A Few Quick Tips for Back to School

So the other day, I mentioned that I had more things I wanted to blog about, but I didn't want to bore you all to death with minute details about my school day and projects I've been working on.  So I split my post into a few posts.  This is post 2.  I have felt very overwhelmed with having 2 new teammates who are new to the grade level- we've had to make grade level decisions, and we have very little time to do that!  But we're getting it together!  Thank goodness most of the big decisions have been made!

I said I would show you the G.R.O.W. Binder, so here it is.  G.R.O.W. stands for Getting Ready (and) Organized Weekly.  It's not the best, but I like that it's a grow binder because our classroom theme is a garden and growing and what not, and also because they are "growing" into big kids now.  Big kids get binders.  The cover page makes me want to pull out my colored pencils and color it.  I have had a very hard time resisting. I love KPM Doodles.

I'll do a post on my binder, how I do homework, our weekly behavior chart, etc... one of these days here soon.  I have a whole bunch of pictures, and I'm sure it would include some freebies!  :-)

Anyway... onto the fun stuff!

I  decided to color code my pencils this year!  I got so tired of evenly distributing pencils to each table, just for a student to say "I don't have a pencil!" Then I look at another table and they have 20!  So each pencil has a piece of tape around it that matches the table color.  The "extra" pencils have white tape around them so I know they are extra, pre-sharpened pencils.  I also got some colored erasers from the Dollar Tree, and I put them in the corresponding bin.   No more lost erasers either!  I got the tape at Target in the hardware section.  Though you could probably use washi tape if you wanted to be really cute, this was cheaper!  This is more like electrical tape.  So far, so good!  The pencils have stayed in their bins at their own tables!  Can I get an AMEN?!

I also mentioned that I moved to a clip chart behavior system this year.  So far, I am in LOVE.  To help motivate my students to make good choices, and to keep them excited about moving up their clip, I created these "fancy clips" that I use when it's not appropriate to move up their clip, such as when we're in the hallway, at the bathroom, in special area, or if I'm in the middle of teaching something super important.  They love the "fancy clips"- and it was just a great excuse to buy some washi tape!  But they really work great.  All I have to do is put my hand in that apron pocket, and they all straighten up!  If they're really out of control, I just pull one out and look at it!  I don't have to say a word!  Best motivator ever- and it's a closepin!  I have a few more different kinds of washi tape and I'm going to make a few more.  10 clips aren't enough, apparently!  :-)  

I am beyond thrilled to have this up in my classroom!  I am admittedly horrible at changing my I Can Statements- no joke.  It's just not my thing.  The last two years, I wrote them on sentence strips and they would fall off the board when it got too hot or cold.  Drove me crazy!  I was constantly picking them up and hanging them back up.  So I decided to make something that I thought I might actually use.

I have already gotten compliments on my standards from the other teachers in my school, and the first grade assistant suggested putting the paper behind them to make them stand out. What a great idea!  I don't have time to color them all, and I can't afford to have them all printed in color!  Technically this isn't up permanently- our laminator at school is out of laminating film, so I am waiting for the laminator to be ready so I can laminate my subject signs and the colored paper. Chomping at the bit here, I swear.  Too excited!

I created "I Can" statements with a visual example of the standard.  Only the ELA and Math Standards are finished, but I'm working on Science and Social Studies "I Can" statements.  Writing is included in ELA.  I also have a bundle of the ELA and Math Standards.  I LOVE them!  I worked so hard on them, and I am so excited to use them and change them out each week!   You can find them in my TPT Store.


I have so many pictures of our first few weeks, and some other things I want to blog about, but this post is long enough and it's getting late!  Since I hit my head, I have been SO SLEEPY.  So I want to go to bed!  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week, even if Friday is Friday the 13th!


  1. I love your blog, but I have a hard time reading the tiny script font. Can you change it to a larger or clearer font? Thank you and thank you for sharing your great ideas!

    1. That's really strange, because I changed the font to something else a week or two ago. Could you try clearing your cache to see if that resets? I can also double check to make sure the change I made on my blog is showing up.

      Thanks for letting me know!


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