Monday, June 8, 2020

Daily Take Home Folders

At the beginning of the school year I make each student their own daily folder, also known as their "Take Home Folder."
Take Home Folder
Daily Take Home Folders
This folder is a communication devise between home and school.  The folder is brought home every night and is returned to school the very next day.  It houses important information such as school notes, homework, graded work, and monthly classroom newsletters.
Parent Teacher Communication Folder
My student's daily behavior is also noted in their take home folder on the monthly behavior calendar.
Behavior Calendars
At the end of each school day my students mark either a green, yellow, or red dot on the appropriate date on the calendar.  This dot communicates to their parents the behavior color card they earned that day.  If the color yellow or red is marked on their calendar I write a brief description of the negative behavior they displayed.  The purpose of this is to encourage a discussion between parents and their child over the misbehavior.
Monthly Behavior Calendar
Parents are asked to sign or initial each night on the appropriate date on the behavior calendar.  This communicates to me that each student's parents saw their take home folder and the information inside of it.
Take Home Folder Basket
The take home folders are brought home every day and are returned to school the very next day.  Any notes from home, money, homework, etc. is to be placed in the take home folder so I will receive it - because we all know how sometimes things get lost in a child's backpack. LOL
Take Home Folders
I have my students turn in their take home folders into the tub each morning.  When they turn them in they place them in numerical order.  This makes it easy for me to flip through and see who is at school, who forgot to turn their folder in, etc.
Take Home Folder Labels
Here's a peek inside my take home folders!

Here's the steps on how I put together my folders at the beginning of each school year:

Step 1:
I always use plastic brad folders to make the take home folders.  The plastic ones hold up much better than the paper ones.
Making a Take Home Folder
Step 2:
I pick a cover with a different clipart character for each of my students.  I add their name, their student number, and my class information to the cover.  I print each cover and laminate it.
Take Home Folder Assembly
Step 3:
I attach the covers to the front of my folders.  You can use staples, tape, Velco dots, etc. to attach the covers.
Take Home Folder Covers
Step 4:
I add additional pockets to my folders.  I use these plastic pocket sleeves I purchased at Wal-Mart.  I add them to the brads of the folder.
Daily Folder Labels
Step 5:
I use the 1" x 2 5/8" labels to label the behavior calendars and homework pockets.
Take Home Folder Labels
Step 6:
I use the 2" x 4" labels for the graded work pocket.
Graded Work Labels
I go over the labels with clear tape to ensure the labels stay on and do not get damaged.
Step 7:
I place additional important handouts (like our school calendar) in a clear plastic sleeve and add it to the brads of the folder.
School Calendar
Step 8:
I pick out different left and right pocket labels for my folders.  I print, laminate, and cut out the labels.
Left and Right Hand Labels
Take Home Folder Left and Right Hand Labels
Step 9:
I attach the labels to the left and right pockets of the folder by stapling them on.
Daily Folder Labels
Step 10: 
I also add a pencil pouch to the brads of my take home folders for money, small notes, etc.
Inside a Take Home Folder
I take the pencil pouches and plastic sleeves out of each student's folder at the end of the school year so I can reuse them year after year.
Step 11:
 I add the behavior calendar to each student's folder.  The monthly behavior calendar also has school events, classroom events, due dates, test dates, etc. on it as well.  This helps parents easily see what's going on at our school and in our classroom.
Behavior Calendar
Step 12:
I send home these introduction notes the first time I send home the take home folders.  The notes explain what a take home folder is, what is inside the folder, and the guidelines to take care of it.
Take Home Folder Parent Notes
Daily Folder Parent Notes
The folders are then complete and ready to use all year long!
Take Home Folder
You can grab everything you need to make your own Take Home Folder by clicking HERE!
Take Home Folder Covers

Friday, May 22, 2020

Farmhouse Themed Classroom Decor {Wooden Shiplap}

Looking to update your classroom theme with a Farmhouse style look?
Check out these printable posters and labels you can grab from my TpT Store!

These posters come with an editable white stripe.  You can change the white stripe to match your classroom colors.

Farmhouse Alphabet Poster
For example, here's the white stripe changed to purple.
Wooden Shiplap Alphabet Poster

There are many different posters to choose from!

Farmhouse ASL Alphabet Posters

 Farmhouse Shape Name Posters

Wooden Shiiplap Number Posters

 Farmhouse 10 Frame Number Posters

 Farmhouse Touch Math Number Posters

Wooden Shiplap Color Name Posters

Need labels to label your classroom storage bins, containers, carts, and more!
Check out these labels that come in a variety of sizes and colors.
 All labels are EDITABLE so you can add your own text!

Farmhouse Monday through Friday Teacher Storage Bin Labels
Grab these Monday-Friday labels for FREE by clicking HERE!
 Farmhouse Monday through Friday Teacher Storage Bin Labels
These labels fit perfectly on different storage bins like these magazine holders!
Farmhouse Square Labels
Great to use to label and organize all of your classroom books!
Wooden Shiplap Book Bin Labels
Label your books by grade/reading level.
Farmhouse Square Labels
Organize your books by theme.
Wooden Shiplap Square Labels
Use these labels to make student book bins.
 Farmhouse Classroom Labels
Or even label your classroom supply bins! 
Wooden Shiplap Classroom Labels

These labels fit perfectly in the Really Good Stuff Label Clip Holders

These label holders clip on any type of basket, storage bin, etc.
Wooden Shiplap Rectangular Classroom Labels
 Use to label student book baskets.
Farmhouse Book Bin Labels
Label each group's supply bin.
Farmhouse Supply Tub Labels
Wooden Shiplap Supply Tub Labels
Label turn in baskets and more!
Wooden Shiplap Classroom Storage Bin Labels

Farmhouse Book Bin Labels
Use these labels to organize your classroom library.
Wooden Shiplap Book Bin Labels

Farmhouse Supply Bin Labels
You can even use these labels to organize your classroom supply tubs.
Wooden Shiplap Supply Bin Labels

These rectangular labels are great for labeling many different storage bins in your classroom!

Classroom Labels
Center Tubs
Editable Classroom Labels
Supply Bins
Wood Labels
Turn in Baskets

Add these labels to a regular size Sterilite 3-Drawer storage container.
Farmhouse 3 Drawer Labels
These are great when organizing your teacher paperwork!
Wooden Shiplap 3 Drawer Labels

They are also great for supply bins.
Sterilite Drawer Labels

Use these labels on the mini 3-Drawer Sterilite storage containers.
Farmhouse Mini 3-Drawer Labels
Label your crayon bins, pencil bins, and more!
Wooden Shiplap Mini 3-Drawer Labels

Editable Sterilite Drawer Labels

These labels are great on the medium size 3-Drawer Sterilite storage containers.
Farmhouse Storage Bin Labels

Wooden Shiplap Storage Bin Labels

Farmhouse Classroom Labels

Wooden Shiplap Classroom Labels

If you want to transform your 10-Drawer Rolling cart then these labels work perfectly!
Farmhouse 10-Drawer Rolling Cart Labels
Wooden Shiplap 10-Drawer Rolling Cart Labels
Pick and choose what colors you would like and add your own text to your labels.
10 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels

Pick your colors and add your own text to these 5-Drawer Rolling cart labels as well.
5 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels
Farmhouse 5 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels

Editable 5 and 10 Drawer Rolling Cart Labels

Grab my Label  BUNDLE from my TpT store by clicking HERE!
Farmhouse Label Bundle

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Morning Work Tub System (Morning Work Drawers)

I have had a lot of questions about my morning work drawer system that was seen in my classroom tour pictures so I decided to go a little bit more in depth on what I do!

Years ago for morning work I would have a worksheet on each student's desk for them to complete each morning as their morning work.  It was very time consuming planning each morning's worksheet - not to mention having to make all those copies.  I also found that for some of my students their morning work worksheets would begin to pile up in their desks as unfinished work.  

That's when I decided to scrap the worksheet idea and do something different!  I decided to try a morning work tub system.  I didn't have much space in my classroom to place 24 tubs so that's when I came up with the idea of morning work drawers!

Morning Work

I purchased two of the 10 drawer carts.  You can purchase these carts in multiple colors or in solid black or white.


The drawers also come in two different sizes.

  I labeled each drawer with a different number.  (Since I have over 20 students I had to add a few additional tubs on top of the drawers for the extra drawers I needed.)  
Morning Work Tubs
Then I decided that I wanted to put activities (not worksheets) in each drawer that would be meaningful and would review math and language arts skills that we learn in first grade.  

I love file folder games and thought they would work great in my morning work drawers!  So I spent one summer making as many as I could.  To make most of my games I purchased the Carson-Dellosa File Folder booklets online like the ones below.

It did take some time to color, cut, assemble, laminate, and put Velcro dots on the game boards -  but once you have it made you can reuse these games year after year!  (*Tip* You can also enlist the help of older children to help you color and assemble these file folder games!) I can't tell you how many years these games have been used and they still are in good shape.  
Morning Work Games
Morning Work Activities
I like to add the Velcro dots on the game boards because it helps the pieces stay in place while the students work on the activity.  Even one small bump could shift all the game pieces if they weren't attached with the Velcro dots. 
Hands on Morning Work
I like to use the sticky Velcro dots like these:

 In addition to the Velcro dots I sometimes just cut out my own Velcro strips from a large roll of sticky Velcro like this:

Not only did I make file folder games for my morning work drawers, but I also found many other printable activities online to put in the drawers.  The website File Folder Fun has so many great and FREE printable file folder games.  All you have to do is print, cut, laminate, and assemble your game!
File Folder Games File Folder Activities
As always the website Teachers Pay Teachers has so many great activities you can put in your morning work tubs.  There is even a great selection of FREE printable activities you can find on there for your morning work activities!
Printable Morning Work Activities

Finally, I also put activities in the drawers that I made or put together from other items I had in my classroom.  Here are some examples: 
Morning Work Puzzles
Here I have a 120's chart cut into pieces to make a puzzle.
 Morning Work Activities
I printed out some coin combinations and put it together as a file folder game.
Hands on Morning Work
Here I took some old calendar pieces and made a months of the year activity.

Planning Out the Morning Work Drawers:
To start planning my morning work drawers I took my yearly school calendar and counted out 24 school days (for the 24 morning work drawers).  I highlighted each set of 24 days a different color on the calendar.  This helped me see how many different sets of morning work activities I had to make and what days I needed to change out the activities in the drawers.  For example, for this school year I have to make 7 different sets of activities for my drawers.  
Planning Morning Work
 I like to have 12 activities that review math skills and 12 activities that review language arts skills for each set of morning work drawers.  I look for activities that review the skills we have already learned in class.  This gives the students extra review and independent practice of those skills throughout the school year.
Morning Work Tubs
I record what activities I place in the drawers and what skill they cover on my recording sheet.
Planning Morning Work
I like to keep track of what games and activities I have in each set of morning work drawers so I can refer back to it year after year!
Morning Work Tubs
 Here is an example of 12 LANGUAGE ARTS activities for a set of morning work drawers.
First Grade File Folder Games
1st Grade File Folder Games
Here is an example of 12 MATH activities for a set of morning work drawers.
File Folder Games
File Folder Games

So how does the system work each morning? 
Each morning the students walk in and open their "Work in Progress Folder" that is located in their desk.  In their folder I have a Morning Work Calendar stapled in it.  The morning work calendar tells each student what drawer to get and complete for that morning's work.  
Morning Work Tubs Calendar
I prepare each student's calendars ahead of time by writing in the number drawer they should have each day on their calendar.  To figure out each student's drawer number for each day I start each set of morning work drawers with each student's class number drawer.  For example, if Landon's student number is #11.  Then he would get drawer #11 on day 1, drawer #12 on day 2, etc.
Morning Work Bucket
Each student takes their drawer (or tub) back to their desk and completes the activity. 
Morning Work Tub
When they have finished their activity I come around and check it.  The students get immediate feedback on how they did.  Any questions that a student misses on their file folder activity I usually have them redo.
Morning Work Calendar
Each student receives a small sticker on their calendar on the complete line once their activity is finished and has been checked by me.  If a student does not finish their activity by the time our morning work time is over then they receive an X on the incomplete line on their calendar. 
 Morning Work System
At the end of each month the calendars go home for their parents to see.  The calendar is a great way for parents to see if their child is having a hard time getting their work completed each morning.

After every 24 school days each student has completed all 24 morning work drawers.  The drawers are then ready for me to change them out to the next set of activities!

I have been doing this morning work drawer system for many years now and love it!  The students also love doing these games and activities instead of paperwork each morning!
Morning Work System
I was afraid that teaching my first graders how to find their drawer each morning would be so hard for them - but it wasn't!  Each year they catch on so easily!  Most of the students usually have it down by the second day.  This morning work system saves me so much time planning and copying.  I have all my morning work activities organized and stored in boxes and ready to use year after year!
Storing Morning Work Activities
 File Folder Games
This morning work system definitely has saved me so much time with planning, copying, and grading papers year after year!
Morning Work Tub System

Click HERE to download my Morning Work planning pages, calendars, and tub labels from my TpT store!

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