Monday, July 14, 2014

Simplicity, part 3

As previously mentioned, I'm committed to small, simple tweaks this year to make my classroom a more organized and positive place.  Today I present ideas eight through ten!

Idea Eight: Notebook Bookmarks

One of the things my students seem to struggle with when using notebooks is finding the page they left off on.  For some reason unknown to teachers, they love to skip pages.  At the beginning of the year when we set up our notebooks with our table of contents, page numbers, and color coded markers to distinguish subjects, I go over the norms of not skipping pages and using the backsides.  However, by November, this is usually forgotten.

Not this year!

No, this year will be different with the help of this ribbon and duct tape combination!  After journaling, they will simply put the book mark in their notebooks to indicate where they left off and then put their notebooks away.

Idea Nine: The Great Pencil Challenge

Could it be? Can washi and/or duct tape can solve the mystery of the disappearing pencils?

I could have cute prizes for the students who have their assigned pencils at the end of the day, then a few days, then a week.  

When the pencil gets down to basically nothing, I'd give them a new pencil with the same number but different tape (so I could keep them straight). 

Idea Ten: Table Organizers

The great bucket idea of last year failed.  Yes, these shower organizers that were so meticulously color coded by table and had so much hope...didn't work.  

By May, all of the buckets had been stepped on and cracked beyond repair without so much as a simple apology.  Part of this was my fault because the buckets didn't have their own space to rest on when not in use. See, the buckets would rest on someone's desk (if he or she was absent) or on the floor, where the buckets were inevitably and frequently stepped on.

However, I could have eliminated the problem with this set up:

I was already planning on placing my students in Kagan groups of 4-6 (depending on class size), so I could arrange the desks around these organizers.  I know they are at Target, I just need to wait for them to go on sale or be in my cartwheel ap (or both!).  

I'm getting excited to get into my classroom and begin setting up! 

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