Sunday, July 31, 2011

Writing Folders Part 2

You all humble me. I can't believe that so many of you commented on yesterdays post about Writing Folders. I have to stop here and say that it was not my original idea. Several teachers in my district do this, I just borrowed and shared. I am glad that many of you found it helpful.

I got lots of ideas from you all. I am thinking of making homework folders or other subject folders out of them too. Who knew all the possibilities.

Also Liam thanks a bunch for the labeling idea. I was pretty upset, when I lost the binders, that I wouldn't be able to see at a glance who the folder belonged to.

Many of you mentioned laminating them and I think that is a fantastic idea. I just don't have the energy for them. I have done it in the past and in a few months the lamination starts to come off from the crease in the center. So now I just teach my students they only get ONE and they have to take care of their materials. When all else fails tape helps. :) However, I think if you want to try it and it works for you, go for it. I love laminated stuff. As a matter a fact I am on a brief break from the pile of laminated materials now. :) Remember these?
I think I am almost done.

Because there was such a wonderful response to the 4 pocket folders I am posting the 2nd part a little bit early. Yesterday, I briefly mentioned what each pocket would be for. The first pocket would be for tools, such as am alphabet chart, ideas, extra paper, etc. The second pocket is for stories that are a work in progress, or not completed. The third pocket is for stories that are complete but have not been fancied. That means that the actual story is complete but the student has yet to color in their illustrations. (My students are only allowed to color during Writing on Fancy Fridays. This helps to keep them concentrated on their writing and not just the illustration.) The final pocket is for work that is complete and is ready to share.

I was going to make a folder and take pictures to show you, but I realized that my copies are in my classroom and I won't be back in until later this week. So I am sharing my goodies with you a bit early. I will just take pictures later.

I plan on just cutting these out and just taping them down to the pocket of the folder with packing tape. Yes laminating them would be best, but as I previously explained, I don't like it for folders.

Pocket Covers2

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Writing Folders

This past year, for my Writers Workshop I bought these beautiful 3 ring binders for my 1st grade students. They had 4 pockets and more than enough space for my my Tater Tot's writing stories. The pockets were labeled with color dots, Green=A work in progress, Red=Done, but not colored, and Blue=Tools. The 4th pocket was for our Ideas, but my students always struggle with this so many of them abandoned it. We used the 3 rings for the stories that were completed but were waiting for the illustrations to be colored on "Fancy Friday". This worked beautifully!

My students were SUPER excited about these binders, and all year long were asking about taking these babies home. They even kept them CLEAN for the whole year! I was astonished. I thought they would be gray by the end of the 1st quarter. As much as I wanted to keep them, I just loved the look on their faces the last day when they took them home. That left me in the tough position of replacing them.

Last year I got them for $2.00 a piece, and I thought that was a bargain. Truthfully it is, however it is still a nice chunk of money when your talking about 15 to 20 binders. Especially when there are TONS of 2 pocket folders for .15 cents in the next row. So with a big sigh I gave up the binders and compromised.

I didn't just buy a class set, I bought 2 folders per student, and it wasn't even a third of the price of the binders. Why did I get 2 folders per student you may ask? It is not to replace the first when it gets battered and torn. I got them to make 4 pocket folders. Curious? Take a peek.

How did I do it?
I started with one of these babies. Luckily my school has one.
 I took both folders and decided which one I wanted on the outside and which one would be on the inside. For me that was easy, all of my 1st graders items are blue. So the yellow went on the inside.
I then punched holes on the left side of the outside pocket. Make sure you are using the "Oversized" setting.
 I turned the inside folder, inside out and punched holes on the open side.
 Here is a picture of me doing the WRONG side. :) I figured that out the hard way. :/
 Next, I took a comb and bound it together.

 The finished product. Well, almost finished. I do still have to make pocket labels. I know they wont be as coveted as my binders, but they will have to do, and I can live with it.
 Sorry for the bad picture, they were taken from my phone.

 What do you think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Classroom Part 6

Several of you sweet people out here in blog land have been commenting on how nice my room looks. Thank you so very much, I appreciate every comment. They really do make me smile when I read them. HOWEVER, I feel like I am giving you all the wrong impression. My room is truly still a bit of a mess. Just take a peek at what is developing behind my wonderful new teacher area.
This is the case on the floor of the rest of my room, too. UGH, I hope this is not an indicator of things to come. I better get this under control soon.

When I went in yesterday, I had to do something to cheer myself up so I put my fancy signs & banners up!
Here is my Ladybug banner from Parkers Prints.
If you go to her blog, you can see my new banner, for my second room. :)

Here is my custom sign from Hadar.

Let me not forget my wonderful polka dot sign from Porter's Polka Dots.
Obviously, you can't see the full cuteness, because my name is blurred for privacy reasons. But trust me it is just darling!
I think Hadar is right I have a sign/ Banner Addiction problem. However, I think it is just a cute item addiction problem. Seriously, who can resist Polka Dots?

Let me get on with the work I got done yesterday.
 I organized some of my Writing materials, mentor texts and lesson binders, in am easy to reach place.
 I put all my student files in my new mini file cabinet. :)
 I laminated a TON of bulletin board goodies.
 AND I put up the rest of my word wall. 

Now if you look at the picture below you will see I was struggling with 2 different boarders for my word wall. I should have ordered CTP's Waves of Blue boarder but I messed up. I'll know better next year. I love the Kaleidoscope Border below but I bought them for my Surfing room and well, they didn't work for me with this paper.
 I tried my Lots of Dot's Blue Boarder. I like it better, but it wasn't really for an Ocean of Words. However, it did go with the color scheme. Can you tell which won out?
 As you can see, I have some puckering. That is one problem with not using one big sheet of butcher paper. I'll have to do some touch up, before I put my letters on the wall.
What do you think of how it turned out?

I got a few inquiries as to what I have my students work on at the Overhead Station. I will write a post on that in the weeks to come. However, if you are looking for something NOW, one of the things I do is just print up an FCRR k/1 Center Binder activities on to transparency paper and voila and instant Over Head Center Activity. You could also print up those wonderful word sorts, you all make, on to transparency paper.

I wont be going in today because I have some stuff to take care of this afternoon, but can you guess what I will be doing tonight as I watch tv?
Cutting out all my fancy bulletin board decorations. :/

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Classroom Part 5

Yesterday, I went back into my room. Here is what I got done.

My 100 day bowl & chart.
 Every day, before we line up to leave, we add a fish to the fish bowl until we get to 100. We also cross off a number from our 100's chart

My fish and charts area.
 The songs we sing daily, ie: days of the week, months of the year, are on charts and I keep them next to my calendar station for easy referencing. I got them up under my word fish. I put my students weekly HFW in the fish while we are learning them. On Fridays we transfer them to the word wall.

Overhead Station.
I am lucky enough to work in a building where all the teachers have projectors and document cameras. At the start of every I hear a teacher say "Who still uses an overhead projector?!?" and I always, sheepishly, raise my hand. Here is the truth, I don't my students do. They just love using it at a center. Here is a picture of it on.

I worked on organizing my picture books. I am no where near done but at least I can fit them all in my cabinet and close the doors. They are a work in progress.

My Calendar Station
This is one my favorite parts of my room. :)
 The start of my word wall.
I ran out of laminated construction paper. I will have to laminate some more when I locate the laminator in our new building.

I sorted all my table basket supplies

I got my pocket chart station up.
 I always love putting this behind a bookshelf because I feel is saves so much space. :) This year I covered the back of the shelf and taped the edges with Masking tape.
I learned that masking tape was surprisingly VERY forgiving. I messed up several times and I did not need a new piece OR new paper. I love it.

I am going back today, let's see how much I can get done.

Monday, July 25, 2011

2 new lesson plan templates

I've two new lesson plan templates up for sale. They were made for two fabulous ladies that were a pleasure to work with and have now been edited and adapted to meet your needs.

Weekly Walker
FYI, to see the pictures in a larger format click on them.


 Any Lesson Lily

I love all feedback so please leave a comment.
Hop on over to A Teacher's Plan to read more about them.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to School Bonanza Giveaway

Are you ready to go Back to School? 
This Back to School Bonanza Giveaway should help you get in the mood!  Twelve fabulous bloggers have teamed up to give one lucky winner a huge back to school prize pack!  Scroll, down to see the twelve tantalizing prizes you could win. 
The contest will run until midnight eastern time, on Thursday, July 28th.
for complete directions.
(PLEASE read all directions/instructions!!!)
Y’all don’t want to miss out on this amazing giveaway!
Bloggers involved:


Here is what you could win!
1. Deanna Jump's Back to School Math and Literacy Fun

3. Anna Brantley of Crazy for First's Back to School Math and Literacy Centers

5. Amanda of One Extra Degree's Sub Tub

6. Miss Kindergarten's Calendar Pack

8.  Yvonne of Sassy in Second's Football Number Bonds Tiered Math Tub

11. Cheryl of Primary Graffiti's Celebrating Yummy Birthdays

12. Michelle of Fabulous in First's Back to School Beginning Sound Sort and Back to School Word Work

for complete directions.
(PLEASE read all directions/instructions!!!)
The contest will run until midnight eastern time,
on Thursday, July 28th.
Y’all don’t want to miss out on this amazing giveaway!