Friday, July 27, 2012

Homemade Classroom Resources

At one point during my college career I highly debated not using my elementary education degree after I received it.  Things were too standardized, too stressful, and the overall impression I got of teachers I observed was that I should "get out while I still can before things get even worse in our school systems".  That was actually said to me.  

I could not be more glad for choosing to use the talent God has given me by teaching children in the community in which I live.  I want my classroom to be a bright, fun, exciting and safe place to be.  I have been working  (when my 3 month old daughter lets me put her down!) on things for my classroom to make it a place where the students will feel their mornings brighten as soon as they walk in to it.  These are a few things I have made for my room.  Note that I stole some of these ideas off of Pinterest and from other teachers I have spoken with.  Some of them are good ol' originals though! 

Classroom Jobs!  This is how I will give my students 'jobs' this year.  These are laminated and glued on the poster board in the middle so that I can put tiny clothespins (with the student's numbers on them) on the jobs so they know who does what each week.  P.S.-Those clothespins are the cutest things I've ever seen! I got them at Walmart and they are seriously the smallest things in the world! Perfect for this project! 

Where are you?  This is how I will keep track of where my students go during the day.  I cannot tell you how many times last year I would start a lesson only to realize that I still had 2 or 3 students in the library or the bathroom.  This way when each students leaves my room they will place their number under where they are going and I will know where each student is at all times! Especially good for center time when kids are all over the room and it's hard to tell if a couple are out of the room or not! 

How do we get home?  There were many times last year when I would get a 'buzz' from the office letting me know that a student is supposed to go home a different way than normal.  Using clothespins on this sign I made will help students remember how they get home and will remind me which line they should line up in at the end of the day! And it's just super cute! :-)

I saw an idea for this on Pinterest and changed it up to suit my grade level and what I like to do in small groups.  Each piece is a tier of Blooms Taxonomy Higher Order Thinking and has questions that relate to each tier that students can answer during/after reading in small groups. (Or reading anything, for that matter!) I think that these will be super useful because after a couple of times I tend to ask the same questions over and over.  These questions promote higher order thinking and help students relate what they're reading to their lives.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I bought this set of 3 cups at the Dollar Tree for a dollar.  I wanted to make sure that my students know that their birthday is important, so each of them will get a pencil and a little prize on their birthdays.  For students with summer birthdays, they will get their items right before summer.  
The 'Wait...Did you remember to write your name?" cup is going to be a life-saver for me this year! For some reason my students LOVED leaving their names off of their papers last year and it was a huge hassle.  I will put highlighters in this cup and students have to highlight their name on EVERY ASSIGNMENT before they turn it in.  Why didn't I think of this sooner?
And my 'Brain Breaks' cup.  I did not utilize brain breaks last year and I'm really excited about doing it this year.  I think it's super necessary and that students will really enjoy it.  I will simply pull out a tongue depressor and read what's on it.  I came up with a lot of great ideas for brain breaks and I am excited to do them with my kiddos! I attached the strips of paper onto the tongue depressors with contact paper.  It took quite a while but I'm sure it will be worth it!

Each student will have a snack baggie with two spoons in it, a 'Y' spoon and a 'N' spoon.  I will ask students to pull these out to check understanding and for many other uses! I bought these at the dollar tree and wrote on them with paint pens!

These are my favorite new resource! We have to post our weekly objective in our classroom for each subject area.  I used a different piece of paper last year for each objective each week and I ended up using lots of trees! Also, I stapled them over-top each other and it just looked like a hot mess after about 10 weeks! This is a cute and efficient way of posting objectives and the students can even write it for me! 
Sorry the picture is sideways!

This was ridiculously long but I hope you will get some great ideas from it!  Making these resources was super fun and I cannot wait to get them in my classroom! 

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