https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:31:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/cropped-site-icon-2-32x32.png https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com 32 32 5 Mindset Shifts to Help Teachers Manage Time More Efficiently https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/teachers-manage-time/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/teachers-manage-time/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2062 Walk into any school building or classroom (or really any professional setting) and ask the teachers what their biggest struggle in teaching is. It is bound to be time! But I am convinced that time isn’t the only issue. I think a bigger issue is how teachers manage time. This is our culture today. Everyone…

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Walk into any school building or classroom (or really any professional setting) and ask the teachers what their biggest struggle in teaching is. It is bound to be time! But I am convinced that time isn’t the only issue. I think a bigger issue is how teachers manage time.

This is our culture today. Everyone is go go go and we are all expected to be “on” all the time. This is something I am struggling a lot with right now because I am trying to find the balance between resting and being productive. But the never ending to do list always seems to win.

But that is a different blog for a different day.

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

I remember being a first year teacher and thinking that staying late made me a good teacher. I would sometimes stay till 6:00 or 7:00. One week my mom had my dog and I stayed till 8:00 each night. All in the name of being a good teacher. While I understand that being a good teacher does sometimes take staying late, it doesn’t take staying late to be a good teacher.

Ya fallow?!?

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

I am actually convinced that if we manage our time well, we become better teachers. When we manage our time in a way that we leave work at work and go home at a decent time, then we become better humans. Which ultimately makes us better teachers, moms, wives, sisters, husbands (sorry…I was getting a little gender specific there with the female teacher stereotype).

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

So how can we manage our time more efficiently?

It’s ironic that I am writing about time management today because I just started an online course called “Take Back Your Time” from Kirsten Thompson (if you are a wanna be/aspiring/already are blogger…check her out!).

The first thing she spoke about is that time management is not a magical list of steps to complete in order to manage your time well. Instead it is a shift in mindset. Listening to her talk while mixing around my own ideas for time management specifically related to teaching, I have come up with the following list of five mindsets we need to shift in order to manage time more efficiently.

5 Mindset Shifts to Help Teachers Manage Time Better

What Teachers Think: I Need to Do All The Things

Mindset Shift: I Need to Create One Goal For My Year

Instead of trying to be the best at everything, set an overarching goal for the whole year. Last year mine was more small group math instruction and math stations. This year my goal is flexible seating. If I come up with a great idea or a fun new way to do something, but it doesn’t fit into my goal for the year- then I table it.

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

What Teachers Think: I Need to Stay Late to Get Everything Done

Mindset Shift: I Need to Leave Early to Take Care of Me 

Staying late won’t make you a better teacher. Instead of having the mindset that “I will leave early one or two days a week,” flip the mindset. “I will stay late one or two nights a week.” The rest of the days, leave on time. Go home. Relax. Take the dogs on a walk. And for the love, DON’T DO TEACHER STUFF AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!

What Teachers Think: I Need to Check off My To Do List 

Mindset Shift: I Need to Prioritize My To Do List

It’s easy to be a slave to the to do list. I know I am. But what I have found works best for me is to keep a to do list at my desk in the SAME SPOT at all times. When something comes to mind, no matter how tiny of a thing it is, I write it down. Then, when I have time, I prioritize what is most important on my to do list and do those first.

Sometimes I need to just buckle down and work through my to do list from top to bottom. I have found that this works well for me too (instead of skipping around to things I want to do first).

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

What Teachers Think: I Need to Stick to My Schedule

Mindset Shift: I Need to Give Myself Grace

I know one thing I am guilty of (in both a professional and personal setting) is feeling the need to stick to my schedule. Stick to my plan. Stick to my to do list. But I am learning that it is more important that I give myself grace for the days I fall short. I am learning that the work will always be there tomorrow. AND THAT’S OKAY!

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

I haven’t gotten on my soapbox in a while…so here I go…

What Teachers Think: I Need to Do Everything That is Asked of Me 

Mindset Shift: I Need to Say No Sometimes

Obviously teaching is your job and you HAVE to do your job. But I think teachers are always asked to do SO MUCH EXTRA stuff! And some of that stuff is good. But sometimes you have to say “No.” Obviously not to your boss or to something that is legitimately part of your job. But say no to the extra committee you were asked to be apart of. Voice your opinion about the extra stuff on your plate. As teachers, we just always feel like we need to do everything that is asked of us and keep our mouths shut. But I think there is a time and place to stand up for ourselves and our profession. And sometimes you just need to say NO!

Ways Teachers Manage Time with Students

I just gave you a nice long list about how you manage YOUR time. But what about your time with the kids?

Here are a few of my tips:

1.Use a Timer- I set timers for specials, lunch, recess, math time, guided reading time. All the times. I also use a timer as a motivation for transitions. This group moves SO STINKIN SLOW this year. Like three minutes to put away their books and get to the carpet. So I have started using a timer and giving them thirty seconds to put their books away and get to the carpet. If they beat the time, they get a marble or two for the marble jar! And whadyaknow? They CAN do it!

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

2. Monitor and Readjust- I usually plan way too much for a lesson cause I always feel like “next week WILL be the week that we can get our sh** done in a reasonable time” and every week I fail. So I readjust. I shift things around, delete things that maybe are not that critical. Be flexible! You’re a teacher…You know how to do that!

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

3. Plan for “Catch Up Friday’s”- One thing I have been more intentional about this year is allowing for catch up time on Friday. I do believe it is really important to plan rigorous content for my kids. But I also believe that I have to be realistic and right now, that looks like making my Friday load a little lighter so that I can allow time for students to finish up work we didn’t get to. (And it allows me some time to get prepped for the following week.)

4. Keep That To-Do List Nearby- I realize I talked up top about not being a slave to your to-do list, but I have found that the most effective thing I can do is to write down every little thing that comes to mind as soon as I think about it. This saves SO much time trying to figure out what all you need to do.

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!


I wrote a whole post on time management during my First Year Teacher series. But really, the tips I shared in that post can be applied to all teachers. So check out my other blog post on time management.

And if you are a first year teacher you can read about time management, behavior management plans, classroom routines, and how to set up a classroom by clicking on those links!

Make sure to grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find even more ideas on time management in the classrooms!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!

Until next time,

5 Mindset shifts to help teachers manage time more efficiently. Time Management tips and hacks!

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3 Lesson Ideas for Teaching Poetry in Elementary https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/poetry/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/poetry/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2061 Does anyone else feel like teaching poetry is really really hard? Because I do. I don’t know if it is because poetry is so abstract. Or maybe I am just not a very poetic person. Either way, it’s hard for me. But, after six years of struggling through this concept of teaching poetry, I have…

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Does anyone else feel like teaching poetry is really really hard? Because I do.

I don’t know if it is because poetry is so abstract. Or maybe I am just not a very poetic person. Either way, it’s hard for me. But, after six years of struggling through this concept of teaching poetry, I have finally found some ideas that I love and my kids grasp.

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

In full disclosure, I have been wanting to write this blog for almost two years now. I have always used The Important Book and the song “What a Beautiful World” in my poetry lessons. But two years ago, I incorporated the book “Love that Dog” into my poetry unit and it was the most beautiful lesson I have ever done. This blog post always seems to get pushed to the back burner when I go to write. So I finally decided since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and our poetry unit is upon us- that it was high time to share about my poetry lesson from two years ago!

Teaching Poetry with The Important Book

When I intro poetry I always start out using this anchor chart. (I’m sorry the picture is such poor quality, this is the only picture I could find of it and #tbh it is October and I am writing this blog for my poetry unit I am teaching in November soooo… I don’t have this years anchor made yet.) Debbie Diller shared this with us when she was consulting for our campus. (She talks more about it in this book!)


Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

We talk about what poems look like and what they sound like. We talk about rhyme, rhythm, and repetition in poems. I also post a bunch of laminated poems on the white board for students to look at and compare to.

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

Of course, we also talk about the fact that poems don’t have to rhyme.

That’s when I introduce “The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown. <<<Just go ahead and click that link and buy that book because you will want to use it in your poetry unit, I promise!

Each page in The Important Book is a generic item. The author lists important things about that item. They are usually small, menial things like “the important thing about a daisy is that it is white.”  or “the important thing about rain is that it is wet.” There is no rhyming but there is a pattern each poem follows.

I ask my kids to listen for the pattern as I read it. Sometimes they hear it, sometimes they don’t. We talk about the pattern (each poem starts and ends using the same statement).

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

Then I let students write their own important poem. I give them this important poem template to use. We go through the writing process of brainstorming, writing, editing, and revising.

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

(If you are an older grade, this important poem template is a little less scripted!)

Once they have cleared it with me, I give them a blank piece of paper for them to publish their poems on.

I love to put them together in a book to go in the classroom library!

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

Some of the poems they come up with are so creative! I love reading what they think are the most important things about their topic.

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

And then sometimes you end up with poems like this one.

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

He clearly missed the focus of this poem which was to have the same important thing at the beginning and end of the poem His focus was on the drawing he wanted to create.

Teaching Poetry with What a Wonderful World

I also like to talk about how songs are poetry. We listen to What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong a few times while they visualize what the writer is saying/singing. I use this version because it has the lyrics in case kids need to see the words to understand what he is saying.

Then I give each student a lyric from the song and a blank piece of paper. I tape their lyric onto their paper and they are to draw a visualization of their lyric.

One year I made a super sweet video to the song and they LOVED it! I have to be honest, I haven’t done it again since because it takes a lot of time. But I do usually bind them together to make another book for the classroom library.

Teaching Poetry with Love That Dog

But, by far, the best poetry lesson I have taught was a two week study on “Love That Dog” by Sharon Creech. This lesson idea came from my exchange teacher during my first year of teaching. However, she did this with her fourth grade students. So needless to say, it was a little high for my kiddos. But my second year in second grade I had a really high group so I decided to try it with them! I was so impressed by their work, a lot of it made me teary eyed.

I gave each student their own copy of the book so they could read along with me. The class set also came in handy when it came time to write their own poems.

Teaching Poetry with Love that Dog

The book is told by a young boy, Jack, who hates poems. The whole story is told in a series of short poems Jack writes about hating poetry. As the book progresses, his poetry evolves and he comes to be a really great poetry writer.

Love That Dog Unit

Each day we read a few pages. I strategically picked how far we would read based on the poems he wrote. Throughout the book Jack references poems that his teacher reads to his class. Poems like The Red Wheelbarrow, shape poems, Love that Boy, and Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. These poems are all in the back of the book. So as we were reading and Jack referenced a poem, we flipped to the back to read the original author’s poem.

For example, one of the first poems he tells us about is The Red Wheelbarrow. So we flipped to the back and read it. Then, we came back to our page in the book and read his version called “The Blue Car.”

As we read a new poem that he writes, we talked about it’s similarities and differences to the original author’s poem. I printed out a hard copy of the poem so we could count the stanzas, take notes, and leave it posted on the board for students to look at. Then, I let them write their own poem! They had to match the amount of lines, the stanzas, and if there is any rhyming in the poem. They seriously got SO excited when I told them we were going to write our own version of The Red Wheelbarrow. (I just had them write all of their poems in their writing journal.)

We took two weeks to read the whole book, pausing along the way to write our own versions of the poems shared in the book. Towards the end, I just wanted to get the book finished so we would read the poems, talk about them, and post them on the board.

Once we had finished the book and talked about all the poems, I told them that they would need to write two more poems but that they got to choose which of the poems they wanted to write. The first two or three we did whole group, but I wanted them to have some authority in which poems they wrote.

Once their poems were written and edited, they got to publish them into their own “Love That…” book!

Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog
Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog

(I believe that is The Indian Plane. This little boy had just traveled to India.)

Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog

Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog

Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog

And y’all… then this little girl just comes in and drops the mic with a poem about memories- which I can only assume is the memory of a dear one she lost…

Love That Dog Poetry Unit- teaching poetry using the book Love that Dog

I wrapped up the unit by doing a Fan-N-Pick activity with questions I came up with about the book. You can download them here. I just made four copies of them (one for each table). The kids use the Fan-N-Pick Kagan strategy to ask the questions and discuss.

I wasn’t able to do Love That Dog with my kiddos last year, but I am planning on doing it this year!! These kids will handle it beautifully. I always do another round of poetry at the end of the year so that is what is on the schedule for May of 2018 and I can’t wait!


So what do you do for poetry? I have found that allowing them to write and create their own poems is where the real magic happens!

Grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!

Until next time,

Lesson Ideas for teaching poetry to 2nd through 5th grade classes.

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Station Organization Round Up https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/station-organization-round-up/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/station-organization-round-up/#respond Tue, 31 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2060 I have a love hate relationship with classroom stations. Mainly because they can tend to be chaotic at first and they can take a long time to prep. That’s why this week I am taking some of the guess work out for you and bringing you a post full of station organization ideas! This post…

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I have a love hate relationship with classroom stations. Mainly because they can tend to be chaotic at first and they can take a long time to prep. That’s why this week I am taking some of the guess work out for you and bringing you a post full of station organization ideas!

Station Organization Round Up: How to organize and manage math and literacy stations


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

I scoured the internet looking for some great blogs on station organization.

Actually, that’s not true. I mainly went to my favorite bloggers that I follow to get some of their ideas. I also share some of my station blog posts because they are a combo of my ideas + those from these bloggers.

Math Station Organization Ideas

Here are a couple of math station organization blogs to check out. There are so many different ways you can do math stations so take what you like from each of these blogs and combine them into what works best in your classroom.

Station Organization Round Up: How to organize and manage math and literacy stations

Step Into 2nd Grade- Math Stations: The Breakdown– In this post she breaks down what stations she has and answers questions about how she manages and prepares her math stations.

Step Into 2nd Grade- More on Math Stations– Here she talks about how she stores her math station materials.

This Math Station Packet is similar to what I used to create my version of math stations.

Here you can read about how I organized my math stations.

Station Organization Round Up: How to organize and manage math and literacy stations

Literacy Station Organization Ideas

I think Daily 5 has pretty much overtaken the elementary classroom. I use their ideas in my literacy stations. But of course, as with all things, you have to make them personal to you. Here are a couple of literacy station organization blogs worth looking into.

Station Organization Round Up: How to organize and manage math and literacy stations

Step Into 2nd Grade- D5 Pictures and Update!– I love the idea she has in this blog for writing buddies. I have a ton of stuffed animals that kids have given me that just sit up on a shelf. What a fun way to incorporate those little guys!

In my Literacy Station blog post I share what literacy stations I use and how I organize and manage them.

Station Organization Round Up: How to organize and manage math and literacy stations


When I was looking around online, I also found this great post on how to create your own station cards which is perfect if you are looking to blend a bunch of station organization ideas into one that works in your room.

Grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!

Until next time,

Station Organization Round Up: How to organize and manage math and literacy stations

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5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/manage-multiple-classes/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/manage-multiple-classes/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2059 A few months back I had the opportunity to speak at our districts back to school professional development seminar. Teachers from across the district are able to lead sessions for other teachers to come and learn from. Naturally, I spoke on classroom organization and management. And one of the questions I got the most was…

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A few months back I had the opportunity to speak at our districts back to school professional development seminar. Teachers from across the district are able to lead sessions for other teachers to come and learn from. Naturally, I spoke on classroom organization and management. And one of the questions I got the most was “how do I manage multiple classes?”

And I thought that was a great question and immediately added it to my list of upcoming blogs to write!

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

My first two years were in a self contained classroom and I LOVED it! I felt like I really got to know my kids because I spent all day with them. I was able to incorporate science and social studies into the core content areas much easier. And I only had like twenty kids instead of thirty something.

When I moved to second grade my third year of teaching, I was put into a Dual Language classroom. And I was not happy about it. I didn’t really like the DL program. I was not excited about having to manage multiple classes. Or work with another teacher so closely. (Not that I mind working with another teacher at all…but I knew I would have to rethink my management plans, stick to the schedule so that my class was ready to switch on time, etc.)

This is now year four with multiple classes. While I miss being self contained, I have found many positives in teaching less subjects. Number one on that list? Less lesson planning! I also enjoy the fact that my “special friends” are only with me half a day instead of all day. I am able to collaborate with another teacher and have someone to support me with behavior needs.

But how to manage it all? That took some figuring out.

Ways to Manage Multiple Classes

I have compiled a list of a few things that have helped me as I manage my two classes.

1. Give each group a name:

Because I am in the DL program the idea is that the students are all one class that is split up into two groups. We see a lot of division between the “English kids” and the “Spanish kids.” They literally will say “Jose in the Spanish class did this to me.” And I don’t like that.

So each group has a name. This year its green and purple group. Last year it was green and blue. I have also had the lion and the fish group. Naming them by something other than “Mrs. Jackson’s class and Ms. Aguirre’s class” keeps from the segregation of classes happening.

2. Create a spot for each group:

Anything in my classroom is double so that there is one for each group. For example, I have two turn in baskets, two sets of mailboxes for each group.

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

3. Lesson Plan Once, Write out Plans Twice

I teach math and language arts in my portion of the DL program. This means I teach the same content two times a day. I have found that writing out plans for both classes is helpful. Especially because math for green group is at the end of the day when we have assemblies and my energy is gone. So it’s safe to say, that group can sometimes get off track. Writing out my plans two separate times allows me to make necessary changes to each groups plans to fit their needs.

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

P.S.- I love my Erin Condren Planner. But I also love this version you can get off TPT and print yourself!

4. Have a Procedure for Everything

I think this is one of the most important steps. You have to think out a process for every little thing. From how you are going to store their materials in their desks to how you will line them up. Even their classroom jobs. That was a tough one for me at first because when I initially started in the DL program, I had four groupings of my students and I needed to make sure each kid had a job and each job was being done.

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

Now, there is double of everything. Including double people doing the same job, one in each group. And some jobs I just leave open for one group because it is a job that only my homeroom needs to take care of at the end of the day.

I also had to really think how they would store student materials so I assigned my homeroom the bottom cubby and the other group the top cubby in their desk. This way their materials are separate. My table group that doesn’t have cubbies in their desk store their materials in a crate. The crate has four folders with green stickers and four with purple stickers. Then, each sticker has a number that corresponds with the number on their desk. This is how I organize their materials so that they are easy for them to find.

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

5. Double, Triple, Quadruple Everything

When you teach multiple classes you have to make sure that you give each class the same things. For example, I use a marble jar as my whole group behavior system. That means that when I had four groups of kids, I had four marble jars that I needed to fill up. It was a lot to manage, but it was important to me (and the kids) that each group felt like they weren’t missing out on anything.

Double up on anchor charts and materials. Or, laminate the anchor chart and use it in both groups (and year after year!) One way I have found to battle all the paper copies I make having two groups is to do a lot of kagan structures that allow for partner or team work (rally coach, sage and scribe, etc.) This way I am making one copy for each partner set.

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

Teaching Multiple Classes

Surprisingly, the thing I have found most difficult with two classes is staying fresh and energized. When I lesson plan I generally just write down the high points of how I want to teach the lesson. In the middle of the lesson is when I get the bursts of energy that make me do something more creative. Like I will plan to talk to their partner about the summary of a story, but as I am explaining that direction to them, I decide to add a mix-pair-share or a Round Robin in there to make it more engaging.

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

But it always seems like that super great idea I had with the first group never goes as well with the second group. I don’t know why, I guess it just doesn’t feel as genuine- like I am copying the other group. So right now I am trying to figure out how to stay energized with both groups. For now it’s looking like altering the kagan structure I do or the story I tell. I went into this long story with one group the other day and completely skipped over it with second group. They will get a different story one day that will be told naturally and organically instead of trying to match the script I did the first time.


I hope this helps you create some routines for multiple classes. I have found that I really do love teaching more groups because that means more sweet babies I get to love on and care for. It also means more kids to drive me crazy…but less time I have to spend with them :P!

What are some strategies and routines you use to manage multiple classes? I’d love to hear them. Also, check out these other blogs I have written on routines to help you brainstorm all the routines you need to think of and plan for for your classes.

Classroom Management Series Pt. 1: Back to School Routines

Classroom Management Series Pt. 2: Student Routines

First Year Teacher: Routines to Plan For

Grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!

Until next time,

How to manage multiple classes in the elementary setting. 5 Steps You Need to Manage Multiple Classes

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The Google Drive in the Classroom https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/google-drive/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/google-drive/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2058 I’m a fan of The Google. Are you a fan of The Google? I’m also a fan of saying “The Google.” Anywhooooo…. google drive is all the rage right now, and rightfully so. It is a great tool to collaborate and allow access to all your work anywhere you are. Which is why so many…

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I’m a fan of The Google. Are you a fan of The Google? I’m also a fan of saying “The Google.” Anywhooooo…. google drive is all the rage right now, and rightfully so. It is a great tool to collaborate and allow access to all your work anywhere you are. Which is why so many schools are taking advantage of this free* resource.

*I say free only because it is technically free, however districts can purchase some kind of extended version that allows personal school email addresses within google as well as access to things like google classroom.

Google drive is a great resource for teachers and schools. This tutorial shows how to organize google drive effectively.


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

As I was preparing for this week’s blog post I had a few particular teacher friends in mind. Google drive is a great resource but can be a little confusing to figure out at first. Which is why I put together this video explaining how The Google Drive works as well as a couple of ways to organize your drive for convenience.

Google Drive Tutorial

 


Of course google drive is a great resource to use in the classroom but it can be used in so many other ways. It is slowly becoming where I do all of my work online- personal, blogging, professional, etc. Cody and I have a folder with all of our budgeting spreadsheets, a spreadsheet with all of our friends and families addresses, and other things of that nature.

If you want to learn more about how to organize and manage your classroom effectively, grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom. This book is full of ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!


Until next time,

Google drive is a great resource for teachers and schools. This tutorial shows how to organize google drive effectively.

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Flexible Seating Ideas in the Elementary Classroom https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/flexible-seating/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/flexible-seating/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2057 Six years of teaching at the same school meant I needed some serious change this year. Which is why I decided to FINALLY try flexible seating in my classroom. It’s been on my mind for the last two or three years but I always chicken out right before the year starts and stick to my…

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Six years of teaching at the same school meant I needed some serious change this year. Which is why I decided to FINALLY try flexible seating in my classroom. It’s been on my mind for the last two or three years but I always chicken out right before the year starts and stick to my usual groups of desks clustered together to make teams.

This year has been a completely different year. I don’t know what has caused it but I finally am at the point where I don’t care.

Let me explain…. I DO care! But I don’t care about the little trivial things that don’t matter. For the past six years I have been so “controlling” of my kids. This year I finally decided that the little things I would be so controlling over don’t really matter.

Like where they sit.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

Don’t get me wrong. I think it is SUPER important that students be grouped appropriately so that high and low students are mixed together. I think it is important that they have a sense of “team” with the people they sit with. In fact, I still have cooperative learning teams and we meet and work with them often.

But I have finally loosened the reigns a little bit and allowed my students to choose a spot that works best for them when they are doing partner work or working independently.

In this week’s blog I’ll be covering how flexible seating looks in my room, how I combine FS with cooperative learning, and sharing some of the struggles I’ve encountered as I have rolled out flexible seating.

Flexible Seating Ideas

In years past when I contemplated implementing flexible seating, I started the year with my traditional seating in place with the plan to incorporate flexible seating as the year went on. Well….that never happened

This was how my classroom was set up in the past.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

This year my room looks fairly similar, with a few exceptions.Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

I have one set of traditional desks set up.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

I have another group of desks with yoga balls. (I use these yoga balls!)

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

The standing desks are my personal favorite…but my students least favorite :/

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

The last team I have is a table lowered enough to where they could use cushions and sit on the ground (which they don’t) or sit on a chair/yoga ball.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

I also have cushions and lap desks available for student use.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

Flexible Seating + Cooperative Learning

When I was in grad school I was trained extensively on Kagan Cooperative Learning and I am a firm believer in cooperative learning. Which is why I had such difficulty getting started with flexible seating. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the two. It’s been something I’ve thought about for years…literally…. And I have finally figured out a way to marry the two.

My students have “team spots.” These are their assigned seats. Students are grouped in teams of four with a high, high medium, medium low, and low student at each team (which is what’s in the photo below). They have a shoulder partner and a face partner. This works out great because I have all the components of cooperative learning- they just aren’t always sitting in groups of four at a team.

When I set up a lesson I tell them if they are sitting in “flexible seating” or their “team spots.” This alerts the students as to where they can physically sit. If we are doing team work, they are always in their team spots and at their desks in the traditional cooperative learning structure. However, when we do partner or independent work, they usually sit in flexible seating because they are still able to work with their shoulder partner who is assigned based on academic level. They are still getting the benefit of working with a student that is either coaching them or that they are coaching.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

If we are doing independent work and I allow them flexible seating they are working in a spot that they enjoy. This builds more engagement and trust leading to more accountability *usually*.

Flexible Seating Troubleshooting:

I have, of course, encountered several problems as I have rolled this out and am troubleshooting them as I move along.

Problem: Kids always sit in the same flexible seating spot

My solution: Luckily this has been an easy fix simply by talking to them about trying out all flexible seating options and allowing other students the opportunity to sit in each FS spot. I have also found that just reminding them of all the options helps them to remember some of the places they can sit that they forget about (i.e. the cushions on the floor at the low table).

Problem: They want to sit next to their BFF

My Solution: I just keep an eye out for patterns. If they kids are working and producing quality work sitting next to their friend, then I don’t sweat it. I have two girls that ALWAYS sit next to each other when doing independent work but they ALWAYS complete their work. I have two other girls that just like to sit and talk when they are able to sit by each other so I have to monitor, coach, and sometimes move them apart if it becomes too distracting.

Problem: They don’t complete their work while sitting in flexible seating

My Solution: Flexible seating is very much a privilege in my room and I have taken it away when I feel that students are abusing the privilege.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

Problem: The kids at the standing table don’t like standing when we are in our team spots

My Solution: I don’t really know…trying to figure this one out!

Problem: Storing team materials for the team without desk cubbies

My Solution: I’ve tried a few things:

I tried just storing them in a milk crate– too messy.

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

Then I tried one of these hanging file things….not strong enough. (BUT! Makes a perfect place to store colored paper!!!)

I have settled on a milk crate with a hanging folder for each kids stuff…This seems to be working, for now…..


No matter how you choose to seat your students, the important thing is that they are getting the opportunity to work with students different than themselves- academically, culturally, racially, etc. Cooperative Learning and Flexible Seating are what work in Room 152. But I encourage you to seek what works best for you and your students!

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

You can snag your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom! I talk more about cooperative learning and how I group my students in the ebook!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!


Until next time,

Flexible Seating and cooperative learning ideas in an elementary classroom.

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Teach for the Small: Encouragement for you, Teacher Friend! https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/teach-for-the-small/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/teach-for-the-small/#respond Tue, 03 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2056 Hi friend! Welcome to October….or should I say Shock-tober? Isn’t that what we call this month in the teaching field? Our kids are finally starting to break out of their shells. The school year is in full swing and the to do lists are a mile long. If you are feeling discouraged…know that you are…

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Hi friend! Welcome to October….or should I say Shock-tober? Isn’t that what we call this month in the teaching field? Our kids are finally starting to break out of their shells. The school year is in full swing and the to do lists are a mile long.

If you are feeling discouraged…know that you are not alone! I am right there with you. This week’s post is meant to be an encouragement for YOU! If nothing else…I hope you’ll leave this post knowing you aren’t the only one that comes home and wants to quit their job. 🙂

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

As you know, a couple of weeks ago I shared a blog post talking about my struggle to balance all that is going on right now for me personally, professionally, and with the blog(s). I decided to take a couple weeks off to get my stuff together and feel a little more on top of things so that I could devote time to the blog.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks!

Cody and I FINALLY got the garage organized and I just want to do a happy dance now that I can actually walk in our garage without tripping over all of our stuff.

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

Emily and I spent the weekend in College Station visiting our littlest sister. And this is the only picture we got the whole weekend. We’re so photogenic.

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

I decorated for the new season and made some yummy burnt snicker doodle cookies to celebrate the arrival of Fall.

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

Cody and I had a weekend get away in Kerrville to celebrate our friends wedding!!!

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

ANDDDD!!! The biggest relief….we got all these suckers written and mailed off!!! Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Amen! (what is wrong with my smile? IDK it was 6:30 in the morning when I took this picture.)

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

During this time of “rest” I read Melanie Shankle’s new book Church of the Small Things. This book served as an encouragement to me as well as a reminder of the call God has placed on me for this time- which is teaching.

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

Church of the Small Things Encouragement

I originally heard of Melanie because I started listening to a podcast her and her best friend put on called, The Big Boo Cast. Since binge listening to all of their episodes, I have fallen in love with the witty San Antonio Author/Blogger/Speaker.

Her book title says it all. We are to be the church of the small things. All the little things we encounter in the day to day make up the tapestry of our lives. But…..instead we spend our lives looking for the next “big thing” and completely miss the small things He is doing right in front of our faces because we are too consumed with looking elsewhere.

I think this is particularly true in teaching. Not only are we constantly comparing ourselves and looking to the teacher next door to validate ourselves. But we are always looking towards the next “thing.” For us that can tend to be the weekend and/or holiday breaks.

“When is the weekend coming?” “How long till Thanksgiving Break?” “Christmas Break?” “Summer…. Where art thou?!?!”

*There is no judgement here. I am already silently rejoicing that Thanksgiving break is seven weeks away! You’re welcome.*

It can also be the struggle of balancing our own (fur) children with the pressures of being a “good” teacher. Or the hopes, dreams, and goals we are pursuing outside of teaching. Heck, sometimes it’s the second job a teacher has to work just to make ends meet!

Teaching is challenging and it is so easy to get wrapped up in the stress, overwhelm, and frustration. It’s so easy that we begin to resent our jobs for all the stress it brings. We take that resentment and frustration out on our students. It overflows into our home life. It just eats us away.

At least…I hope this is an “us” thing and not a “me” thing…

This has been a really hard year for me. (I write about it more in depth on my personal blog and if you are interested, you can go read it here instead of me blabbering on about it all over again on this blog.) My days are most often consumed with thinking about everything else I would RATHER be doing than being in my classroom with sixteen seven year olds. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my kiddos and I LOVE teaching. But my heart is pulling me elsewhere.

So what do we do? What do we do when our heart isn’t present in the season that we are in? (OMG. I hate “christianese”…you know…all the terms christian people say? Ugh, I almost just typed “we press in”. LORDT…. be near!)

But for real, what do we do? Well, I don’t really know the answer to that. Sorry..I probably got you all physced that I had some magic answer.

What Church of the Small Things reminded me of was the importance of seeing the small and mundane things that happen in my classroom on a day to day basis as little gifts from God. Little reminders that He is right there with me (and you!) in the midst of the difficult days.

So I propose a challenge. (I literally just thought of this two seconds ago so…..).

I want to challenge us as teachers to find the small things in our days. The little bitty itty witty things that seem so insignificant but are little nuggets of love from God reminding you that He is right there in that classroom with you. He is listening to you as you model “how to blow your nose with all your might to get all the junk out.” Yes…He is there even in those moments that really just make you feel validated and like you are changing the world…………..

#Teachforthesmall Challenge

Like I said…I just came up with this idea. Here is what I’m thinking. Let’s spend the next thirty days looking for small things in our classrooms each day that point us to the bigger picture.

I’ll go first.

On Friday it was raining so we had indoor recess. When recess was over a little boy, without being asked, picked up the box of indoor recess games and brought them to the cabinet to put them away. I never told my kids where the games belong. He had just been watching me, paying attention, and knew that putting the games away would help is teacher out. #teachforthesmall

What do you say? Let’s look for the small things each day, snap a picture, and post them on instagram with the tag #teachforthesmall. I’ll be doing it. Join me! That way I’m not the only one using that hashtag……

And while your at it, order yourself a copy of Melanie’s book, Church of the Small Things. I promise you, you won’t regret it!


While Cody and I were on our weekend get away I did some planning and goal setting for the remainder of the year. I have some fun blog posts on the lineup; flexible seating, google drive organization, a birthday celebration for TSOT, and a lot more!

I also am excited to start talking about my next endeavor with TSOT and want you to come along side and help me decide on a name for my next project! Make sure to subscribe to my email list so that you can help me when that time comes!! (like… later this month!)

Just click the box below to join my email list and get access to The Organizers Bin

Also, don’t forget…you can grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!

Until next time,

Encouragement for teachers as we look for the small things in the busyness of teaching.

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An Update for The Simply Organized Teacher https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/september-update/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/september-update/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 07:00:29 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2040 Hi there friends, In an effort to be completely honest and transparent with my readers, I want you to know that I am struggling keeping up with the blog right now. I love blogging and it brings me a lot of joy. But it also requires a lot of time. And because of that, I…

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Hi there friends,

In an effort to be completely honest and transparent with my readers, I want you to know that I am struggling keeping up with the blog right now. I love blogging and it brings me a lot of joy. But it also requires a lot of time. And because of that, I feel like I need to take a brief break from the blog and focus on some other “life things” right now.

As many of you know, I got married a month ago!!! (Check out my blog all about our wedding day via that link or the picture below!)

This past month has been a whirlwind. We were lucky enough to go on a honeymoon right after our wedding. But immediately following our return, we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. We moved Cody in to my house, now OUR house! We also had to get Cody’s house prepped for renters to move in.

This is our current situation.

And if you know me, you know that this is killing me!!!!!!!!!

Plus we have like a hundred thank you notes that need to be written and almost a thousand wedding pictures that need to be sorted through and chosen for our album.

Oh..and of course that little thing we have called a J-O-B. If I didn’t have to work, it would really make things a lot easier! 😉

The blog is my passion. I hope that one day this is something I get to do full time. But right now, it’s just a side gig that pays me a big fat NADA! A typical blog takes me a couple hours to write, plus all the other social media and emails that go along with keeping this thing afloat.

I typically try to spend a whole weekend devoted to the blog and getting things ready for the upcoming month. But  right now I feel that that time needs to be spent with Cody getting our house back together.

I am a perfectionist so it kills me to not stay true to my word of posting a new blog each week OR give my readers my full 100% with each blog post. But I also hate that I have this extra stress looming over me. Stress that I am putting on myself! I miss taking Milo on walks and laying on the couch. Lately I haven’t been able to do that because we have been so busy and I feel guilty spending time relaxing when I have so much blog stuff to do.

This post is really more of just a way for me to process my feelings. Lately I feel like God is teaching and showing me how to let things go. That it’s okay to not do ALL the things ALL the time. Right now I feel like I have a lot on my “proverbial plate” and the blog is one thing I can take off my plate for a few weeks to allow time for my husband, our house, and our pups.

My hope is to only be away for the month of September. It may bleed into October, depending on how quickly we can get things taken care of around here.

I can’t wait to come back because I have a ton of great blog ideas lined up. I also have a fun new project I am eager to share with you, once I figure out all the details.

In the mean time, make sure to grab a copy of The Simply Organized Classroom– only $7 and FULL of materials, ideas, and guidance on how to create an organized and managed classroom!

The Simply Organized Classroom ebook

Also check out my “Creating and Sticking to Classroom Organization eCourse“- a free ecourse that drops directly into your inbox with five days of plans and tasks to help you get your classroom organized.

Free ecourse on creating and sticking to classroom organization routines

Thank you for your understanding and support!

Until next time,

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Classroom Tour 2017-2018 https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/classroom-tour-2017-2018/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/classroom-tour-2017-2018/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 07:00:41 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=2012 This year was a hard year for me to start. Last year was a difficult year for me. My class was challenging and all motivation was pretty much gone. And I really felt it deep in my bones that this would be the year I would get to try something new- a new grade, a…

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This year was a hard year for me to start. Last year was a difficult year for me. My class was challenging and all motivation was pretty much gone. And I really felt it deep in my bones that this would be the year I would get to try something new- a new grade, a new school, or even a new position like a coach.

Well…none of those things happened. I am still a 2nd grade teacher at the same school I have taught at my whole career. I fully believe that God works things together for the purpose of His Kingdom and so I trust that I am there for another year on purpose. A lot of craziness happened in the two weeks prior to the start of school that made me really grateful that God kept me with my work family for another year.

But…I needed a pick me up. I needed something different for this year because nothing else in my teaching career was changing. (Actually, that’s not true! I was moved to a different classroom and have a different partner teacher.) But I needed a change aesthetically.

I always love a good classroom tour to check out pictures of how teachers set up their rooms.

So! I present to you my 2017-2018 Classroom Tour!!!

A tour of my 2nd Grade Classroom


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

I knew I needed big changes this year. We spend HOURS in our classroom every day and it needs to feel like home for me. Originally I was just going to change the colors and what not, but then I decided to try flexible seating as well. It’s something I’ve thought about at the start of the last three to four years, but was to0 nervous to try. I’ll post a whole blog on that next week!

So without further adieu.

My Classroom Tour Pictures

It’s  important to note that my plan was to take these pictures Friday afternoon after the kids left. However, at 12:30 on Friday our campus got an email stating that any classroom with an exterior wall needed to pack up the cabinets on those walls as damage had been done during the hurricane and workers would be in our rooms RIPPING DOWN TWO FEET OF OUR WALLS OVER THE WEEKEND! So…. I had to rush to get pictures of my room before I started packing.

This was taken the day I moved into my new classroom. Empty, boring, and full of desks.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

When you enter our classroom and look to the right you will see our Math stations and Math Word Wall. I try to keep all “like things” together. So all my math stuff is in this corner.

*Absolutely NO students were hidden behind the camera during the taking of these pictures*

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

The Word Wall is next to the Math Word Wall. I am a Dual Language Teacher so I have to have an English and Spanish Word Wall. This is how I meet that requirement. I have to take words off throughout the year to add new ones, but it works!

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

I also have my Listening Center on this wall. In previous years I sat the radio on a table but this year I am using that table as a desk for my students, so I flipped over this wooden box and made it a “table.”

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

Right next to the door is our Writing Station. I haven’t yet set this up yet cause I am still deciding on exactly how I want to do it.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

To the left of the door is our Computer Station as well as “Home Base” where students turn in their take home folders and check their mailboxes.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

I still do community supplies and house them in these back cubbies.  I can’t stand clutter so I keep them very simple and uniform by putting their materials in them.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

Our Classroom Library is up next.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

This is my Small Group Teaching Area, situated so that I can see the entire classroom from my chair.

My teacher desk is right next to my U-table. I like to keep all “my stuff” in one area as well so it is easily accessible.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

Here are a few views standing from the back of our room looking forward.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

I love my new rocking chair I am using as my seat for whole group teaching. This was actually the rocking chair Cody’s parents used when he was a baby (I think?). When we moved him out of his house into mine, I didn’t have a spot for it but I totally want to keep it for when we have a baby (a long, long, LONG time from now!) so I took it to school. I told my kids they can’t sit in it cause it might break…. 🙂

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

I took all of these pictures and then immediately unpacked all the cabinets in my room on exterior walls. This is what I will be walking into Tuesday morning! 😀

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour


Click the box below to get access to The Organizers Bin!



Hurricane Harvey Relief

I can’t really complain that this is all my classroom had to endure due to Hurricane Harvey. Really, I am so lucky. I have spent so much money on my classroom and can only imagine the stress teachers in Houston and along the coast are feeling.

My 2nd Grade Classroom Tour

If you haven’t seen this going around online, a teacher blogger, Sun, Sand, and Second Grade, is putting together an “Adopt a Classroom” movement. You can read more about it by clicking the link. I love the idea of helping another classroom get up and running for their new school year!

I also love this blogger, Melanie Shankle, and she put together a whole blog post full of ways you can support Hurricane Harvey victims!


I am loving my new classroom with less desks and an even calmer color pallet of mostly blues and grays. I’ll be back next week to share about how I am managing flexible seating!

In the mean time, grab your copy of The Simply Organized Classroom to find ideas and inspiration for creating a warm, welcoming, and organized classroom!

Click the photo below to learn more.

An ebook on classroom management and classroom organization from The Simply Organized Teacher

I’m always looking for ways to get into more classrooms, help teachers, and create great classroom makeovers! Click the box below for more information!

Until next time,

 

 

My 2nd grade classroom tour

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Important {and FUN!} Calendar Dates for Teachers to Remember https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/important-dates/ https://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/important-dates/#respond Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:00:06 +0000 http://www.thesimplyorganizedteacher.com/?p=1951 Every year, it never fails, I get so busy in the thick of teaching that I forget about important dates in the elementary classroom. Dates like Dr. Seuss week or St. Patrick’s Day. Idk why, but every year I forget about them and then it’s the day of and I am the one teacher in…

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Every year, it never fails, I get so busy in the thick of teaching that I forget about important dates in the elementary classroom. Dates like Dr. Seuss week or St. Patrick’s Day. Idk why, but every year I forget about them and then it’s the day of and I am the one teacher in my hallway NOT doing something fun with their kids!

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom


This post may contain affiliate links. That just means that if you purchase something using a link I share, I get a percentage from that purchase. This helps me keep The Simply Organized Teacher going! You can read more in my disclosure policy

Now I’m not writing this blog post because I want to do more fun stuff with my kids. But instead, I want to be more intentional with how I incorporate important dates and holidays with my curriculum so that my students are getting knowledge about those events, but also having fun.

How to Plan for Important Dates

Each summer I make my own personal YAG (Year at a Glance). It is a chart of dates and subjects. I use our districts curriculum and my ideas to make a plan for the upcoming year.

This summer is no different. I made my YAG but before I wrote any activities down, I listed important dates in the fourth column. You can check out my second grade YAG here.

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom

 

Once I had all the holidays and important dates written out, I wrote out the units from my district. Then I listed ideas from the units I got from Amy Lemons and Hope King’s TPT stores. (I went to a conference they put on this summer and I fell in love with everything they were doing!)

This YAG is super helpful to me when I plan out units and do my weekly lesson plans. Now that I have the dates in there as well, I will be able to be more creative and intentional in my planning!!!

Important Dates in the Elementary Classroom

So! What are the important dates? I gathered some of my favorite and put them in a list.

Click on the printable below. Hang it up at your desk, put it in your planner, copy the dates into your calendar. Doesn’t matter! Just be sure to find ways to incorporate the curriculum with the important {and FUN!} dates throughout the year!

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom

Some on the list are kind of personal to our school. But I wanted to include them on there because they make for fun dress up days and now that I am planning for them, I will at least try to have a morning work activity that celebrates the fun day!

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This one is always a blast. Teachers and students dress up as pirates. The teachers compete for the best dressed team…We’ve yet to win that. But maybe one day!

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom

Also, I’ve been wearing the exact same pirate outfit for the last five years…I’m not very creative.

Plaidurday

I have to thank our librarian for finding fun and crazy days to celebrate. On this day everyone dresses up in their finest plaid gear. Usually it takes a lot of google image searches to show the kids what plaid is.

Storybook Character Day

This is how we celebrate Halloween without it getting out of hand. Each student gets to dress up as a character from a book. Here is our team dressed up as different characters from the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” series.

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom

Check out my upside down book, hah!

 


Holidays are fun to celebrate. I am especially looking forward to planning research units around MLK Jr’s birthday and Women’s History Month!

What are fun holidays (or random days) you celebrate at your school? Let me know in the comments below!

Want classroom organization help? Be sure to fill out the form to schedule a time for me to come help you in your classroom!

Until next time,

 

 

Important {and FUN!} Dates in the Elementary Classroom

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