Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Motivation: Classroom Library

Today I'm linking up with Jen of Teacher by the Beach to share my classroom library organization. My classroom library is my favorite area of my classroom and I have organized it in so many
 different ways over the years.

Here's a look from one of my previous library arrangements. I use this rolling cart from Lakeshore to organize and store AR books. Each book has a dot corresponding to the level and it matches the color in the front of the bin.

This was my old library look. I organized books by theme and author. The small bins are from Really Good Stuff and the tall bins are from Big Lots. The beanbag chair didn't last much longer than a year. 

I ziptied some crates together for buddy books. I placed multiple copies of books in plastic baggies. If students can't figure out where to return a book, they place it in the put back bin. One my student jobs is to put the books back where they go as the librarian.

As my library has grown (#allthebooks), I purchased some taller white bookcases. I think the white makes the library look so much more consistent and cleaner. I'm still using the same bins from Really Good Stuff and Big Lots but I have more room for books now.

It's important to have comfy seating in the library, so I have these adorable owl beanbags from Hayneedle. They are a bit deflated now so I'm going to fill them again this summer.

I found this storage bench on clearance at Home Goods. It is one of my favorite finds. It had a small mark on the top but you can't even tell.

I've got my Kohl's stuffed animals and Target finds on the top of the shelves. I really wanted to put books up there but it's too tall for the kids. On the far shelf, I covered over the boxes that my leveled readers came in for chapter book series.

At the beginning of the year, my library arrangement wasn't working so I moved the shelves to the other side of the room. I liked the shelves much better this way because they didn't block as much of the wall.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Math Speed Drills: The Guided Math Tool You Need

Are you looking for a great way to get your students started on math as soon as they sit down at your guided math group? These speed drills are for you. These are such an easy differentiation and assessment piece. Check out my video for more information. 

With speed drills, students read a drill as quickly and accurately as possible. They will not be writing on the drill so you can reuse them many times. I place mine in clear plastic sheets and store them in a binder.

You can also use these math speed drill as a center. Upload the PDFs to your Dropbox or Google Drive account and add them to Explain Everything.

 Choose the place where your file is stored and find the file.

Once you see your file, click on Choose (top right) to add it to your Explain Everything screen.

Check out the video below to see how to use Explain Everything with the Speed Drills. 

 Once your project is finished, you can save it as a video, pdf, image, or project. You can save it to any of the places below or even more places. I like to add mine to Seesaw.
Click to view on TPT.

Hope these help your math block move smoothly and keep students engaged!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Do You Have Active Learners? Try Bouncy Bands.

As a teacher, I'm sure you have your share of active learners. You know, those students who can't sit still, are always playing drums on their desk, and need constant stimulation. If you have these types of students (who doesn't), then Bouncy Bands are for you.

What are Bouncy Bands? Check out this video to see for yourself.

After using Bouncy Bands with my students, I've noticed a difference in their ability to stay on task. They can kick the bands or bounce around and the bands really don't disturb anyone.

Check out this data from students who have tried out Bouncy Bands. The students themselves have noticed a major difference in their focus.

I used both of the Bouncy Bands below since I have some students who sit at desks and some that sit at tables. I personally love the desk version more because the kids can kick out further but the table ones work just as well.

Do you think you need Bouncy Bands in your classroom? Lots of teachers are using DonorsChoose or AdoptaClassroom to fund them. Check out some tips on getting funded in the video below.

I love DonorsChoose so I highly recommend using that site you teach in a public school. I've had great success getting my projects funded through them. Check out this site if you are interested in funding. There are some sample funding requests and videos to help you get the word out about what you need.

Disclaimer: I was sent a free sample of Bouncy Bands to try with my students. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February Fun - Black History Month

It's February The shortest month with the most fun content to teach. Here are some ideas for your for your February plans for Black History Month. There are so many amazing African Americans to introduce to your students that I think it would be okay to extend these lessons past February.

I like using mini lessons to introduce content to my students. There are so many great books that introduce important people. I've put together a pack of some of my favorite books for Black History month.

 Click on the image above to view on TPT.

I've created a free sample from the pack just for my blog readers. You can download it for free by clicking on the link below.

Epic has an amazing selection of books that you can read to your class. I counted 35 books with some videos and articles.

Click on the image above to head over to Epic.

My students loved this Nearpod lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. It provides greats facts and would be easily accessible to younger students with the guidance of the teacher.
Click on the picture to view.

This is a great freebie from the 24/7 Teacher. She provides passages on 4 different levels. 

 My students loved this Nearpod lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr. It provides greats facts and would be easily accessible to younger students with the guidance of the teacher.

Click on the image to head to TPT.

Hope you can use some of these ideas! Share your great ideas in the comments.