I -Heart- Organization Tips!!

Kathleen at Growing Kinders is hosting an organization Linky Party - fun fun fun! I love getting tips from fellow teachers, and it sure makes me fell better knowing I'm not the only one who struggles with filing and weeding and grading and, and, and.... :)  Anywho, here are my few humble tips to offer up to my peers. If you have something to share, click the picture at the end of this post and join in the fun!

Literacy Materials
We use Story Town for our reading series, and it's differentiated for us! There are below level, on level, above level, and ELL strands of the series, and they're color-coded: red, blue, green, and rainbow, respectively. I don't have any ELLs in my room, so I only have the first 3 strands; I purchased red, blue, and green tubs/binders to store the coordinating decodables, guided reading books, and lesson plans. This way, I don't have to think twice about which resource I'm grabbing when going about my teaching!

As for Guided Reading specifics, I keep a tall cart o' drawers by my small reading table that has labels such as "student materials," "teacher materials," "comprehension," etc. Here, I store my all-star reader sunglasses, crazy finger pointers, before/after reading spinners, and deflated questioning beach balls. It's handy to have it all an arm's length away every day, so I can change up my plan if needed based on how the kids are interacting that day!

Math Materials
Like you, I have SO MANY manipulatives for math! It's great, but was overwhelming for me when I first began. So, I implemented a plan that I use for my home storage! I bought tons of clear shoeboxes and a few huge clear storage tubs. I put each manipulative into its own shoebox (red/yellow counters in one, tens rods in another, clear chips in another...), and then labeled the tops with masking tape. {I am thinking of making cutesy labels this summer to spruce it up a bit!} Then I neatly stacked the shoeboxes into the big tubs and labeled those lids with all of the items inside! Now, I slide out one tub off the bottom shelf, check to see if it holds what I need, and go from there! Much easier than baggies falling all over when I open a cabinet door!

Bulletin Board Items
I borrowed this idea from a wonderful co-worker, so I can't claim genuis on this! We have waist-high, flip top wooden storage options to us, and I used this for my bulletin board/poster storage. I stapled 2 pieces of posterboard together on three sides, leaving the top open to slide in my goodies. I labeled the outside with what's inside, and wha-la! It's stored!

Daily Materials
This is normal, and most people I know have this system already in place in one form or another, but here goes! I have a colored magazine holder for every day of the week, and an extra tub for "next week". As copy orders are filled or I find books to read aloud, I place them in the correct day's tub. At the end of each day, I pull out tomorrow's materials and lay them in order on my back shelf. At the end of each week, I empty "next week's" tub into the proper days for the following week! No more losing copies or forgetting to round up a read aloud!

Lesson Plans
Once again, an idea borrowed and tweaked to fit  my needs! When searching for the perfect lesson plan book, I was unable to find anything that satisfied my needs for lots and lots of subject areas throughout my day! So... I made my own! Using Excel, I have made my own lesson plans that have varying box sizes to fit what I need to jot down for each day.

Lesson Plans pg. 1
get organized
Okay, I'm done! Your turn!! Share your thoughts and join the party!



Another Wonderful Giveaway!

Head over to Mrs. Wheeler's blog to check out the great giveaway she's hosting... I hope I win!! :-)



Who Can Beat $1.00 Sales???

Thank you to Primary Perspective for offering up the link for these great Scholastic e-books on sale this week! Head on over and check them out... there are plenty of books for any classroom! Hurry, though; sale ends FRIDAY!!
Dollar Deals



Help me with...Story Town!!

Okay, teacher buddies! It's time for me to ask for your help... It'll happen again, I'm sure!
At my school, we are piloting a new reading series, Harcourt's Story Town, and we're LOVING it! I am curious though... how in the world do you fit it all in during your literacy block?? We have 90 minutes for whole group literacy and then each student is in Guided Reading for 30 minutes after that. But I cannot get through the whole day's lesson for the life of me. I want to do best by my kiddos, so I need advice!

If you have faced something similar with your reading series (escpecially if it's Story Town!), please leave me a message with advice, kind words, or a good recipe that I can bake/eat while trying to figure all of this glorious stuff out!! :)

'Til the next time that I have a question that I'll need help with...



Scholastic Book Giveaway!

I love Scholastic Teacher Resource books, don't you?? Well, here's your chance to win a FREE one! Visit Erica's blog here to enter.  Good luck!


Sick of Highly Paid Teachers...???

Hello, all! For my first post into the teacher-bloggy world, I thought I'd share some thoughts that are going around my peers right now. It's also quite timely, taking into account the news that education/public worker pay is making right now in our nation!  Read on and see what you think.... :)

Are you sick of highly paid teachers?
     Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

     That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan-- that equals 6 1/2 hours).

     Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 22? So that's $19.50 x 22 = $429.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

That's $429 X 180= $77,220 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

     What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 22 children X 180 days = $205,920 per year.

Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/22 students=$12.63/6.5 hours = $1.94 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!


Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.