Sunday, August 28, 2016

Setting Up for B2S Middle School Style

I moved from Elementary to Middle School two years ago.  This will be my third year in fifth grade.  I really love setting up my classroom but it is so much easier and less time consuming now.  Primary teachers go above and beyond!!!  Here are some things that I do to make it even easier.

Things that I do to get ready: (If you make a to do list before you go in it helps)
#1  Clean out closets and organize...purge
I quickly go through all my cabinets and drawers.  I am still weeding down my teaching materials, if it is not science or math related, I have been giving it away.   Last year, I saved photo copy boxes and when I finished a science unit I put it in a box and labeled it.  The copy boxes fit in my closet.

Take note of materials and what you may need as you organize.



#2 Name Tags...no more labeling
I was obsessed with labels and then went to a number system in my elementary classroom.  No more!!!

I have two homeroom classes and found it hard to use numbers.  The only thing I label is their desk nameplates for the open door day.  I bought the $1.00 chart strips from Target.  The kids want to see who is in their class.  We have the kids bring their nameplates with them when we switch classes the first few weeks.  Fifth graders can write their name and label their own workbooks and notebooks!!!!  Our students share desks and they write their name on masking tape and put on inside. Buy extra sharpies!!!!  (Hint...laminate first.  If there is an error, write over sharpie with dry erase marker and it comes off!!!)


#3 Bulletin Boards..leave them up all year!!!!
There are fewer bulletin boards in Middle School.  I cover the boards in my classroom with fade less black paper and have not changed them since I moved.  I cover up over the summer.  I did update the middle board with a STEM section this year  Design boards that you don't have to keep changing.  It will save you time.




#4 Copy for First Week (3 days)...Keep it Simple
You will not get through everything you have planned.  I was looking at my plans from last year and there were so many extra things added like an assembly, school pictures, fire drill, school tour, etc.  The activities that you do plan take longer than you think.  It is good to have extra things, but it should be focused on starting curriculum, like setting up interactive notebooks, going over math practices, multiplication quiz, etc.  

Choose your B2S activities carefully.  I am doing a Math About Me Using Equations and a Fifth Grade News sheet.  I do have team building things planned as well.  (you don't want to repeat from other grades)  Start out slow and establish your routines and expectations!


#5 Planning
I like to create a pacing guide for my math and science units.  Luckily, our grade level team has created it together.  There is so much to teach and it keeps me on track.

#6 Furniture
I like my desks in groups.  We do a lot of group work in math and science.  I also want my desks facing the front board, because I use the projector for math and use many video clips.  I bought the supply carts from Target and have one for each group.  If they are not using supplies, they can be moved.  There is two extra shelves to store notebooks and anything else we need.  The carts are on wheels and can be moved.

I use a kidney table as my desk with cubbies for storage.  The teacher desk was taking up too much space and I was never at it.  I keep my lap top on a cart near the front board.  I use a student chair at the cart, because they teacher chair was cumbersome.

Have a great school year!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Winner, Winner!!!



The winner of my Hameray book raffle is....... 
Julie Berry
Congratulations!!! You will be contacted directly by the company.


Monday, August 22, 2016

TPT sale and Book Raffle

If you are like me, you have many items in your wish list basket on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am going to take advantage of the one day only sale.  We start back to school next week and I know I could use a few new items.  My entire store on sale!  


Use the code word: OneDay
This is one of my best sellers.  My product will be the only resource that you will need to do interactive notebooks with your fifth graders.  I also have one for fourth grade.  I created it to be used with any math curriculum or program. Great way to engage your students!  On Sale for $12.00!!!
Click here for link
Love this review!
I created this resource to get my science class and notebooks up and running.  It was designed for fifth grade but could be adapted for other grades.  The focus is on the science and engineering practices, thinking like a scientist, lab rules and safety, etc. Great way to start off your year! On sale for $4.80.
Click here for link
I made many science units last year for the intermediate grades (3-5).  This is my first unit that I will be teaching.  My science units are full of vocabulary cards, posters, labs, projects, notebook pages, etc. Check out my other units in my store.  On sale for $5.60.
Click here for link


Please enter a raffle that is sponsored by Hameray Publishing!  
Read my blog post for more information.
Enter before August 23


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hameray Publishing Raffle: Multi-Genre High Interest Books (set of 16 books)

Do you have reluctant readers in your classroom?  Do you have students who read below grade level and won't finish a book?  Do you need more books for your classroom library?  If you answered yes...please keep reading!
I was contacted by Hameray Publishing Company about having a raffle on my blog.  I informed them that my audience is mostly intermediate elementary teachers. They offered to donate a set of high-interest books(with a value of $143) that would be appropriate for my followers' classrooms.  Please visit their website with the links below to check out their literacy materials and website.  Enter the raffle on the link at the bottom.
Click here for literacy materials link
The Download series of multi-genre high-interest books helps you bring struggling readers what they need most: exciting subject matter that will increase their motivation! The titles mix informational text with comic-style fiction stories featuring attention-grabbing topics—extreme sports, the supernatural, natural disasters, and more. Written at guided reading levels Q–T, these books are perfect for welcoming your reluctant readers back to school.

You can explore these titles and Hameray's other literacy materials here.


Complete Set includes 1 copy of the following titles:
Basketball
Behind the Scenes: Fashion
Behind the Scenes: Special Effects
BMX & Mountain Biking
Cool Brands
Martial Arts
Motocross
Motorcycles
Natural Disasters
The Paranormal
Predators
Rock Climbing
Skateboarding
Skydiving
Snowboarding
UFOs and Aliens
Please enter to win by clicking on the link below.  The raffle ends on Tuesday August 23.
Click here to raffle form

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday's Five Fabulous Finds (on Pinterest)

This week has been so hot!  I am working summer camp and we have two more weeks.  When August first comes I will start thinking about my Back to School ideas!  Why does summer go by so fast!!!
Love the Buttons
Great Design for Timeline Project
STEM race car lesson
Parent Night
My husband made the bar

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Start Your Engines: STEM race cars


Our school system has an amazing STEM program for students in grades 6-12.  Next year, we are going to STEAM.  The arts will become part of the curriculum and it will start in fifth grade.  I am beyond excited.  We kicked off STEAM with a week of school wide activities.  

Vel O'City showed up to teach science.  My student love when I dress up and even come up with ideas for me.  I ordered a black men's work jumpsuit from Amazon and striped it with checkered duct tape.  Cheaper than buying a costume.

The kids had a list of items that each had money values.  I gave them a budget and they had to design their car with their team.  Keep your groups no more than three!
I used the sheet from this amazing website, Teach Engineering.  It has the lesson, powerpoint and sheets.  The only thing I would change is add a little more money in the suggested budget.  I had some kids drop cars and break all their lifesaver wheels.  

Do not use Elmer's glue.  Use a glue gun.
Link
Here are my students creating their designs.
We brainstormed how this lesson is STEAM.  We created the poster before we started.  I am so impressed with their knowledge.
The next day we started building.
Here are kids testing and redesigning.
I forgot to take pictures on race day.  It was a little crazy the last week of school...LOL!

Here are a few videos from last year.  My husband made my tracks out of coil stock for siding houses.  The website suggests gutters.  


Now it is time to start your engines!