Monday, 31 August 2015

Teacher Week 2016 - 5 Facts

I am not sure if I am going to be able to find the time to participate in teacher week Mon-Fri..... But it's worth a try!


So here we go......


FACT 1
I am in love with planning. I know, sick eh? I love coming up with new ideas and lessons. I don't even have a classroom right now (as I am on Mat Leave), and I constantly jotting ideas down for lessons that I wish I had when I taught last year. 
My newest creation is a Social Studies Unit for a new curriculum that I absolutely despise. 

FACT 2
I love watching sports! I do not find it boring or dull, in the least. It's a good thing.... because if the TV is on in our house on the weekend, it usually has sports on.
My favourite is basketball...... I love Michigan State :)
FACT 3
My husband is the chef in our house. Don't get me wrong, I like to cook every now and then (more out of necessity), but HE LOVES to cook! He really wants to open his own restaurant one day. It ain't happening, but he can continue practicing menu items on me :)

FACT 4
I have a new baby girl. I don't like to discuss her too much on social media..... but she has transformed our lives in the BEST possible way. The love that I have for her has no bounds.... no words. It's indescribable. Ugh! My heart just wants to burst when I look at her. XO.

FACT 5
As much as I love teaching, I am really struggling with the direction I want my career to take. Having a new baby has really shifted my priorities. I often question myself.... wondering if I can devote the time I want to teaching full time and the time I truly want to spend with my daughter and husband. The next few months things may take a shift..... Until then, I am enjoying being off on mat leave until the new year :)

Don't forget to link up with Blog Hoppin' to meet other teachers :)

Happy Monday!
Kaitlin 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Setting Up for Success- 5 Organization Ideas!

Only a few more weeks left of Summer! Say it isn't sooooooo!! Although my maternity leave will continue until the end of January, I am obviously hardwired to know that September is quickly approaching! Back to school commercials have been in full swing for months, and the Dollarstore has already put out Halloween items. Eeeeeek!! Many of you are already back at it, while others are soaking up the last few breaths of relaxation. 

Are you ready to head back? Have you made goals and plans or found new ideas that you want to implement this year?

How are you planning on staying organized?
With moving schools and grades every year, I am forced to stay organized. When June hits, the last thing you want is a mess to clean and pack up. Here are a few organization ideas that I have found useful.

1.) Student Reading Boxes
This is where students store their independent reading books, their response journals etc. When I have a sheet or a specific reading for my students to read, I go to their boxes and slip them in at the end of the day, so that we're ready for the next.
It prevents clutter in the students' desks and books being ruined and bent. 


2.) Storage Solutions 
Ok, I cannot tell you how many times I find loose cards on the floor or randomly at the bottom of a bin. Two years ago I decided to buy soap dish containers and used them to hold cards. 
No elastic breaking!
If you collect supplies (or don't) here's an idea to get stuff out of kids desk. Things that they don't always use on a regular basis. I store these on a shelf and pass out when needed. No "I can't find my glue" cries! 

I never know what I am getting in terms of storage when I walk into a classroom. One year I used a closet organizer to hold games. If you have no shelving, this may be an option for you!

I never know if I will need to refer to an anchor chart again, but do not have the room to keep them up. (Plus, too much on the walls is never a good thing!)
How about this idea? Using Christmas wrapping paper holders would be an idea as well! Just roll up and put a sticky on the outside, indicating what the chart entails. 

3.) Label everything!
It's easy for you, it's easy for an occasional teacher and it's easy for your students to find what they need. Labelling everything prevents whining, frustration and allows independence. It's easy to put back if you know where something goes. 




4.)  Ditch the Reproducibles! 
I know a lot of teacher's cringe hearing that..... but how often are you using pre-made books that you bought way back when!? Or the binders or worksheets that you refer to once in a blue moon!?

A big weight off of my shoulders came when I started digitising my lessons and activities. I do not have the space or time to lug those babies around. I still have a few to dispose of, but the time is coming and it feels great!!

5.) Student Files
Do you take anecdotal notes? What do you do with them?

I set a folder or clip board like this... 
When I have filled the card, I place it into a recipe box and refer to them during report card time.

I also really like to keep student portfolios when I can. It's a great way to store work samples, reflections and makes a great end of the year take home :)



Hopefully you gathered a few ideas to get organized this school year :) I honestly believe it's the key to a structured classroom. 

~Kaitlin~

Monday, 3 August 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL AUGUST SALE!

School ended here during the last week of June. And oh how lucky we are here in Ontario, Canada to be able to relish in one more month of summer vacation.

Many teacher's will begin to plan and get settled into their new surroundings in the coming weeks. 

To help you, TPT is throwing a SALE! 
Use the code BTS15 and receive 28% off your total purchase!