Monday, December 9, 2013

Organizing Task Cards with Folders and Bags

I have been loving all the task cards that I have collected from many great sellers.  Task cards have become a staple to my math instruction, especially the last couple of weeks as I have been trying to figure out how to make guided math / math workshop work for me.  One of the difficulties becomes how to best store all of the cards.  For me, the best way I have found to store them is in 9x12 zippered bags which I then place in file folders in my file drawers according to the concept they match.  The 9" x 12" 4 Mil Clear Zip Lock Bags are a bit heavier than the standard zipper bags you use in your kitchen and even the gallon size bags are just a bit too small to fit a full sized page.  You can get 100 bags on Amazon for under $15, click the picture to be taken directly there.

I like that I can keep the full page cover, instructions, answer sheets and blacklines in the same bag together with the cards.  I simply grab the bag from the file and it is ready to use.  I place them in the center and students have the directions, cards and answers all there at their fingertips.  When it's time to replace with a new concepts, I just file the bag back in the correct folder.
Here they are in the bags and the drawers.

These are regular zip gallon bags because I ran out of the 9x12 bags and needed to get these cards done.  You can see that the bags don't close.  I didn't think to grab some cards in the bigger bags to show you.

I often put the cards on a shower ring.  I find them in the shower curtain section at Walmart.  There are 12 in a bag for less than $3 and they stay together much better than the binder ringers.  The smaller end at the top also makes them easy to grab and carry.

Some of my favorite shops for task cards and projects are:

4mulaFun Blog Fan

For the Love of Teaching Math

An Educator's Life

If you have some great task cards for math to share, be sure to add the link to your blog or TpT store to the linky at the bottom of this post. 

In addition to the great bags I have found to store my task cards in, some other office supplies from Smead have been very helpful. Smead's new file folders and hanging file folders make the organization even easier.  They now have larger tabs so that finding the topic behind located on the folder tab behind all of the bags is so much easier now.  The Smead file folder tabs are a bit taller and longer, you can see the difference in my photos of my file drawer between my older folders and the new Smead ones.  The hanging files now come with tabs attached.  I no longer have to worry about those plastic insertable tabs the I would have to fuss with.  Now the same large tabs are already attached to the hanging folders so they are ready to use right away. Additionally, there's a new Smead expanding pocket I love to use at home.  It's perfect for thowing the bills into so I know where they are when it comes time to pay them.  The new expanding pocket has a "no slip" surface added to the top making it easier to grab and take to my computer.  With the bags and folders, you'll be all set to organize your task cards for easy use in your classroom year after year. 

You can see the light green tabs in this picture as well that are the new tabbed hanging folders.  Soo nice to have them already tabbed!!

Do you have some math task cards or task projects that you love or created and would like to share the link to them, feel free to add it to the linky below.  If you have a post about how you use or organize your task cards, please link those posts as well. 

Note: I was sent the above described promotional products by Smead at no cost in exchange for a blog post review. The use and opinions described above are true and accurate and in no way coerced by Smead or Shoplet / Shoplet UK.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Currently

Where did November go???

Linking up with ...

Although I'm wishing that the TpT sale had started today so I'd have a few things ready for the week, I've got my wishlist ready to go.  It's pretty long, I'm going to have to cut a few things out and save for next time.  I've been so grateful for TpT since September.  I was grateful before that for the opportunity to sell my items, but after starting fifth grade pretty much new this year, TpT products from other sellers have saved me! I feel so blessed to be part of a great community of teachers that blogging and TpT have introduced me to.  I'll be taking advantage of the sale going on at TpT on Monday and Tuesday and hope you will too.  My store is still full of some great items for Primary grades.  Click on the great button by Creative Clips below to be taken to the Dilly Dabbles TpT store.  I hope that over the next few months and the coming summer, I can have more for the upper grades with a year of fifth grade behind me.  

Enjoy your next few weeks with your students before the winter break!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Utilizing Carpeted Walls in the Classroom.

Wow! It really has been since before school started that I last blogged.  Here I was thinking it had only been a month or so...oh my!  I guess that's an indicator of how crazy busy school and motherhood has kept me.  I'm hoping I can get back to posting at least once a week (more would be great) so here we go:

I have carpeted walls on two of the walls in my classroom.  My third wall is mostly cupboards and cubbies and the fourth wall is wallpapered, but taken up mostly by my white board and two smaller bulletin boards.  You can see the 360 tour of my classroom before school started, about two posts ago.

I wanted to utilize the carpeted walls, but didn't want to pay a fortune for Velcro, and I knew that Velcro wouldn't hold up everything I was hoping to hang.  I remembered the clips my husband used years ago when he worked in a cubicle to hang things up on his "walls" and realized that those would probably be perfect for my carpeted walls.  I did a little searching and discovered that these cubicle hooks not only came in hooks, but also clips.  Both would be perfect to fit my needs for the carpet walls.

Using the hooks, I've been able to hang up a pocket chart and also hang up my mp3 players from lanyards.

I've been able to clip these dry erase pockets behind my reading table to easily post literature circle assignments and I've also used the hooks to hang tote bags for my center activities on the walls.  (Pictures of this will come in my posts about my reading block.)

These clips and hooks would also work well on bulletin boards.  

If you have carpeted walls and these hooks and clips would be helpful to you, you can find them on Amazon by clicking either picture below.  They are also available at Staples and perhaps any other office store near you. 

How do you hang your posters, pocket charts, etc. on your classroom walls?

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Who's That Blogger?

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??
                                              ....Play a game?
                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 


The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....
That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!
Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post,,,
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Friday, August 16, 2013

It's Back to School Time...That means a Sale!

It's back to school time which means a Teachers Pay Teachers Sale!  It's just in time for me to head back to school on Monday with the students starting on Thursday.  Here's a peek at some of the items that will be on sale in my shop:

The Common Core posters are my best sellers.  They are available for grades 1-5 in various themes.  These will make posting "I Can" statements a snap. 

The adding three numbers pack contains many activities and games to help your students become fluent at adding three single digit numbers.  Check out my time pack as well.  

The two products that go best, hand in hand, are a set of counting frames and the counting frame flash cards.  See my post all about using them in the classroom here.  Use the same code, BTS13 in my blog store to get 15% off your order of counting frames. 

Thanks to Christina of 
Bunting Books and Bainbridge
For this fun Sale Linky Party

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Tour - It's Almost Done

I've been posting a few pictures as I've been working on my classroom over the last few weeks.  Well, it's nearly done.  Just a few minor things to do, but if they don't get done before the first day, no one will know (except me). I'll do some posts about some of the aspects more in depth next week.

Classroom View.  Everything's on the desks, ready to go. 

Starting at the door.  Class jobs, attendance and hall passes. See my post about the attendance board here

Other side of the door.  The crate is for turning in work, a wall calendar and community supplies.  Students receive a set of colored pencils, 3 regular pencils, 3 cap erasers, an expo marker and a felt eraser to keep in their pencil pouch a their desk.  Glue, scissors, markers and crayons are in the community totes.  Lined paper and rulers are on top of the shelf. 

White board and doc. camera.  Still need headings for the vocabulary and spelling columns on the board. The divider is black Washi tape.  Same thing I used on the attendance board. The left side of the board has my schedule and class behavior system.  The post about the map is here

Guided reading corner.  A kidney table sits just outside the picture.  My IKEA shelf for organization and dry-erase pockets to write each groups reading assignments on. 

My desk.  A few odds and ends still out to take care of.  I'm loving my new teacher tool-box (under the monitor) and the lined sticky note pad stuck to the closet side.  The shoe organizer is holding calculators.

Class library organized with labels from Ladybugs Teacher Files.  Boxes on top are the students book boxes with reading response journals, guided reading books and class library books to be housed in them. There's another shelf on the backside.

My "Helper"

Reading texts ready to grab when needed.  Students have a larger set of cubbies for their coats and backpacks.

On their desks: Binder, shower board dry erase board, student planner, two spiral notebooks (one for math and one for science, reading is kept in their book boxes.), pencil pouch. 
On each item, except the white board, I put a label with a number corresponding to the students' class number.  During open house the day before the first day of school, I ask students to write their names in the space to the right of the number.  This helps everyone keep track of items more easily.  

Now to take the rest of this week to plan curriculum.  I report back to school for contract on Monday, with students starting on Thursday.  Yikes!

How's your classroom preparation coming?  Share with us in the comments. 

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