Thursday, October 11, 2018

PENCIL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM


It never occurred to me as I entered my first year of teaching that I would need a pencil management system in my classroom.  Who would have thought that pencils could cause so many classroom distractions!?!  After almost ten years of teaching first graders I finally have settled on a system that is easy, low maintenance, and works for my students.

Over the years I have tried multiple systems such as labeling each pencil with the student's number, having cups on each student's desk for their pencils, etc.  I found that these systems just ended up being more work for me.

That's when I decided to implement a pencil drawer system.  Here is a little peek on how it works in my classroom...

First, I purchased some of the Sterilite 3-drawer storage bins.  I love these bins!  They come in different sizes and colors.  You can use these bins so many different ways in your classroom!


 

I decided to purchase the medium size Sterilite drawers so I would have plenty of storage space for a lot of pencils.


I labeled each drawer and added a simple picture so my first graders at the beginning of the year (that can't quite read yet) know which drawer is which.

The "SHARP" drawer has all the pencils that have already been sharpened and are ready for the students to use.  This drawer helps prevent any problems you might encounter with students sharpening their pencils during inappropriate times during the day, lines forming at the pencil sharpener, students who misplace their pencil, etc.


My students are allowed up to TWO sharpened pencils in their desk at a time.  They are not allowed to collect and hoard a big pile of pencils in their desk.  Therefore, if it's not one of the two pencils they are using it must be in the pencil drawers.  Anytime throughout the day if they need to exchange one of their pencils for a newly sharpened one they may.  They just quietly walk over to the drawers and quickly make the switch.  (I avoid putting any pencils in my drawers that have designs on them.  All of the pencils I use are the simple yellow pencils.  This prevents problems that might occur when students want a certain design pencil.)

The "DULL" drawer has all the pencils that need to be sharpened.  These pencils get sharpened at the end of the day and placed in the "SHARP" drawer.  To keep the workload off of me I have one student helper at the end of the day sharpen these pencils.  My student helper is then allowed to use my electric pencil sharper to sharpen all the pencils.  (I usually have one of my bus riders do this for me as they wait for their bus to be called for pickup.  This prevents any class time being used for this task.)

The "NEW" drawer has some new pencils stored there.  I decide when it's time for some of the old pencils to be thrown away and when new ones need to be added.  I usually go through the pencils in the drawers at the end of the week and decide if there are any that need to be thrown away and replaced with a new one.  These new pencils are also pre-sharpened so I don't have to spend any time sharpening them.  To keep a stock of new pencils sharpened I usually ask for parent volunteers to sharpen pencils at the beginning of the school year when the supplies come in.  *This is a great parent helper task that is something they can easily do at home.*  


We have also started asking for pre-sharpened pencils on our first grade supply list.  This is something we should have started doing a long time ago!



My pencil system worked out so well that I ended up adding a few more drawers to it.



I added a drawer for mechanical pencils.  I tried giving my first graders mechanical pencils to use and it ended up going really well!  So well that I will probably be adding them to the supply list in the future.  It took my students a little bit of time to learn how to use them, but in the end it was worth it.  It really cut down on having tons of pencils to sharpen at the end of the day.  They also work great if you have a student that chews on their pencil.  Hard plastic isn't near as fun for them to chew on as a wooden pencil.  This drawer stores the lead for the mechanical pencils.  It also is the place where students place the mechanical pencils they find and where they go if they lost theirs.

The next drawer stores some of the big pink erasers.  This drawer is also used as a lost-and-found box.  If a pink eraser is found on the floor it gets placed in this drawer.  If a student can't find their eraser they simply just get one from the drawer.

Finally, the cap eraser drawer holds many new cap erasers.  A student may get one of these if the eraser on their pencil is no longer working well.


These drawers made all the difference in my classroom!  They are super easy to store and take up a small amount of space in your classroom.

I've had a lot of teacher ask for these labels so I've added them to my TpT store!  I've also made them in 2 size options.  You can place them on the medium or small size Sterilite drawers!

Here is a look at the two different size options.



This is the difference between the medium and small size drawers.  Pick the drawer size that fits your classroom needs!


I've also made the labels in two color choices!




Click HERE to download the labels from my TpT store!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

CRAYON ORGANIZATION SYSTEM


If you classroom is anything like mine, at the end of the day a handful of lost crayons can be found scattered around our classroom floor.  Finding the students they belong to would take forever!  That's when I decided it was time for a crayon management system in my classroom!


To create a system and organize those lost crayons I decided it was time to invest in some Sterilite 3-drawer storage bins.  I LOVE these bins!  I have tons of them and use them for multiple reasons in my classroom.  They come in different sizes and colors.


I decided to purchase the small size Sterilite drawers so I could have each color crayon labeled and in a drawer of it's own.  Here is what my drawers look like now!


When a student finds a crayon on the floor they just simply walk over to the bins and place the crayon in the correct color drawer.


Your crayon inventory quickly begins to add up!


I also have a drawer for broken crayons.  I like to keep the broken crayons as well because they are great for students to use when coloring large blank spaces.  They simply take the paper off of the crayon and color by turning the crayon on its side.


No more random crayons and wondering what to do with them anymore!


Having this system in place also makes it easy for students who need a certain color crayon.  They no longer have to waste time searching for the crayon or disturb other students as they ask to borrow their crayons.  Now my students can just simply walk over to the bins and get the crayon they need!

I've had a lot of teacher ask for these labels so I've added them to my TpT store!  I've also made them in 2 size options.  You can place them on the medium or small size Sterilite drawers!


Here is a look at the two different size options.


This is the difference between the medium and small size drawers.  Pick the drawer size that fits your classroom needs!


Click HERE to download the labels from my TpT store!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

EDITABLE PENCIL BANNER


Looking for a way to spruce up your writing bulletin board, writing center, word wall, classroom door, and more?  Check out this EDITABLE Pencil Banner!




This banner set allows you to create your own personalized banner by simply typing in your own letters and selecting the font style you would like.



The set includes 4 different pencil sizes to choose from that are all editable in Microsoft PowerPoint.



This allows you to pick the size pencil that you need to fit your space!




I created a "WRITE" banner for my writing center!  It really made my writing center pop!




Click HERE to download my EDITABLE Pencil Banner from my TpT Store! 



Monday, June 25, 2018

Classroom Organization Storage Ideas {10 and 5 Drawer Rolling Cart}

I love my 10 drawer rolling cart organization bin!  I actually have two of them in my classroom.  These carts can be used to store so many great things!  You can store supplies, colored papers, worksheets, teacher copies, and more!  You can purchase these carts in multiple colors or in solid black or white.


 

The drawers also come in two different sizes.


This year I made these cute drawer labels.  They fit perfectly on the front of both size drawers. 


Here are some pictures of my carts with the labels on them...

I have the days of the week labeled on this cart.  I place each day's worksheets in the correct drawer.  By using this cart it helps me plan and organize two weeks in advance.




Here is another example of how the labels can be used.




The 5 drawer rolling cart with the bigger drawers is a perfect way to store your centers!




These rolling carts offer so much storage all in one place!




I've decided to upload these EDITABLE 10 and 5 drawer rolling cart labels to my TpT store!  Now you can transform your cart with your own labels!  Just pick the size you need!

Click HERE to download my EDITABLE 10 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels!

Click HERE to download my EDITABLE 5 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels!

Click HERE to download my EDITABLE 10 and 5 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels {Bundle}!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Father's Day Gift Bag Topper

Need a simple and quick way for your students to wrap their dad's gifts for Father's Day?  Check out my Father's Day Gift Bag Topper!  


Simply have your students color, cut, and glue the shirt pieces onto a white paper sack! 




Your students can pick how they want to make their shirts look.  They can add pockets, a long tie, bow tie, handkerchief (a tissue cut up), a pen, or more!




Each bag turns out so cute and unique!



Click HERE to download my Father's Day Gift Bag Topper from my TpT Store!



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Editable Classroom Labels


Are you looking for a way to spruce up your classroom organization bins?  Check out my editable rectangular labels!  They are perfect on organization bins, containers, drawers, supply bins, paper baskets, center tubs, and more!


They come in 25 different color choices.  Each color choice is available in black and white polka dot, chevron, houndstooth, and zebra print.  Pick one label color that matches your classroom theme or mix and match the label colors for a fun look.

Here are some different ways the labels can be used. 

On supply bins...



On center tubs...



On teacher paper baskets..




On turn in paper baskets...


Click HERE to download my EDITABLE Rectangular Classroom Labels from my TpT Store!

Check out these matching label sets!  They fit perfectly on the 10 drawer rolling cart and 3 drawer Sterilite container bins!

Click HERE to download my EDITABLE 10 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels from my TpT Store!

Click HERE to download my EDITABLE 3 Drawer Labels for Sterilite Container Bins from my TpT Store!