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classroom

Tires in the Classroom

Instagram is my newest obsession lately. There are so many inspiring ideas on the site! I found the idea of painting tires for my classroom on @cootiesandcuties Instagram page. Using the tires in the classroom has been a big hit!  I posted about how my tires came out and lots of people had questions about how to do it.  Here’s my step by step guide.

How to Paint Tires to Use in the Classroom:

Step 1: Lay a tarp in the back of your car. You don’t want grease from the tires in your car!

Step 2: Call car repair shops and ask if they’ll donate old tires to your classroom. When I called a local one, they said they had over 100 to choose from each week and I could have the pick of the lot! It was awesome!

Step 3: I took them to the local car wash and put in $5 to get 10 minutes worth of suds. I hosed them down till all the grease and grime was gone.

Step 4: Let them dry out for 24 hours.

Step 5: Buy your spray paint. I got the brand shown in the picture above. It worked fine on the pink, yellow, green, and blue tires. The purple tire was a little off. More on that later.

Step 6: Put your tires up on a piece of wood or a brick so their not flat on the ground. Make sure you spray in the yard and not on concrete! I spray painted the top at about 1:00 in the afternoon and flipped them over at 4:00 pm to do the bottoms. I let them dry in the yard for 24 hours. It only took one can of paint for each tire. I bought two for each tire and got to return half of the spray paint to Home Depot!

Step 7: After the first 24 hours, I let them dry for a week on my screen-in-porch. I wanted to make absolutely sure that those tires were not going to get paint on my kiddos’ clothes but it was hard to wait to bring those tires in the classroom!

Step 8: A week later, the tires were ready to go! The tires in the classroom look FANTASTIC! The only issue I had was bringing in the purple one. It was flaky and the paint was peeling off though I hadn’t done anything different to it. I had my kids take it out to recess one day this week and shake it, throw it, and pummel it a bit to make sure all of the excess paint was off of it. Though the bottom of the purple tire’s uncolored now, it’s been doing fine since we did that. I’m guessing the purple tire was different because it’s a larger tire and probably a different brand than the others. The paint reacted different on it and didn’t bond quite as well.

Overall, the project only cost me about $35 total! Both my students and I LOVE the new additions to our classroom! They make great alternative seating when we are working around the room and are very popular when we are doing independent reading.  I think that it doesn’t matter what kind of paint you get at the store too! I did a lot of reading online before tackling this project and all sorts of brands work. Painting tires seems to be a kind of guess and check system to see if the tires you get will work with the paint you buy. If you decide to take this on, best of luck to you!! 🙂

Follow me on Instagram for more teacher tips and ideas! @TheLifetimeLearner

Classroom Organization, Reading, Uncategorized

Classroom Reveal

I am so excited to show you what my third grade classroom looks like. My grade level decided to change the set up of our rooms this year. All of our rooms have to look the same (furniture wise) since we change classrooms every nine weeks.  Let me give you a tour around my classroom…here is my classroom reveal !!

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When you first walk into the room, this is what you see. I’m grouping my kids based on Kagan seating arrangements this year and I’m super excited to see how it works. We had some training before the school year started during the first week of July about cooperative learning and how to implement it in your classroom.

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In this picture, you can see my collaboration wall up close that is right next to the smartboard. I’ve noticed the need for some question stems so I created these for my classroom wall last weekend. I think they turned out beautifully:)

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When you first walk into the room, to the immediate left are the cubbies and my small group table. I have been using my new classroom set-up for a week and I’m liking the table on this side of the room. I got the adorable metal stools from Five Below back in February. I can fit 9-10 kids around this table thanks to the stools (though normally, I only have about six at a time)! My kids also love to grab a stool for flexible seating during book buddies or math centers.

Behind the table, I keep my coupon rewards toolbox and more books from our classroom library. The very top shelf is where I store my small group materials each week.

In the first picture on the left, you can see that most of our computers are along the back wall. We use them for AR and Achieve3000. I have computers, iPads, and iTouches in my room for students to use.

 

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On top of the cubbies, I place my book bins. Students keep one book in their caddy on their table and the rest of the books go in their book bin on this wall. That way, students don’t shove them in their desk and ruin my books!

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In the middle of my room, I now have my large rectangular table. I used to store this table against the wall and a bunch of junk always got piled on top of it. It’s now housing my projector and document camera. I love how I’m table to keep my laptop and supplies on it too! I’ve even squeezed a few stools from Target underneath of it as well. We used to have big projector carts that we had to put the projectors on top of. Kids who sat in the back of the room would have trouble seeing the board but this table solves that problem!

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In the corner, I have my supplies cabinet and some flexible seating items. I keep all extra classroom supplies, some manipulatives, some games, and random odds and ends inside of it. On the front is my reading and math charts that the kids fill out on a daily basis when they complete their homework or pass a multiplication or division quiz. On the other side of the cabinet, I have my stunning new schedule from Ladybug Files. I am still swooning about how pretty it is.  I also store a rolly cart with some classroom books and some pillows/stuffed animals for kids to grab during reading time in the corner. It’s a great hiding spot for the mess!

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Against the far wall, I now house my math center bins and my teacher desk is back to back with my large teacher cart. I have students complete math centers three days a week in my room. They check the smartboard to see what centers they are going to that day and then grab the appropriate boxes. I was so happy to find these large plastic containers on sale at Target this past spring because buckets and bags just weren’t doing the trick the past three years! These work perfectly and do a great job keeping both the kids and me organized! The reading posters you see are also posted as a reference for students year-round. I put an arrow above the one we are currently working on. They are from Jen Sykes on TPT!

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I’m also liking where my teacher desk is now because it’s more open and available to the class. I almost never sit at it but now that it’s moved closer to the action (from where it was in the corner), I’m hoping I’ll use it more or the kids will have access to it for rewards on a weekly basis. I’ll see where this year takes me!

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The large teacher cabinet has my calendar on the side of it. It also has my Super Improver Wall on the front and my birthday chart. This year, I made my own Super Improver chart with animals that the students will level through. I’m super excited about it and they are too!

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Right next to the teacher cabinet is now my FAVORITE PART OF THE ROOM! It’s my reading nook! I have never had a place where students can go and read. The kids are already flocking to it on a daily basis and we’ve only been in school a week. It has about half of my classroom library books in it, a bin filled with rugs and carpets, and a cool chair I use for my Super Improver of the Day to read in.

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As you head back towards the door, against the final wall, is my whiteboard and built in bookshelves.

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I keep my job chart and classroom rules (from Whole Brain Teaching) on the board. I use the whiteboard and SmartBoard pretty evenly. I really like to hang my anchor charts and book lists on the white board as well throughout the year.

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This cute little cart was found last January and I couldn’t pass it up! It’s perfect for every time we have to move rooms. I keep my Teacher Toolbox on top of it and random odds and ends on the other two shelves. On the very top, I keep wipes to clean hands and the board, RallyCoach pencils, checking pens, and tape/staplers for the kids to use.

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And that leads us back to the door! I hope you enjoyed seeing my classroom reveal and I’d love to see yours! Leave me a link in the comments below!

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Classroom Organization, Uncategorized

What is Year-Round School?

 

About Me

Hi! 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. I love 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”. 🙂

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: 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.  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  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. 🙂

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. 

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

Uncategorized