Here we are for the last day of Teacher Week '13! Today is my first day back to school. Well, it's our first teacher inservice. The students come on Tuesday. I do NOT feel ready this year! :P I don't know why. I have everything organized and in place, but for some reason I am not nearly as stressed as I normally am. Maybe I've been doing this too long. ;)
So here are some Teacher Tips I must share with you. I don't have a lot, but maybe these are new to you and you can use them in your own classroom! :)
There are SO many cute little bins and tubs out there and as teachers, we could buy every one and put it to good use! This is my Reading Toolbox. I keep it right behind my guided reading table for easy and quick access. I keep sight word cards, comprehension dice, nonfiction popsicle sticks, reading strategies (those cute little flower-looking things from Hope King!), reading highlight strips, and swizzle sticks to use as pointers when reading. I just turn around, grab it, and plop it right in front of me for use with the kiddos when they come to the table.
My Teacher Binder is placed directly underneath my computer. I keep EVERYTHING in it! Lesson plans, student info, standards, notes, etc. It's right within reach so I can easily grab it at any point.
I found these pink plastic boxes at Walmart a few years ago on clearance. They stay on my writing table. In one of them, I keep blank writing paper.
This next one is my favorite pink box. I keep all sorts of photos in it to spark ideas for student writing. If they're stuck on what to write about, they can thumb through the different pictures and choose one to base their writing off of. Actually, I take all of my old calendars and tear them apart and put them in this box. They love them! And they're big and colorful enough to snag their attention and get them to notice little details that make their writing great.
Another tip is to have word cards stored somewhere, especially primary teachers. I'm the type that would rather have everything at my finger tips than taking time each day, month, or year to do the same thing over and over. I used index cards and put words on them with different spelling patterns. For example, if we are studying r-controlled words with "ar", I have a stack of cards with "ar" in them. I whip them out and we can practice reading them, play games with them, or quiz each other with them. I actually typed the words on Avery labels. Then I just peeled, stuck, and laminated all the cards!
I don't know about your kiddos, but mine go through erasers like candy! I keep pencil top erasers in a jar behind my desk. When they truly need one, they come up and ask. Then I can monitor if they really need one or how often they're coming to get them. I used to let them keep their erasers, but they would disappear within a week (just like everything else). It's nice to be able to help teach them to be more responsible with their materials.
Another little thing I love is having our group meeting area so open and ready. If you notice in the picture, I have my rocking chair and a little green stool. Depending on what we're doing, I might sit in either one, or I may have a student join me for some joint teaching! They love being able to sit up there with the teacher. :)
Alright friends, I plan to check back in sometime next week to show you how our first week goes! I also plan to take some pics from Open House and share them. To all who are back, I hope your school year is off to an amazing start! To those starting within the next week, GOOD LUCK!!!! You'll be fabulous! To those who still have 2 weeks or more...I'm jealous. ;)