Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Back to School Freebies

Here is my round up of Back to School Freebies from my blog!

Create a fun Hawaiian/Beach themed Back to School Night/Open House with my Ohana Night invitations and Scavenger hunt!

Write a Welcome Letter with my editable template!

Create an organized classroom with folder labels for each subject!

The last freebie I have for you are business card magnets that you can hand out to the students!

I hope you are having a fun and successful back to school season! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Seat Sacks

I've shared before how much I love using Seat Sacks in my classroom.

Back when I taught in Oregon, I started using book covers as seat sacks.  They worked ok, but since they were so stretchy, only a few things could go in them.  Here, I am using them in my 2nd grade class on Lanai for a couple folders.

Last year in 1st grade, I used the amazing Seat Sacks.  They are made out of heavy duty fabric and even have a clear sleeve for a name tag.  I had the students keep their homework binder in them.  

 This year in 5th grade, I'm using Seat Sacks again.  This time I opted for the larger sized Seat Sack Plus for the bigger chairs.  They have two extra smaller pockets and also came with a pencil pouch!

My students do not have assigned seats this year, so I love the extra storage that the seat sacks provide.  My kids need access to their homework binders throughout the day because that's where they put papers to go home.  After switching to these heavy duty sacks, there's no way I would ever go back to book cover pockets! 

Lucky for you, Michelle at Seat Sacks is offering a 20% discount for you! Just use the code 20TEACH at checkout.  You won't regret it! 

And for all you Hawaii teachers, I updated my HCPS III standards to now include 3rd grade! Go re-download from Google Drive! 5th grade is finished, but I'm just waiting to finish up 4th grade before posting all grades K-5.  Thanks for being patient with me! 

 Do you use seat sacks or other organizational tools?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Storing Belongings in 5th Grade

Aloha! I've officially been a 5th grade teacher for 2.5 weeks! And it's going well! Today I wanted to take some time to show you some classroom set up that is working!

When I came in my room this summer, I had enough desks for 16 students, but I knew I would have 25.  Instead of begging the custodians to find me more desks, I decided to embrace the challenge and try to go for more alternative seating this year!

I ended up getting rid of all desks except one double that was set pretty short.  I got a kitchen table for free on Craigslist, pulled a rectangle table in from the hallway, and utilized the existing round table, kidney-shaped table, and computer desks for student seating.

Now, since my students don't have desks, where do their things go?

Backpacks go on this backpack cart from Lakeshore Learning.  Thank you Donorschoose! We just wheel it out to the hallway during classtimes.

All supplies are shared and go in these drawers on the bottom shelf.  The labels are from School Girl Style's Flamingo Watercolor Set.  I used the font Sweet Peony.  The middle shelf has clipboards, crayons, mini-staplers, and date stamps.  The top is where I set down my curriculum books or read alouds, colored pencils organized by color, along with loose leaf paper, tape, extra scissors, pens, and index cards in the letter trays.  

Homework gets turned in each morning to these student mailboxes.  I also use it to pass back papers, tests, and notes from the office. Thank you again, Donorschoose! I've had this Quill Literature Organizer for 6 years and it is still going strong!  

Book boxes are really important in my room!  They house independent reading books, reading journal, writing journal, and a science poetry book.  When kids finish assignments, I don't have a fancy fast finisher area, I only allow them to read or write.  They can grab their book box, get cozy, and get to work! 
Letters on my bulletin board are from the Flamingo Watercolor collection. 

I bought this booktruck from Demco a few years ago when I was drowning in text books.  I love that it has double sided storage and moves.  This year each group has a large magazine file to house social studies folders, reader response books, and spelling journals.  On top is old leveled readers that I let the kids take home if they want.  The other side is all the extra loose leaf paper, composition books and folders.
Those labels are from the Flamingo Watercolor collection, too!

Homework binders and planners go in chair pockets, just like my last year's class. These are the large Seat Sack Plus from The Original Seat Sack Company.  They are my FAV! Super durable! 
These girls are sitting at my free kitchen table! 

There are enough chairs for every child, even though they are not required to sit in them and they sit in new seats each day.  The kids are grouped into 5 heterogeneous groups of 5 for our current social studies and science units.  I'm doing expert groups/jigsaw activities for both units, so it's super helpful to have them in the same groups.  As they come in in the morning, each group decides where they want to sit and places their team sign on the table.  The table number holders are from Amazon.  I went to two different restaurant supply stores on island and they didn't have them.  I tried to buy local! Lol.  
The signs are from, you guessed it, the Flamingo Watercolor collection!

At each table is a supply caddy for supplies they need more often: pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, and crayons.  Some of the caddies are from Really Good Stuff and some are from School Girl Style.  Melanie has some awesome colors in her shop! 

So far, I'm really happy with this set up! And the kids and I can easily move tables and chairs to the side to have more space in the classroom for dance or drama.  And I'm happy to not have extra things from home all over the classroom, just the necessities! 

What are your favorite storage tips? 

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