Friday, August 15, 2014

Back 2 School Giveaway Winners!

Whether you're in your classroom prepping away for your incoming crew of students, already teaching procedures, procedures, procedures, or still in summer mode, we hope our Back 2 School Bag of Tricks series has helped you out with getting in the swing of things this year. 

It's time to announce the winners of all of the amazing prizes we've shared over the past two weeks. If you're a lucky winner, look forward to an email soon!

Without further ado...

Congratulations winners and thank you to everyone who joined us on this adventure! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

B2S Grand Prize

Our Back to School Bag of Tricks series is coming to and end. We have had so much fun putting together our ideas and "tricks" to share with each of you!

Now, we have some really exciting news... the GRAND PRIZE!! I mean who doesn't love a grand prize? So this last post will win you ALL the tricks from this series ANNNNDDDD an amazing clipart bundle from Creative Clips by Krista Wallden. You will get EVERYTHING below...

I don't know about you, but this bundle would be so great to have for the beginning of the year. So, go share this with your friends and enter to win below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you all SO much for your continued support and check back tomorrow to find out all the winners from the whole series!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fast Finishers!

"TEACHER!  I'm done!" 
Those words, to me, are the equivalent of someone scraping their nails down a chalkboard!  AAAGH!  Can't stand it!
Hey Y'all!  I'm Karen from An Apple a Day in First Grade.  I'm here to show you how to fix that problem using "Fast Finishers."  I know that this isn't anything new to most of you, but for me it was something that I finally had to try.  And boy am I glad I did.  So today, I'm here to share with you this Back 2 School trick.
When I got serious and started thinking about the whole Fast Finisher idea, I knew first of all that I needed something that would be easy to put together and something that would definitely be easy for the children to manage on their own.  I started by looking around my room and thinking about what my kids liked to do.  Things like drawing, writing, free reading time, and working with their whiteboards came to mind.  I also took into consideration some things that we did weekly in class that could easily be added into the Fast Finisher menu.  Things like reading the words on their word ring, reading their fluency folder, working on their number scrolls, and reading from one of their textbooks.  These ideas were a great place to start and I knew they were all manageable for me and my kiddos.
I wanted to post these options for my kids to see visually, so I created a space on our whiteboard to display the choices.  I don't have a "theme" in my class.  I use the Dots on Turquoise pattern by Creative Teaching Press.  I love the colors in this set so that's what I have gone with the past couple of years.  I found some really cute graphics by Ashley Hughes that had all of the colors that I needed to create our "Fast Finisher" menu with and set to work to create something that would be functional and easy to use.  I printed, laminated, and posted the new menu.  It caught my kids attention quickly and they were all very interested in what this whole "Fast Finisher" thing was all about.

(FYI-This is a mock up of what my board looked like.  I couldn't find any pictures of it from this past year.)
During our morning meeting time, I began the task of teaching my students how and when to use the menu.  I explained the choices that I had on the board, showed them where to find the materials (most of which were in their own desk!), and then how to go about completing their menu choice.  I did this just about every day the first week that I implemented the menu.  Friends, in order for this to work, you have to MODEL, MODEL, MODEL, and then MODEL some more.  Within no time, my students were pros at using the menu and I no longer had to hear those dreaded words.  In fact, I told my class that I absolutely, positively DID NOT want to hear those words spoken in our class anymore. 
Here's a little bit of advice:  to begin with, I would only offer a few choices.  As the year progresses, you can then add more as you see fit.  You know your class and what works best for them.  You may even want to take a class vote to see what they would like to have as Fast Finisher Choices!  This year I have a new menu choice that I am going to offer up to my kiddos once we have gotten into the swing of things.  I have a fabulous product that I created last year called Grab a Book and Take a Look!
This product is full of response sheets that match a variety of CCSS. 
I really want my students to be active readers and writers this year.  I really want them connecting with fiction and nonfiction text.  I want them to do just what the title of the product says, "Grab a Book and Take a Look" inside.  And that's exactly why I plan on using this as a menu choice.  Managing this will be easy.  My plan is to pick a few response sheet choices to start with and then change them out as my student's needs change.
Setting this up:
1.  Pick a few response sheets that match standards we have worked with in class.
2. Make multiple copies of each sheet.
3.  Place each set of response sheets in page protectors.
4.  Place the page protectors in a binder with the cover of the product in front.
5.  House the binder in an area of the room that the students will be able to access without disrupting others around them.

Easy enough. 
 Again, I plan on modeling the expectation for this menu choice.  I'm going to hold my students accountable for completing the response sheets by having them turn them in to me.  I won't grade them, but I do want to see their "thinking."
To help you get thinking about using a "Fast Finisher" menu in your own class, I have put together an editable file for you.  Everyone has their own color schemes in their room so I kept this file black and white.  You can print it on whatever color cardstock matches your own room.  I included some of the  choices that I use in my own room. And, I also included several pages that are editable so that you can add your own.  You will need the font KG Lego House installed on your computer for this product.  You can find it here.   I of course included a choice for Grab a Book and Take a Look!  You can grab that freebie here.
Would you like a chance to win my packet?! 
Enter the rafflecopter below and you may walk away with this fabulous packet that you can use with your class this year! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Need more tricks for B2S?  Check out all of the other posts in this series that started on August 1.  You can click here to head to the very first one.  You don't want to miss out on all of the great ideas my fellow bloggers have shared!  And, come back tomorrow for another chance to win some FABULOUS clipart sets by the wonderful Krista Walden of Creative Clips!!!!!!
Hope you have a great start to your new school year and that your bag is full of tricks to make it the best one yet!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

B2S Bag of Tricks - LABEL LOVE!

Hey all! It's Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd here today as part of our Back 2 School Bag of Tricks Blog Series at the Collaboration Connection!

Ok -I'm here today to bring you a not so secret back to school secret that works MAGIC for me in my classroom.  It keeps me organized, maximizing my time, and in turn...HAPPY!

Fire up the printer and the laminator and get ready to get your LABEL ON!!

Here's how I look at it.  A labeled classroom is a happy classroom.  Period :)

I.  Label.  EVERYTHING!!!  I label my cabinets, my bins, my books, my drawers, my folders, my binders, my lists - EVERYTHING!!   It may sound silly, but it truly is such a time saver when you know exactly what you need because then you know exactly where it is!!

And I even labeled everything before I knew how to make my labels cute. . . . flash back to last October to my FIRST TPT PRODUCT EVER. . . .

The ONLY reason I'm even taking the time to mention it is because I'm REPLACING my first TPT product ever with the new and shiny labels I'm about to show you in this post!! . .

Are you ready for this?  No - seriously....  do you think you can handle the ridiculousness that was my first ever TPT freebie?!?! . . .here.  it.  is.

yep.  wow.  I guess I'm proud to say that I've come a long way?!?!

SOOO I'm replacing my "lots of labels" (that doesn't even look centered?!) with my new and shiny classroom labels,  book bin labels and so.  much.  MORE. this year! They  can also BE YOURS to win in our Back to School Bag of Tricks Giveaway!!

My classroom supplies/bins/baskets have been freshly labeled with my new bright classroom labels!
I LOVE the bright brick backgrounds and chevron backgrounds that I've used by Ashley Hughes as well as my favorite Scrappy Kids from Graphics From the Pond on ALL of my labels!! :)

Aren't they just so bright and colorful?!

ANNNND guess what! They come with an editable PPT file for your to ADD YOUR OWN!
Click on ANY of the classroom supply label pictures to see them closer in my shop!

Like I said before - I am a labeling machine.  I'm one of those that has a label for my basket of labels! No seriously! It just saves so much time and is so efficient to not only have everything in its place but to have that place labeled, too!!

Here are my 2 turn in trays as well as my pencil cups all ready to go with their new labels! We switch kids for our reading block, so this year, I'm going with a separate turn in tray just for my reading kiddos. :)  

Also do mostly community supplies in my classroom - it works REALLY well.  We have routines for our routines y'all.  I'm ALLLLL about routines.  So, before too long, my kids are, too! I just have to say "get your white boards and meet me on the floor" annnnd they know exactly how to do that safely - one table at a time - and preparedly within 2 minutes tops.  It's fantastic.  Here are my freshly labeled supply baskets from Really Good Stuff!

Below is a sneak peek of the trays - again from Really Good Stuff - and my daily organizing drawers - from Target!

The trays on top of the drawers I use to toss in whatever needs to head to the copy machine orrrr what I need to grade.  I refuse to let that thing ever be full.  ever.  MUST STAY ON TOP OF GRADING! :) #moretimetoconnectwithyouall!

My days of the week drawers are for my system that I have used for YEARS to organize the copies, materials, read alouds, etc. for each day of the week! AND because I'm a maniac and am usually planned for the week ahead, too.... each drawer, there is a folder labeled for the corresponding day of the week.   Monday's drawer has a Monday folder inside.   I put the week's copies in that folder.  THEN as I copy/plan for the UPCOMING week, I put those copies UNDER the folder.  So even though Monday only has one slot, I have 2 weeks' of Monday copies/materials in one place! SOOOO easy to grab come Monday morning - take a glance at my EC planner, and I am good.  to.  GO!

Right next to my trays and drawers I have trays to toss in papers from the day so they NEVER end up on my desk.

ALLL papers must have a place in my classroom immediately!!!

 ... haha soooo I've learned that "to do", "file", "grade" or "copy" make GREAT homes for papers that find their ways to me during the school day and then I do my best to clear those trays at the end of every day! :)

These Highlights magazine holders are also brightly labeled 1-5 and ready for my reading kiddos as well.  I will store each row's interactive notebooks in those bins for easy storing and organization since my reading students do not stay in my homeroom all day nor do they have a desk nor a cubby nor a shelf in my classroom.  PLUS! it's nice for me to grade them 1 set at a time! :) WIN WIN!

Here are just a few more shots of my newly labeled and coordinated drawers and bins in my classroom! 

And lastly - ahh.  I always make too many copies, BUTTT the second I throw that last extra spelling list away, Suzie needs it. 

 Meet.  my *labeled* extras tray.  

 I got this pretty tray at Michaels last summer!  And it has come in handy SO many times this past school year! I can dig through and find extras to hand kids who aren't quite as put-that-paper-where-it-goes-NOW as I am.  Wink :) I usually keep the "extras" until the end of each marking period and then I start fresh! :)

Next up - by popular demand are my book bin labels!! I took literally hundreds of YOUR requests when making these book bins! CHECK OUT WHAT ALL IS INCLUDED!!:

The book bin labels are available in the bright brick pattern as well as the multicolored chevron patterns, too - by Ashley Hughes!! Click any image to take a closer look!

Your book bins should be SET with these labels no matter how you organize them!!  I organize mine by level . . . so here are a few pics of me prepping my own book bins this week! 

These book bins were a steal from the Target Dollar Spot, of course, a few years ago!! :)

WHEW! Labeled out?! I hope not! Because I have a label style freebie for you, that I absolutely LOVE!!  Like - I'm pretty sure that TPT was still uploading my file annnnd I was already at the laminator with this in my classroom.  

SOOO to THANK YOU ALL for being the loving and supporting fans and followers and FRIENDSSS that you are - 

I've created coordinating SCHEDULE CARDS to go with my chevron labels sets . . .FOR FREE!!!

There are 52 different schedule cards for you to use in your classroom! My kids LOVE knowing what is coming up next - they love the predictability just as much as I do, and I ALWAYS have the schedule for the day on the board.  Well - nowww my schedule coordinates with my newly LABELED room!

Didn't these cards turn out darling?! I'm so proud of them!

Feel free to click any of the images to grab a set for your self!! All I ask is that you please leave me some feedback! Oh  and don't forget to PIN any image, too, to be sure and share with your OUR teacher friends!! :)

I hope you have seen something or read an idea that you can snag to help you label and organize your classroom as the new year creeps closer and closer!

Would you like a chance to win my CHEVRON LABELS BUNDLE to get your classroom all neat and organized, too?!?!? Well, you can!!

This Chevron Labels BUNDLE includes:
Chevron Book Bin Labels (editable file included!)

You can win by entering below!! Good luck!! And Happy Labeling!

a Rafflecopter giveaway