29 April 2014

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch

As the title of this post indicates, I'm sure I'm counting my chickens before they hatch, but for the first time since I started teaching, I have ZERO plans to switch schools, districts, states, grades, or classrooms!

That being said, I'm actually able to start thinking about next year, and {gasp} have even started planning and getting things ready.

For the past few weeks, I've been working on my Chevron Brights Collection of classroom decor items in my TpT store, and last night I began printing! To see my products come to life was THRILLING! Even more thrilling? Laminating them today at school. That's right, I laminated stuff for NEXT.SCHOOL.YEAR! (Is there always a line for the laminator at the beginning of the school year at your school?) For the first time EVER, I might just be able to get ahead of the game, instead of always feeling like I'm playing catch-up!

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you what I'm printing/laminating, and how I plan on using it!

For up, are my team signs. I have tried having students name their own teams (which usually results in something ridiculous like "The Flying Pickles" that I can't ever remember), and I've tried using colors, but somehow I get twisted on those too. The only fool-proof way to "label" teams, is for me to use numbers. I have six groups of 4 students each, so these signs work perfectly. I printed out two copies, and glued back-to-back. These will be hanging above each team.

If numbers aren't you thing, I do have the option to use colors instead. With either product, there are enough signs to have a total of 10 groups/teams. You can also mix and match the backgrounds like I did in the picture or choose to have all the backgrounds the same color.

I don't know about you, but I'm all about making things quick and easy. I learned, that while it doesn't seem like much, I don't want to have to take the time to write the day of the week, date, month, and year every.single.day. Instead, I have all the days of the week, months of the year, and even the year printed and backed with magnets, and the only thing I actually have to write is the number date. I just switch days and months as needed. Oh, and I ALWAYS have the next year printed and ready to go, because who wants to come back after a break and have to worry about writing the new year?!?

As with the team signs, you have the option to choose a single color scheme, or to mix and match like I did.

Next, are the "How Do You Get Home?" cards. I only printed the ones I needed, but there's lots of other choices included in the product. My sweets mode of transportation changes more than I change...well, it changes A LOT! Anyway, I need a way to keep track. My kiddos just move their clip to however they're getting home that day (as reflected on their transportation log). Easy.

I plan on using some cute ribbon to attach these together. I'll post the finished product. (Let's just focus on the fact that I have them printed AND laminated already!

I have ALWAYS used jobs in my classroom to help motivate my students, and to get them to start thinking more globally. You know, the world doesn't begin and end in the four walls of our classroom. Classroom jobs are a great way to get buy-in from you students, motivate students who may struggle academically or behaviorally, and ultimately, it keeps YOU from having to do every little job in the classroom. 

Side note - every student in my class has a job at all times. Not just 5 or 6 students. Seriously, try it. You will be amazed at how the dynamic of your changes. It takes a little time, and some practice. But the results are...wow!

Onward...In the past, I've used cards that have clip art on them (don't worry - they're still there!), but something about the simplicity of just the words really appealed to me. Should I realize that I miss the clip art, no worries...it's still included in the product! You choose!

I also printed out the calendar cards. I add the current date to the calendar each day. Special occasions take the place of numbers. My students LOVE seeing birthday cards, holiday cards, and even things like April Fool's Day, and so on. 

The last two things I got ready for next year, are my birthday certificates, and student of the week certificates. While there are options to print color versions with classic {chevron brights} backgrounds, however, I have to make conscious choices about what I print in color. My school printer prints black and white only, and so I decided to print one copy of each in black and white (included in the product), and then I made a ton of copies on bright paper. Love how they turned out!

The birthday certificates also come with materials to create a birthday display bulletin board. I'll post more on that at another time.

Coming soon will be a Management Monday post all about how I do Student of the Week in my classroom!

So there you have it my friends. The start of getting ready for next year. It's such an amazing feeling, and I'm thrilled that after 4 years of teaching, I actually know what it feels like!

While this post had lots of links for the products I used, I thought it might be helpful to have them all in one place.

Happy Teaching!


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