Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School Organization & Free Labels

A friend of mine told me about this sweet little blog the other day and she happenw to be linking up with some other teachers to share some classroom ideas.  I am pretty excited to see what everyone comes up with.  It can be curriculum based or an organization tip, anything goes!  I just love finding little, simple things that make me say "why didn't I think of that?".

Since I have "back to school" on the brain I thought of just a couple easy things that make my life easier as the school year gets under way.

First - New student bags! 
 Last year I had the most transient class I've ever had.  I think I lost 6 six students during the school year and got 7 new ones.  That is crazy! (it made me crazy anyway)

I am hoping to have less of a shuffle this year, but anytime a new student creates a whirlwind of labels...and folders...and workbooks...and nametags...and lists that have to be made and remade.  And you know you always find out about these darlings joining your class about 5 minutes before they arrive!  As much as it stresses me out, I try so hard to be welcoming because I can't even imagine how those babies are feeling walking into a classroom where everyone already knows each other and knows what's going on.  It has to be overwhelming!  One thing that helps with the shock and chaos are new student bags! 

1. I am not in my classroom to take a picture unfortunately, but I just get one of the ginormous ziploc bags:

2. Slap a "New Student" Label on there
(print on 2x4 labels...Avery 8163)

3. Add an extra "everything" into the bag when you are preparing for your students.  I put nametags, parent paperwork, folders, workbooks, journals, etc.  I even put a pencil pouch, crayons, and scissors in there because usually when my new students get registered they come mid-morning when we have already started math and sometimes they just bring whatever they used at their old school which doesn't always match up.

4.  When a new student comes, you have everything at your fingertips ready to put their name on and put in their desk!

Next idea - Sticker Books!

I am extremely picky about my students' desks.  I like to teach them organization and make sure their desks stay tidy all year.  Of course, the desk fairy visits quite often (when she remembers...) so it's always a good idea to have your desk in tip top shape.  I use these small sterilite baskets as "drawers"  in their desks (fits perfectly!) to keep supplies (scissors, pencil pouch, crayons, "tickets", sorts, etc.)
Then, on the other side...they stack up their folders, notebooks etc.  One of the folders we keep in our desk is our "sticker book" which serves a couple purposes. I like to get the plastic folders because they will last all year.

 First of all, it is a place to store stickers that they collect from me during the year.  They like to keep them and it helps cut down on stickers being stuck to furniture and foreheads.  :)

Sorry for the yucky pictures! I snapped them quickly with my phone. :)

Finished & Unfinished sides
Our "sticker book" also is a place to store any loose papers that we are still working on.  We have a "finished" side and an "unfinished" side.  Sometimes I'm not ready to collect something, or we  start something and don't have a chance to finish before lunch, instead of shoving papers in their desk, we put it in our sticker book so it's nice and neat when it's time to get it back out. 

It makes it nice to be able to say "check your sticker book to see if you have anything to catch up on" when they finish something early or have been absent. 

My kiddos know that if they don't have anything to do, they should always check their sticker book first for unfinished work...then they can get their book box and read.

And if you don't use your sticker book properly and there are loose papers from last week jammed in your desk...and that "clean desk fairy" shows up...there will not be a starburst and glitter on your desk the next day.

'Cause the "clean desk fairy" is OCD. Trust me. I know her.

If you would like the labels to make your own sticker can grab them here.

I'll be back to share more as soon as I can see the floor of my spare bedroom. It is currently covered with manila folders, laminating film, and math games!! 

Here's a sneak peek at my giant bulletin board outside my room.

Unfortunately...the inside looks like this...





Mrs. Cupcake said...

I LOVE the sticker book idea!! I like that there's a place for kiddos to put their stickers, because I find them everywhere! I also like the finished/unfinished sides to prevent clutter and confusion. Perfect!
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Amy J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Christy said...

Cute bulletin board! I'm your newest follower. When you get a chance, hop on over and check out my new blog. Hope you have a great school year!
Christy :)
Mrs. Christy’s Leaping Loopers

Todd and Megan said...

Amy, I am currently at school, staring at my to-do list with a bajillion things on it, and reading your blog! I love it :) You're amazing...glad to see you are still as organized and rockstar-ish as you were when our assignments were a little different (i.e. making up a dance to Paula Abdul). Thanks to you and your new blog I was sucked into the teacher blog vortex for about 3 hours last night and I now have all kinds of projects to add to my list. Congrats! Miss you!

Amy J said...

Thank you Christy! I'm heading there now. :)

Amy J said...

What a sweet email to wake up to. (I'm not at school yet so I'm soaking in my last few days to get up when I want to!) Thank you Megi B! I had totally forgotten about our Paula Abdul jam. WOW...glad I had to pay back student loans for that! ;) I'm wishing you some sweet kiddos and a great year at school. Talk to you soon. Thanks again!!

Stephanie Richardson said...

I absolutely love your giant Ziploc bag idea and now I will be searching high and low for those. I just got a new student today and it is absolutely chaotic. I feel sorry for her! I just joined your blog and I'm looking forward to applying some of your ideas to my high school classroom. Feel free to stop by my blog at I'm certain I'll be posting about your Ziploc bag idea very soon. Thanks!

Amy J said...

Thanks Teri! I *love* my sticker books! It reminds me of when I was little...did you have a sticker collection too?? And I absolutely love that my first graders still get excited aboust stickers!

Amy J said...

Thank you Stephanie! I am headed over to your blog now to check it out. :) I have had the best luck finding the giant ziplocs at Target! I'm sure they are other places too though. Good luck with your new student (and all the rest!)

Anonymous said...

It's the best time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy.
I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice.
Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
I want to read more things about it!

Here is my web blog:

Anonymous said...

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I
have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In
any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I
hope you write again very soon!

Also visit my web site: buy property

Anonymous said...

I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality
articles or weblog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally
stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i'm satisfied to convey that I've
an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
I most indubitably will make certain to do not omit this web site and provides it a glance
on a relentless basis.

Visit my web site; great site

Anonymous said...

A person essentially assist to make severely articles I might state.
That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far?
I amazed with the research you made to create this particular put up
incredible. Great task!

Review my site :: found here

Anonymous said...

Saѵed as a favorіte, I love yоur ωеbѕіte!

mу pagе - exercise ball core workouts

Post a Comment