Monthly Archives

June 2016

Teacher Toolboxes

Teacher toolboxes are all over the web. I first saw them when I was teaching my first year and I fell in love. I made one for myself and for every teacher on my team to thank them for being so amazing!

Here are the ones I made for my third grade teammates: a two-toned purple theme, a crazy polka dot theme, a blue and purple theme, a green and white polka dot theme, and a NC State one for a NC State fan πŸ™‚

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The pictures aren’t the best quality since they are from 2013!

 

Here’s the one I made for myself. I still have it today! It’s blue and pink with polka dots!

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I struggle with organization a lot.Β So a few weeks ago, I decided to grab two more to make things run a little smoother in my classroom. This time, I got larger toolboxes with drawers that have equal-sized containers.

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The first teacher toolbox I made was filled with coupons that students earn each time they reach 100 dojo points on Class Dojo. For the past three years, I’ve kept them on a list in a drawer. When students got a coupon, I had to dig through a big box to find the one they wanted. My students love the new system and it’s very easy for them to choose the coupon they’d like.

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The second toolbox I made was filled with my student’s technology supplies. My class always seemed to forget their passwords to the different sites we use, lose their earbuds for technology centers, and library tags got lost or broken on a daily basis when I used a pocket chart to organize their tags. When I realized a toolbox could hold all of those things, I was eager to move forward with the idea.

My students now keep their earbuds, library tag, and a list of all of their passwords inside their number. It’s made my life easier already!

Now that the idea of using teacher toolboxes for all types of supplies has dawned on me, I may end up making a few more this year! Have you ever used a teacher toolbox for something other than its original purpose? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Classroom Organization, Uncategorized

What is Year-Round School?

 

About Me

Hi!Β My name is Lindsay and I teach at a year-round school in a small town in North Carolina. I’m about to finish up my third year in third grade in t-minus 7 days. IΒ loveΒ third graders and the material I get to teach! It’s the perfect age. The students are old enough to be able to work independently and handle more responsibility while they are still young enough to appreciate the “fun stuff”. πŸ™‚

I graduated with a dual bachelor’s degree in both Elementary Education (K-6) and Special Education (K-12). I’m also certified to teach Middle School Mathematics. I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, spending time with my miniature dachshunds, and I enjoy creating TPT products in my spare time. My store:Β https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Lifetime-Learner

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What is Year-Round School?

I teach third grade like many teachers around the country, but my school is always interesting to the people I meet because of the way we operate. I work at a year-round school that over 1000 students attend. Β We teach for nine weeks, and then we get three weeks off. There are four tracks of students that are all going to and from school at different times of the year. We do not get a long summer break, but shorter breaks throughout the year.

I’m on Track 3 at my year-round school, which means I get three weeks off in August, November, January, and April. Different tracks get different time periods off. Only three tracks go to school at a time. Each time I track-out and get a vacation, another track is coming back from their vacation. When I come back from my track-out, another track will get to go on their vacation/track-out.

The Good and the Bad

It’s an interesting schedule to have. There are pros and cons to both a year-round schedule and a traditional schedule, but I personally Β prefer the year-round calendar. There are two teachers on every track at my school on each grade level. That means there are eight third grade teachers on my grade level. Every three weeks, one track goes out and another comes in. It can get a little hectic having to change things every few weeks, but it also keeps us organized. We test our remediation students every three weeks to see what skills they will need to work on. We change who takes notes at PLT and who has certain duties every time a track comes in. We also help the teacher tracking in each three weeks to re-set-up their classroom year-round.

Every time a track comes back from a track-out, they are moving into the room of the teacher that is about to track-out to go on vacation. This means that we change classrooms every nine weeks after each track-out or vacation. When it’s time for my track-out, I pack up my room (all of my supplies, books, my classroom library, math stations, and personal teaching supplies) and move them into an empty classroom called the track-out room. The teacher tracking in then moves all of their things out of the track-out room and into my classroom. At first, it bothered me a little. But after a year, I realized that packing up my room every nine weeks was helping me stay organized year-round and not become a hoarder. πŸ™‚

Third grade at my school teaches in a POD. This is a large module of six classrooms that are all attached together (like a big trailer with 6 classrooms and a bathroom inside). We only need six classrooms because just six of us are tracked-in at any time. We meet as a team for PLT every Wednesday and plan/talk about data together. My third grade team is awesome and I love working with them. At a year round school, who you’re working with changes every three weeks so everything and everyone stays very fresh. The only person you see year-round and that has the same schedule/vacations as you is your trackmate. This is a person who is on the same track as you and is on the same grade level. I think it works nicely that each of us on the four tracks has a trackmate who teaches with us the entire year and then five other teammates that we see for 3/4 of our time over the course of the year.

Our school starts at the beginning of July and ends at the end of June. This means that my third graders will finish third grade next week, have the fourth of July week off, and then begin fourth grade the following week! We call it cl-opening at my school because we have to close up the last year and prepare for the new one in only one week before our new third graders arrive for their first day of school. Talk about a quick turn around!

Every track is a little different during this crazy time. One track gets some time off in July before they start in early August. One track got time off in June so they feel fresh as well. I’ll only have a new batch of third graders for three weeks before I get some vacation time. It’s crazy and weird and strange and hectic and yet, I love it.Β 

Have you ever heard of year-round school? Do you prefer traditional or year-round? Leave a comment below!

Uncategorized