Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oh, for the love of BINDERS!

Okay, okay. Even though I didn't love school as a kid, I did (and still do) love BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING!

Now that I am half city/half suburbs (read: I now have a car to drive to mega-stores and fill up instead of schlepping only as much as my two hands can carry on the NYC subway), I rushed to Target to stock up!

Holy moly, does Target have a ton of cute and fun things to help organize!

Here's what I got to keep me afloat and on top of things this year:

TEACHER BINDER: This is what I will take to and from school on a daily basis. I wanted something a little more fun and easily recognizable as my go-to binder, so I picked this adorable navy and pink patterned binder. Notice the fun polka-dotted binder clip to keep my calendar in place? YUP.

The first page will hold my class list and a list of all other classrooms in a clear sheet protector.

Then, I have dividers that separate sections like weekly planning calendars, important contacts (parents/staff), and a section for staff meeting and professional development notes.

SUBJECT BINDERS: Each binder represents a different subject, including Math, Reading, Writing/Word Study, and Social Studies.

Each binder has a clear sheet protector with my (tentative--how quickly plans/schedules can change!) calendar of lessons in that subject for the month. Then, there is a section for lesson plans, a section for worksheets, and a section for homework sheets.

STUDENT INFO BINDER: This one's a biggie! It contains a section for each child in my classroom. This is where I will hold all of the parent questionnaires that were sent out prior to school starting, as well as any other notes I take about students (academic/social/emotional) as the year goes on. This will (hopefully) prove helpful for conferences and report writing! In the back, I have lined notebook paper to jot down any informal notes that I can put into each student's section. I also have copies of a
"Parent Contact Sheet" in the back. I use these to document any communication with a parent regarding an issue in the classroom. This also goes into the student's section...hopefully I won't need TOO many of these :-/

Here's that contact sheet:

  Parent Contact Log

Name:                          Parents:                      

Phone:                         Email:                        
















PORTABLE FILE FOLDER: How cute and stripey is this little guy? Not totally sure how I will use this, but I can see pulling out a student section or two when I need to write reports/do conference notes at home and don't want to lug the entire student info binder home. I could also stick assignments that need to be graded in here if I need to do those at home too (although I am praying I get most things done before I go home each day).

DAILY FOLDERS: I am constantly looking on Pinterest for organization ideas. I saw someone use a dish drying rack as a file folder holder. GENIUS! I picked up a simple white dish drying rack (and realized that the utensil container is perfect for holding pens/pencils/paper clips!)

I bought file folders for each day of the week, plus one folder for copies (6 folders altogether). Whatever worksheets/homework sheets/parent letters are going out that day will live in that day's folder. The copy folder is for anything that needs to be xeroxed.

CLIPBOARD: I wanted a clipboard for writing down anecdotes during student work-times and to take notes during staff meetings. I didn't want just ANY clipboard, though. I found a regular, boring brown clipboard...and then I found PATTERNED PACKING TAPE! What?!?! I immediately snatched up two different patterns (lime green and white chevron and blue and white leaves) and got to work creating a funky, fun clipboard to carry around with me. Viola!

PHEW! Let's hope this makes the school year a little less hectic!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And It Begins...

The last week of summer is here :(

But, I am excited to begin setting up my classroom at the end of this week. Unfortunately, I have to wait until they install my new carpets, but I'm getting in there on Thursday! Yay!

I snuck in today to take some "before" photos of my new classroom. Take a look:

 My classroom isn't very high-tech! I'm actually one of the few teachers who has a white-board instead of a chalkboard!

 I'm hoping to make this loft area a cozy reading nook with pillows.
 Student cubby room. My students are REQUIRED to bring wellies and a change of clothes in the event that they get wet in the creek during recess! LOVE that!

I'm pretty sure this is going to be our meeting corner/read aloud area.

Stay tuned for the "after"! And please, any suggestions for set up ideas are much appreciated :)


Hello there!

My name is Hilary, and I am a 2nd/3rd grade teacher outside of Philadelphia, PA

I recently moved to the area after teaching and living in fabulous (and expensive!) NYC. I am also recently married :)

I wanted a space to keep my thoughts and plans organized in the form of a fun, informative blog!

I hope to provide all of you out there with ideas for classroom set up, organization, and lesson plans (along with extra-curricular posts--cooking/baking, fashion,!)  

I call this blog "City Teacher/Country Teacher" because although I love living in cities, the school where I am teaching this year is out among acres of fields and bubbling creeks, which I also enjoy!

Thanks for visiting!
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