Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jungle / Safari Themed Classroom {Ideas, Photos, Tips, and More}








BACKGROUNDS:
  • animal print fabric
  • solid color fabric or paper in neutral colors like tans, greens and browns
BORDERS:


  • faux foliage vines (often available at Dollar Tree)

  • use animal print duct tape as a bulletin board border or to help make classroom items better complement your theme
  • {via}
TITLE SUGGESTIONS:
  • Welcome Board: Swinging into ___ Grade, Welcome to the Jungle, Welcome to __ Grrrrrrade
  • Student Work Board: Wildly Wonderful Work, No Lion...This is Some Grrrreat Work, SSSSSSSensational Work (with a snake)
  • Job Chart: Spotted: Classroom Helpers, Hunting for Helpers, Jungle Jobs
  • Birthday Chart: Born to be Wild
  • Any Board: Wild About ___, Bananas Over ___, Making Tracks in ___
ADDING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WILL HELP ENHANCE YOUR THEME:
  • fake foliage
  • stuffed animals
  • safari hats
  • binoculars
  • use animal-print pillow cases to create comfy reading opportunities
  • invest in one item that will really make a statement like the rug below
  • {via}
{via}
  • roll up green paper to make vines
  • use the song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as a transition
  • {via}
  • create a PRIDE board with lion images and let kids use it to hang up their choice work using patterned felt or scrapbook paper


This bundle contains 34 coordinating products that will allow you to design an amazing, personalized beach themed classroom for very little cost. The bundle includes several editable files so you may use your own fonts and colors to customize nameplates, cubby labels, name tags, binder covers, newsletters, dismissal cards, schedule cards and more. You'll receive all of the items shown below:


 


Click to visit the Classroom Themes Page featuring free ideas for almost 40 of the most popular classroom themes and color schemes.

Improve your classroom organization, management and teaching with: 


Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.
Clutter - Free Classroom Decor Color Scheme Printables Design Decorations Set-Up Patterns Organized Organization Bulletin Boards Back to School Name tags Desk plates Editable polka dots chevron red orange yellow green blue purple hot pink aqua lime black grey gray white stripes theme supply labels behavior clip chart schedule cards numbers calendar clock helper teacher binder lesson plans alphabet ten frames word wall basket labels table team work dismissal chart cards where are we specialists welcome pennant clip art math resources book Classroom Organization Management Decor Design Photos Pictures Math Workshop Guided Math Workstations hall passes  school day tracker math focus wall colors days of the week tooth tally binder cover newsletter teaching strategies classroom themes 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to Organize and Manage Math Workshop with Guided Math Instruction

Oh my goodness! I dedicated some time today to get caught up on emails, feedback and Q and As and could not have been more touched, flattered, thrilled and proud when I read the above. Much thanks to Elyse for her kind words as well as the over 1,000 teachers who have rated this a 4.0 product!

I have personally loved about how this approach transformed my own teaching of math, but it brings me so much joy to know that other teachers and students are benefiting from it as well.

In honor of this amazingly thoughtful feedback I am sharing my original post from when this product debuted a year ago and am offering the Guide to Organizing and Managing Math Workshop with Guided Math Instruction at a discounted price for a limited time. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Original Post~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you know what my absolute favorite time of the school day is? Math Workshop! In fact, thanks to the Common Core, I'm a bit math obsessed lately. Which is funny to me because, as a student, I personally hated math all through school.  Loathed it in fact.  And if I am being honest, math was also my very least subject to teach for many years. The whole class format of math instruction posed many problems.  It was a struggle to get them engaged and keep their attention. 

Their understanding fell on a spectrum. They ranged from "I'm bored because I already know this yet I have to listen to it anyway" to "I don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about, but if I sit quietly enough you may not notice because Johnny and Susie are using the pattern blocks inappropriately and you're distracted by trying to redirect them."

And then it happened.

I started teaching math the same way I had been teaching language arts and it absolutely changed everything. Kids became engaged and on task at all times. I felt like I really understood each student as an individual mathematician. The classroom was filled with the sound of students having meaningful conversations about math, discussing strategies and learning from each other. Those who needed extra support were receiving it and those who needed a challenge were enriched. Best of all, after a few weeks, the room ran itself.

When I implemented the workshop I developed an acronym using the word "MATH" to set up my rotations. One of my top-selling products is the Math Rotation Board that goes with this acronym. I have long been promising to create an additional resource to detail how to organize and prepare your classroom for math workshop, get the workshop up and running each year, form ability-based and flexible small groups, manage math station rotations, use math tubs on days you are not holding a workshop, lesson plan and more.

I certainly didn't expect the process would take so long, but after about 100 hours of writing, typing, photographing, creating and editing I am incredibly proud to finally present...

Click to Access and Download: CFC's Guided to Organizing and Managing a Math Workshop with Guided Math Instruction
  
Click any of the photos below to view a larger image of everything included in this giant packet.


 

 

 

Please note:
This product is debuting at a discounted rate. I know a lot of you are headed back to school soon and want to get your "ducks in a row" so for a limited time, the Guide to Organizing and Managing Math Workshop with Guided Math Instruction is being offered at 33% off the normal price...a better than even the best sale on TPT.




Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Classroom Job Chart Makeover and Management Tips {Classroom Design Photos, Set Up Pictures & Ideas, Organization & Management}

When I made over my classroom for the new school year a few weeks ago I made some big changes but I also made some very subtle alterations. Today I am going to share one of the smaller ones, however I am so over the moon happy with how this system for managing jobs in the classroom has worked for me that I am reposting the original blog post from when I implemented it last year for you below. 
{Click to access and download the printables to make this chart}

With all we need to organize and manage in the classroom as teachers, classroom jobs should not be the cause of stress or chaos. After using this new chart for an entire school year I couldn't be more thrilled with how successful it was in helping the classroom run itself.

As far as the classroom makeover goes the changes were simple. Last year my room consisted of lots of bright colors (aqua, orange, lime, pink, purple, etc) with accents of black. This year I focused more on aqua chevron, black and white polka dots and yellow accents

I created a brand new line of color scheme and classroom theme bundles this year and each of those 33-product bundles includes coordinating classroom job cards that can be used for this purpose. Initially I was going to makeover the chart using components from the Mix and Match Color Scheme Bundles, but ultimately decided that by simply replacing the pink components on

The Guide to Decorating Your Classroom includes many tips for using creating a beautiful learning space on a tight budget using inexpensive supplies. Yesterday I blogged about a simple project using spray paint. Another one of my favorite things to use is ribbon to make the classroom look even more cohesive. It's a great decorative tool because it is so cheap and because it is available in countless patterns and colors.

To alter the existing chart I simply changed out the pink ribbon for a black and white option and swapped the pink card stock behind the title on the job chart for aqua.

Below is a photo of my original chart along with the text of the blog post I had written when it debuted. I am confident that you'll find the tips shared below will help to make classroom jobs a great experience for you and your students...



{Click to Access and Download: Classroom Job Chart-Blackline Design}

Jobs in my classroom have evolved over time. I started with an elaborate system involving a rotating sunflower which took me an absurd number of hours to create. The system involved students receiving new jobs each day because I was told that the responsibility and sense of community were important.


It is.

But so is your sanity.

I'll skip all the middle stages and tell you about where I am now.

In my classroom everyone has a job. However, they are gainfully employed in that position for a very long time. I no longer rotate the jobs so that each student does every job at some point. Instead students are matched with jobs that they express interest in and I feel is a good fit for them. This allows me to take the time to really teach them how to do the job well and it becomes a routine for them.

Which means your classroom will run very smoothly. 

When I rotated jobs too often my friends would forget to do their job or else wouldn't know exactly what the role involved. The consistency of keeping the same job means that everyone has a special part in helping our room to function. They are ALL responsible for cleaning up the classroom at the end of the day when we play Find It / Fix It (best game ever for ending the day with a spotless classroom). I also have a "helper of the day" and that person does everything else for the day (help with odd jobs, erase the white board, etc).

When I do change jobs (maybe 3 times a year), each student is responsible for training their replacement. I couldn't be more happy about this system.

I do still have a job chart. It just doesn't change very often.

I recently remade my chart for the new school year using library pockets. I used to do an annual classroom theme, but switched to a color-scheme a few years ago. My classroom is currently a mix of Bright and Colorful with lots of Black and White elements. The new chart merges the two together.

{Click to Access and Download: Classroom Job Chart}

You’ll notice that it is a bit different than the typical job charts that list positions such as door holder, caboose, line leader, etc. I really want the classroom jobs to be a way to promote teamwork and responsibility so the title reads, “We are responsible for. . . “ and I listed the jobs as nouns and actions instead of titles or positions. 

It’s just a subtle change, but to me it feels more collaborative. 

TIPS FOR CREATING AND MANAGING CLASSROOM JOBS


# 1 Keep it simple. Classroom jobs should improve the function of your classroom and provide children with a sense of being helpful. If you create a system that is too complicated or changes too often you run the risk of the jobs actually creating more work for you along with unwanted chaos. 



#2 Select classroom jobs that will be useful to your specific classroom needs. 

#3 Think about safety and school policy. Having an “electrician” in charge of plugging in an overhead or a “table washer” using cleaning products with chemicals might not be allowed in some schools. Always use caution. If you include tasks like this you may want to consider drafting a parent permission slip before assigning the job.

#4 Don’t start classroom jobs until you get to know your students each year. It’s very helpful to match students with jobs that best suit them as individuals.

#5 Think about ways a job may benefit a child. Encouraging your shy student to be responsible for being the classroom greeter or answering the phone may help to bring her out of her shell. Having your spirited little guy be your messanger would be a great way to work in some movement breaks throughout the day.

#6 Think about ways a job may benefit you. If you have a student that needs monitoring more than others make her the line leader. This will keep her close by and limit off task behavior in the hallways. 

#7 Don’t let your job chart consume too much prime wall real estate. Students don’t need to be able to see it all the time. In fact it can be a distraction as kids love knowing what others are doing and reading their peers names. Find an out of the way location that students can access when they need to.

#8 Match students with jobs that are appropriate. A job requiring increased responsibility and organization should be completed by a student possessing those skills (i.e. managing the classroom library). Students who struggle in that area would be better suited for a job that is completed without remembering (i.e. turning off the lights when you are going to use the Smartboard).

#9 Be aware of confidentiality. Although it may seem like a good idea to have students put stickers on corrected assignments or check in homework, it exposes them to other childrens’ work and progress.

#10 Take the time to write out a thorough job description that makes your expectations clear. Much like having a procedures and routines manual, this will be a valuable document in ensuring that everything gets done as intended. It will also be an asset to a substitute teacher filling in for you.


Materials:
  • a package of library pockets (these come in so many colors and patterns)
  • colored card stock
  • glue gun/glue sticks
  • framed corkboard
  • fabric 
  • ribbon
  • printables

I had painted the wooden frame on the corkboard black a couple years ago. I  added fabric for the background and a ribbon border. {I love using ribbon to define edges because it is cheap and narrower than traditional border and it comes in so many colors and patterns}.

I printed out the job titles and attached them to the library pockets.


Although the pockets were self-adhesive, I have always found that they don’t really hold in the long term so I knew I would need to reinforce them. Prior to “committing” them to a location on the board with hot glue, I used a single staple to hold them in place. When I was happy with the alignment of the pockets, I glued them all down and removed the staples. Finally I added the title at the top.

To use the chart I will simply slide cards with the students names or numbers into the pockets. 

This post is part of the...
{Click to view other posts in the series}

Improve your classroom organization, management and teaching with: 


Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.
Clutter - Free Classroom Decor Color Scheme Printables Design Decorations Set-Up Patterns Organized Organization Bulletin Boards Back to School Name tags Desk plates Editable polka dots chevron red orange yellow green blue purple hot pink aqua lime black grey gray white stripes theme supply labels behavior clip chart schedule cards numbers calendar clock helper teacher binder lesson plans alphabet ten frames word wall basket labels table team work dismissal chart cards where are we specialists welcome pennant clip art math resources book Classroom Organization Management Decor Design Photos Pictures Math Workshop Guided Math Workstations hall passes  school day tracker math focus wall colors days of the week tooth tally binder cover newsletter teaching strategies 

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