Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We are Bucket Fillers!

I've used the Bucket Fillers idea in my classroom for a couple of years now. This year I decided to give it a facelift. I invested in a shoe holder and made "buckets" from styrofoam cups, ribbon, and labels. After going back and forth about whether or not to create my own sign to match my colors/theme, I decided to use Christina Bainbridge's sign and colors instead. It's so cute and goes right along with the book! We also made an anchor chart on which the kids listed ideas for ways they can be bucket fillers this year. Can't wait to see it in action this year!

My first Pinterest creation!!

I'm new to the Pinterest scene-- just got my own Pinterest account recently. But I've been checking out others' boards for a while now. I just loved this twist on the "class list" from K.I.S.S. {Keep it Simple, Sister}:

I used Wordle to create my own class list:

Love it!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Word Study Center Activity-- FREEBIE!!

I made this Secret Decoder Activity for my students to do at the Word Study Center. I will print the key page (page 1) on cardstock, laminate, and post by center. I'll print the pieces (page 2) on a magnet sheet, cut apart, and place in container at the center with a couple of magnetic boards. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, students will complete several activities to practice their high-frequency words of the week. This will be one of the choices. They will use the magnets to code each of their words and their partner will decode the words using the key. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dual-Duty Crayon Buckets

Most of the supplies my students bring to school are labeled and used by them throughout the year. One of the few exceptions is crayons. I use gallon size buckets (in the past I've used ice cream pails), put 4-5 boxes of crayons in them at a time, and place them in the middle of each group of desks. It's just easier that way. No digging in desks for the perfect color crayon and no spilling them all over the floor repeatedly. When I ask the kids to grab a crayon and meet me at the carpet for an activity-- it's quick and easy. And I love that the buckets have a handle-- when we have to clear our desks for science experiments, the kids just grab the handle and sit it on the floor.
The ice cream pails I've used in the past finally got past the point of repair. They were cracked, two had missing/broken handles, and they were just plain dingy. So, I went on the hunt for new buckets. They had to be the right kind, though-- not too tall, not too wide, a handle was a must. I found these 5 qt. paint buckets at Lowe's and they were perfect!

A little Mod Podge and scrapbooking paper later, and this is what we have:

I'm so excited because not only can we keep our crayons in these buckets, but they also serve as a group numbering system. Yay!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Assessment Binders

Two years ago, the district I work for decided to change the K-2 report card to a standards-based report card. The students are scored on a scale of 1 (nonmastery) through 4 (above grade level) on many of our state standards. It took us a while to learn how to assign these types of grades and our main focus this year is to get more consistent from teacher to teacher. We've never really focused on what pieces we will use for assessments-- each teacher made that call on their own.

So, we decided to create assessments that are aligned with the standards represented on the report card. We're creating three assessments per standard and that is where we intend to get our grades (thanks, Cressa!!!). It's a lot of work on the front end, but will really help us be more consistent across the entire grade level.

We also decided to have our kids store their assessments in Assessment Binders this year. They will make goals for themselves after the first and second assessments so that they take more ownership of their grades. Periodically, we will send the binders home for parents to review and sign. At the end of the year, they will have an "assessment scrapbook" from their 2nd grade year.

I bought the cheap poly binders from Wal-Mart to use-- the binders will not be stored in the kids' desks, so I figured they will hold up. Since I bought 20 binders, the cashier let me keep the display box they came in. It's pretty sturdy so I decided to give it a makeover and use it to store the binders throughout the year. It's amazing what a little Mod Podge and scrapbooking paper will do...

BEFORE (I took this picture of a box on the shelf at Wal-Mart since I forgot to take a "before" picture of mine):


Organizational Binders

I am such an organizational freak! Totally type A... So, when I saw Suzy's binders over at The Sweet Life of a Second Grade Teacher, I had to make some. I got a little carried away and made 14 of them!!! Here's some pics of how they turned out...

I also made a Team/PLC Meetings binder and a "Substitute" binder. Forgot to take pics of those two...