Monday, September 10, 2012

Classroom Library: Online Organizer

I know it has been a while, but I have been super busy since the beginning of the school year--haven't we all!

I have so much to share with you including my favorite, classroom pictures! However, it's going to take some time for me to upload them and get things ready so please stick with me!

Today I wanted to show you something that has changed a lot in my classroom. In the years past, my classroom library has been a mess. We organize it as a class within the first week and then I feel like after the first month or so it goes downhill. The mess starts in, no books are where they belong and the kids don't have responsibility for the books they are borrowing.

I do plan on showing you how I am organizing my classroom library but step one helped me start the process.

Another teacher in my school shared with us this amazing FREE website called Classroom Organizer by Book Source.

This great FREE resource allows teachers to organize their books and allows students to check out books. I'm not going to is VERY time consuming! But if you use their excel spread sheet that does make it easier in the long run.

In the end I had almost 200 books of my classroom library entered into a spread sheet. Once that was completed I uploaded it and it all went directly into the classroom organizer program!!

I have 20 pages of books

 As a teacher you have a lot of different options to choose from. First of all, the "teacher page" will always be at the top of the page. At first I was worried that the student could go in and change things but it is password protected!

Once you are in the Teacher Page,  you can control the classroom settings. Right now I have that my student can check out up to two books {they also get to check out two from the school library} and they get them for one week. After that week, Classroom Organizer will email me letting me know that they are overdue. Students can return or check out again. I also chose to track book location so if a student wants to know where a specific book is located, they can look it up and find the exact location on the bookshelves.

This site is also super easy for students to use! I leave up this main page on one of the computers. Students have certain times of the day where they can check out books. 

They would click "Check out"

Then they need to find their name and click on it

Finally they can search for a book title, author, keyword, or ISBN #. After clicking "search" the options will come up. When students find the book they wanted to check out, they simply have to click "check out" and then they're done! The Location on the right side show the students where the book is located. This looks confusing right now because I'm not totally finished. Each book has to have the location, I can't just say all Andrew Clements books are in the F20 basket. I have to go through and put in each location (that has been the most annoying part). So as of now, I have put in the location for one of the books in that set. I also allows our classroom librarian (that is a job) to put the books back if their sticker comes off {more about stickers and organization in another post}.

Returning books are super simple too! Students would just find their name again click "return". 

Again, this program is super easy to use but very time consuming. I looked at it in the way that once I do it this year, I will never have to add in all the books again.

Let me know if you have used this site and what you think. I'd definitely give it a try!

"Pin it" button coming soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Noise Management

Last year I had a difficult time managing the noise level in my classroom. I hate to complain about it because I'm a loud person. But when you have 20/28 kids who are "loud people" it makes it difficult to get things done.

I read a lot of education blogs and found this fantastic website over at 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules.

This is an awesome website that allows the students to see how loud they are by watching how high/crazy the balls bounce. The louder you are, the higher the balls bounce. I will definitely be using this in my classroom this school year and  shining it up on the scree {via epson} so the kids can see how loud they are when working with partners or groups.

Have you used this in your classroom before? Was it successful?

Monday, July 23, 2012

VistaPrint: Post cards

Today I'm sharing with you my favorite VistaPrint product. I'm pretty sure you will understand after I show you most of the creations I've made. Please remember I can't take 100% credit for all of these. VistaPrint gives you a lot of layout designs and you just plug in the info!

Most of these postcards have a front and a back, but a few I chose front side only. All of the postcards also come with envelopes!!

Missing Assignment Postcards

 Note Home

Student of the Month

These are my favorite!! So helpful around conference time. I usually send them home with the students.

 Thank You

Absent from school?

Student Information Cards for me
{quicker reference than looking on the server}

Welcome Note

Birthday Wishes

Non-Educational Postcards

Save-the-Dates that went out to people from out of town. Most of our family out of town new about the wedding so we didn't want to spend too much on STDs

These were so wonderful to have at our wedding! I put a few of these on every table. We were asking that if people take pictures with their own cameras, that they upload the pictures to photobucket so everyone could see. It was very cool!

Bridal Shower
This was an invite not a postcard
Made on Photoshop and uploaded to VP

Baby Shower
Made on Photoshop and uploaded to VP

One of my first VP creations...not to creative!

Graduation Party Invite

As you can see, postcards can be used for SO many different creations both in and out of the classroom. I'm excited to hear how you would use them!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blog hoppin'

Joining my first blog hop over at Grade Three is the Place for Me! {How cute is that title?!}

Anyways, there are a lot of great blogs linked up so go check them out!

what state you are in?

The Buckeye State!
{Ohio if you didn't know}

    your current teaching position

Next year I will be teaching 5th grade. 

    your teaching experience

This will be my first year teaching 5th grade. Prior to this, I taught 4th grade for four years. In the beginning I didn't really like 4th grade but I really grew to love it. I am nervous about going up but excited to work with the same kiddos and a different group of teachers. {I had a wonderful 4th grade team to work with and I know 5th grade will be great too}

    4.  when you started blogging

I started this blog a few years ago, but it kind of fell apart. I started grad school and was super busy with that for three years. Now that grad school is over {yay!} I can get back to this and enjoy blogging!

    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource

Blog about things you love or things that do and even don't work for you. I love reading about organization and new ideas for the classroom. I hope to share the good, bad, and the ugly with you from my classroom and experiences. 

I adore Pinterest and get a TON of ideas from there.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Subway Art for the classroom

I adore subway art. I have one proudly displayed in my home 365 days of the year that changes for every season or special occasion. Recently, I have found some great subway art on Pinterest. I loved this school art so much that I decided to make one of my own using words that represent my own school!

The Learning Tree: Just. Freebie.

School Subway Art Printables

Back to school subway art


Printing this off and hanging it in my classroom.

And my own artwork...
*note: school name was taken off for privacy*

If you're interested in a specialized subway art for your own school, please contact me for more information at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting!

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classroom timeline. It helps students remember events throughout the year.

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I made something like this for my social studies standards and it helps so much!!

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Super smart!! I must use this!