Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back to School Shopping and Getting Back into the Mindset (slowly!)

Phew!  Just got back from a whirlwind trip to the States for back to school shopping.  Got a few good finds and a few things I have been hunting down.  

I can now finish my clipboards bucket using a large orange bucket I found at Superstore, stick on letters from the Purple Camel store and colourful circle wall decals from Target.  I will post a picture of the finished product soon.   My inspiration was this picture I found on Pinterest.  I can't link back to the original site.  If anyone knows the original source, please let me know so I can link to it.  

I picked up more than a few packages of 10 Crayola markers for $1 at Target. These are for student use, but only under my supervision for special art and other activities.  The kidlets know where they are 'hidden' and can use them with permission.  I put on a letter home on the first day of school 'No markers, please.  Only crayons and pencil crayons."  In my first few years of teaching I learned that markers and primary students don't mix unless closely supervised.  One indoor recess, I returned to find several students with marker all over their faces and arms!  Hence, my strict marker regulations.  I also found sparkly pom poms in the Target dollar section for those giving away 'sparklers' this year.  

My first project when I get back into my classroom is going to be organization!  I bought closet shoe and sweater organizers to hang in my closet to help with much needed storage.  I suppose I have no need to store all of the chart poems and songs I painstakingly laminated and mounted on hangers since they are all on the Smartboard now.  I will need to find another use, perhaps hanging in an accessible place where students can grab and read for Working With Words time or Read to Someone.  

Now my shopping is done, I have no more excuses, time to start planning, preparing and organizing.  

Has anyone read "The CAFE Book" by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser?  I have it and it is my goal to get through it this week.  I have seen many pins on Pinterest about the CAFE board, but am wondering how it works for you?  Any thoughts, advice, etc. would be helpful!  You can get it here.  


Melanie  :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Organizing, Organizing, Organizing and Folder Labels

Whew!  I have been busy making labels and figuring out Google Docs today.  Luckily, the weather is beautiful and I can sit on my patio and enjoy the weather while attempting these tasks.

Organization and colour coordination are a couple  of my obsessions and what I get teased about by my family and staff.  BUT, it is what keeps me sane and the kidlets on track.

Dollarama sells coloured bins that fit two-pocket folders perfectly.  I purchased bins (one in each colour)  and two-pocket folders (enough for each student) in red, blue and green.  The two-pocket folders are on sale at Staples for 10 cents each and if you go on Thursdays in August, teachers get an additional 15% off the sale price (and no limits on items for teachers).  The blue bin is the writing bin, each blue folder gets a label and goes in the blue bin.  The green bin is the math bin, each green folder gets a label and goes in the green bin.  Do the same with the red bin, which is my reading bin.  This way, for the little kidlets, it is a quick reminder to match their folder to the bin so folders always end up back in the right place.

For home/school folders, I purchase courier zipper bags from Dollarama (this is one of the few things I can actually get reimbursed for!).  I print out labels and put them on the plastic pouch on the front of the courier bag.  This bag will go back and forth with the student with notices, schoolwork and, most importantly, the student reading log and home reading book.

I am attempting to attach files of my labels in Google Docs.  Just click on the link below, open the file and enjoy!  The home folder labels are a Microsoft Word document, but the other subjects are a Print Shop 2 file. Word was not cooperating, so I found it much easier to use Print Shop (a program I definitely recommend for teachers - so easy to create print projects!).

Math Folder labels (created with Print Shop 2)  (uses Avery 5162 labels)

Reading Folder labels (created with Print Shop 2)  (uses Avery 5162 labels)

Writing Folder labels (created using Print Shop 2)  (uses Avery 5162 labels)

Home School Reading Bag labels  (uses Avery 5164 labels)

I will eventually figure out how to get the picture of the item in my blog, sorry for now!  But hope you enjoy.


Melanie :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

My First Foray Into Blogging!

Here I go!  I have been thinking about blogging and admiring other blogs for awhile now and thought it was about time I took the plunge into starting my own blog.

I am entering my 13th year of teaching this fall.  I have taught all grades from senior kindergarten to grade six in two cities and six different schools!  I am very lucky to be entering my fourth year in a row at the same school teaching Grade Two.  I have taught Grade Two for a total of eight years in my career and love it!  

I hope to share my experiences, ponderings and ups and downs of this upcoming year teaching Grade Two!  Please join me on my journey of blogging this year.  I look forward to sharing my experiences and hearing about yours.  Cheers to a great year ahead  :)