Tuesday, September 16, 2014

No Name Work

How do you handle wor being turned in with no name on it? 

I've tried a number of different things over the years, some more complicated and time consuming than others. 

A teacher at my school has a simple way of handling no name work- and I love the simplicity of it! 

She has a file folder (stapled shut along 3 edges) taped to her classroom door. This is where she puts all no name work for students to look through. Simple, but effective! 

Do you have a great way to keep up with no name work in your classroom? If so, post a link in the comments below!

Have a great day!
:) Ashley

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Websites & Apps I Use to Stay Organized

Hey Everyone :)

I wanted to share a couple of great websites and apps that I use to stay organized at school.

1.  Evernote 
I cannot say enough good things about this app & website!   I used to be one of those people who had about a thousand sticky notes all over my desk and wall, and at home, all over my nightstand.  My sticky notes contain to-do lists, info I will need soon, etc.  With Evernote, I pretty much rarely use sticky notes any more!

This makes me happy for 2 reasons: 1. I felt really bad for using all of that paper just to throw it away later when my to-do list was completed.  Totally not sustainable.  2.  This year I am at two different schools, and I would have to carry all of those sticky notes with me.  Not sustainable either!

Another reason Evernote is so great is because I keep a tab open on my browser all day on my work computer next to my email tab.  This way I can add to my to-do lists or delete from them when an item is done quickly.

The final reason I love Evernote is because they have an app!  Anytime I am at home and I remember something I need to add to my school to-do list, I can add it right then and there from my smartphone or iPad!  I used to either text it to my email or write it on my notes app and email it to myself.  This saves time and is way easier!

You can organize Evernote in a lot of great ways.  I have one "notebook" for school lists, and one "notebook" for home lists.  I use this app & website daily!  Want to be more organized easier and go paperless for those to-do lists?  Get Evernote!

2.  PlanBook
I came across Planbook a few years back, but was broke beyond broke and couldn't even afford the $12 per year for the membership.  I ended up creating an Excel Lesson Plan sheet (and a couple of other variations on Excel) that kind of mimic the idea of Planbook.

This year I finally purchased a year subscription to Planbook for $12, and could not be happier! You can create your own customized schedule, type up lesson plans, add in Common Core Standards (from a drop down list!), and assign homework all from the website or app!

The amazing thing about the homework portion is that you can put the link to that class' homework on your website, and whatever you put in your Planbook for homework will show up when the student clicks on it.  No double work for assigning homework!

It also saves your lessons from year to year, and if you are out and have a sub, all you have to do is print the day's plans! :)

Another great thing about Planbook is that they have an app! You can write lesson plans and assign homework from your smartphone or iPad! That rocks!

You can get a 1 month FREE trial of Planbook.  I really liked that even though I purchased it halfway through the trial month, they still gave me the free month- so I didn't lose any of my free month by purchasing it early- I like that :)

Let me know what you think about these websites.  What other websites & apps do you use to stay organized?

:) Ashley

Monday, August 25, 2014

Classroom Job Applications- Online!

I love having Classroom Jobs! They are a great way for students to take responsibility and ownership in the classroom while helping you with tedious tasks that eat up a lot of time.

One of my favorite classroom jobs I have is the Classroom Librarian.  I actually have 3 Librarian Positions.  1 Head Librarian, and 2 Classroom Librarians.  The Head Librarian is the person who helps me check books back in once a week before or after school and shelves them.  The other two librarians help students check out books once a week during class on our library day.

I used to have a paper Job Application form that I would have students fill out, but then I figured out an easier way to do that in a paperless way with Google Docs.  Basically, I created a Form and then embedded it into my website.  They fill out the online form and then the answers are sent directly to me! :) Super easy!

I am sharing the form below so that you can edit it as you need.  Please note that I create a different form for each position.  Each month when students would apply for new jobs, I would just delete all of the old information on the forms spreadsheet and use the same Forms again.

Online Classroom Job Application Form 

Here's what the live version looks like:

If you are old-school (as I sometimes am as well ;) and like the paper version, you can visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a FREE copy of the form I used.  

If you'd like an EDITABLE version of the form, you are welcome to purchase it from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store HERE.  :) 

Thanks and have a great week! :) Ashley

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back-to-School Sale!

120 × 125

I'm participating in the Back-to-School Sale!  Get 20% off ALL of my items in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!! :) 

Happy new school year! :) Ashley

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Strategy Grouping Planning Pages

Awhile back, I did a post on Strategy Grouping Templates.  I love using any kind of organizational tool that will help me with keeping track of everything- sometimes it gets a little overwhelming!

So, I created these Strategy Grouping Templates to be used for organizing my Reader's Workshop, Math Workshop and Writer's Workshop small group and individual conference meetings for the week.  I wanted something that wouldn't take forever to fill out, and something that would be easy for me to read at a quick glance.

I have the FREE templates for download HERE at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  After uploading these to my blog awhile back, I've had many people ask for editable versions- my templates may not work seamlessly with each different classroom.  I finally was able to add an editable version to my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.  Check it out- hopefully they will be as useful to you as they have been to me! :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tidy Tubs- Help with Managing Paper Scraps!

I LOVE classroom organization! :)

I am forever searching the Internet to see what other organizational gems I can glean from other teachers. Today I came across something AMAZING!   They are called Tidy Tubs!

Basically, whenever you have students doing a project where they are cutting any kind of paper (like for Interactive Notebooks, projects with magazines, etc), you give each group a tub of some sort that will be used for them to place their scraps in as they are cutting.  This way, they keep their work area from getting cluttered and they are not going back and forth from the two trash cans in your room the entire time.

This is GENIUS!  I've always struggled with how to keep from going insane with the mess during these projects, but now I feel like I have a real solution! :)

Check out the original post on Tidy Tubs HERE from Rowdy in Room 300.  I teach older students and will still use the idea with them, but I probably won't make the baskets as cutesy :) HERE is another great example of the Tidy Tubs from another teacher over at What the Teacher Wants. (ps- her classroom photos are awesome!)

Hope this helps you-all as much as it did me!

Have a great day,
Ashley :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lesson Planning Pages

Hey everyone! :)

Today I thought I'd share a little bit about how I plan my week's lessons.  I talked a little bit about it on this post a while back, but I wanted to share my updated planning templates with you.

I liked the old template I used, however, I feel like the easiest way to plan lessons is to type them out- not handwrite them!  That way, if I ever want to reference a lesson, reuse the same lesson plans, or tweak them, it is very easy to find them on the computer and it is also easy to tweak them to reuse them later if you are typing them out.

I've also found that Excel is a sweet way to create a lesson planning page- it is way easier to create a customized table to put all of your day's lessons in- so much easier than using Microsoft Word for the same task.

Here is the lesson planning page I currently use for teaching 5th grade- keep in mind that we are departmentalized here at my school in 5th grade, so I only teach ELA and Social Studies.  This planning page would be perfect for middle school and high school as well.

Here is the lesson planning page I would use if I were teaching elementary (and not departmentalized)- just so that everything could be typed and fit on one page-- for me, keeping everything on one page is the easiest for planning and for keeping track of my lesson each day and what we accomplished! :)

Creating Lesson Planning Pages on Excel are fairly easy, but if you'd like to take the hassle and time right out of it, you can hop on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and purchase both plans on Excel (fully editable and customizable) for only $3! :) 

If you have any great lesson plan organizational tips, please leave a comment below! 

Thanks and have a great day,
Ashley :)