February 25, 2015

Teachers are Heroes!!

That's right! Teachers ARE heroes! We all had that teacher that we loved, or that inspired us to become a teacher ourselves.

TPT is honoring teachers today by having a Teachers are Heroes sale! 28% off when you enter the promo code: HEROES

[Design by 3AM Teacher]

So head on over to my TPT Store, and enjoy up to 28% off when you type in the promo code: HEROES at checkout :)

Also, comment below: Who is your Teacher Hero and why? I'd love to see your inspiration to be who you are :)

February 23, 2015

Binder Checks

It's been a while blog world :) Sorry I haven't blogged in a week :/ I've had a lot going on: we started a new semester; the kids turned in their first big project, which was the Novel Study SmashBook and I got excited about grading those; I had other, regular homework to grade; etc.

But I'm back, and with a cool update.

I decided to to Binder Checks this year in my Support class. Not only do they need support in English, but they also need help learning how to be and stay organized. These binder checks are a great way to do so :) I originally got the idea from my friend Liz who taught a Math support class, so I tweaked it for and English support class.

I do the Binder Check on Friday in class, while they're working on an independent activity. For now we are going to do the checks every Friday...once everyone starts getting good grades, then we'll change it to twice a month.

They set their binders on a row of desks so that they can't mess with it until their turn. Then I call up one student at a time--they bring their backpack, and grab their binder off the table. They also bring the laptop they've pulled up their grades on.

Here's the sheet we use: Binder Check sheet

So I shake out their binder and make sure their are no loose papers, and then I go down the list :)
I look for all the set up tabs for the different sections, and that it generally looks organized.

Then I check that their agenda is filled out for the week. Not just English class, but ALL classes.

Then once it's all tallied up, I leave comments [whether they got 100% or 50%].

This the second week we've done a check. I wanted to give them a week to get settled into their new classes and see what supplies they'd need and so on. So far it's been about split-half the kids get close to all points [or all points] and then half the kids are totally bombing it. I remind them everyday that we have a binder check on Friday and to start cleaning out their backpack ;) Hopefully it will start to sink in, they'll become more organized and it will become a habit, and then this will help with their grades in other classes as well.

This doesn't just have to be for support classes. You could do this in your mainstream class, just tweak it a bit for your needs; maybe only do it twice a month so as not to take up too much time. Do what works for you! 

Have a great week everyone!

February 12, 2015

President's/Valentine's Day Sale

Happy Holidays! Sounds weird to say in February...but there are several holidays here in February, so we can say "Happy Holidays" :)

In honor of remembering our great Presidents, and in the fun of Valentine's Day, I'm throwing a SALE on my TPT Store! This sale will last from Friday the 13th through Monday the 16th.
This means that some of my items will only be $.85!!! Insane! Head on over to my store and load up on some helpful lessons and activities. 

I've also got a Valentine's freebie on my store too! A February Mad Lib :)

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!! :)

February 10, 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday: Organizing Copies

Paper, paper, paper. It's all over our classrooms. We need to keep it organized so that we can have productive class sessions :) I think the biggest culprit is our weekly copies, so I am here to help you organize them with a few, quick tips.

Tip #1: Make your copies 1x per week.

I make all my copies for the coming week, on the Monday of every week. This allows me to organize everything for the week before we get too deep into it and I have other things to do. If you don't have time Monday morning, I suggest you stay late on Friday afternoon [when everyone else is itching to leave] and make your copies for the following week then. That's actually a great idea because you'll probably have the copier to yourself ;)

Tip #2: Have a designated location

I keep everything for a certain unit, in a binder; I mean everything. When I make copies, I hole-punch them, and they go in the binder, right in front of the original [which is in a sheet protector so I never give out the original]. By keeping them in the binder, I NEVER lose them :) I also don't have to remember where I put it for each class, or where I put extras if a kid needs another one...it's in the binder.

Tip #3: Be environmentally friendly

If you'd really like to cut down on your copy load, you can do one of two things. First, you can make one copy for each class, and put it up under the document camera, and the kids can write the info on their own notebook paper. This make add time to your activity because you're waiting for kids to copy it down, but you've saved your after-school copy time. Second, you can put the handout on your teacher website/page, and students can pull it up in class to look at it. We are fortunate to have a computer cart in each room with 30 Chrome-books. So if I need the kids to read an article and then write an analysis, instead of printing 100 copies of the article, I can put it on my wiki and the kids can read it there. Now, this doesn't allow for annotation, but that's a choice you can make.

Hope these little tips helped when it comes to organizing your copies. Let me know if you have any other ideas!! Feel free to share below in the comments for us all to see :)

February 3, 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday: Annotation

Happy Tuesday y'all!

It's time for another Quick Tip Tuesday, and I've got a great & easy one for you today.

I have my students annotate while reading-it helps with comprehension, it helps keep track of characters, setting change, etc. I go through a big schpeal [phonetic spelling ;)] and show them how to annotate on a page of text. But then as we go on in the book, they forget what they're supposed to be looking for and what not. So I came up with the Annotation Bookmark.

It has saved me so much grief with constantly repeating myself, and it helps the students annotate better, thus getting more out of the reading.

Just download this FREE bookmark, copy, have your TA's cut them up, and distribute to the students the next time you'd like them to annotate. Simple!

Click here to go to my TPT Store and download this bookmark for free :)

Enjoy your quick tip and have a great Tuesday!

February 2, 2015

Mad Lib Freebie!

Happy Monday everyone! It is officially February, so I thought I'd create another holiday Mad Lib for you. This February Mad Lib [mostly centered around Valentine's Day] is a great warm up for lower levels who need practice with nouns, verbs, and adjectives, or it a great mind-break for the upper levels that want a fun refresher in grammar :)

So head on over to TPT and download this FREE February Mad Lib for your students to enjoy this month!

Happy February y'all!

February 1, 2015

February Currently

Hey y'all! Happy February :)

Once again I'm linking up with Farley for this month's Currently. Such a fun way to interact with my fellow bloggers and get to know some of you more! :)

Yes, my pageant title name would be Miss Organized...I guess I am known around school for being super organized [and my students know it too]. So even though it's a weird title, it totally fits me :)

Don't forget the Rule of 3...comment on the two before you and the one after you :)