Hello Friends! This year I chose the word "Simplify" as my One Little Word. I'm sure many you also struggle with keeping things simple. I also moved into a new classroom this year, and I've had a difficult time finding logical places to store things. Today I am sharing an idea I've seen and am planning to try for organizing my thematic and seasonal teaching materials. 

This year we have been encouraged to do much more thematic teaching at my school. I have lots of centers, art examples, and teaching materials for my thematic units that I needed to find a way to store easily and quickly grab. I had some things in my file cabinet and others were shoved in my closet. My centers/workstations were in my file folder and magazine holder filing system.  Since we have been doing our thematic teaching by month, I decided to buy the cases below from Joann's to store my thematic centers and extra copies of thematic units. They are large and deep enough to store my monthly resources. 
My plan is to make some monthly labels to I can quickly grab the box I need. Once the month is over, I can put everything in the box and easily store it in my closet. No more hunting in three different places for the materials I need! At least that is what I'm hoping! I will be back to share labels and let you know how it's going.

I've also decided to use Zip Lock 1-Gallon Storage bags to store my centers/work stations. They are easy for the students to quickly grab and get to work. The cover and directions for each activity are in the front, and there is an answer key for the group leader in the back. The cards could be kept inside, but I put them inside the seasonal felt bags I've been hoarding from Target's Dollar Spot. (See below).
 
This worked perfectly last week! Groups were set free to work independently on their Winter Wonderland Activities, and I was able to pull my ELD group to the back table for some uninterrupted reteach time since the rest of the class was engaged and on task! 
If you want to try a freebie sample of Singular and Plural Noun "Polar"oids, from my Learning in a Winter Wonderland pack, you can click on the picture below to grab it.
I'm also giving away my Seasonal/Holiday ELA Literacy Stations Growing Bundle. Right now it has 7 files in it, including the one above, and I plan to add a Spring/Easter set sometime in March. Leave your email below, comment on a skill I should add to that spring pack, and I will choose a winner on Monday! 
Have a fabulous weekend! :)
Hello Friends! Have you had a chance to breathe since the holidays and your return to school? I have barely been able to keep my head above water, despite the hours of work I seem to do every day! I think it will be like this until June! I'm lucky I finally found the time to link up with sweet Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It. 
I have been struggling with crayons, colored pencils, and markers for years. Each of my groups has a caddy to keep the group's supplies in. My students' desks aren't big enough for individual plastic containers (inevitably they crash to the ground), so I give them each a durable ZipLock bag or pencil pouch to keep their personal supplies in. Everything starts out great at the beginning of the year, then a few weeks in, chaos occurs! Crayons, colored pencils, and markers are all over the floor. Crayon boxes break apart, so crayons become the biggest problem in my classroom.
I'm pretty sure I saw this idea for organizing crayons on Instagram. I bought three of the smallest Sterilite three drawer containers from Target and stacked them. I made labels for organization and added some tape to secure them to the backsides of each drawer. I plan to have black, white, and grey in the same drawer, but you could add another set of drawers and add each color separately. I might work on my marker problem next, but I will need the larger sized drawers to organize those. If you would like the labels, you can find them here. I also made a set with white backgrounds to save your ink. I'm so excited to finally have a home for all of the homeless crayons all over my floor!

Now I need help with colored pencils! I love the way they look, but sharpening them is a nightmare! I have gone through so many pencil sharpeners, even with the extended warranties I buy. I finally made a rule of no colored pencil sharpening in the X-acto sharpener! The handheld sharpeners only work for a short amount of time before they need to be cleaned out or break. Please tell me what works for you if you have found a solution to this problem!  I think I need to create a colored pencil sharpener!

By the way, have you read The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home? We read them this past week, and the kids LOVED them! They are both so creatively written and entertaining. It's surprising that crayons could have such adorable personalities! These went along perfectly with our new home for the homeless crayons. 
Well, that's all I have for Monday (Saturday) Made It. Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy New Year! I'm slowly beginning to wrap my head around the fact that I have less than two days before I have to go back to school! Monday is a teacher prep day, and Tuesday is staff development, so I can slowly ease into the school week since students come back on Wednesday! 

I like to start the year off by having a small party for my students. I will have treats and goody bags waiting for them at their desks. After being off for over two weeks, I have found that having a celebration first thing when the students return helps to get them excited about being back at school and eliminates the post-holiday blues. 
I also think it's important to do goal setting activities this time of year. For the past few years, I have had my students choose a guiding word for the year. I will share my word, which is simplify, and explain why I chose it. Sometimes it's difficult for students to come up with a word, so we brainstorm different words such as positive character traits. My students will write their word on a paper balloon, and I will make a bulletin board to showcase the words. Keeping the words visible helps to keep the students focused on their word. 
In addition to choosing a word for the new year, I have my students write about their school and personal goals. My New Year's Goal Setting and Party pack below has reflection sheets for students with a few different choices. (I plan to keep the pages for my students and put them inside their Memory Books at the end of the year.) I have also included printables for treat bags and bulletin boards. You can click on the picture below to see it on TpT.
I would love to give away one my New Year's packs shown above! If you can use this pack in your classroom, leave your email below and tell me what your word or goals are for the new year. I will announce a winner Monday.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for January Pick 3! If you're a blogger, we would love to have you link up and join us! 
Have a great weekend! :)
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