Second Grade Nest: August 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An Easy Guide to O.W.L. Binders


I started OWL binders in my classroom last year in second grade and adored how organized it kept my parents and students (and me)! This year, I'm doing it again with first graders. I was a little worried because my kiddos are a year younger, but they are doing JUST AS WELL! Parents are telling me how organized and excited they are to show their OWL binders once they get home! 

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders


Organized While Learning
And that is certainly something that holds true. 
I'm teaching these kids how to organize themselves and become independent and I love it. 

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
The front of the binders! 
I hate to admit it, but I ran out of printer ink and didn't feel like spending another dime on it. I swear I've spent $200 just on ink this summer. So, I printed all the boys' binder covers on blue paper and all the girls' binder covers on pink/purple paper. They're 6 and 7! They don't judge! 

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
The first page they see is a binder contents sheet. 
Before any of the tabs, there is...
-table of contents
-contract
-rules

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
Here is the contract that teachers, parents, and students sign just promising that papers will be added daily by teachers and paper will be checked by parents. 

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
Rules that the kids sign

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
Then a little parent letter to let them know what the binder is for and what purpose is. 


Then we get to the tabs....

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
Each binder will need 4 tabs- label them with a Sharpie or make them cuter than I did and slip in those papers to label them with words. I was feeling like I need something easy, so I just wrote on them with a Sharpie! 
To each their own. 

Funny story...
My phone DIED and couldn't get anymore pictures! 

But in those tabs...
-Section 1: Parent Section
-Section 2: O.W.L. Report (Our Weekly Learning) (Newsletters)
-Section 3: Homework Section
-Section 4: Behavior Section 

I REALLY wanted to show a picture of part of my parent section. I bought every kid a $1 zipper pouch that I stick notes to and from parents in. I stick thank you notes, reminders, important notes. Parents send money and transportation notes. The zipper pouch is a new plus I am really enjoying! 
O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
Click HERE for a link to buy a set of 24. This is my affiliate link on Amazon. 

Here is my outline of what I did last year to give you another idea of it! 
O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
Click here for a walk through of last year's binders.

O.W.L. Binders for classroom organization- student responsibility take home binders for parent communication- OWL binders
And now it is available as an EDITABLE document that you can use in your own classroom! 

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And a little pic of an amazing Monday gift. Just because! Love my new school!! 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Digs- Teacher Week '13

As some of you know, I have my classroom completely set up and ready to go for this year teaching second grade, then I had an amazing job opportunity open up at a school district closer to home! So, I took it and here it is!!

Here is the big CLASSROOM REVEAL PART 2!!


These are random and not in any sort of order!
Windows with my homemade drapes (shower curtain rod, fabric, iron-on hemming). I blogged about this a few days ago. 

Close up of my READ letters in the window.
And a few of my owls.

My Daily 5 bulletin board, plus my Listen to Reading area. 

My computer and word work area. 

Word Work tables. Love it! 

I'm excited to have a designated word work area. 

My guided reading/small group area!
I'm TOO excited to have a kidney bean table again!!! Missed it since my kindergarten days. 

Teacher corner with three bulletin boards and a white board I separated up with painter's tape. 

My Eno board,2 more bulletin boards, and another white board that I separated with painter's tape. 

Sink, behavior, filing rack

My student cubbies (plus a few of my 26 cabinets)...
Yes, we have exactly 26 cabinets. Perfect for my word wall!!! 
And my apologies for the messy cubby appearance. Some of the school supplies started rolling in, and I haven't found a home for those books and binders on the right.


Number, name, and owl to label their cubbies. 

Panoramic shot of the room.


View from the door.
Quite spacious!

Calendar area

Close up of the teacher area! 

Most of the owl items in the room can be found in my owl/chevron decor pack.




Saturday, August 10, 2013

Making Cheap DIY Drapes

So, with this crazy move from old school to new school, I don't have lots of time to make fancy drapes. My old classroom had a corkboard strip above the windows so I could staple my fabric at the top, but my new school does not. So, I had to go on a little adventure.

How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom

This is how you make fabric drapes the (very) cheap way...

What you need:
-fabric
-shower curtain rod
-'Stitch Witchery'- iron on hemming
-iron
-damp cloth
How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom




How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom
1. Fold the fabric over the shower curtain rod. 

How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroomHow to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom
2. Lay the iron-on hemming right under the fold you just made around the shower curtain. 


How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom
3. Put a damp cloth on top of the fabric, and hold the iron on top of the damp cloth for 10 seconds. Do not move the iron back and forth like you typically would on an iron, just hold it there. 

How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom
And done!!!! 

How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom
There are my drapes in my new room!
SNEAK PEAK AT MY NEW CLASSROOM. Yay! 

How to make cheap blinds for your classroom- DIY drapes for windows in your classroom