#1: Paper Saver
Two years ago, after hearing for the millionth time, "My mom took it out of my folder and threw it away," or something to that extent, I moved to the highly effective, clear paper saver method. I went to Sam's Club and bought 200 paper sleeves for $10.00. We did away with any and all folders (I ask on the summer school shopping list that parents not buy them, but someone always neglects reading; SHOCKING!) and I gave the kids two paper savers, one for Daily 5 work, and one for homework. Math and Science are both done in interactive notebooks. We write which is which directly on the folder in the upper right hand corner and put them behind the agenda the school supplies. All they have in the binders then are an agenda, and 2 clear paper sleeves. For students who do the ole shove in the pockets nonsense, I cut out the pockets. Harsh sounding I know, but last year, I only had two students lose a paper, and only once each! AMAZING, I KNOW!!
#2 Completion Report:
Another saver for me and the kids was using the mailbox system for grading folders. We use standards based grading (1 no mastery, 2 partial mastery, 3 mastery, 4 exceeds mastery) and I had a hard time collecting enough meaningful data for some of my students. I used a menu for Daily 5 that included various activities that either link to the standard are build reading skills using the basic principles of Daily 5. It was more of a Weekly 5 if we are being exact. My teammate and I would switch off changing the items that needed changing and updating the standard.
#5 Interactive Notebooks:
Why? Because everything is glued, taped, or written into the notebook and nothing gets lost. Trust me, you will be a happier person! The Notebooks stay at school in the drawers! If they need something from it to study, I take a picture with my phone and print it off for the student, but this does not happen frequently. They pre-cut the materials at home, or they come in a little early and cut before school starts. It is the easiest homework they will ever have and you will find that they actually do it but it takes no time at all. Then all you have to do is project your pre-made pages in your notebook and they glue it all in the first 5 minutes of class. For those challenged with the concept of using minimal amount of glue, have them tape! Mrs. Ramms has some really helpful ideas for getting started if you have never done notebooking!
Here's to starting a new year!
Work smarter not harder friends,