Saturday, April 12, 2014

Classroom Organization: Interactive Notebook Contents

I've done interactive notebooks for awhile now, but have just recently gotten my graphic organizers organized! I've been putting my graphic organizers into sleeves that fit into a binder.

I put a folded copy, the master and any leftover student copies in the sleeve.

They were just kind of thrown into the binder, so I added tabs to organize it by unit.  Of course I didn't realize until I put it together that because of the sleeves, the tabs couldn't be seen.

I had to get a little creative. I buy tabs whenever I see them on sale. My students use them for each new section of their notebook. So I grabbed some of the tabs and stuck them to the tabs on the dividers.

I then trimmed down the tab so that the sticky part was cut off. They don't look very pretty, but when you close the binder you can't even tell.

Next on my agenda is to make a master copy of my interactive notebook.  The folded graphic organizer that you see above will eventually go into the master copy where students that have been absent can make up the notes they have missed. This summer I plan to go through all my organizers and find where any gaps are and create organizers for those topics.  After that is complete, I will be able to make the master copy of the notebook.

I found these awesome binders on clearance (after the BTS rush) that have a pocket in the front which is perfect to hold the notebook.

All of the tabs in the graphic organizer binder match my curriculum binders. I gotta stay organized or I would go insane!!

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For more Bright Ideas, be sure to check out the linky below!

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Blogger Meet-Up Blog Hop

On March 22, I met with over 50 other teachers at the French Lick Resort and Casino.

Aren't the decorations and name tags adorable? They were provided to us by Schoolgirl Style.

Look at all the wonderful teachers that got together just because they wanted to!

We made sure to pass out business cards so that we could re-connect after the weekend was over.

These were my table mates.

These were the wonderful girls at my table:  

After our wonderful meal, we shared our favorite teacher tool.  I'm not one for "games" and I went back and forth about bringing something. I had a couple of item in mind, but ended up wasting too much time to get it ordered. Had I gotten my act together in time, I would have brought this to the meet up.

This is absolutely my favorite teacher tool: a Harinacs Stapleless Stapler.  I keep binders of all my curriculum resources. Most of them have the page and answer key stapled together. After awhile, the staples start piling on top of each other and you run our of room before you should. 

I went on the look out for something that would attach the paper together, but not add the bulk of a staple.  This was perfect.  You can see in the picture below how it works. The punch cuts a section of the paper and then pushes it through the other side...MAGIC! I can put so many more pages into my binders than when I was stapling my papers with a traditional stapler. I got my Stapleless Stapler on eBay, but you can also find it at other on-line retailers.

After our favorite tool exchange, we had some wonderful blogging tips given to us from some of the top educational bloggers. 

Next up were some of the wonderful giveaway prizes.  I was lucky enough to win a $10 gift card from Crystal Spring Books. I can't wait to go shopping and get some new teacher books.

There were so many wonderful donations to our Blogger Meet-Up. 

Vera Bradley donated a bag to everyone that attended!  WoW!  

These were the Green Bag Ladies....

Scentos donated pens and markers for everyone!  I had to say this since most people have a ton of these, but this was my first set of Scentos markers!  OMG, I love them! All my students kept coming up to me and asking where I go them. I had to tell them that they were not on the market yet.  How cool is that! They sent us things that weren't even for sale yet. The pen should be out around Easter time, but the markers won't hit the shelf until Back to School time.

Additional donations to the get together included, but were not limited to: 

$10 gift cards from Erin Condren 

Crayola donated multiple items to the giveaways. Make sure to check out their Lesson Plan section of their site.

Kaeden Books donated a sampling of their books for each of the teachers based on the grade level they taught.

I am so glad that I went to this meet-up.  I was able to re-connect with some Indiana bloggers that I had met previously and I made many new friends. I got some blogging tips and I got to see that other teachers are as obsessed with their pen collection as I am (I'd say that 50% of the favorite teacher tools were some form of writing utensil).

I can't wait to get together with these teachers again!

Make sure to hop all the way to the end so that you can enter to win what is pictured below, plus a few other surprises!!

Your next stop on the hop is Aloha to Kindergarten.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Review Tuesday: Shapes in Math, Science and Nature

Shapes in Math, Science and Nature by Catherine Sheldrick Ross. 
Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Synopsis from publisher: 

 The three most basic shapes -- squares, triangles and circles -- are all around us, from the natural world to the one we've engineered. Full of fascinating facts about these shapes and their 3D counterparts, Shapes in Math, Science and Nature introduces young readers to the basics of geometry and reveals its applications at home, school and everywhere in between. Puzzles and activities add to the fun factor.

When I requested to review this book, I wasn't certain what to expect. It was a book about shapes. My students in 5th and 6th grade know their shapes...

I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside. There is a little bit of everything included in the book. You will find history of the shape, how the shape has been used throughout history, how it is used in architecture, games using the shape, origami, and idioms. This is just a short list of the wonderful things you will find.

This is definitely a book that I will be purchasing to put on my keeper shelf. I can see using it to introduce my geometry units as well as using it during social studies or science class. The information that is included in the text is just that varied.

I could see this being use in an elementary classroom as well as in a middle school. There is basic information for younger children but also much more difficult material that will interest the older children (Pythagorean theorem and pi).

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