Monday, August 25, 2014

Random Back-to-School Thoughts & FREEBIES!

     Today begins the LAST week before school is back in full swing and, to get a sense of how my day is going today, check out my latest tweet:

     I find that when I sit down to work on stuff for school during the summer I have NO problem flying through the curriculum aspects... you know... the content, "what do I need to teach" stuff. The small details, however, like anchor charts, hand-outs, course outlines, organizational labels, etc, are SO much harder to get done. I'm one of those people that has a hard time visualizing those elements without actually being in my classroom. Which brings up another point, our school is still a crazy construction-zone! (so is my house, but that's another story).

     Last year I ventured into my classroom for the first time around the beginning of August. I spent the next two-three weeks peacefully painting furniture, designing bulletin boards, etc in complete silence as I was often the only person in the building besides the custodians. I could then spend the week before school putting together small details and mentally-preparing for the year to begin. Fast-forward to this year and I have yet to get into my classroom... *deep breaths*

     Technically I could have gone in today as the construction is far enough away from my room now, but we still didn't have any access to internet and I couldn't print anything off since the floors were being done in front of the main office (the only colour printer is in the office). Hence, I decided to hibernate freak-out at home and attempt to create some of those "small detail" items that had been alluding me all summer.

     First off, supply labels! My supplies are kept in deeper rubbermaid-style tubs in a shelving unit in the classroom... yes you can pull them out to see what is in them... but supply labels are much cuter and more efficient. I made a set of 9, which includes one for our Interactive Notebooks (I.N.B) and Mental Math (M. Math) folders. I've uploaded the set of all nine to Google Drive, so feel free to download and use in your own room!
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      Speaking of supplies... do your students walk off with your pens and pencils ALL the time! In my room, it is like an epidemic!! Our school secretary actually has a cute habit of taping giant silk flowers to the ends of her pens so that people remember to put them back before they walk out of the office with them. In need of a solution, but wanting something my students could relate to, I came up with my own set of classroom supply memes. (remember I teach High School). I plan on printing these off in colour, laminating them over a pipecleaner or straw, and taping it to the ends of my pens in similar fashion to what our secretary does! I created these using Meme Creator, feel free to use them if you'd like!

Good luck with all of your small-details in your classroom!

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