Friday, September 11, 2015

Five For Friday: 9/11/15

One of the best things about teaching is that every school year is a fresh start.  It's an opportunity to fine tune the craft and try something different to fix any issues.  And, if we're being honest, trying new things we see on Pinterest.

I decided to dedicate my Five for Friday to the new things I tried this year to share what worked and what didn't.

First up is my glue sponges.  I actually tried this the last month of school and loved it.  You can check out my pros and cons post here.

I was still a little hesitant to use on how it would go at the beginning of the year, but I have not used a single glue stick.

Stop the world. 

Your bank account will thank you.

Verdict: Do it!

I saw dry erase wall decals on Pinterest.  I thought they would go perfectly on my guided reading table.

They look pretty and I've only used the dry erase portion for a tutoring session.

I wasn't too impressed.  

But I do like how they designate a specific spot at a table. #personalspace

Verdict: Save your cash.

Last year I started making better use out of my interactive notebooks. I had always used a math notebook and a poetry journal, but I jumped on the band wagon and made things more interactive.

I combined some journals this year.  My students have a reading (it includes a dictionary, phonics skills, grammar, and reading responses), math, social studies/science, and Bible notebook.

I wanted the students to be able to find their spots quickly and keep everything in order.  I hot glued a ribbon on the back and made an easy bookmark.

The students are able to find their page quickly and they feel "grown-up" having a bookmark in their notebooks.

Verdict: Must Do!

I added lamps to my classroom.  I had been wanting to do this for years, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money.

I lucked out by finding these lamps at Wal-Mart for $10.96 each.

I also found these lights on clearance for $7 at Target this summer.

I usually keep my overhead lights on during the first half of the day and turn them off in the afternoon.

Honestly, I'm turning them off all of the time anyhow for our brain breaks on GoNoodle, so why not keep them off all of the time!

Verdict: Must Do!

Band-aids.  For those real wounds and not so real wounds.

I didn't tell my class this up front, but I put a container of band-aids at the back of the room.  When someone asked, I told them where to get one.

I really thought if I told the students up front, they would have to suddenly get band-aids all the time.  You know those classes, right?

They manage to open and put the band-aids on just fine by themselves.