to my store to find out more.  

You will find multiple Language, Reading, and Math aligned activities! 

Fun Write the Room Activities for when your kiddos need to get up and moving!

Fun writing activities that could easily supplement a cross-curricular activity.  

Click the link if you would like to learn more about this product!

Be sure to grab my "Protect the Earth" Freebie Reader to supplement your Spring learning activities.  Click the link to my store or any of the pictures to get this fun freebie!

 Beautifully put together with an intentional message to students about protecting the Planet Earth!

No color ink budget?  No worries! Just print the black and white version! 

I hope you enjoyed this post!  Be sure to comment with any activities you do during Springtime! Happy Spring, and Happy Teaching!

Bright Ideas: Integrating Writer's Workshop Into Your Reading Block

Hello, and welcome to my blog! I am so excited to be a part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop, because it is such a great way to get all positive energy and ideas flowing! I have seen some great ideas within this hop, and I hope you will continue to click through to find more great ideas from other amazing bloggers!  

If you are looking to integrate writing into your reading block, you will find an easy and efficient way to make this possible in your classroom.  In this post, I am going to quickly take you through a week of instruction.  You will see how you can easily keep writing tied to your reading standards and keep your kids interested with their writing.  

Monday:  Choose a prompt that aligns with your reading skill and story/theme for the week. Because I have first graders,  I always whole-group the prewriting with my kids.  Below you will see a compare and contrast foldable.  I love doing foldables because the kids can do it themselves, I don't have to prep anything, and they have created something with me.  I will model the prewriting process and get my kids to think of some ideas with me, and then they can think of some ideas on their own.  This is a very short mini-lesson, and when I send them to their different centers, they can continue working on this independently when it is time for their writing center. 

Tuesday:  Let the kids finish their pre-writing graphic organizers, and let the kids that are ready start their drafts.  Before they do this, I always model an introduction and possible conclusion, and how information should be transferred from the graphic organizer into the first draft.  Again, this is something they start with me, and they finish in their writing center.

Be sure you have a system for keeping all this work.  I find that first graders have a hard time keeping track of their writing stuff.  (Or any "stuff" for that matter;)  I keep their folders organized by their table groups.  All their writing stuff goes into their folder.  This way,  if I need to access it to see where they are or help them edit anything or have questions ready for them the following day.

Wednesday:  I have the kids finish up our first drafts in their writing center, and I have the ones that finish really fast start editing with a peer.  Usually the ones that can finish quickly are fully capable of editing.

Thursday:  Since I have had small groups all week, and we read each day, I save Thursday for them to come with their drafts and work with me.  Thursday is my time to check in with them and help them finish any editing and reworking of their draft.  Since we have our story test on Fridays, I have sped up that process to less than 15 minutes, and I can still meet with reading groups on Fridays.  So, having them write with me on Thursday does not take any reading time away because we are still doing small group reading four times per week.

Friday: My firsties take their suggestions from their peers and me, and finish their final drafts, and publish.  I have put clipboards on the wall because it is a great way to keep all their work in one spot, and this eliminates filing.  In addition, I can easily see who is finished and who still needs to publish.

I hope you enjoyed this bright idea! Follow the link below by clicking on the picture and head over to Lory Evan's Page for a Bright Idea on how to manage potty breaks!  Happy Teaching!

Weather Pop-Up Book and Special Writing and Graphing Freebie!

Add some spice to your weather unit, and incorporate "Weather Pop-Up Books." A tried and true way to motivate kids to write!  Many pictures to choose from, and how you use these is completely up to you! Click on the picture to find out more, or just stop by my store!

Be sure you grab my freebie to record all your weather observations!

With this Freebie, you will find a graph and a writing page for all the weather types in the graph!

Check out this super awesome video from NASA! 

Beautiful Book about weather from Seymour Simon.  This is great if you want your kids to read small parts of this informational text for close reads!

Enjoy your weather unit, and be sure to comment with any ideas!

3 Million Strong TPT Sale!

Hi there! Just wanted to let ya'll know that you can save 20% off my store Thursday and Friday! (2/27-2/28) Use promo code TpT 3 to save an additional 8%!!!   Click the picture below or the link to my store to see everything that is on sale!

Be sure to click on the image below to Blog Hoppin to find the links to other great stores on sale!

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