8.15.2016

Back 2 School Blog Hop & Giveaway


Wow, back to school time already! I can hardly believe it. Summer really flew by and my family is in the middle of moving to a new house right now (during the first week of school!!!). So instead of my usual month of obsessive pre-planning, I've been packing and living out of boxes. Yes, it's insane, I know. I actually considered going into full panic mode today. But then I decided it would be better to to take a deep breath, pray, and focus on just one little thing at a time. Whew!

So, today my goal is to get my Friday folders ready. Sending papers home used to be a real pain in the you-know-what. Sorting them into student mailboxes every day, getting them from the mailboxes into the students' folders on Friday afternoon, and then into backpacks seemed like a monumental task or at least a never-ending one. But I've come up with a system that really works and is absolutely ZERO work for me. My students do it all. What was that? No work, students do it all, tell me more!

First, I got some plastic envelopes like these...


These particular ones from Amazon are a little pricey but they last all year and never fall apart. Even the little snaps kept working. In fact, they held up so well, I was able to save about half of them to reuse this year (unheard of!). See, here are some left over from last year. They still look pretty good...


Next, I get hanging files and put them in plastic crate like this...


I have one file for each student. These don't have names on them yet because I don't have my final class list.

Now, here's where the zero work for teacher comes in. I keep a paper tray next to my Friday folders where I toss all of my graded papers and things to send home. The stack just keeps growing, but I don't care because students will take care of it. 


These are the two most important jobs in my classroom. The paper filer checks the paper tray every day and files all of the papers into the hanging files. He or she does this whenever there's some free time, when their work is finished early, or sometimes in the morning before the bell rings. Then on Friday, my Friday Folders person takes the papers out of each student's file, puts them into their envelopes, and passes them out to go home. Totally painless!

Now I don't just send these folders home and hope the parents look in them. Inside each one is a parent log sheet. Parents sign off that they looked at their child's papers and then send the folder back in on Monday. The log sheet looks like this...

(Download an editable version HERE.)

I fill in all the Friday dates for the year so I never have to think about it again. The log just stays in the Friday folder. And since the folders are transparent, I don't even have to open them to see if it was signed.

This is the PERFECT paper management system for me and I hope it helps you too! Now that I've gotten you all excited about organizing your papers (woo-hoo!!), how about a giveaway? That's right... you could actually WIN something for reading this far! We're giving away a $50 TpT gift card and some awesome goodies. Check it out (and enter!)...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for visiting! You can continue to the next stop on the blog hop by clicking the apple below:




8.13.2016

Classroom Decor... or Not

This week was pre-planning and I really got almost nothing done. I just can't figure out what to do with my room. I don't like distraction and clutter and lots of stuff. Most of the other teachers have cute themes in their rooms but it's visual overload to me. So my room tends to look pretty plain and dare I say, boring, compared to everyone else's. 

So far this is what I've got...



As you can see, I'm painting my walls light blue. (They're actually finished now.) I figure it's a nice calm color. But I have no idea where to go from here. I did make some things to hang on the walls...


I also put up our schedule...









And that's about it. School starts on Monday!!! How will I ever be ready? Is it ok to decorate later? Will the kids be sad about their plain room? Stay tuned...


Math Workshop Teacher Tips

Have I mentioned lately how much I love math workshop? I'm sitting here looking through my math games and centers and thinking how different teaching math used to be. Math games were relegated to the little bits of free time I could carve out of our day. But when you follow a workshop model, the kids gets plenty of hands-on practice using games and activities. Plus, you get the benefit of working with your students in small groups. There's really no better way to teach math. 

So today, I am really excited to share with you an awesome free e-book full of tips, ideas, and resources for starting math workshop in your classroom! I was invited to collaborate on this project by Literacy Loves Company and I think it turned out great.


To get your free copy, just click on the cover picture above. I'm still setting up my classroom for the new school year, but once it's ready, I'll be posting some pictures of my math centers and rotation chart. So be sure to come back...


5.03.2016

Teacher Appreciation Gifts For YOU!

Wow, it's May already and my favorite week of the school year.... Teacher Appreciation Week! Teaching is a lot more than just hanging out with kids all day. You are one of the most important people in your students' lives and you work hard to make a difference! So THANK YOU for all that you do.

To show my appreciation for my fellow teachers, I've got some awesome surprises for you!










And last but not least... don't miss out on the Teachers Pay Teachers special TEACHER APPRECIATION SALE!!! Click the image to visit my store for 28% off of everything (even my big, already discounted bundles!)...



Have a wonderful week!!

3.05.2016

Earth Day Posters Freebie!

Earth Day is coming up in a few short weeks (April 22). Here are some Earth Day posters you can grab for free!

Earth Day Posters

Just click the image to get them from my TpT store. Enjoy!

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