Sunday, August 18, 2013

Catching up with Teacher Week '13 Now Teach!

It has been a hectic week getting ready for school to start tomorrow and I have fallen behind on my posts. So, I am taking this rainy day to play catch up. Here we go...

Now Teach! Organizing for Instruction

Lesson Plans

I use a template that I found on Jessica Meacham's wonderful website years ago, here! It has worked for me for the past six or seven years. I like using the different fonts for different subjects, it helps me find the plan I might be look for. Plus, it's just cute! 

Daily Lesson Materials
Beside my teaching area I have a six drawer container. The top drawer is labels Teacher Materials. I keep markers, seating charts, sight word cards and anything else that I use on a daily basis. The next five drawers are labeled with the days of the week. In each drawer I have the books, worksheets, and most other materials I will need for the day. I put them in the drawer in the order I will be using them. This has really helped me eliminate the need to continuously checking my lesson plans for what I should be doing next. 

Weekly Plans
To keep my stress level down, I TRY to plan a few weeks in advance. Right now I have planned through the end of September and I hope to be able to stay ahead all year. It doesn't always work out this way but one can hope! In the past I used a large basket and file folders separating the days. This year, I am trying something new. I took my old daily planning containers that were in the top of my closet, painted them black and numbered them. Now number 1 holds next week's plan and most of the materials I will need. If I need to pull something extra, I have placed a sticky note on the counter in front of the box. I think this is going to work well. Fingers crossed!!!

Organizing My Kiddos

In order to keep me and 20+ five year olds organized, we use a lot of different methods. 

F.R.O.G. Folders (inspired by Jessica Meacham's Bee Books)
F.R.O.G. is an acronym for        
Fully Responsible 0rganized and Growing.

This folder houses EVERYTHING students and parents need to keep up-to-date with what is going on at school.  Folders should be sent to school daily! Students who do not have their folders two days in a row will move their pins to yellow.

Gone are the days of wrinkled papers and lost notes, newsletters, or calendars.  No more searching the house to find paper in order to write a note to school.  Everything you need is in one notebook!

FROG folders are important!  They help students to establish good organizational skills - skills that can carry on throughout their time in school.


This pencil pouch will house money for book orders, lunch, milk, and field trips. Don’t forget to send money is sealed envelopes labeled with your child’s name, my name, what the money is for, and how much money is enclosed. If you are sending lunch money please add your child’s lunch number to the envelope as well.
Front & Back Pockets

School notes, field trip permission slips, and completed work, will be placed the front pocket.  Please check for items that need to be filled out and sent back. In the back pocket you will find your child’s behavior contract. Please review and initial EVERYDAY! *Class newsletters will be available online and thru email. A paper copy will only be sent if requested.
Monthly Calendar

Each month I will put our classroom calendar in the front sheet protector of the FROG folder. This will list almost everything going on in our class or at DES.
Please leave this in the folder extra copies will be sent by email & are online!
ABC Chart /
Sight Words

Your child will learn many high frequency words in Kindergarten.  We call these words sight words. A listing of our sight words is included in the FROG folder (behind the calendar) for review at home.  This will be updated monthly!
FAt-home practice is highly beneficial (and recommended)!

A schedule will be kept in a plastic sheet protector for you to reference, when needed.  Please note that the schedule is tentative and subject to change. If you are interested in visiting our class, please schedule a time. We love visitors!!
Class List /
Contacts Page

Ways to contact me and other staff members will be shared on the contacts page.  Please keep the contact’s page and class list in the FROG folder.  It will be updated, if necessary, during the course of the year.
Parent Notes

I will provide notebook paper in each folder. This paper is for you to write any questions, comments, concerns to me. I will respond back either on the same sheet or on a different page. If it is an urgent question or concern, email is the fastest way to get in touch with me.

Student Paper Trays 
I seem to have missed these when taking pics! But, if you look real close on the left side of the picture, you might be able to see them.
I use the clear plastic office paper trays. I use binder clips clipped onto the front of each tray to label the tray with the kiddos names. 
After I check the kiddos F.R.O.G. Folders, they put them in their paper tray. During the day, any completed work goes in the tray. Any notes from me or the office is put in the tray by my folder helper. At the beginning of the year, I pack the folders but by November or so, I have taught them to pack their own folders. 

Attendance / Lunch Choice Promethean Flipchart

As the kiddos come in, they move the frog with their name to choose it they are getting a lunch tray or if they brought their lunch box. Any names left at the bottom tell me who is absent. They love using the Promethean board and it takes one thing off my to do list in the morning. 

These are my favorite organizational tools! What are some of yours? Let us know in the comments section.

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