Friday, August 3, 2012

Supplies and "How-to" Organization Part 2 - Pictures!

I wanted to post some pictures that could help describe my last post.  With the wedding coming up and me living over an hour away from school, my visits to school have been minimal to say the least.  I'll get into school at the end of August and I'll post pictures of the classroom then I hope these help you out :)

Composition Notebooks

These are the BEST.  I love them.  When there is a sale - I buy them in bulk.  I find these to be the greatest because things don't fall out.  Just make sure you laminate them (packing tape and contact paper)  They are small, compact, and all around just easy to carry.  They are also fun to decorate <3

This is just some scrapbook paper that I found in Michael's that was on clearance AND another 15% off because I had my teacher ID.  I can't WAIT to decorate this :)

Can't Live Without Supplies - most of them :)

I've said it before, I'll say it again, I LOVE COLOR!  I just don't understand teachers that have rooms without color and student work NOT around the room.  It's boring.  I don't do boring if you haven't noticed :)  To make your ISN a success, it's always great to have color to help the kids ideas become a success on paper.

Glue sticks and tape (missing) are a must, must, must for this to be successful.  If you look at the glue that I like to get for class, it's the jumbo sticks.  Totally the best.  Lasts forever and takes a beating from my kiddies.  

We mostly use tape in my class.  I find the tape a little faster to use.  I have to model (no lie) how to use tape and glue over and over.  It takes awhile for them to get it, but eventually, they do.  If you do the ISN where need to attach lots of papers (like mine), you'll go through this stuff A LOT.  Make sure you have enough glue or tape to last you (I have tape suggestions in my last post) because if you don't, it makes it very difficult to make the book a success.

Let's start with the pencils.  I find that when students are working on the left hand side of the page, pencils are the best to work with.  They make mistakes and need to erase things as they work.  I can't say that pen won't work, but when they do make a mistake or they aren't happy with something, they tend to cross things out and it becomes messy.  If your using this book for the first time, pencils might be a must have, but again, totally up to you :)  One thing is I KEEP the pencil in the classroom in my closet.

Highlighters are fun and colorful and bright.  They make the ISN pop!  Just make sure you model what you want because if you don't It can bleed through.  I keep 2 in each bin and have a bucket for myself when we do whole group activities.

I love colored paper.  This is just a small sampling of what I have a home.  I could make foldable, after foldable, after foldabe with this stuff.  It makes the work pop and the kids love choosing which paper they want for their foldable. 

Just for Fun!

Pinterest (Follow Me!) has made me look at different ways to organize classrooms.  I found there was this obsession with gift wrap to make things look awesome in the classroom.  I'm going to give it a shot (found these in the dollar section in Target <3) and try to make the desk and filing cabinets looks amazing.  The blue clothing thing is something that I'm looking to put in the closet for more places to put supplies - this was only a dollar so we'll see how long it lasts.

ISN Bins

Ok, so before you take a look at the pictures below, I just want you to know this is the bin that I use in my class.  The one that I have at home is NOT as deep as the one that I have in school.  Surprisingly enough, this bin actually held the stuff that I has at home - so hopefully this will give you and idea of what to do until I can actually get in the classroom.

You should notice that this bin is a clear bin with a top.  I went with colorful ones and open top ones and there was always a mess.  I found clear plastic bins with tops on them so I could see when the mess started to form (papers in the bin, things that didn't belong) and the kids were more willing to clean up.  Don't ask my why this happens.  I really think it's because they know I won't dismiss them until that cover is on (and everything should be cleaned out of the bin before the top is on), but it works.  Why break something that isn't broken, right? :)

My bins I use at school are much deeper - they can hold a tape dispensers which is a MUST!  This one is nice though if you're not using the dispenser.

This is a picture of a bin that has everything inside of it.  My ones for school have more scissors, more glue, and tape dispensers in it, but for the most part contain everything that's here.  This is why the table issue is so important.  Having them in tables allows the ISN process to be much more seamless then if you have to keep going to get supplies and bring them back to your desk.  I know of teachers that are out there that are resistant to putting kids in groups.  I really just shake my head at this because my own personal beliefs is that they are doing a disservice to the kids.  We function as a society as a group....not one individual.  Don't use the excuse they are "just easier to handle this way" as your reason because it's not a reason.  If you try and it doesn't work, that's fine, but if you put them in rows just because it's easier for you, then that's just a sad reason in my eyes.  I'm really think about....really, really think about it.  A "trouble maker" is surrounded by 8 kids (the ones next to them and at the corners of them) in rows.  When they are at a table, they are with 3 or 4 other kids at most.  Wouldn't you think that to handle those behaviors a little more you'd like to give tables a try?  Use this ISN bin to your advantage.  Use it as an organizer but also use it as a classroom management tool as well. Kinda cool huh?

Next post:  There have been lots of people on here and my new friends on twitter (follow me @valdescience) who have inquired about left hand side activities.  Give me a until next week and I'll come up with some things that you can use to start to generate your own ideas for you classes.  I'm getting married next Saturday and off to Europe for two weeks, so I'll make it a good one for ya! :D


  1. Thank you! I am going to try these this year and your blog is very helpful! Walgreens has comp notebooks on sale 6/$1 starting Sunday :)
    Oh a question, do they take them home everyday or leave in class? ~Robin

    1. I may have to make a stop in Walgreens during the week :)

      My kids take them home, but I've seen teachers keep it in the classroom. It's up to you. My own personal view is that's is just like any other notebook and if there is homework in it, it should go home. If you have a test coming up and ALL of your information is in there and you need something to study from, it should go home. I feel like teachers believe that it's too special to take home or if it's lost it will be too much work to fix, but I feel like it's almost a disservice to the kid. I feel like if they have to take home other books, this shouldn't be any different.

      I have had kids misplace their books, but with hard work on the child's part, I've found ways to make it up. This past year I can say I had only one student misplace their book for about a week - it turned up because I had a tag on it to say to return to this room (totally Ms. Rubin's idea). The kid however took a folder that I had and kept every assignment we did and notes page we did. When that book was found, he took mine as a reference and put everything where it belonged.

      It really just comes down to your own personal choice. I had the MOST DISORGANIZED child EVER this past year and I can tell you, he may have forgotten his ISN but that child NEVER lost it.

      Hope this helps a little.