Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Guest Post on A Modern Teacher

I'm over at my friend April's blog, A Modern Teacher, sharing an easy little DIY project for making pencil cups!

A Modern Teacher


Head on over to check it out! :)

And don't forget to check out this awesome Geometry, Time, and Money bundle on Educents - perfect for 2nd or 3rd grade standards! You'll get 9 units for $10.99, that is over 80% off the price you would pay individually at TpT! Woah! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Computer Lab Spruce Up

When I first came to my school two years ago, the computer lab was a sad state of affairs.  It had faded, torn paper on the bulletin boards, thousands of random staples in the walls, and nothing helpful for the kids hanging on the walls.

Last year, I decided to spruce it up.  We don't have a computer teacher, so no one had taken ownership over the space.  I started out by actually making a schedule for when teachers used the lab.  Everyone had just used the same time year after year and no one knew when the lab was available.  It was a little strange to me.  I then removed all the weird staples in the walls, took down the gross paper, and put up bulletin borders.  I also put up my PC Shortcuts.

There is a Mac version, as well.


Recently, I decided to do a little more around the lab.  I asked one of the kindergarten teachers with really cute handwriting to write all the websites we use on the chalkboard with chalk markers.  
She forgot the www. on many of them.  Oops!

I used some labels in Schoolgirl Style's Chalkboard Rainbow set to make directions to label the different walls in the lab.  I decided to label them with islands and how far away they are for us.  Now, when I dismiss kids from their computers to line up and go back to the classroom, I say the direction or the island. 

The middle row of the lab, I labeled with our island.

I also decided to number the computers.  I just used little dot stickers I already had.  When my kids type stories, they have to use the same computer each time and save their work to the desktop.  Numbering the computers help them remember which one they used.

The last thing I did was create a Home row bulletin board.  We do Typing Web to help teach correct typing skills, but the kids do forget where to rest their fingers.

For the title, I ran out of o's in those cute cut-out letters, so I turned two 9's into o's.  It's not perfect, but it works. 


You can check out my Home Row posters on TpT.  Included are posters with the home row highlighted in yellow, in gray for black and white printing, or in blackline for printing on colored paper.  My school only has black and white printers, so I printed mine on white cardstock.  Also included are 3 different sizes of keyboards for display.  I chose to print and display the biggest keyboard, since the board I put the display on was so large.  

How is your computer lab? Do you have a media teacher or do teachers take care of the lab, like at my school?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April's Bright Idea!

Welcome!  This month's Bright Idea is so super simple - how do I hang things in my classroom?

The first trick I learned from my pal Corinna at Surfin Through Second - Magnets!  This is the first classroom I've had where the whiteboard is magnetic.  Corinna suggested getting little, thin magnets and taping them to the back corners of whatever you want to permanently hang on your whiteboard. 




This option is perfect for me because we have louver windows that when open allow the wind to come rushing through the room, blowing papers off desks and walls.  My posters with these strong little magnets stuck to the back don't go anywhere!  You can find these kind of magnets at Home Depot or craft stores.

Now what about things that go on walls, cabinets, or other non-magnetic surfaces?  Painter's tape!  This isn't a new idea by any means, but the way I organize it might be a new idea for you - Tape Pillows on a whiteboard! 



Before I start taping things to the walls, windows, cabinets, or doors, I make a bunch of little tape pillows and put them on a student whiteboard.  This makes the arranging so easy.  It's really quick for doing activities with the kids, too.  Sometimes we make labels for an anchor chart or we add words to our word wall.  It's so nice to have these little tape pillows ready to go so we don't waste any time.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, 
please join me on Instagram, FB, or TpT! :) 

Make sure to browse through the link up to find 150 other 
amazing Bright Ideas from my favorite bloggers! 

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