I could talk about this forever! There is something about starting a new year and organizing!   

Here are some of my favorite organizers for work stations.  This first set is from Target and are large enough to hold 8.5x11 sheets of paper.  The lids come off and snap on.  I also like how they stack! That's super important to me because I don't have lots of extra space.  They are $5.99 each (which is a little pricy).  

These others are 14x14 and are from Michaels.  They are a great size!  They have lids that are attached.  I like how large they are and the fact that they stack so easily!  

These are actually photo organizers from Michaels.  You can buy them in two sizes: 4x6 and 5x7.  They are perfect for differentiating work stations and for organizing task cards!  I buy them when they are on sale for 99 cents!

This is my favorite supply organizer.  It holds paper clips, binder clips, sticky notes, tape, glue stick, my Flair pens, and Sharpie makers!  It doesn't take up much space and keeps me very organized!

These shelves and baskets are from Target.  They usually always go on sale around New Years and at Back-to-School time.  They hold all my office supplies and paper!  
 Finally, my laminator.  Technically, it isn't an organizational supply, but it saves me so much time when I can laminate school stuff at home.  I've had this one for almost two years.  

 This post contains freebies!!  

I'm a huge fan of CHAMPS.  It is all about setting expectations ahead of time.    Here is a blog post I wrote that was featured on Rachel Lynette's Minds in Bloom blog.   You can download my CHAMPS posters here for free.

CHAMPS is a system of expectations.  It works with any set of rules/rewards/consequences you are already implementing.  It can even be used if your school has a specific program in place.  It is part of Randy Sprick's Safe and Civil Schools and is research based.

Before each "activity" I go over with the students the expectations for that specific activity.  Typically I do this before I teach to the whole group, before students are doing independent work, and before we do work stations.

The CHAMPS acronym stands for:
C: Conversation

I'm a big believer in procedures.  I guess you could say that I'm pretty old school and believe their should be a procedure for EVERYTHING, that teachers teach the procedure, lots of time is spent on this during the first week of school, and then the classroom runs smoother (because you can always say, "What is my procedure for....?").

You can download this freebie to keep you organized.  It includes tips, a checklist, and a document to keep track of when procedures are taught.  I've used this for the last two years when I've worked with first year teachers, and they have been very appreciative :)

Here is just a sample of some of the procedures I like to cover at the beginning of the school year.  I consider coming back from a long year just like the beginning of school!  

During workstation time, you assign one or two students to be a Work Station Manager.  While you are at Guided Reading, then students ask the Work Station Manager for assistance.  This means you get more time to teach and less interruptions (hopefully)!!!

 Some tasks for the Work Station Manager Include:
  • Computer Issues (logging in, etc)
  • Help with Directions at a Work Station
  • Finding Materials if someone needed something
Positive Tickets
To help encourage positive behavior, I give out tickets for specific things:

  • Lining up without talking
  • Clearing work space right when I ask
  • Getting materials out
  • Transitioning quietly
  • Walking in the hall without talking
I also give tickets out when students work quietly!!  As soon as students see me giving them out, they immediately straighten up.

Students trade tickets in for rewards:  eating in the classroom, using the teacher's supplies, taking off shoes during a subject, extra recess for the class (this takes a ton), and other easy prizes that don't cost any money.   I try and keep my prices low, so students can earn rewards frequently.  As the year goes on, I change prices and add new prizes!

Click here to download the tickets!

On the 10th Day of Christmas, I'm sharing my Winter Word Sorts.  These word sorts are a great way to practice short and long vowels at literacy work station.

On the 9th Day of Christmas, I offer one of my favorite bundles!  It is my interactive notebook bundle.  This bundle practices multiple phonics skills and is great for work stations!

Today is the 8th Day of Christmas!!  My Fairy Tale Close Reading set has picture cards and stories for three different fairy tales.  

Skills Covered:
Character Traits
Cause and Effect
Text Evidence
Drawing Conclusions
Making Inferences

Happy 7th Day of Christmas.  Today my Read the Room CVC Sentences are on sale for $1!  These are great for practicing reading and writing!

Happy 6th Day of Christmas.  Today my Letter and Sound Bundle is on sale for $5!  This bundle is a great way to practice letters and sounds in guided reading, work stations, and for RTI!

Happy 5th Day of Christmas.  Today my Winter Vocabulary Cards are on sale for $1!  These are great for practicing writing, beginning sounds, and work station activities!

Happy 4th Day of Christmas.  Today my Sight Word Phrases are on sale for $1!  These are great for practicing in work stations or as a warm-up to guided reading.

Happy 2nd Day of Christmas!  Today I'm featuring my Phonemic Awareness Pack for $1!  This pack is great for RTI and small group instruction.  It includes the following skills:

  • Counting Words in a Sentence
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Ending Sounds
  • Middle Sounds
  • Rhyming Words
  • Segmenting Words
  • Blending Words
  • Substituting Sounds

Happy 1st Day of Christmas!

Some of my blogging friends and I are offering 12 Days of Christmas bargains from our stores.  I'll be updating my items on the blog, on Facebook and on Instagram!  

Each day on my blog will be a link to all the other stores offering 12 Days of Christmas bargains! 

Today I'm featuring my Mixed Up CVC Words for $1!  These are great for morning work or in a word work work station!

I love reading everyone's currently every month :) Today was a great day at school and the sun finally was shinning, and then I go home and the tv is full of sad news of another mass shooting :(  My heart breaks for the families impacted by this and other violence.  

To change the subject, we always have an artificial tree due to allergies!

I love shopping and I love a bargain.  This Thanksgiving, we were iced in and I took advantage of online shopping!!  That's why I love Teachers Pay Teachers...instant downloads and you can start using products immediately!! I cannot tell you how many times I've made purchases over my plan time, and then started using them the same day :)
This year, the Teacher's Pay Teacher's Cyber Monday sale is November 30th and December 1st.

My top wishlish item is my Guided Reading Organizational Binder.  It has everything you need to plan, organize, and implement guided reading in your classroom.  There are planning templates, data collection forms, rubrics, binder covers, workstation rotation schedules, and more!  

Next is my First Grade Sight Word and Word Work Bundle.  It is full of literacy workstations to practice phonics, fluency, and sight words.  Great for ELL students and students in RTI!

Finally, my First Grade MEGA Bundle for Phonics and Phonemic Awareness is #3 on my wishlist.  It is also great for guided reading activities, workstations, and great for RTI.  I've received lots of feedback from teachers that are using it with 2nd or 3rd grade students that are needing additional practice with phonics and phonemic awareness.  It is a great value, and includes my phonics assessment bundle and a number of interactive notebooks!  

To see more fantastic wish lists, Teaching in the Tongass is hosting a great link-up with lots of amazing teachers!

We've been working on teaching social skills.  We use Kagan Cooperative Learning at my school and I was finding that even just for simple greetings, my students needed help.  This poster gives them ideas of polite greetings, good-bye's, and praise.

This is from an earlier post, but for one more week these mats are FREE!!! One tiny aspect of implementing Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures involves setting students up in teams of four.  For the month of November my Team Mats will be free!!!  These are a great way to help manage the classroom and implement Kagan structures.   I say things like:
"Partner A, tell your partner one new thing you learned when you read this section."  
"Partner B, ask your partner one question that can be answered on page 72."

In addition, you can use a student's number to help you.  For example, "All the 4s, come pick up your team's papers."  
I have not blogged in forever.  I'm getting ready to take my school leadership license exam and am wrapping up 12 hours of grad school!

Here are some of my favorite freebies that I have found!  From literacy to math to organization, these freebies will make you smile :)

If you are looking for a last minute language art workstation for Thanksgiving, here is a great one!

For Winter, here are some great freebies for language arts!  

Here are some fun math activities for winter!

Here is a great freebie to keep you organized in 2016!

Another great idea from Rebbeca B...coloring for adults.  I just read an article that said that coloring has similar benefits to meditation! 

I'm so glad to link up with More than a Worksheet and discuss student engagement.  My school has implemented Kagan Cooperative Learning for the past five years.  It is all about engaging students and making them accountable to one another.  Students are equally participating in learning structures.  I find that they are a great way for students to process and practice what they are learning. Here is a brief article that outlines some structures.  If there is ever a class in your area, I highly recommend it.  The structures lend themselves to improving classroom management and student learning!  

One tiny aspect of implementing Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures involves setting students up in teams of four.  For the month of November my Team Mats will be free!!!  These are a great way to help manage the classroom and implement Kagan structures.   I say things like:
"Partner A, tell your partner one new thing you learned when you read this section."  
"Partner B, ask your partner one question that can be answered on page 72."

In addition, you can use a student's number to help you.  For example, "All the 4s, come pick up your team's papers."  

I cannot believe it is November!!!  Tonight is a big night!!! I'm hoping the Kansas City Royals can pull out a win tonight!!  We are having beautiful weather this week...80 degrees!! Typically it is about 50 degrees!

My favorite recipe is a cheesecake recipe!

Ingredients for base
2 graham cracker crusts
2 8oz of cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients until smooth.  Pour in crust and bake 20 min at 375 degrees.  Cool 30 minutes

Then mix 2 cups (16 oz) of sour cream, 1/2 cup of sugar (I always add a little extra sugar) and 2 tsp vanilla.  Pour over cheese cake and bake 10 min more at 400 degrees.

Refridgerate when cool.  

**I use light cream cheese and  light sour cream.
I found this link-up on Instagram!  My husband just doesn't understand how important special stickers are in a planner, but thanks to Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris...I now have some new awesome stickers :)

There are two Etsy Stores that I love and they have really great prices (less than $2.00)  :)
Kittik Printables made the fall themed stickers and The Gifted Pepper made my Steps and Workout stickers.

I always plan my workouts for the week ahead.  I try and get about 15 miles of running (with some walking) in a week.  I use the stickers to record actual steps/work-outs.  

I use the zipper pouch in the back of my planner to store extra stickers :)

I'm so excited to participate in this awesome blog hop!!!  Fall is my FAVORITE season!  I love pumpkin spice everything!!  

One thing I love to do when I'm working with small groups is finding ways to  integrate math and literacy through picture books!  Through the use of picture books, students are able to see how math is all around them!  I also really feel strongly that when it comes to math word problems, using picture books as a mentor text is a great way to provide extra practice!

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus is a fun book to use for counting and adding (and singing)!

For example:  If you add the noisy cats and the white wipers, how many do you have all together?
Another favorite book I love to use with kindergarten and first grade is Sixteen Pumpkins (it is only available from Amazon as a used book).  

My freebie is a 10 frame counting game!  It is an easy way for students to practice math with a pumpkin theme.  

Here are two professional resources you might want to look at for more ideas!

The next stop is The Literacy Garden!  

Primary (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade) Blog Hop
Vocabulary from Gay
Math and Literacy from Bridget
Expository Texts from Alison
Letter & Sound Identification from Janelle
Character's Feelings from Jessica
Vocabulary & Rhyme from Jennifer
Sequencing from Michaela
Author's Purpose from Daliene
Vocabulary from Cathy
Personal Narratives from Janiel
Verbs with Anita
Author's Craft from Carla

Back to Top