Today I am going to share two ideas that have worked well for me this school year. The first is an organizational idea I got off of Pinterest. It involved organizing my markers and colored pencils in drawers marked by color. I bought the drawers at Target and created labels for them. Since we share markers and colored pencils in my classroom, as students brought their school supplies in I had a couple of student helpers put the markers and colored pencils into the proper drawer.
This has worked like a dream! The students have full access to their materials all day long. It makes starting and ending art projects very simple. I had a few drawers left over, so I labeled them for glue sticks, scissors and math templates. This is definitely a star idea.
My second idea involves giving students more time to complete their assignments. This year, I decided to allow my early finishers to use task cards. I had never used them before, however, they are allowing me to actively engage my higher achieving students while allowing my average to below average students proper time to finish their work. This idea is helping to cut down on frustration and behavior issues among all of my students. Throughout the day, everyone knows which activity they should be working on. I also have more time to get around and help more students, because I do not have to end the activity early simply because half of the class has finished it and begun causing a disruption.
My dream for this fall, was to integrate more fun into my lessons. I teach second grade, and idioms are always difficult at this age range, especially for ELL students. So, I created a Johnny Appleseed lesson on Idioms and turned it into a fun pop up book. My students LOVED it! They actually can’t wait to work with the rest of the tall tales as a result. For more ideas about how I set up my classroom, check out How to look fabulous without spending a fortune.