31 July 2017

Monday Made It!

Happy Monday, friends! The clock is ticking until school starts back up, and for me...it's ticking pretty fast! We officially reported back to school last Thursday, and it has been crazy busy.

It might seem like we go back to school early, but we have a great schedule. We have a two-week fall break in mid-October, a full week for Thanksgiving, two-plus weeks at Christmas, and a two-week spring break, and not to mention the snow days in between. Plus, we're still out by Memorial Day, so...I won't be complaining any time soon.

But...that early start means that there won't be many more Monday Made Its from me, but I managed to squeeze out a few fun things this week, so let's check them out! You can join in the link-up by heading over to Fourth Grade Frolics.

Coat Hook Labels and Name Tags: Usually I just post the students' names above their coat hook each year. I tried a number system, but then I could never remember which number was who, so I went back to names. Plus I think the kids like seeing their names up there! This year, I decided to be extra crafty and add pictures of each student with their name. It was pretty simple since I could see all the students' pictures in Infinite Campus, our attendance and grading system, and I was able to use these Editable Book Bin Labels by Learning in Wonderland to choose from hundreds of Melonheadz clipart kid images. I was able to find a different image for each kiddo, I added their names, and...voila! Cuteness overload!

And...I liked them so much that I decided to make a separate set to wear on the first day of school as a name tag. I just punched holes in the top and looped a pincher clip through for the kids to clip to their shirts. I like the clips, as opposed to lanyards, because they will be easier to see. I also thought they would be great to keep around in the event of a guest teacher or any other special visitors.

Desk Nameplates: I used to make fancy nameplates to put on each desk. But they always PICKED at them or PEELED the corners, and it made me crazy! Plus, when any standardized testing came along from our district, we had to remove them-lest they actually use that number line or any other useful tool on it when you actually want them to. So, last year I decided I would just write their names on their desks with a thick Sharpie. It worked, but when I wanted a kid to switch seats, it would be days before I would remember to scrub the name off and change it. So....

I came up with this brilliant idea for this upcoming school year. I made the nameplates using an editable template from the Happy Rainbow Collection by School Girl Style and laminated them. However, instead of sticking them on top of the desks, I put them on the front of the desks. Now-this probably won't work for everyone depending on your desk arrangement, but it is better for me because all of my desks actually face me. (If you are familiar with Teach Like a Champion, then this desk setup might ring a bell!) Now I can see everyone's names and they can't mess with them. Win, win! Plus it will be nice for when we have surprise guests, substitute teachers, or new students.

Oh! I also attached them with velcro from the Dollar Tree so they can be easily interchanged. I love it!

Miniature Dice Holders: So, this is a different version of last week's pill box turned dice holder. I ended up finding this pill box at the Dollar Tree, and I especially loved how it was only 3 compartments. (Not to mention the handy dandy carrying case!) I used nail polish remover to get the letters off, and then bribed my hubby to donate more of his miniature gaming dice to the cause that is my classroom. (It's one of the few perks of being a war-gaming wife.)

Here are some of my plans for them:

Place Value Practice: shake, write the number, and identify the value of a number in a specific spot. The kids could even turn the boxes to make the greatest number possible. For example, if you look at the yellow box, is 653 greater or would 356 be greater?

Addition Practice: This would be a great tool for addition with 3 addends. 6 + 5 + 3 = 14 Or you could combine boxes to make multi-digit addends. So, if I used the boxes below, it could be 653 + 552, or it could be 32 + 55 + 65. I can also envision easy differentiation for these activities, too.

The possibilities are endless!

Student Workbook Drawer Labels: Even though my students each have a desk, they do not actually use the inside of it. The desks actually lift open, so you can imagine how everything slides right off the desk anytime I ask them to get something out. And it happens every.single.time they open their desks every.single.day. It drove me nuts. You would think they would learn. But...nope.

So, enter these Rubbermaid drawers. The kids store all of their necessary materials-workbooks, notebooks, manipulatives-in each drawer. Four students share each set of drawers. Since everything stays in one place, there is none of the "I can't find my..." anymore.

So, long story short, I made these fun labels for each drawer using a "Hello My Name Is" free template from I Teach What's Your Superpower?. The kids really didn't have any trouble putting everything where it went, but I like the look of these labels anyways!

Well, that's it for this week! But here is a sneak peak at something I've been working on that I just recently finished up and posted on my TpT store. If you own my Light Box Bundle, head over and download the newest update that includes four adorable unicorn slides. You can see them all HERE.

Have a fantastic week!


  1. Hey Lori! I enjoyed your desk comments. YES, the kiddos do drop everything when they open their desks. I'll have to play around with your idea of storing their materials outside their desks. Did you have the hoarder kids - all papers in the desk and nothing going home? That drives me nuts! Thanks for sharing your idea with the names on the front of the desks, hmmm maybe I'll copy another idea from you.
    Will you be sharing your desk arrangement or room reveal? For years I have had the kiddos' desks all facing forward. Some fellow teachers don't agree but, when the germs start flying my students seem to be a bit healthier.
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    iTeach 2nd

  2. I have to remember those pill boxes next time I'm at Dollar Tree. The Dollar Tree by me CLOSED, so now it has to be destination shopping for me. Ugh. Thanks! Kathleen