Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clean Up, Clean Up!!

One full day left until we head back to school! I will miss sleeping in, definitely, but I am pretty excited to go back!!! Remind me that I said this at 6:30 AM on Thursday..............

Today I went with my cousins, Kelley and Lisa (check out their photo blogs!), to clean up and organize my room a bit. I'm excited about Clutter-Free Classroom's organizing challenge that will start up soon, so we went in today to get a head start, and also to get some little activities and things ready for Thursday and the following days.

The most important project of the day was my giant metal cabinet in my coatroom. Before today it was PACKED, and I mean packed - like things fell out when I opened it. I've mentioned before about the previous teachers and their hoarding tendencies, and this was no exception! I wish I would have taken a "before" picture, but here is the after picture!
Now it holds all of my extra textbooks that I'm using now, as well as the ones I guess I'll be using next year!! All of this beautifulness is thanks to my cousins. They emptied the closet and sorted the stuff into "keep", "toss", and "donate." I could not have this lovely metal cabinet without them!

They also got my hallway ready for New Year's resolutions! And helped make samples of Reagan's math quilts for January! I am going to die from the cuteness when we do them, seriously. I should have taken a picture... oh wells. You will see the finished product soon enough!!

I also made benchmark books from Reading A-Z so I can complete one of my own resolutions - figuring out my students' reading levels!! As I was copying and assembling those bad boys, I was thinking that the books seemed really hard for the levels they were supposed to be! I guess we'll give it a shot!

Last thing - a while back, I read about XtraMath on Kristen's blog.
I have been doing timed tests on paper with the kids, which they love doing. There are nine "levels" of paper tests, and when my first students passed all nine levels perfectly, I started her on XtraMath and everyone else followed suit within a few days. They seem to really like doing this.

I asked the kids to work on XtraMath over the winter break, and I've had 2 girls practicing. I'm trying to think of a good way to reward them without making the other students feel bad.... because I know it probably was not their fault that they didn't practice, considering they are 5 and 6 years old! Any suggestions??


  1. Hooray! I'm glad you have a clutter-free home for your textbooks now! Thank you for mentioning us :)

  2. Hey do you want me to make the mittens for you? I can scan you a blackline so all you do is cut. I think I will be making all 12 die cuts as blacklines for teachers that don't have the die cut machine and I will update the quilt pack. I am happy to make your mittens today and scan them tonight!
    Let me know!!! We are doing the quilt today!

  3. Good job on cleaning out your cabinet! Reading A-Z is great and I find it is right on level if you look at other Fountas and Pinnell A-Z books. If you go to Scholastic Book Wizard you can level you entire library this way to help your students pick good fit books! Hope you have a great week back!

    Rambling About Reading

  4. I use XTra Math with my kids and they love it - and so do the parents! :) Lisa
    First Class with Mrs. Mac

  5. We do something called a "Chair Cheer!" This is when the kids who have earned it, stand on their chair, not their desk, the door is closed, and everyone gets to yell, scream, bang on their desks, or do what ever they can to make noise! They love it and it makes those who have earned it feel real special. The next level to this reward is they stand on their desk and the class cheers for them. Finally if they reach another level, they stand on MY desk and everyone cheers for them! It's a hoot and it seems to fit perfect for my 2nd graders. You could also take their picture and put it in the hallway on a Wall of Fame area.

  6. Great job cleaning! Before coming an administrator, I remember days and days of cleaning and organizing my classroom. Now, I do the same with my office! I'm one of your newest followers and hope that you will follow me as well!


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