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Friday, October 19, 2012

Three Favorites

I learned way back when, that the best way to find great ideas for my classroom, was by visiting my peers. I read teaching magazines and visited as many teachers as I was able to, during my teaching practicums and student teaching placement.  I have to say... there is no magazine that can replace visiting many, many classrooms. Welcome to mine :)

My Three favorites:

Can I go to the bathroom?
I am sure I heard this question about a zillion times. I used a log, bathroom passes, hand signals, common bathroom breaks... until...
Whooooo Went to the Bathroom and Who Went to the Library was born. (Straight from Pinterest - with a twist).
The inside of my door has two top hooks. In the beginning of the year the kids learn that only two kids (one for a boy and one for a girl) are allowed to use the bathroom (located in the hallway) and/or get a drink of water from the water fountain.

There is no need to ask for permission to go to the bathroom. Really???!!!!

The only rule: You can use the bathroom when the teacher is not doing a mini lesson, or when she is not  in the middle of her famous speeches :)

I have a basket with all their names (laminated owl notepad sheets with a ring). One for the boys, one for the girls. If they need to use the bathroom, they do not ask bug me, they just go.

The bottom 4 hooks are for 4 kids who are visiting the library. Four kids can visit the library (no boy/girl rule here) at the same time.  Again, they do not ask, they just go. The best times to go to the library are while we are doing morning work and snack time.

Did you bring...?
I had issues tracking when they kids returned a form the office needed, payment for a field trip, paid for their yearbook ... until...
My quick check off list was invented.
After I get my class list, I type their names in alphabetical order (first names only). It must be thin enough to fit into one of those long notebooks you find at Michael's Dollar bin.

I use this quick check off list when the kids are asked to bring a payment, when I finish writing their report cards, when I get field trip money... I pretty much use it for anything I need to make sure no one is forgotten.  This way I do not have have to flip through pages, forms, checks....
This is a quick way to see who needs to turn something in. Voila'!

Noisy Base Ten Blocks and Quick Erasing?
We use our noisy base ten blocks quite often. It is not fun hearing all the crashing of base ten blocks.

On the other hand, how long do your kiddos take to erase their work form their white boards?

Both problems solved :)
We have something called Red Carpets.  Michael's rectangular sheets of felt.  I drew the lines to separate the hundreds, tens and ones). Whenever you are ready to use Base Ten Blocks just pretend you are me: "Please use a red carpet and show me what you know about place value". :)

If you think black socks were just to keep your feet warm...let me tell ya'. They are the best white board erasers every invented! I purchased a dozen of black socks which they usually smell (as if I was going to give them my stinky socks). I promise you they clean the whiteboard in no time!

Any tips that make your life easier?


  1. I LOVE your check off list idea Tania! I have a clipboard but it is not as easy to flip through as a notebook would be, or as secure. Thanks for all of the great ideas!

    Second Grade Math Maniac
    Second Grade Freebies

  2. Those are great ideas, I do like the quiet base 10 blocks idea! I found you through another blog that you commented on and I had to pop over to check out your blog because we have the same name! Tania, it isn't that often you see it spelt with an i, usually a y I'm always telling people "Tania with an i". Anyway I am your newest follower!
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

    1. Nice name you got there! My family always said it was not very Mexican, but my mom loved it. I do too :)

  3. I use a checklist like this, but I haven't thought to put them in a notebook. Great idea! I bet a paper clip or binder clip takes you right to the current ones, too!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  4. Love your ideas. How did you create the checklist?

  5. Love love love the checkoff list idea! I have a daily checkoff list for assignments, etc, but it can be hard to keep track of things like payments or forms that can be due over a range of days. Thank you so much for the solution to that problem! <3


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