Sunday, August 14, 2016

Classroom Must Haves: Things I Can’t “Picture” Myself Teaching Without

When it comes to organizing and planning a classroom, every teacher has a few items they couldn't possibly ever go without!  It might be that favorite stapler, the perfect book, or an amazing resource!  I know I know.  I just posted about Supplies I Can't Live Without but I wanted to join my peeps from Upper Elementary Snapshots where we will all share our Must Have supply, book, and resource.  I have so many things I can't "Picture" myself teaching without so it was a no brainer for me to share more!  Plus, be sure to check out how to collect Must Have freebies from each of us and enter our Giveaway at the bottom of this post!

***Click on each picture below to an Amazon link to the product.   I like my readers to know they are affiliate links.  If you purchase from the link, the tiny portion is invested right back into my blog so I can keep providing teachers with helpful tips for their classrooms!  

This cascading wall organizer is great to place student's writing work!  

There are 6 colorful folders- perfect for writing steps.  
1.  Prewriting
2.  Rough Draft
3.  Revise
4.  Edit
5.  Peer Reflections
6.  Final Copy

At the end of each writing block, have students place their papers in the correct folder!  Each folder is removable!  You will have quick access to see who needs help and you can take the final copy folder home to grade!  I also like to match up partners for the next day for peer reflections so this is perfect to know who is ready for that step!  

Amazon Description:
Save desk space by utilizing often overlooked wall space
Six cascading pockets are removable to make document access easy
Elastic cord closure for secure and easy transport
Colored pockets each hold 25 sheets
Convenient loop on top for easy hanging
Durable poly material is tear proof and water resistant. Acid free, PVC free and archival quality

A few moons ago, I met an intriguing man, Mychal Wynn.  He shared a story, The Eagles who Thought They were Chickens. which was related to bullying.  I took it home with me and immediately started planning how I would use it in my class. I read this story EVERY year and we would discuss how people need to soar throughout their lives and realize they have the potential to reach their dreams.

Description from Amazon:  An African folktale chronicling the birth of eagles in a chicken yard. Separated from their homeland, unknowing their historical past, and ridiculed for their differences they struggle with their sense of self-identify until they are encouraged and inspired by another eagle. This inspiring story of self-identify and self-discovery provides a strategy to reduce bullying, eliminate disruptive behaviors, and challenge students to affirm their potential and pursue their dreams.

This is a COMPLETE WRITING WORKSHOP program with step-by-step instructions and creative ideas.  STUDENTS LOVE IT are motivated to write!  It is specifically designed for teachers to follow through the WRITING PROCESS with already prepped modeled lessons. Every lesson builds upon the previous skill within one piece of writing, which give students a thorough understanding of how to put a piece of writing together.


★ Anchor charts WITH STANDARDS great for smart board or printed for posters

★ Interactive Pages WITH STANDARDS to go along with each mini lesson.

★ Writing Workshop lessons and plans

★ Independent practice

★ Model writing

★ Assessments

★ Student Resource pages to place in notebooks

★ Graphic organizers

★ Tracking charts and Forms

★ Rubrics

★ Homework assignments AND MORE!

Use this resource to help students write a paragraph or essay to go along with the book:

Write a narrative story of a person who changes from having bully behaviors to being kind and compassionate.  Describe the bully behaviors, the event or action that made the bully change, and the effects of the change.

I couldn't end without steering you to a free resource for your classroom.  Use these graphic organizers to help your students organize their writing!

After you've downloaded my free graphic organizers be sure to visit each of the blogs below to add 12 more FREE RESOURCES to your own collection of things you can't picture yourself teaching without. Afterwards swing by our collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots for lots of great content and ideas you can put into practice in your own classrooms as well as a chance to win gift cards to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Teachers Pay Teachers so you can stock up on your own Classroom Must Haves.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Classroom Supplies I Couldn't Live Without

These supplies have saved my day over and over again in my classroom.   Although I'm not in the classroom anymore, I still find myself in the supply section of Target and searching on Amazon.  I don't think it is ever anything I will shake off!    How can you resist colorful pens?  I'm sure I can find a way to use them outside the classroom.  Take a peek at some of my faves!

***Click on each picture below to an Amazon link to the product.   I like my readers to know they are affiliate links.  If you purchase from the link, the tiny portion is invested right back into my blog so I can keep providing teachers with helpful tips for their classrooms!  

I loved these colorful pens to use in my writing workshop!  I've tried many different kinds of colorful pens and like these the best.  They don't smudge or make a mess and they have a fine point for writing!


Revisions:  We used them for revising and editing rough drafts.  Students who are resistant to this writing step, will suddenly enjoy it!  You will see many colorful revisions!

Interactive Notebooks:  We also used them for our interactive notebooks.  Students love to make things colorful and I noticed they worked harder!  They colored with markers and color pencils and I allowed them to write with them too!

I liked these pocket folders and bought 2 per for student resources and one for writing portfolios.   These folders come in a variety of colors in a box of 24.   Of course you can buy the fancy or plastic ones, but these work perfectly fine and totally affordable.  

Student Resources:  Anything students can use for their writing, I made copies for them, punched holes and had them place it in the 3 prongs for a writing resource folder.  We put Spelling Dictionaries (free in my store) in the pockets!     

Writing Portfolio:  I gathered all of my students'  writing (final copies) and kept them in writing portfolios.  They were perfect to set out at Open House and Parent-Teacher Conferences.  At the end of the year, students got to take them home as a keepsake.  

How can you not like colorful dots? Label, label, label!!!! I was so excited when I found these on Amazon, because of the variety of colors!  Plus they give you a Word template where you can customize and print!  I labeled every book in my classroom!  I labeled my classroom library, baskets of books for teaching, and even student books!

Classroom Library:  For my classroom library and baskets of teaching books, I made out the label for the basket and placed a color dot in the upper left corner of that label and the same color dot.  You can even code them with an abbreviation, but they work without too!  I found having the different colors made it so much easier for students to find the right place for the books and kept my classroom library organized! 

Student Books:  For each student, I gave them a number.  I numbered the dots and placed them on every book and workbook that belonged to that child.  I also numbered their cubby.  If someone left a book lying around the room, it was an easy way to identify where it belonged.

Post Its are perfect for reading comprehension activities.  The page marker sizes are even better and I love all the colorful choices!  My students were motivated to search for evidence using these little classroom tools.

Mark the text evidence found on a page! Mark a page looking for character traits. Mark a page showing a theme. I had students take quick notes on them to share with whole group too.

White Card Stock is perfect for printing posters for wall display, directions or titles for centers, and task cards. They are easy to laminate and will last so much longer! I couldn't get enough of card stock. I even printed rosters and schedules on them. Love!

Posters:  Reading and Writing posters hold up well using white card stock!  Place them on your bulletin board, hall or wall and they will last all year and even longer!

Cards/Task Cards:  When they are printed on white card stock, laminated, and placed in a center, you will get many years out of them!

I hope you got some ideas to use in your classroom!  Come back to find more ideas for organization, management, and teaching!

If interested, click on the resources that go along with the items mentioned above.



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Friday, July 29, 2016

How to Organize Your Classroom Library

Are you looking for a classroom library system that works?

1.  First purchase labels.  Any 3/4 inch dot labels will work, but the ones below are my FAVORITE!  I love them because they offer 10 different colors. Click the picture for the Neon Labels if you would like the same ones.

Most labels (these included) offer a blank template to customize!  Abbreviate the genre, author, etc.

2.  Print or make book bin labels.  

Ideas to label:  This shows 4 different sizes for different book bins sizes.





Subject Topics


Book Levels

Students-  Yes!   I give each student a number and label their textbooks, notebooks, binders, EVERYTHING!

3.  Label the books and the book bins the same color dot.  I've done it with and without the customized label dots and they both work!  Students can recognize the color quickly to find the right basket!  See below on how to label.

Do you need labels for your classroom?

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