Monday, August 15, 2011

My Favorite Things (at school)

It has been awhile since I've done a teacher post, so I wanted to share some of my favorite teaching/school things with the rest of the blogging world. I am thankful for blog land because I've gotten SO many wonderful ideas from it. Here are my top five favorite things in my classroom:

1. Hand Signals
     I established this routine three years ago and it has worked beautifully. One of my pet peeves is to be interrupted during small group instruction for questions like, "Can I go to the bathroom? Can I get a sip of water? Can I go to the library? Can I get on the computer?" So we have hand signals...
     1 - Water
     2 - Bathroom
     3 - Library
     4 - AR test (computer)
     5 - Question
This way, I can simply look at the student and nod or shake my head without the class/lesson being interrupted. It really does work beautifully!

2. Behavior Labels
     I just started using these this year, but boy do I love 'em! I use this behavior chart that I found this summer on pinterest.

I wanted to document each child's behavior without taking 1.2 million hours to write in everyone's agenda. So,  I just stick one of these labels on the agenda and we are good to go! If you use this system, you can download the labels here. They work on Avery return address labels (not sure the number)

3. Weekly Copy Box
I started this system in 2009 when I was pregnant with Lily Rain. I used it for my long term sub and now I don't see how I every managed without it! I put little labels on file folders using the weekly dates (ex - August 15-19, August 22-26, and so on...). I also put a "1st six weeks skills" folder and "1st six weeks centers" folder within each six week set. At the beginning of each six weeks period, I simply put the folders in this weekly copy box. As I am planning and making copies, I can just file them here until I am ready to use them for the week. This has worked so well for me because I am a planner. I like to plan for the six weeks and be able to put away my copies and ideas in an organized way. I know this wasn't the best way of explaining it, but if you would like more clarification, please just ask. :)

4. Early Finisher Center
This is my best friend. I can put anything and everything over here and it keeps all of my early finishers occupied. I change out the books every couple of weeks or so. I rotate the file folder games depending on the skills we are covering. The kids enjoy having a place to go with so many choices and I enjoy having a place to send them when they ask, "What can I do now?"

5. Command Hooks
Okay, who ever invented these deserves the millions they are probably bathing in because they are wonderful little inventions. :) I use them for just about everything, but one of my favorite places for them is right outside my classroom. I keep two posted outside of our classroom to hang class books that we made. Currently displayed are "The Important Things About Mrs. Crawford's Class" (which is a wonderful first week activity from Mrs. Bainbridge) and our All About Me book from the first day of school. It is a great way to showcase a ton of student work in a confined space.

Finally, my most favorite.....

These cutie pies, even though I can't take them to school with me. :(

Please, please, please share your favorite school things!

1 comment:

  1. Your clip chart is super cute, but not as cute as your babies!