Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New Resolution to Get Organized

At the beginning of the school year I went through and spent time getting myself organized both as a teacher and in my classroom.  As the year has gone on, however, I have found certain things lacking.  Namely the cohesiveness of the walls, boards, turn-in, pick-up and supply bins.  They are just a mess and it drives me bonkers!  I have tried different ways to overcome this mess including sticker labels, folders and other random methods.  But for me, since it is handwritten, it still looks sloppy.  

As a result, I turned to my favorite teacher store first - Lakeshore Learning - to see if they had anything that would meet me labeling needs!  I found some great little plaques/name tags that I could laminate and write on with dry erase markers.  They are really nice and cohesive looking...but after getting them home and trying them out, I realized that they still didn't look...well professional enough for a high school classroom.  

Vintage Digital
So I did what I have done for a while now - I made them myself!  I downloaded some fantastic retro and vintage digital papers from Stacey Lloyd on TeachersPayTeachers and got to work!  I used the papers as a background in PowerPoint, added some frames, did some other coloring, manipulating and modifying and had a template.  I then started thinking about everything I needed to label in my room and created professional looking labels for everything in my room!  I even created labels for my group numbers so I don't need to recreate them every I put students in groups. To make them functional and long lasting I am going to print them on card stock and laminate them.  

After a couple of days of staring at them (since I made them over winter break when I was still over a week from getting back in my classroom) I decided that if they would benefit me, then maybe they would benefit other secondary math teachers too!  So I made four more sets with different backgrounds and posted them in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.  I also included a powerpoint file so that teachers can make their own labels and change the phrasing if something that I labeled isn't what they call it!  The labels come in Starburst, Circles, Diamonds (a black and white design for those without color printers), Stripes and Circles and Stars (this prints really well in gray scale if you are color ink challenged!). 

What is your favorite way to get  organized?

***Thank you to Stacey Lloyd for the fantastic background for my blog cover slide***

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