Saturday, August 11, 2012

Classroom Update: Clutter-Free Classroom and Ladybug's Teacher Files Inspired


You know Jodi at the Clutter-Free Classroom, right? What am I saying, of course you do! I don't know where I would be without her and her blog. She thinks of everything!! As I've been a busy bee setting up my classroom (I'd sleep there if they'd let me but my dog might get lonely at home) I am constantly consulting Jodi's blog and implementing her suggestions so that my classroom will run like a well oiled machine and student learning can excel! So on that note, here are three features of my room inspired by Jodi. :)

1. Work In Progress Chart (view Jodi's post by clicking [here] )

Students will place their "work in progress" in their assigned pocket on the pocket chart. I've decided to use this pocket chart because it will help all of us stay organized...I will be able to easily see and check the status and quality of their work and the students won't lose their work in the abyss of their desk. I like calling this chart "work in progress" rather then "incomplete work" because I want the main focus to be on producing quality work, not just completing an activity. 

On Fridays, if a student has work in progress then they will find a ketchup card on their desk when they arrive in the morning as a friendly reminder to check their pocket. If a student does not have any work in progress then they will find a pickles card letting them know they may pick from a list of extension activities. The extension activities will be listed on the pickles board (I made it out of dry-erase poster board) above the pocket chart. The ketchup and pickles concept was inspired by Teach-A-Roo and you can download the cards for free in my TpT store. 

2. Communication Folder and Porter Pocket Chart (view Jodi's posts [here] and [here])

Aren't pocket charts great (sorry about the washed out picture)?! When students arrive in the morning they will place their Homework Folder in their assigned pocket. This system also shows me who is at school and who is absent. They will also keep their Porter Pocket here (weekly folder that is used to send student work, etc. home...Jodi calls it their Thursday Folder because it goes home on Thursdays). I wasn't planning for this to be on wheels but I actually really like the idea...I can wheel it near the door in the morning so that I can greet students and check their folders at the same time and then wheel it out of the way during the day. Then when students are packing up at the end of the day, it can be wheeled to the front of the room where they can easily pick up their folder(s) to take home.

I purchased this pocket chart from MPM School Supplies, and they were wonderful!! I highly recommend them! When I received the pocket chart, the pockets were not all the same size so I contacted them to see if my chart was a manufacture's defect...turns out it was! MPM sent me a new pocket chart, free of charge, and they let me keep the defect one too. Awesome customer service!

3. Anchor Chart Designated Area (view Jodi's post [here])

Jodi wrote a great post for supporting anchor charts so I'm not going to go into my love for them. I have mine set up (as shown with the blank paper) with jumbo push pins to hold the two book rings. As the students and I create anchor charts we will just add charts to the book rings. I'm hoping the book rings will make it easy to flip between charts instead of having to switch them out.

You may also notice the lovely alphabet in this photo created by Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files. :)  You can download my Anchor Charts sign, which coordinates with Kristen's bright and CLEAR decor, for free in my TpT store (I outlined the letters in black marker after printing).

Speaking of Kristen, she recently updated her CRAFT Board....I absolutely LOVE it. I love it so much that I took down the CAFE Board I had set up just a few days before (also from Kristen) and put up her new signs.

My board from a few days ago:

My updated board!!:

Don't you just love the bright colors?!! The border is from the $0.88 section of Walmart. I had to move CRAFT to the dry-erase board because all five letters couldn't fit on the bulletin board where CAFE had previously been. Click on the picture to download Kristen's files for free.

Phew, thanks for reading!! I'm going to go sleep for the next 48 hours so my batteries can recharge. I'll be back for Tara's Monday Made It. Have a super weekend!!!!!!


  1. You have been a busy bee! You're going to be so happy you put in the time now when your room is well organized and running smoothly with 27 little people.

  2. I like the pictures! I love all the bright colors! I am a new follower!


  3. You are always so sweet! I feel bad you had to replace that board--I wish I shared it sooner!! I really like the homework folder idea...I'm trying something different with that this year too so I can hopefully be more organized. :)

    1. Thanks, Kristen!! Don't feel bad...I'm just so glad you created it and shared your talents!! You are a teaching lifesaver in so many ways! Today my two team members saw my classroom and asked for the link to your CRAFT files! They love it too. :)

      I look forward to reading about your new homework folder idea!

  4. So glad I found your blog! I love all the ideas and posts!
    Mrs. Wilson's Class


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