Monday, August 17, 2015

Planner Heaven

Who loves a good planner?

I have spent an ungodly amount of time watching youtube videos of people putting together their planners this summer. Is there anyone out there like me? I really do love seeing people put together a cute and creative planner that makes them happy and organized. Picking out my planner for the year is always fun. Often times I pick one and then find a new one I love even more!

So through just a tad bit of research, I have found my planner for the 2015-2016 school year! I wanted a planner that had a layout of the month AND a weekly, day-by-day section. Target sells some really cute MEAD planners of all sizes. I love the one I chose because it has a plastic cover that opens at the top. This is so that you can change out your cover whenever you like. I will post some cover pages I've created in another post! I also found some small post it notes that fit PERFECTLY into the monthly calendar at the beginning of each month. As a teacher I feel my schedule is constantly changing (especially during those winter months!) Having sticky notes that fit into your planner really helps keep things up to date. No more whiteout.

My planner was 10$ at Target. I highly recommend it! What kinds of planners do you use for your school year? Do you forgo a planner and use a binder system? Or do you do all your planning through google calendar?Let me know!

I like having the option to change out the cover sheet of my planner!

Color template: black, white, and purple

Monthly view showing how the post its fit into the days


I wanted to show off this new small clip board I purchased at Marshalls. I just love it! Im a big list person:) I thought this would work perfectly for my teacher desk!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Age Old Problem: "I didn't bring a pencil to class…"

How do you handle the pencil problem? I have used the swapping idea for a while now but have recently found a new solution that I want to try in the Fall. The swapping solution is simply put, when a student receives a pencil, he/she must hand over something of theirs. Students often times give me their cell phones when they need a pencil and most times they return my pencils for their phones. However, I have felt a little uneasy handling students' property. The worry-wart in me thinks that the swapping is a recipe for disaster. I know, I'm a little crazy.

Disclaimer: Of course I want all my students to have access to supplies needed in order to be successful in my classroom. I gladly give out pencils to those who truly do not have any at home to bring. The pencil problem is directed to those students who constantly ask for pencils because they lost or forgot to bring one to school.

 I've spent probably too much time trying to figure a new way to handle my pencils being taken by students. I am trying out a new solution this Fall! I have bought some tacky hello kitty duck tape and wrapped the top portion of my pencils with the tape. This way, I can easily discern my pencils from my students' pencils. If a student asks for a pencil, I give my hello kitty pencil and ask them to write their name on the board. At the end of class, I will call all of the students names I see on the board. If for some reason a student gets a pencil and leaves with it, the next time I see my bright hello kitty-taped-pencil, I can simply ask for it back!


How do you solve the pencil problem? Let me know in the comment section!

-Ms. B

Monday, August 10, 2015

Anchor Charts

Let's talk about Anchor Charts:)

I absolutely LOVE anchor charts! I am sure I'm not alone in my adoration! I wanted to compile a list of great anchor charts for the modern social studies classroom AND explain the novelty of each individual type of chart. I am a middle school U. S history teacher so I tend to save ideas that I think could be used for my own classroom. I think all of these types of charts can be used in any social studies classroom be it US history, world history, or even government.


Reference charts are simply put, those that you reference while teaching any given topic. The chart above is a great year-long anchor chart. As a side note, I would definitely laminate anchor charts you decide to use year-round! I like this chart because by answering the questions listed, my students are able to better understand a text they are reading! Constantly asking questions while one reads is key to becoming a great reader. I NEVER want a student to say "Yeah Ms. B I read it, but I couldn't tell you what it's saying."Question while you read!

Terminology charts state specific terms/vocabulary you want your students to use consistently throughout the school year. As a teacher, it is important to use these terms yourself! I love this particular example (even though it does look elementary-esque) because it forces students and myself to always SUPPORT what we say. These terms force myself to explain concepts in 7 different ways every single day!

Recyclable Charts are the ones you can fit in whatever objective/topic you are teaching. This "About the Author" chart can be used for EVERY text your students read. As a history teacher, I would use this for analyzing primary source documents. 

Sometimes you just want a pretty, cute, colored picture on your wall. I know I definitely fall into the trap of wanting my classroom to look perfect and cute from day one to day 191. Teachers can use anchor charts to liven up their classroom decor WHILE using them as actual learning tools. Visuals on anchor charts make it so that information can be easily seen and understood. This chart of "Westward Expansion" is a perfect example of a pretty, colorful, fun chart that any teacher would want on his/her wall while also being completely useful and practical!

I hope this post  has given you some ideas for when setting up your classroom for the up and coming school year. Please let me know of any other types of anchor charts you've used in your classroom!

- Ms. B