Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Organized Binders

There are a ton of different ways to organize a teaching binder - many found on Pinterest :).  Instead of focusing on only one binder, I decided to use 3 different binders this year.  Last year, I felt very unorganized and all over the place with my binder so I'm hoping this will help.  Personally, I hate lugging around a massive binder with everything in it, which is my other reason for splitting up my information and notes.

This is how I decided to split it up:

Obviously, my teaching binder is my main, every day binder.  These are the sections I used in each binder:

Teaching Binder

1. Important Info - Where I place all the extra important information I need for the day or week.
2. Schedules - Where I place daily schedules, including AEA, and schedule changes.
3. Day Plans - The obvious
4. Monthly Plans - This is something new I am adding this year in order to help me see an overall view of the month ahead.
5. Class Lists - This is used for daily reminders, field trips, etc.  (This is not used for marking - see below at the student binder)
6. Long Range Plans
7. Meeting Info

Student Binder

1. Class Lists - This will be used for marking and assessment.  I believe having this in my student binder will help me, as it will be the binder I will take along with me when marking and will also have students' information in it.  A clip board will be added to the front of this binder so I always have that to take with me as well.
2. Parent Teacher Interviews - Any information I need for these.
3. Student Info - I will have a section for each student in my class to keep anecdotal notes, report cards, etc.

Idea Binder

 As stated in my Summer To Do post, I made an idea binder.  However I decided to add more sections then I had originally stated:

1. Overall Notes - General idea notes for the class
2. Management - Any ideas to improve classroom management
3. Language Arts
4. Mathematics
... And possibly to add other subjects I teach as well.

Hopefully this will make everyday chaos, into a bit more organized chaos :)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Organized Read Aloud Books

I finally took the time today to put a dent into my Summer To Do list.  (Found here.)  Seeing as the weather is stifling and I already have a painfully, itchy burn from laying on the beach too long this past weekend, it's the perfect day to stay in my AC filled apartment.

I worked on organizing my read aloud books today.  I can already sense how much easier this organizing will make my teaching this coming year.  I heard somewhere the following quote:

 "Organization makes a good teacher into a great teacher"

That is my motivation for this long process of organizing :)

I went from a small basket of squished books to a filing box big enough for my books and many more:

Below is the end result of my organized children's books:

As you can see, I organized my books into months and then topics.  All I used to do so, was a filing box (found at Walmart), dividers, cardstock paper, and clear tape.  I covered my labels with tape as my at home lamination :)

I only ended up having 3 topics apart from my months.  These are Culture, Math, and Science.  (They are not alphabetical in the picture, but I have organized them alphabetically.)

While some books don't really fall into a specific time of year or those certain topics, I put them in the month that I plan on using them in.  As I get more books, I am sure I will need to add more specific topics.  However for now, this works perfectly for what I need.

I am now working on lesson plans and activities for each book.  I will put a copy of each plan in each book, and I will also make a binder of the plans.  Stay tuned for lesson plan ideas for read alouds!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Blog Hop!

So, I joined Bloglovin', and as you can see, I now have an easy way for you to follow my blog!  Woohoo! :)  Please do consider following my blog!  I love to connect with other teachers, and I think this would be a great way to meet you all!  I simply love to share my ideas, will hopefully somehow inspire some of you, and also would love to learn from you with comments you write me! :)

I recently discovered a Blog Hop when reading The Perks of Teaching Primary.  This blog hop is found through the following blogs: 

Teaching is a Gift
Teaching is a Gift

Click on the link below to join the Blog Hop yourself!  

Teaching is a Gift

Thursday, 4 July 2013


Ps. Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin'! :)

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Language Arts Organization

Today is becoming an extremely productive day.  I guess that's what happens when my car is out of commission and it's pouring outside.  While I have not finished tackling one of my 'Summer To Dos' I decided to revamp my Language Arts binder today.  It is pretty simple and I thought I would share it with you to give some ideas in the sections of organizing it.  While these sections completely relate to what I teach for Language Arts, if you adjust them to your own program, they could work just as well!  Do keep in mind that these are only the worksheets and such used in the programs, whereas textbooks/workbooks are not included.

 Before I begin, I must warn you that my pictures are not spectacular.  Along with my non-functional car, I have a non-functional camera and therefore was forced to use my phone.  It does the trick though, and will give you the perfect idea as to how to create your own organized Language Arts binder.  Since this is pretty self-explanatory, this will mostly be a picture blogpost :)


( For public speaking competitions or reading records where students try to read enough pages to win a prize)

I especially like the Holidays section, as I always find I am wondering where my Thanksgiving or Christmas sheets and activities are.  Eventually, I would like to make a binder specific to Holiday activities.  

 Throughout the year, I also chose to make notes on specific worksheets or activities I used.  These notes were just made on post-it notes (as seen below) and simply stated what worked and what didn't work, what could be improved, and what to keep in mind.  I plan on updating this and to keep adding to it!

                                      These simple stickys are great, quick reminders!!

Happy Organizing!! :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Summer To Do

Ah summer... how I love thee.

While many fellow teachers of mine choose to have a summer job, go on extravagant trips, or take an AQ course, I chose to stay at home and simply relax.  For some reason...this isn't working out for me as well as I planned.  It's only been the second week of summer, and already I feel swamped with unpacking/cleaning our new apartment, sorting through mounds of teaching materials from the year (picture below), and catching up on appointments that were missed throughout the busy school year.  Suddenly, I realized, I only have four more weeks until I go on my personal 'extravagant' trip (to BC!).  And then, guess what!  It is basically time to go back to work.. ah, the summer is short.  Low and behold, I still have a Summer To Do List for teaching for these next four weeks.  Just some things I hope to get done before I begin a new year of teaching.  While these items are not detrimental for starting a new year of teaching, they are simply helpful ideas for organization.  Perhaps this will help me keep on track a little bit more this year...and perhaps it could help you too!

This weeks project

Summer To-Do List:

1. Pre-planned Supply Lessons

All throughout the year it was my plan to make supply lessons.  While I am thankful to say I had no days where I had to call in the morning sick, If I had, I would have been scrambling and stressing trying to come up with a supply plan.  It is just not worth that extra stress.  This summer, I plan on making these supply lessons for at least 3 days of classes.  While, of course they will have to be adjusted according to the time of year and what the students are currently learning, some good basic plans will still save so much time!

2.  A basket of children's books ready to read with lesson plans/activities.

Whether it be for creative writing, journal entries, a tie to a math or science lesson, or a start to an art project - books are your best friend (Especially in Grade 2!)  I already have a basket of books, separated into seasons and topics (Wait for future blog post to see how this was done!), which was very helpful for me throughout the year, to quickly pick up a book when I had the time to read one to the students.  The pre-made lessons/activities to go with it, would just be so much more helpful!  I plan on starting this soon, and will blog my ideas throughout.  Below is a picture of my current basket of books, which I also hope to fix up quite a bit!  (As you can see, the basket is a little small... :)

Basket of books (Could use some updating...:)

3.  Planned Bulletin Boards ideas

Most times, I've considered pinning an idea on Pinterest to be a planned bulletin board idea.  However, I want to take some time this summer to take those ideas (with my own creative spins) and actually get them ready to simply place on the bulletin board for when the time is right.  Bulletin boards can be an added stress during a busy time of report cards or grading.  I would love for that stress to be diminished, just a little.

4.  Organized Binder of Ideas

Not much to add here.  I hope to make an organized binder for Language Arts and Math.  While of course, the curriculum binders are already set, there are many times when some extra activities are needed for further learning.  This binder will be great to have throughout the year to also add any new ideas I come up with.

These four things will definitely keep my next four weeks busy. I plan to blog about each of them as I work through them.  This is my first step into getting over my procrastination.  Wish me luck, and maybe even join me! :)