Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Grading Box

I will admit as a high school teacher with 5 to 6 classes and all the assignments that go along with them...grading can be a messy situation. In the past, I have done folders/files and I end up stuffing them in my bag at the end of the day for them to get scrunched up, misplaced, or even...I'll say it...LOST (only twice out of 500 students). I finally found this little miracle tool on Pinterest and knew it was for me ;) It was simple to make and no more lost organization plus!

It was super easy to make. It took about 7 minutes and about $14.00 to make!! Wooh- Hoo. I bought the box from Wal - Mart for $14.00 and used color card stock I had left over. I color-coded my classes, measured the label sizes, created the categories, cut out my labels, stuck them in...and wah-lah. Done. Here is my final product:


- God Bless,
     Brittany Baxter. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Room Re-Do!!!

So I do not think I have ever been this excited and inspired to make my room look "Pretty" This is my third year teaching and it seems like it has taken me three years to get pumped!!! When I walked into my "new" room...I'll admit...I was a little disappointed. I was coming from a brand new school with all the new technology, and even the new school smell. Everything was freshly cleaned and my new room was well...a little dusty. After doing all this work though, I feel so at home in my room and wouldn't trade it for anything! (Crossing Fingers - "I hope I never have to move, I hope I never have to move.") Here are some ideas of things I have done to make it organized and engaging to the students....Enjoy and feel free to Copy :) Hey, we gotta look out for each other! 

Back of the Room: The first thing I had to do was take care of those OLD Bulletin Boards that I believe still had the same paper from 1990...I love colors that POP so this was easy...I want each area of the room to serve a purpose so my bulletin boards say "Grades and Info, Welcome, and Student Work"...In the middle there is a chart that has basic conversational skills on it....I will change it out and switch it to whatever we are learning. I added some framed "Spanish sayings"on top of the boards, some shiny bulletin board borders, and already looks like a different room.

Now making our way can see all the posters I have hung over my white boards...this room was packed full of white boards...Hey, I'm not's awesome!!! I bought a pack of Spanish Posters at the Parent-Teacher Store for $10.00 and my kids are already using them!!! This space was going to be hard to fill anyways so I thought I'll just use something useful like posters over the boards! I had a few kids the first week of school copy down all the vocabulary....Lahhhh...."Is this Heaven?" Also, you can see I have the tables in groups and each desk has a number. This is SOOO easy for assigning students to desks on the first day and switching out those little "Chatter Boxes" It looks kind of squished but I can get to all my kids actually and they can do group work :) Win Win! Also, each group has a certain color number so that is their "Group Color" 

So this is the other side of the room...I have the "question words" hung so the students can easily refer to key words and I hung up the North, Central, and South American map. Believe it or not...I refer to it several times a year when talking about certain countries. For some extra color and pop...I hot glued my Mexican blanket in the back...just gave it a little Spanish twist. Now...the ugly green heater and the air conditioner need some spicing up...but those are a later date and a different blog entry ;) By the way, I made the question words myself with Microsoft Word and construction paper, laminated and boom. I bought the maps ready...THE DOLLAR STORE! Win Win ;) 

Now, you are looking at the front of the room, and in the corner where my teacher area is...This is a HUGE improvement! I have my bookshelf close and near by that has many of my teacher resources. I also like to use the bookshelf to store big packets and materials for upcoming classes. I have 2 filing cabinets, a small filing cabinet, and a table. Believe it or not...I don't like taking too much room for myself...I feel like that is more space that can be used for something beneficial for the kids. I have my desk which has my own printer, my computer, and my phone. I have started to cover my desk with orange paper and the kids will be signing it as the year goes on. This is something I will always have and can take with me. I don't spend ANY time at my desk while I'm teaching anyways so this is more for just beneficial use after and before school. By the way...need your desk area to be more "homey" get a CUTE lamp!!! Mine was $7.00 at the Dollar General. I also got the Burberry, yes Burberry looking small bulletin board for $3.00!!! Gotta have my microwave and fridge (both were 24.00 total) Nothing like those great bargains! 

Now, you have the front of the room. I have this huge long wooden bookshelf that is awesome. I have all my baskets for turning in papers and homework. They are now labeled, "1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th" I have my pencil hospital which I will be posting more about, the sharpener, hand sanitizer, lotion, etc. I have all the Spanish 1 books which will not be used a lot and some organization bins and buckets. This is more for the students. Everything they need is right up here. I teach them when to sharpen their pencil and when they can visit this area. the will see one of the "UGLY" bookshelves that I posted in the has been healed! I bought a set of sheets (used the tuck sheet and pillow cases for myself) but used the loose sheet to cover up my bookshelf. I hide all my props for skits like Toys, dolls, play food, musical instruments, and know all those things high school kids would linger straight to and pull out during an inappropriate time! I used velcrow (?) and hot glue to hang it up. ;) Nifty, eh? I also have my rules (front of the room) and my projector screen is right here. I have a lot of space to use for presentations, project share time, and teaching in general. I like having this area...I don't feel cramped and the students can easily tell where the front of the room is. :) 

And we have made our way around the is just a small area that needed some jazzing up...I have my black cabinet which is WONDERFUL for storing needed materials. I of course laminated and hung up some small posters. I have my door that has "Salida" which means "Exit" over it...I will be putting more posters on the classroom door soon. Notice a small basket on TOP of the black cabinet...that is my candy bowl. ;) 

There ya have room has been converted from a bland old' English room into a Spicy and Colorful Spanish room. I have lots more to do but for now...I think this will keep my students engaged and organized. 

Thanks so much. God Bless!

-Brittany Baxter