Classroom Reorganization

I’ve been doing some reorganizing in my classroom making way for some changes for the new year. 

Big changes.

That I hope are successful. 😁

Got my student computers numbered and up and going for some independent computer time on Moby Max. I’ve got to figure out the rotation system for 25-27 kids in each class. 

Yes the team signs are crooked, but a sweet student put them up for me. 😊 Students sit in groups of 5-6. Their team starts out with 20 points on Mondays. They can gain and lose points. See the chart below the bulletin board. I have also made 2 charts for students to refer to when testing. 

BIG work in progress. Actually I need to get started. πŸ˜‚ The drawers will be for math games, worksheets for the skills we learn throughout the year. Once the students identify what skills they haven’t mastered (we will do this when we go back in January) they will choose the appropriate game/activity sheet. They will have a folder where they record evidence of what they do each day during this time.

Turn in tray for notes, excuses. The 3 stackable black trays are the turn in trays for each class for tests/quizzes. If they don’t finish a test they put it in their unfinished class folder to finish later. Below those folders are the homework check clipboards for each class.

Behind my desk. May not look great, but it’s better than it was!!! 

Whew! I’ve still got a lot of thinking and preparation to do before January. 😁

3 Best Classroom Ideas

These are 3 of the best things in my 1st grade classroom this year!!!

1. Pencil management: Put your dull pencil in and take a sharp one


2. Classroom jobs: We have ONE friend of the week who does all the jobs for that week


3. Behavior chart: Focus on the positive- not just the negative


These are keepers!!!

What’s your keeper?

More About Our Friday Agenda Day

I use Fridays as our assessment days. They get an agenda that morning for all that they are required to do before the end of the day. I go over it with them. They can work at their own pace and in any order they choose. Some things are individual and some are partner/group if they want. I walk around helping and talking with them. They can do the assignments on paper or computer. I created a gmail for our class so we use google documents on google drive. They have must dos and then can choose from a list of things if they finish.

Lots of discussion, collaboration, thinking, planning going on!

This is my favorite day of the week! Lol!



One student today said he wished he could do this ALL the time! πŸ™‚

Classroom Icebreaker Activity

To help my 5th and 6th graders get comfortable having group discussions I have found a FANTASTIC ACTIVITY!

Hop on over to Kim’s wonderful blog Joy in 6th Grade and grab a copy for your classroom.

When I started teaching 6th grade 2 years ago I just assumed (yes, I know) they would be able to work in groups and discuss things. Especially since we are a small school (K-12 420 students), and they have been going to school together since Kindergarten. NOPE! It still has to be taught. This activity will help do just that.

What other classroom community activities do you use?

What other things do you do to teach your students how to work together and talk?

Monday Made It Linky Party

The Monday Made It Linky Party is here again. It’s hosted by Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics. It’s a neat way to find cool projects that other teachers are making and to share what you make. Β Sometimes there are non-teacher related things as well. πŸ™‚

I have finally made what so many others have ALREADY made!

1. A to do list in a frame to keep on my desk at school. I’ll use a dry erase marker to write on the glass of the frame and erase it when it’s done! I didn’t add a cute bow like everyone else-BECAUSE I’M NOT CRAFTY! πŸ™‚

To Do List template printable:

2. Toolbox storage-The students will know EXACTLY where to find things.

Here are some labels I created:

Tool Box Labels

3. Dear Students Frame-Not sure if I’m going to put this on my whiteboard or on a shelf.

I want to give credit to the people who came up with these great ideas so here’s the link to my Classroom Management pinterest board:

Hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the crafty things that this non-crafty person made. πŸ™‚

I’m pooped!


Stop bullying

I am definitely going to put this into my lesson plans for the 1st week of school from now on. It was an attention grabber! I did this the last week of school with my 6th graders, and I believe it hit home.

1st we discussed what bullying is and the many forms of it as well as their thoughts on bullying. Then I had everyone take a piece of paper and ball it up without tearing it and then flatten and smooth it back out. I told them that all of those creases are an example of mean things that are said and done to a person. They had to tell the piece of paper they were sorry. Did the scars go away? No, they never do! Pretty powerful. I got that idea from someone’s pin on pinterest. You can see where I pinned it by going here:

Then I showed them a youtube video on bullying. This is one that makes me tear up EVERY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to make them understand that bullying is a REAL thing with REAL consequences.

I think it got their attention.

I had them do a little writing about bullying after that.

This is a must do lesson for all upper grades. One to revisit again and again!

What kind of lessons do you use for putting a stop to bullying?


Classroom reward system

I’ve had a request from a fellow blogging teacher to know more about my classroom reward system so here it is in a nutshell! My coworker and I do this as a whole class reward system (he uses paperclips, I use dry blackeyed pea seeds). The S.E.E.D. idea came from a K-8 Teaching magazine several, several years ago-however, my coworker was already using the paperclip system when I moved from Kindergarten to 6th grade last year, and it has ALWAYS worked for him!

Here is the actual explanation for the acronym in a word document:


Here’s the way it works:

We MODEL, MODEL, MODEL the 1st week of school our procedures, routines, and rules for our classroom and transitioning times. I mean, we MODEL and PRACTICE OVER and OVER!! Just ask the kids!! πŸ™‚

The actual SEED part of it is for our transition times-For example, anytime that we are in a line outside the classroom(my kids never line up in the classroom, there’s not enough room) whether we are going to the bathroom, lunch, swapping classes, etc. they have to be in a straight line and NOT talking. We always have 2 students that act as hall monitors that are responsible for doing what I, the teacher, would do: Keep them in line and quiet. The hall monitors are responsible for getting a student’s number if they break a rule and writing it in our behavior boxes on the board when we return to the room. (They can remember all of this A LOT better than we can) πŸ™‚

Periodically, the class will earn a seed for good behavior, good transitioning, or when another adult compliments their behavior. We put the seeds in a clear box that I have attached to the classroom wall with velcro. When they reach 20 seeds (hasn’t happened this year yet) then they will receive a reward-maybe a popsicle party, extra time on the playground, movie, etc.

They can also LOSE seeds for misbehavior, and BOY do the get upset with the student or students that cause that to happen! πŸ™‚

Our transition times are REALLY quiet-I’m not saying that we never have to say something to them while they are in line (we all know life is NOT perfect), but it is not a battle! These times are some of our most peaceful throughout our day! πŸ™‚

Right now I think that one of my classes is at 9 seeds while the other class is at about 6 seeds. But let’s just say that I actually don’t reward them like I should or they would have already met the 20 seed requirement! They know that they CAN’T ask for a seed!!!

Hope this explains it a little!

Behavior Boxes

Someone had asked me about the behavior boxes in my classroom pictures so I though I would devote an entire post to them. It’s a simple idea that my co-worker thought of, and it has worked fabulously for him for 8 years in 6th grade.

Here’s a picture (nothing fancy): They are at the top of the whiteboard on the right side of the screen.

Here is the screen shot of our discipline plan:

You can upload it here:

Discipline Plan

AND, here is a quick explanation. All you need is a small space on your whiteboard to section off 4 boxes.

The 1st time that a student gets into trouble THEY have to write their name in the 1st box. The 2nd time-name goes in the 2nd box, 3rd time- in the 3rd box, and the 4th time-in the 4th box. Very simple! It is seems to be pretty powerful to have the student write their name instead of the teacher writing their name, because the whole class is watching them walk up to the board and back. In face, most of the time it’s pretty embarrassing to the student.

You can read about the actual steps that we take each time in our discipline plan above. This is all about our individual discipline that we administer. We also have a Whole Class Reward system that we implement, and buddy let me tell you-IT IS VERY EFFECTIVE!!!


Each time we or someone else(principal or other teacher, etc.) compliments the “whole class” or the class exhibits good behavior they earn a seed. Yep, just a weensy teensy dry blackeye pea seed. When they earn a seed one of the students gets to put it in their box on the wall. Here’s a picture of the seed boxes:

Β Look in the section that has pink border around it-the seed boxes are the 2 plastic boxes attached to the wall by velcro(next best thing to sliced bread)-1 box for my homeroom class and 1 box for Mr. Brady’s homeroom class.

When a class earns 20 seeds they get some type of reward that they vote and decide upon.

BUT REMEMBER-seeds can also be taken away, and this is where whole class AND individual behavior comes into play. So I tell them that is up to them-they have complete control over how many rewards (if any) their class earns in a year!!

That’s all folks!!




Classroom management mistake#1

Classroom management is an often used term by administrators and everyone else on the planet. It is essentially how you manage your classroom and your students. It includes rules, procedures, routines, classroom jobs, etc., etc., etc.-all the way down to the way your kids turn their tests in to you.

We know we are supposed to have “good” classroom management for our rooms to run smoothly. We all want that. I think we all strive for that. But do we accomplish that? At what point do we make the wrong decision just to have everything come crashing down around us for the rest of the year?? I just found an article that says it happens on the 1st day of school. YIKES!! What????

It’s a simple mistake that I believe we are all guilty of at one time or another. Here’s how to identify it and change it! Read on.