Teacher Appreciation - Organizational Tips

Today we're celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by giving you a few tips to help you stay organized.  Procedures and preparation are the key to behavior management and we hope these ideas will fit nicely into your 'teacher toolkit'.

Since it's Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought what better gift to give teachers than a list of websites that will save you time.  I love go-to places, and these five websites are fabulous and free! 

Read Works is the first one I'll share.  It has a database of reading articles that you can search by topic, by genre, by reading level, and by comprehension skill. I love that I can see the readability level so that I select material that hits my students' needs. Comprehension questions are included with each passage, so teachers have the option to use/not use them.

Reading A-Z is a subscription site (almost free), and most likely you are using it, have tried it, or at least heard of it.  I'm did a long post about tips you might try with it.  You can read that post [here]. Reading A-Z offers materials for all levels K-6 as well as poetry, reader's theater, close reading articles, and lots of manipulative printables.

The Writing Fix is a free website that ties reading and writing with mentor text lessons, anchor papers, lots of printables to guide student writing, and even apps to help you as a teacher.  [This post] will help you learn a bit more about the mentor text lessons it includes.

Read, Write, Think is a fantastic place to see model lessons on a multitude of skills and for a wide range of levels.  The lesson database is deep with teacher made lessons and materials. It offers interactive activities teachers can use with their students as well as lots of printable reading projects students can print and make or make online, print, and put together.

The last website is fairly new to me, and it's all about the news! Newsela offers current event articles and questions to teachers that are geared to student interest and to student needs.  You can check it and all of the other websites out by clicking the image to the left of each description.

I hope these time-saving sites will provide you with lots of great planning ideas. Have a happy week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  As a teacher and mom, I know how important it is to spend time with your family.  I hope that my tips today will help you manage your school day so you can spend more time with your family!
I really like to be organized, but it definitely doesn't come naturally to me.  I had the bedroom growing up that you couldn't walk through without tripping on something… I’m sure you have never been there…BUT, over the years I have longed for organization and I have gotten better at it every year that I have been in the classroom.  Sometimes I think back and wonder how I found anything in my first few years of teaching because I was really laking in the organization department.  It’s still not perfect and I know that from year to year it will get even better.  For now, this is what works for me.
During Guided Reading, I call groups up to read with me.  I have “stools” that open up and all of my supplies are inside.  The kids think this is just AMAZING!  I love the stools, but I just got them this year and they aren’t holding up as well as I had hoped.  As you can see, each “stool” has a caddy.  Each caddy holds many supplies including dry erase markers, erasers, word windows, magnifying glasses, scissors, clue sticks etc.
I also use my FREEBIE Guided Reading Binder to stay organized.  I have all of my groups in my binder.  I LOVE that when I change my groups, I can easily change move them with the Velcro strip in my binder.  I also keep all of my Guided Reading Lesson Plans by level in the back.  I have tabs with each letter using Fountas and Pinnell reading levels. I can easily get the plans that I need from my binder.
I also have The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit that allows me to have the resources that I need at each level to have an effective Guided Reading Lesson.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  You deserve it!

Top Tips for Maximum Results

Two quick classroom organization tips from Wendy from Ms. D’s Literacy Lab. I work as a full-time K-6 Reading Specialist at a Title I school in the suburban Boston area. I can easily have 8-9 classes/meetings each school day with back-to-back classes so organization is a must !

My first tip is color coded folders and labels for 3 drawer carts !

I have 11-12 groups this year. Each reading group has color-coded folders with stickers on it. These folders match the label for the drawers on my 3 drawer carts that I purchased from Target.

My 2nd quick tip allows a busy teacher to keep their files in order for multiple classes or grade levels. I purchased these brightly colored labels from Lakeshore Learning. I use a different color for each grade level each year. For instance, yellow may be Kindergarten, green may be First Grade, and melon may be 2nd grade. As grades move onto middle school, incoming Kindergarten gets the exiting 5th graders’ color for their first year. It makes it very easy to locate a child’s folder for parent conferences, a meeting, and filing assessments !

Have a wonderful end of the year !

Hello, I'm Jessica from Hanging Out in First.  I am here to share with you a great organizational tip for your guided reading time.  So many people have a hard time knowing what to do with the rest of the students while you are meeting with your guided reading group.  Center time can be a chaotic mess at times!  My recommendation is to use heterogeneous groups for your center time and take whole group breaks in between your groups.  

Take a look at my center schedule:


My students sit in groups.  They work with these groups during center time.  They are heterogeneous and when arranging my classroom I consider their levels as well as behavior.  This helps students with supporting one another during center time.  If your students are homogeneous, then often times you are left with a low group that is unable to work independently and a high group that is bored and finished early.  Heterogeneous groups allows for students of different levels to support one another so that students stay on track.

If you want more tips on guided reading, check out my new guided reading series.


Tomorrow teachers will share their favorite series of books to read with their students.  Leave us a comment and let us know if you're enjoying our tips this week!

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