Texas Teaching Fanatic

A look inside a 4th grade classroom

Monday Made It Specials Rotation Schedule (A little late)

I’m linking up again with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It–just a day late!

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My only Made It this time around is my Specials schedule. I’ve tried numerous ways of doing this, but I decided to try something new this year…and I must say this is by far the best one yet.

Our school has A Weeks and B Weeks for Specials rotations. I get tired of students asking what week it is and watching them try to figure out where they will be spending 50 minutes of their day, so I decided to use a cookie sheet and glue pictures for both weeks in order along the edge. I drew an arrow onto a painted clothespin that can be moved each day. This takes all the guesswork out of where we will go each day. The kids love it, and so do I!

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What sort of chart or nifty idea have you come up with? I’d love to hear from you! Happy Tuesday!

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2013 Classroom Reveal: Inside My 4th Grade Classroom!

I finally did it.  I cleaned up my room and snapped some quick pics before I left.  Warning: I make all of my anchor charts and rules and wall decor with my students, so the walls are very bare.  I’ve covered my bulletin boards, but there isn’t anything else on the walls.  You at least get the idea of what my “home away from home” looks like.  🙂

Here goes:

photo 1(8)This is a picture of the wall/bulletin board/shelf behind my desk.  I put pictures of my family at the top on the shelf, along with some keepsakes from past years.  I also put up all of my class pictures on the side of the bulletin board.  I have my own references and books on the shelves, and I figured you didn’t care about that stuff, so I cut it out of the pic.

photo 4(5)This is my whiteboard easel that holds the Writing Binders that my students will use to publish their writing, along with posters and chart paper.

photo 4(6)These are my classroom computers and my ELMO (document camera).  I have a Promethean board in my classroom and my projector is mounted in the ceiling.  You can see that from the whole classroom view.

photo 2(9)My mom made me some awesome curtains this year!  I love them very much!!  I used to have boring green ones, but luckily she was willing to help me give my room the facelift it needed.  This window is right by the door and looks out into the hallway.

photo 1(9)This is the sign-in area set up for Back to School Night and for parents to fill out on the first day of school (for those that missed B2SN).  I found that cute little whiteboard/chalkboard at Hobby Lobby for $5.99.  I just HAD to have it!!  🙂

photo 3(8)At the front of the room, underneath the Promethean board, I have just enough room to have a small shelf to hold materials that the students will be using on a regular basis.  I’m teaching math and writing this year, so it is a mixture of both.

photo 1(10)These are the table cubbies that I bought at Dollar Tree for $1.  Some of my students have already claimed their desks, so pardon the papers and names on them!

photo 4(7)Here is a closer look at my desk/teaching table.  I don’t have a “real” desk because all I do is junk it up!  😉  Instead, I just have a small table for my computer, a bucket of supplies underneath, and a small rolling cart with drawers to complete it.photo 1(12)A view from my teacher space.

photo 3(12)And last but not least, a look into my classroom from the door.

I’m super tired from my first week back.  The students come on MONDAY!  Where has the summer gone?  I’m signing off to enjoy my weekend.  If you are already back at school, hopefully all is going smoothly.  For those of you receiving students on Monday like me, good luck!  And for those of you who start even later, I’m only a little jealous…  🙂

Done for today!!

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Mission Organization: Supply Labels

Supply Labels Preview

Supply Labels Preview

Short post today.  I’ve been working diligently on getting everything ready for the beginning of the year.  These are the supply labels that I created, thanks to The 3AM Teacher.  I downloaded her border file from Teachers Pay Teachers (FREE, by the way) and created my labels with them.  There are 3 sheets…for pretty much everything.  Print them out and use them for yourself if you think they will be useful to you, too!  If I missed an important one that you would like for me to customize for you, just leave me a comment and I can send it to you.  Happy organizing!!

To download the labels click here –> School Supply Labels.

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Back To School Forms: Make Up Work & Corrections

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keeping up with students who have missed assignments and those that need to make corrections.  In order to remedy that, I have created some forms for both the students and the teacher.

Make Up and Corrections

The student forms will be cut apart, hole punched, and put onto a ring to keep track of them before handing them to students.  You could just file them away somewhere, but I think the hole punch idea works better for me.  Click here to download Student Copy: Make Up Work and Corrections.

Teacher Corrections

Here is the Teacher copy for keeping up with students who need to make corrections on assignments.  At our school, we are allowed to work with students to help them make corrections to raise their grade to a 70.  (That’s why I put a conference date on the student copy.)  I will put the date of the Correction Conference underneath the student name in that column.  Click here to download Teacher Corrections Sheet.

Teacher Make Up

Last but not least, the teacher copy for keeping up with students who have been absent.  I will put both of these forms with my grade book to make tracking these kiddos easier.   Click here to download Teacher Make Up Work Sheet.

Hopefully these will help you organize your classroom, too!  🙂

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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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Great Ideas for Elementary Teachers

Great Ideas for Elementary Teachers

As I was searching through blogs today, I found a link to this article about various things teachers do to organize their classrooms and make them child-friendly.  Some of them I already incorporate in my own classroom, and others I will definitely be implementing this year!  Take a look for yourself!

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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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Classroom Organization: A Teacher’s Nightmare!

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Stacks of papers.  Broken pencils.  Notes from home.  This pair of scissors.  That book that doesn’t fit in the basket.  The list goes on.  Organizing a classroom in an efficient way that allows both the teacher and the students to function in a productive manner is not always easy.  At least, not for me.

I wasn’t born with the “organized” gene.  As much as I wish I was, the fact is…I’m messy!  Part of it is due to not wanting to give up even one second of my teaching time to put things away, but for the most part, it’s just not in me.

So–every day I am constantly picking up after myself and trying to reorganize things all the time.  I’ve decided that I WILL learn to be organized.  Last summer, I invited my sister-in-law to my classroom to help me get my supplies in order and give me tips on keeping it that way!  I must admit, I did a pretty good job of staying organized throughout the year, and it was a great feeling!

This year my goal is to slaughter this beast I call organization.  In my attempt to get myself together, I have created some tools that will allow me to do this much easier.  From baskets, to folders, to pencil holders–it all makes a difference!

My next few blog posts will showcase some of the things that I am doing to create an organized classroom.  Many of my ideas are from Pinterest or other blogs, but I like to put my own twist on everything.  Please feel free to “steal” any ideas that you feel would benefit you.  And, as always, enjoy!

(Photo at the top taken from http://greenberg-art.com)

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