Bright Ideas: Get Perfect Bulletin Boards Without Wasting Any Time

Hello and welcome to the July Bright Ideas Link-Up.  This month, I have decided to do a simple post on something that I end up wasting time on every year...bulletin boards!  For me, they are the greatest thing to see and the absolute most annoying task in a classroom.  So, I would like to introduce you to a simple strategy that will save you a ton of time.  

The first thing I do is lay the set out on the floor.  I lay it exactly how I would want it posted on the wall, and I measure it just to make sure the dimensions I used on the floor will work in the bulletin board space I have.  

When I put the parts of the set on the bulletin board, I only put one staple in the top of each piece.  If I mess up, I do not have a ton of holes in the pieces.  Needless to say, I did not mess up.  Laying the pieces on the floor helps tremendously.  

And there you go! Flawless bulletin boards on the first try! 

I hope you enjoyed this month's Bright Ideas blog post! If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted with fabulous freebies and ideas!

Be sure to visit the Bright Ideas Link-Up below to see more posts from over 80 fantastic bloggers.  Thanks for visiting!

Morning Work Bundle for First Grade

Here it is! Morning Work for the whole year! My little summer project is finally finished.  I will have to admit, it is bitter sweet!

180 days of Morning Work Bundled into one discounted product!  Supplement your teaching with a daily Math and ELA skill review.  This is something that works for my kids, so click on the link to see if it would also work in your classroom!

Here are some sneak peeks.  Be sure to click on any of the pictures to find out more or click the link to my store.


If you would like to try out a two week preview of my bundle, you can get it FREE in my store! Be sure to follow me for 50% off products for the first 48 hours! 

Bright Ideas: Use Color Tiles Efficiently With Masking Tape

I hope you are all enjoying your summer break! I sure am.  We just got back from Costa Rica, so I am definitely out of teacher mode.  But I am going to attempt to get back into it for a moment, and hopefully you can too! I am so glad to be a part of the Bright Ideas Blog Linky again, and I hope you are having a great time reading through all the posts.

I love how color tiles can be used for so many activities.  The kids also love using them as math tools.  I have used these tiles for counting efficiently, subitizing, measuring, and so much more! There are endless possibilities when working with color tiles.  

One way to use these tiles is to have them pre-linked with masking tape.  If you have various sets ready to go, the kids will eventually learn to use them appropriately.  The tape sticks really well, and kids are able to count and measure much more easily than having to count them out all the time.  As you can see, the tape is on one side, and you just have to make sure the kids do not bend so the tape snaps.

Some of the examples below illustrate how I use these in my classroom.    The first picture is how the color tiles would help a child understand the in's and out's of 10.  The second example is what a student might use to measure with non-standard units.  The third example is a strategy for understanding groups of five and how they can help you count efficiently.  

Super durable, and efficient! I love using these in my classroom, and so do my kids!

I hope you enjoyed this month's Bright Ideas blog post! If you would like more ideas from me, be sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and Facebook to stay posted with fabulous freebies and ideas!

Be sure to take a look at the other Bright Ideas from over 100 amazing bloggers in the directory below!

An InLinkz Link-up

Free Memory Book for Primary Grades

If you are like me, you are working hard to get everything together for the end of the year.  This freebie is great for each of your students to take home at the end of the year and it costs you nothing! Click on any of the pictures or the link to my store to find out more!

I always have a few pages where my kids can draw pictures, so I created this one and a blank one if you have more things you would like to fill out. 

For this page, you can photocopy the class picture right onto the page so they all can have a picture, even if their parents didn't order one:)

For this page, I always try to get every student's picture and I paste it to the page.  Then I have the kids open their book to this page and they all go around the room and sign right under their picture.  If you need more room, just duplicate this page. 

A great fill in the blank.  This is where all the memories are.  What an awesome way to remember the year.  

Don't forget to let me know what you think! I would love to hear your feedback! 

Bright Ideas! Organizing and Tracking Your Data with Small Groups K-2

So glad you stopped by the Bright Ideas Blog Hop! I am always so excited to share an idea happening in my classroom.  For this post, I have decided to share a little glimpse of what is happening with all the data I collect during my reading groups.  Normally, I just assign each student a file folder with all the data in the spot I keep my reading materials, but I wanted to take it a step further and create a spot where I can keep the entire group's data in one place.  So I was thinking about how I could make a folder that keeps 5-6 student's data all in one spot.  

So I took all my color coded folders and put them into a comb binding machine and I got exactly what I wanted.  A place where I can keep group data without having papers flying all over the place! 

So, I laid out all my new binders into labeled tubs where there is adequate space where I can keep my students' data and materials! 

This can work well in any classroom because it doesn't take up much space, and everything is easily accessible.  

Here are some examples of how I am putting these folders to use.  I have some assessment materials and it is really nice to have them out in case I need to make notes or have some of my kids practice a skill or quickly read a fluency passage.

It is really nice to finally have an efficient way to access and track my data.  Keeping up with data can be a challenge, so it is nice to have ways like this to make the task a little more efficient! 

I hope you enjoyed my post! Be sure to read the great ideas from over 100 fantastic bloggers from the Bright Ideas Blog Linky Directory Below!

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!

An InLinkz Link-up

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!

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