Hello everyone! In case you haven’t heard, I am going back to the classroom next year! I am super excited! I have spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at ideas to decorate and organize my new room! I must also confess that I have been to several dollar stores and Targets as well as buying things from neighbors on beg barter Facebook groups. I know it seems early and I see some of my friends are upset about the back to school stuff being out in stores, but I am excited to get back and don’t want to wait until the last minute to get it all together!
First up, look at these colorful totes I found in the Target Dollar Spot (I might have gone to a few Targets to get the colors I wanted)! The labels were FREE from The Hungry Teacher.
Also, I found the triangles for a welcome banner using letters I already had! I am planning on adding some black and white polka dot ribbon to make finishing touches!
How cute are these colored clothes pins??? I think I will use them on this string to hang student work!
I also found these pencil cups and used FREE labels to prep them!
I was planning on making tissue paper pom poms, but lucked out at the dollar store and found these!
Should I hang them from the ceiling or use them to make truffula trees?
Last, but not least, these Dr. Seuss posters were a steal… All 6 for $1 at the Target Dollar Spot!!! The Seuss stickers were also $1 for each pack.
Here are a few rooms that I have been looking at for inspiration:
And, don’t worry, I have not forgotten to prepare for the ACADEMICS! All this cute decor is fine and fun, but we do need to think about content and curriculum! Look at my last post to see all the fun games I have been making for my 4th graders!
Want to see more? Check out my Pinterest Board:
What in the world do you do with early finishers? This is a big question for teachers! I think it is important to teach your students to check their work when finished. Teaching students to improve their work when they think they are finished is a valuable lesson. But, after that, there are always going to be a handful of students who will finish their work sooner than the rest of the class. So, back to the question … What do you do? Sitting and waiting for the rest of the class to finish or doing busy work can be very boring and is not giving these students a chance to continue learning. Here are some of my favorite ideas for early finishers!
Set up a system for students so they can find out what to do without disrupting the class or asking you while you are helping other students. I love this display that can be set up at the front of the room. The signs can be switched out depending on what you want the students to do each day.
Make sure your students know your expectations so they are not off task or disruptive. This poster is a great example and it is free! You could also make an anchor chart.
Have a place to organize the materials and supplies the students need for the activities to minimize questions such as “where do I get paper for _____ …. ?”
Extension menus are great for independent work. I like this reading menu, but you could make a menu for any subject. For example, if you are working on place value you could have a menu with place value activities for students to choose from.
Bulletin boards such as Boggle or Noggle can be fun! You can change the numbers or letters out every week or two. You could even put some students in charge of updating the board and making the answer key!
Stem Bins are a great hands on activity. Lots of fun while building reasoning skills.
Partner games and centers are a way to let your students interact with others while practicing skills.
Computer games and websites can be great learning tools. Make sure you set procedures up for how to get online and which sites students will go. Here are some of my favorites!
For more great ideas check out my early finishers board on Pinterest!
Task Cards Save Paper: Using task cards can cut down on the number of copies and paper used because you don’t need to make a set for each student and if laminated or kept in protective sleeves, they can be used for years without printing new copies.
Task Cards Increase Engagement: They add to student engagement because they add novelty. Paper and pencil practice is certainly useful, but can become dull and routine. Using dry erase markers on a task card can mix things up a bit. Also, task cards can be printed with fun colors and clip art to add interest for the students.
Centers and or Work Stations – Print cards and keep in small containers or baggies. Have students work in pairs or groups solving problems on task cards and recording on a record sheet. I like using record sheets for two reasons. One, the students are more likely to stay on task if they know they will have to turn something in at the end of the center. And, the other reason, I like to look over the record sheets to see if students need re-teaching or extra help with the skill/concept worked on in the center. If you do not have a lot of copy paper you can always have students use notebook paper to create a record sheet. Have them write the name of the center on the paper and then number or letter their answers.
Whole Class Cooperative Groups – My suggestions for whole class would be the same as for work stations & centers except you would need one set of task cards for each table group. After learning or reviewing a concept with whole class, the students could work on the cards with their table groups. After the group work you could have a class discussion about the task cards as a way to wrap up. Another whole class activity which would require only one set of task cards is a “Scoot” or circuit. To set up a Scoot you have a different task card on each desk and have the students work in pairs rotating around the set of task cards in numerical or alphabetical offer. Some teachers will set a timer for scoot and others will let students move as they finish. For a FREE “Scoot Record Sheet” that can be used with any set of task cards, click here.