I love summer (and not only for sleeping in). I get to catch up on all those cute projects I see around the internet, pinterest specifically. I thought I would share a few things I’m planning on working on for my classroom. Share your to do list too!
1. The drop box
I love this idea for several reasons. One, it would be easy and cheap to do. I’m going to try to find a basket like that, but if I can’t, I’m sure something else will catch my eye that would work. I love this, because my homeroom students come to me multiple times in the morning with money and slips for all sorts of things. I have to log those items, but it would be nice if there was a place for them to stick it without having to come up to me a dozen times in five minutes. The only thing I am going to add is a little reminder to make sure their name is on it, and probably some envelopes down inside in case they’re just trying to hand me money (which happens so often).
2. The Sub Binder
Whatever system you have for a sub (and you MUST have a system), I think this would go along perfectly. Pictures of where things are located would make it so easy for a sub to find things. I have yet to find the original post for this, but I’ve been brainstorming things that I would put in it. I’ve already shared my rules and procedures document, so I would have that. Plus the pictures, a schedule, original copies of the work for the day, extra work, the list could go on and on. I think having a sub binder for it to all be in one place is an excellent idea.
3. Choice Board
I’ve mentioned before about having something to do for your students when they get finished with work. This is a lot of options, but I love the concept of it. I only have about three options for my students but this is a great way to organize those options. It also makes me want to come up with some more ideas for them! My principals are huge on having something available for the students to work on when they have down time.
3. Twitter Door
I love this so much. It would serve as a great exit ticket (which is required by the new teacher evaluation system) but would also be a great summarizing activity. I think this would be something fun for them to do. If you serve middle school students, like I do, my suggestion for managing this would be to end class about five minutes early, and dismiss by row or group so there aren’t 30 students waiting in line to write. Or put the strips in a pocket chart, pass them out, and have the students put them in a slot as they walk out the door.
4. Synonym Pockets
I struggle with getting my students to use better words in their writing, especially the word “said.” This would be a great resource to have available to students who need help coming up with more descriptive words. We do a word graveyard (a tombstone with dead words, like said, happy, and sad). Introducing this along with those dead words might encourage students to use it.
5. I Can Picture Frames
I can statements are huge in my district, introduced with something called “Unpacking the Standards.” This basically breaks the standards down into manageable pieces so that when we discuss them with the students (and you should be discussing them, so they understand there is a reason for teaching what we’re teaching), they’re in user friendly terms. We have to post our I Can statements next to our standards each day. While it’s simple enough to just write them on the board, this adds a fun bit of color to your walls. The comments suggests using command strips to attach these to the walls so you free up some board space. Love it!
P.S. Interested in I Can statements? Reblog/comment if you are and I’ll be happy to do a post on these. I Can statements are great for differentiation, something I can explain in a later post if there is any interest!