As a special education teacher, I feel like I write "To the parent(s) of..." eight gazzilion times a day! I've had stamps, but they don't last very long and usually don't stamp the whole image. As part of my job I have to send a ton of paperwork home throughout the year. I noticed that when I give the envelopes to students they get this look of horror on their faces, even though I tell them it's just more paperwork and they aren't in trouble! Parents will also avoid these scary looking envelopes - they do look pretty official and intimidating! At some point I started putting a smiley face on the envelopes and got better responses from everyone. This simple smiley reduced anxiety in students, the number of phone calls I had to make (begging parents to sign and return paperwork) and duplicate copies I had to send home because, "Johnny didn't bring it home, I didn't see it in his backpack." I should point out that I have them put it in their backpack or take home folder while I'm standing there! My new brilliant idea? Happy labels! I won't have to keep writing the same thing over and over again, and I won't have to expose my lack of artistic ability with my smiley faces! These would be cute for progress reports or any other confidential info that needs to be sent home. I made 6 different patterns, using the template for Avery 3477 labels. Click on links near the images to download your free copies!
I've been at it again! Here are some samples of the additions I made to the Pastel and Bright Owl Collections. I realized based on sales (a good teacher always uses her data!) that these two collections coordinate really well. Sooo, I changed the Make Your Own Banner so that it includes the pattern from the Bright collection and polka dots from the Pastel colletion :-)
Changes to Owl Make Your Own Banner
I added Daily 5 Signs, CAFE Signs, Number Cards, Word Wall Cards, and Math Daily 5 Signs in both patterns too! Click here to see more.
I attended the Incredibly Fun Visual Phonics seminar yesterday. It was wonderful!!! So many terrific ways to incorporate visual and kinesthetic methods into your teaching - and easy to do!
Visual Phonics is perfect for K-2, special education and Title I programs.
I wish I could have taken advantage of the $10 off products when purchased at the seminar, but sometimes finances don't coincide with great opportunities! I will be purchasing the Bonus Book and the Systematic Sight Vocabulary soon (and maybe a few more!) Check out their website for products Visual Phonics.
If you ever have the opportunity to take the seminar, take it!!!
I'm having so much fun creating all of these fun classroom decorations. Maybe too much - my fingers hurt!
I'm really proud of the Itsy Bitsy Spider collection. They're fun, bright colors and patterns that coordinate and will liven up your classroom! This theme would be best for younger grades, but will appeal to boys and girls.
I just added a Make Your Own Banner kit. It has alphabet letters A-Z in all three patterns, plus darling spider, sun, and snail cards in all three backgrounds! So many fun banners you could make: First grade is crawling with excitment! Welcome to our web of learning!...
I also created a Make Your Own Banner set for the Pastel Owl collection - which seems to be a favorite! The Set includes all the letters A-Z in two patterns and an owl card in each pattern. Super cute! Tons of cute sayings for this one too: First Grade is a Hoot!...
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these books! I read the Daily 5 one day and The CAFE Book the next day. I'm so excited to implement these ideas into my classroom next year! If you haven't read them, they are a must!!!
Today has been a great day! I had two interviews - both for first grade positions! I think they went really well :-) In celebration I have another freebie for you from my Blue Paisely collection. Please leave me some feed back on the product. If you love it check out more of the collection at my Teacher's Notebook store!
I'm new to the blogging world, so I thought I would start with an area I'm very familiar with! I've been a resource room teacher for the past 7 years. Teachers who visit my room almost always comment on how organized it is. Substitutes also leave comments about how organized everything is and how easy it was for them to figure out what to do!
Here are some tips for organizing your room:
1. Keep a separate folder for each group. I just use basic pocket folders. You can get packages of 10 for a dollar at Target during back-to-school time. Make sure each folder is labeled with the group name and time. For example: 5th Grade Math 1:00 - 1:30
2. Keep any copied paperwork for students in that folder along with incentive charts, etc.
3. Label bins or areas on a shelf to keep materials. Have a separate area or bin for each group. So your 5th grade math group will have workbooks, teacher guides, spiral notebooks, the group folder, etc. Stack them neatly on the shelf or place them neatly in a bin.
4. Separate reading, math, and writing programs, games, manipulatives, etc. and store them either on separate bookcases, or put all the reading materials on 2 shelves and math on the other two (you get the idea!)
5. Do the same thing in your closet or the area where you keep your personal references and materials (I have tons of Minute Math books, Daily Language Review books, etc. that I copy from.) It's much easier to find the items you need if they are separated by subject area.
6. Keep markers, crayons, glue, scissors, highlighters, and anything else you may need for a lesson in each teaching area. I use plastic pencil boxes to store them in (you can get them for under a dollar during back-to-school time.) You are working with students with a variety of diabilities and behavior problems -getting up and looking for supplies is a sure way for your group to go wild!
7. Keep pencils, erasers, and pens in an easily accessible container. I use a round desktop organizer that has 2 areas to keep pens and pencils standing upright and that has drawers to keep paperclips, etc. I do not leave this sitting on the table, I keep it back in my area and pass out pencils when needed (otherwise students play with the pencils, container, etc. instead of listening!)
8. Keep lesson plans and a list of students in each group at each teaching area. Make sure that you put student's general ed teachers and their phone extensions next to each student name. It will save you (or a sub) time when you need to track no show students down!
These are just some general ideas. Here's a freebie to help you get started! These are owl themed folder and bin labels. There are 3 different designs (1 for reading, 1 for math, and 1 for writing.) You can print on Avery labels or print on cardstock and laminate. Happy Organizing! Click on picture for link.
Labels created using artwork by Trina Clark. Check out her website: digiscrapkit.com