Anchor Charts

I finally uploaded some of my anchor charts that I used with my kiddos last year. Head over to my Anchor Charts page and check ’em out! 😉

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OUT with the OLD and IN with the NEW

Ugly Filing Cabinet

Ugly Filing Cabinet

I needed to get out of the house today, so where better to go than my classroom, right? The custodians have

finished waxing the floors and all of my stuff is on boxes, so I might as well just go ahead and jump in, especially since I’m planning to give my classroom a facelift before school starts.

I strutted in with my zebra contact paper in tow. Although I had grand plans for getting LOTS done, I couldn’t help but stare at the ugly tan filing cabinet just sitting there in all of its awfulness. I couldn’t help myself–I attacked it with my contact paper!

I thought it turned out pretty good. And the best part is that I’m now extremely motivated to clean out filing cabinet #2 and get rid of that bad boy! After an hour and a half of covering one, I decided I didn’t really want to have to do another.

Cute Filing Cabinet

Cute Filing Cabinet

Sorry, if you thought this would be an easy project, you’re wrong. The sides weren’t bad, and even the strips that go up and down on the front and in between the drawers weren’t bad. It was the drawers that took the longest and were frustrating. But..I did it…and am really glad that I did!

I will post pics of my room once it’s all finished, but I still have a long way to go. I took the “before” picture today, and it’s not pretty!! Stay tuned!!

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Mission Organization: Recycled Writing

As I was browsing through the dollar store, I came across this really cute trash can.  I know, it’s a trash can for crying out loud!  But hey, I’m an elementary teacher with vision!!

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I decided that this would be a great place for students to put their ideas that they want to write about in the future, but just don’t have time for at the moment the idea hits them.  Instead of just telling students, “I’m sorry, but you just can’t write about that right now,” I will now have a better solution.  My students will be able to write down their ideas and place them in the “Recycled Writing Ideas” can to save for the future.

There are many different ways that this can be used, and I’m not sure exactly how I will implement it, but right now it is just another step to getting myself and my students organized.  I’m thinking that this will be a great way to find out what kids really want to write about, and hopefully I can incorporate their ideas into my classroom discussions and individual writing pieces.  As the year goes on, I’m sure I’ll find many more ways to use it.

I would LOVE to hear your ideas if you have some.  I’m always open to new ways of thinking!!

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Mission Organization: Drop Box

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I created this organizational tool to give students a place to put party notes, letters from parents, doctors notes, absence excuses, tardy passes, and all of those other things that parents send to school with their students in an attempt to communicate with us.  Instead of having my students just drop them off on my desk, they will now have a specific place to put these items.  Not only does it help me stay organized, it also keeps them from blowing on the floor or getting mixed in with a stack of papers to grade.

I went to Dollar Tree, our local $1 store, and bought a plastic bin about the size of a shoebox and a set of perforated letters from the teacher aisle.  I glued the letters on the side of the box, waited for it to dry, and bam–done!  The best part: it cost under $2!  (I’ll say under $2 since I have lots of letters left over to use on future projects.)  I may end up putting some clear tape over it if the letters begin to peel off, but for now, I like it just the way it is!

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DIY Dry Erase Marker with Attached Eraser

DIY Dry Erase Marker with Attached Eraser

Tired of kids using the end of a dry erase marker, their shirts or their hands to erase their boards? Not only can these methods scratch the boards and leave kids with dirty hands, frankly–it’s annoying! I’ve seen lots of ideas for erasers and tried many of them, but this one is by far the best. Just hot glue a pom pom to the end of the marker! It’s quick, easy, cheap, and it will eliminate those scratches on marker boards! No more lost erasers, either!! Problem solved!!

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DIY Dry Erase or Wet Erase Pockets

ImageI despise wasted paper.  It’s bad enough that many teachers just shove worksheets at kids these days, but seeing all the papers in the trash every day after students exit the classroom makes me think that we could probably be doing some things better!  So…I set out to find something to help cut down on wasted paper.

I found this on PInterest, I must admit, but I felt it was too neat to keep to myself.  These dry erase pockets are super cute and easy to make.  All you need is some duct tape and page protectors.  Just line 3 edges with the duct tape, and you have yourself some neat dry erase pockets to use with your lessons.

How could I use these?

1. Instead of running multiple class sets of a reading passage, allow students to use a Visa-Vis or dry erase marker to underline evidence in the story.  When they are finished, it can be easily erased for the next class.

2. Use these pockets in centers when students are rotating through.  Instead of having to run a whole class set, you can run just enough for the amount of students in the group.  They can erase before switching to the next group.

3. If you make a whole class set, these can be used to cover science papers when in the science lab or while doing experiments.  Many times their papers end up in the middle of the experiment, so by using these, there may be fewer accidents and fewer requests for a new paper!

4. Slide a nonfiction text into the pocket and label the text features.  This could be used as a display with a real book, instead of listing out on a chart.

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