August 2015 - Miss Kindergarten

Colorize Your Classroom Challenge

As I set up my classroom for a new year, organization is always one of my big focuses. I like to think that I am organized by nature; my mind organizes my thoughts and I function better when everything has a place ;)

As part of the Astrobrights Papers Colorize Your Classroom Challenge, Astrobrights is hosting four classroom challenges: classroom decor, classroom organization, differentiated instruction and memorization. ColorizeYourClassroom.com also gives teachers a go-to source for inspiration and ideas on how color can help transfrom your classrooms.
 
As the second classroom challenge, Astrobrights has asked me to share with you all how I use color to organize my classroom. At first, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to share and then remembered that organizing is my jam and this wouldn't be difficult at all ;) #teacherproblems
In the past, I have used the colored tubs to organize our daily work.
{flashback to my first classroom #awww}

They were functional, but I didn't love them. I disliked the way the papers would curl from being upright, and not everything for the day fit into the tubs. Also, if the papers were taken out of the tubs, I didn't know where they belonged without looking at my plan book. It was organized, but still needed some tweaking.

A few years ago, I moved into a new classroom with tons of cupboard space! #teacherheaven
My co-teacher and I used the tall cabinets to store all of our materials for the week. I love having the shelves because we can lay all the work flat, and we can also store the books we will use for read alouds and any tubs for manipulatives. I made colorful labels to help us keep our daily work organized! Of course I had to add a cute ribbon to attach each label onto the shelves. I just hole punched the label and wrapped the ribbon around the metal rungs.
{Sorry for the glare...hard to get a great picture when things are laminated!}

Each day has it's own shelf, with everything we need to make the day successful! This really helped with the curling paper problem, and held all of the materials for the day, but stacks of lost papers were still a problem!

So I figured out a way to use the color to help us stay organized! Colored paperclips!

As I'm sorting our work for the week, I match the paperclips to the labels on the shelves. As you can see below, the blue paperclip stack is for Friday, and the yellow paperclip stack is for Wednesday!


At the bottom of the cabinet, we have baskets to help keep our work for each theme organized. We make copies ahead of time to stay on top of things, so it's nice to have a specific place to put all the copies. As the year goes on, I will just change out the labels for different themes.
{so much more appealing than the post-it notes that continually fell off last year!}

The fonts I used were inspired by the talented Ashley from Teach, Create, Motivate.
I downloaded her teacher toolbox labels and loved them so much, I had to make coordinating labels for my shelves.
Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen!? I love how I have a place right behind my desk to store all of my supplies. I purchased the toolbox at Lowes and spray painted it that pretty mint color after seeing Aris's toolbox.

I also LOVE using color against a black background. It really makes the colors pop and looks so great. I found these awesome editable labels from Amy Groesbeck and used them to label the plastic drawers at my volunteer table.

The top drawer holds all the papers that need to be copied, the middle drawer is where the masters go after being copied and the bottom drawer holds pencils, post-its and staplers etc. It makes it so easy to see what needs to be done and what has already been copied. Plus, it looks super cute ;)

Lastly, I am using color to help organize our classroom supplies. I love using colored caddies at each table so I can call the tables by their color name. It really helps my students learn their colors and understand where I need them to be. Over the years, I've been able to collect enough colored scissors to match the colored caddies. This helps to make sure that all the scissors go back to the correct caddies too. I put two caddies on each table since we all share supplies. Such a pretty sight!

I hope these ideas helped you think about ways you can use color to help organize your classroom this year!

Do you have any bright ideas?
Astrobights' Papers Colorize Your Classroom contest is giving you a chance to enter your ideas and win a yearlong sponsorship from Astrobrights worth $5,000!!
http://www.colorizeyourclassroom.com/

All you need to do is share how you use color to create the right environment for your students! Choose one or all of the four different challenges: classroom decor, classroom organization, differentiated instruction and memorization.

You can enter up to four times, once for each challenge! Visit ColorizeYourClassroom.com for details, official rules for entry and hundreds of ideas on how to Colorize Your Classroom. 

Astrobrights may even feature your bright idea as the pick of the week on Facebook to help other teachers colorize their learning!

Are you looking for a way to print with endless colored ink on a budget?  This printing trick is one of the best things that ever happened to me as a teacher!
My good friend Lauren from A Teachable Teacher has this AWESOME blog post that explains Instant Ink in detail! Check it out by clicking the image below...you won't regret it!
http://www.ateachableteacher.com/printing-color-ink-budget/
 

This is a sponsored post. I received payment, trade and/or products from Astrobrights in exchange for promoting.
All opinions stated are my own.
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Try it Free Tuesday {reading passages}

Thanks for stopping by week eleven of Try it Free Tuesday 2015!
Each Tuesday this summer, I will be featuring a product or two that you are able to try out for FREE!
The products will be available for free for one day only! Of course, you will be able to purchase them on TpT after that.
{button by the fabulous Lyndsey Kuster}

I'm so very excited to share all of these awesome products with you!

Today's freebie is brought to you by the wonderful Jessica from Elementary Nest


Follow Jessica's blog
Follow Jessica's TpT store

Jessica has taught kindergarten, first, and second grade. She adores teaching primary students. She started her blog, Second Grade Nest, in June of 2012. In 2013, she became First Grade Nest and finally decided this year to change it to Elementary Nest to solve the name issue.

Jessica loves using reading passages in her classroom. These passages are great for a variety of classroom purposes, such as independent work, assessment, group work, small group work, homework, and more. Jessica's favorite way to use these differentiated passages is during her small group time. While her kiddos are doing their Daily 5 centers, Jessica pulls leveled groups every day. These passages are great for one of the daily activities. Struggling students read the first level, on-level students read the second level, and advanced readers get the third level. This helps with their comprehension and reading skills. 
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fall-Passages-2042256


Today, Jessica is offering a sample of her Fall Passages for you to try for FREE!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7mjRwFty62LN1VxXy14aGQzYVU/view


Download this amazing freebie today, August 25th ONLY! Be sure to tell your friends before time runs out!
And come back next week to download some great products from some of my favorite bloggers!


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Flashcards & Photo books

During my one of many trips to the Dollar Tree this summer, I found these really cute alphabet flashcards and I had to grab them because #onedollar ;) I loved that they had both upper and lowercase letters, in easy to read font and pictures that actually matched phonics rules! I knew I didn't need to hang them up since we already have several alphabet posters in our classroom, so when I saw the photo books I knew just what I wanted to do with them!
 
I cut the letters apart {and trimmed the edges a little because they were a little larger than the opening of the photo album} and stuck them in the book. The album I picked up had a plastic sleeve covering the outside which worked out perfectly because the alphabet has 26 letters and the photo album only had 24 pages! So I just stuck "a" and "z" on the inside covers.
Now I have the perfect little alphabet books for my students to "read" and trace the letters!
 

The flashcard set also came with numbers 1-10 so I grabbed another photo book and made a numbers album as well.
  
Now my students can practicing tracing their numbers too!

How fun are these quick and easy books for little hands?!
I think I will eventually make covers to slide into the albums, but that sounds like a job for another day ;) 
 
 



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Try it Free Tuesday {Write the Room}

Thanks for stopping by week ten of Try it Free Tuesday 2015!
Each Tuesday this summer, I will be featuring a product or two that you are able to try out for FREE!
The products will be available for free for one day only! Of course, you will be able to purchase them on TpT after that.
{button by the fabulous Lyndsey Kuster}

I'm so very excited to share all of these awesome products with you!

Today's freebie is brought to you by the fabulous Christina from Mrs. Winter's Bliss
Follow Christina's blog
Follow Christina's TpT store

Christina has been a 1st grade teacher for 20 years. She recently made a big move from Southern California to a suburb in Raleigh, North Carolina and is in love with the south! She loves her new home and community and really feels at home there. She feels God has really blessed her to do a job she absolutely loves, as each day is filled with bliss working with her students. Besides teaching, she loves cooking, watching cooking shows, and eating!

Christina’s (and her students') favorite part of the day is her literacy centers block.  She loves teaching small strategic groups while her students are immersed in meaningful reading and writing stations. She loves seeing them excited and engaged as they work in collaborative groups.

Last year she created a Write the Room series. Her students begged for more! Today Christina is excited to share her Write the Room-Back to School edition with you.


Write the Room is a meaningful way for your students to practice reading sentences with basic sight words and writing complete sentences. In addition, rereading the sentences gives students the opportunity to practice reading accurately and fluently.


Since students are at very different reading levels, she created 2 versions (simple and advanced) of each picture. The simple sentences have underlined words to remind your students to use the picture cues. The advanced sentences have more complex vocabulary and sentences to challenge your higher level readers.



Once students have found and recorded the sentences, they should use the checklist to practice reading the sentences fluently to themselves and then quietly to a friend. 


Today, Christina is offering a sample of her Write the Room for you to try for FREE!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3B03q630QYLUnlsUTdzdUdrR1U/view?usp=sharing


Download this amazing freebie today, August 18th ONLY! Be sure to tell your friends before time runs out!
And come back next week to download some great products from some of my favorite bloggers!


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