Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Now Teach!

Okay, so I skipped out on yesterday since I've only been in my classroom once this summer (that's HUGE for me), but it looks basically the same as last year. So, for now you can click here to see my room reveal from last year. When I actually finish it this time around, I will post again!

Today, the theme is organizational ideas. I have evolved my organizational strategies a lot over the years. For a while, I was ALL ABOUT file folders, but I hate how they bunch up and how it's not as easy to stick something back into the file neatly. Last year, I moved to the binder system. I liked it okay, but I didn't want to invest in all of those page protectors. So I just hole punched and moved along. My only issue with the binders is that they're SO bulky. I'm very much a minimalist (which makes set-up and tear-down of my room pretty simple), and I hate clutter. So I'm working to get almost all of my files digital. I've already narrowed down a LOT. 

We use gmail at work, so I have most of my files on the Google drive. Not sure how much it holds, but I think I may find out this year. I also got a dropbox account and am working to put all of my clipart and TPT products there. That way I can use it at home or school.

Dropbox home

Dropbox is free, and you get extra storage for referrals (up to 16 GB). If you don't already have it, I recommend getting it! You can even download it on your phone and get some of those freebies that pop up while you're away from your computer! Click on the image above to get it.

The only thing that I want to keep in my filing cabinet (because I'm going to get down to just one) are games/centers and student files. My student files are the biggie because I am Title I and have to keep a file for EVERY child who received any services while they were at our school. They may have only gone for a week in kindergarten, but I have to keep it until they leave. Since I just have 3-5, this takes up 2 drawers. I keep one drawer for students I currently see and another for those who have been dismissed. I'm working on color coding these by grade, but I need to buy more colored files. Right now I only have green.

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I've been creating almost monthly literacy center sets. I wanted to show a picture of how I prepare them so they can be pulled out and easily used, but apparently I've never taken a picture of them. Something to add to my picture list (I will try and be better about that this year). Anyway, I took my inspiration from Amy Lemons because she's a genius and made a cute instruction page for each center. When I print, that page is glued to the front of a file folder and then laminated. I put all of the cards in a baggie that is stapled to the inside of the folder (I open the bag and staple inside so it can be opened), and then I make a few copies of the graphic organizer that accompanies each center to add to the folder. The centers go into a hanging organizer, and I write a short description on their tabs so I can pull out (or have my kids pull out) what I want easily. So easy, and I look forward to making it full circle so I can reap the benefits of my hard labor last year. 

Speaking of literacy centers, these are the themes I currently have in my TPT store:

Camping (for summer and/or fall)

Each back has at least 8 centers geared toward grades 3-5. I have about half for major comprehension needs and half for word knowledge. Many of the skills are repeated through all packs, although I change it up for some. I plan on creating Back to School, Fall, and Halloween centers soon, but right now I'm enjoying my last full week of summer break! Can't believe I just said that...

Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to see what other organizational tips you may find, and I PROMISE pictures later this week!

1 comment:

  1. I love using Dropbox as well! It is such a timesaver and lifesaver!

    1, 2, Eyes On You!