So, here we are winding down one of the seemingly shortest school years that I can remember. I am not sure if it is because I have come back to my "first love" MATH, but it seems this year has flown by. And to be honest, that is exactly how I like it to be. It has been said that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life..........well this has been one of those years. I will not reflect upon those years that take 5 years off of your life. Um, no, I will not go there today. :-)
While, sitting at my desk this week I started looking around to try and pin point the things that make MY life as a teacher easier and more enjoyable. My precious home room students watched as I jumped up with my iPad and began taking pictures of random items in the room. (Bless their hearts, they are quite used to my antics and they completely take everything in stride.). Thinking back, to an "outsider" that may have seemed a little odd.
Anyhow, I am going to share a non exhaustive list of
A Few of My Favorite Things
This is where I keep ALLLLL of the student data that I accumulate through out the year. It is compact and easy to "grab and go" to our weekly data chats, parent conferences, etc. I picked this up over at Organized Classroom Blog. Simply stagger index cards in a hard backed plastic file case that clips on the side. The outside looks like this......
And I obviously have no idea what it's called.
Next................ someone please cue "music"
..... we have the widely acclaimed Best PENCIL sharpener I have ever used. Click on the link to purchase yours. They are about $25 and well worth every dollar.
Two words, GET ONE!
My next item I use weekly and I purchased it from Learning 4 Keeps over at her TPT store. It is a compilation of all 40 weeks of a school year. Each week has graphics that pertain to that month, holiday, etc.
As you can see below, I list every assignment for every subject for the entire week as well as the common core standards that are covered by the assignments. There is also room for extra announcements in the bottom right hand corner.
This item, alone, has saved me so much time and grief throughout the year. I have the students turn the previous week in, when I hand them their new one. They place the new one in their BEE binder to be signed by parents. When they turn them in, I keep them in their student folder to be used at parent/teacher conferences, etc. This particular copy, shown below, sits in a plexiglass frame on my desk at all times.
NEW TEACHERS - must have, just click the picture below for the link :-)
Next, I have a picture of three little gift tubes that I purchased from the Dollar Tree.
I got this idea from my school buddies EM and AD. I use these for my Popsicle sticks, sharpened pencils, card games......the possibilities are endless.
Finally, I created this last item (in about 5 minutes) as a portable (class to class) accountability tool. This rests in a large ziplock bag and is carried from class to class with my fifth graders. Each teacher can see what has been going on thus far in the day as well as make any adjustments that are needful during the next class. We have recess time at the end of the day and this tool is linked to that time and has been the most effective tool that we have used all year. :-)
Next year I will try to make it a little more "cutsie" but I will surely make it a part of my classroom management.
Well, that is all for now. I will be looking around again today to see what else I may add to this list. If you have any comments or ideas about what helps your classroom run more smoothly, please feel free to send them my way. I would love to hear from you.