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My Favorite Teaching Supplies I Can't Live Without to Get Organized

I've got a few teaching must haves that I use in my class to help with organization.  These resources have helped me organize my to-do list, all of my materials for the week, papers, and more!

I've linked up with Schroeder's Shenanigans and Lucky Little Learners to share with you the organization tools that I really, really LOVE!

Love1 Bell:
Stop passing out papers and wasting time, seriously!  You've got so many other things to do, right!  So, get this little bell and you'll never go back to passing out papers again!  Here's what you do.  Have table groups decide who is in charge of picking up papers every day.  I tell them, "I don't care about your system, just figure out who is in charge."  It's a great way to let them problem solve and they are in charge of their system so you don't have to be.  I'm a firm believe that it's important to give our students responsibility.  So, once they have their jobs, you ring the bell.  That person comes up, tells you how many papers they need, you give it to them, and they go back to their seats.  This all takes place in about 30 seconds.  While they are getting their papers to pass out, the other students are getting organized by getting out the materials you need.

Love 2: Shelf
Nothing makes me happier after making copies than putting them away in their little space.  I'm not Type-A, but I am about this little task.  There's nothing worse than a stack of papers with no home.  So, you can make a shelf out of post office boxes like I did.  I just spray painted them, added some washi tape, and used binder clips to write the day of the week.  It's not Pinterest worthy, but I like it!  I love that it's wide enough to place art projects and larger items inside without breaking.  You can also buy them on Amazon.  This affiliate link (I get reimbursed for links I share) is the same shelf I have to store my copy paper.  If I hadn't made this, I would definitely use the one I shared in the link.

Love 3: Magnetic Pockets
Organize student work with magnetic pockets!  Have 5 spelling groups like I do?  Don't stress about organizing all of the lists, just place them in these pockets.  On the front, I paper clipped the names of the students in that group.  I also use these pockets to place extra copies for absent friends and extra reading logs.  In the past, I used it to put center work inside.   They're amazing and a must have in every class.  I love them because the entire back is a giant magnet so it holds the heaviest of papers.  But, I wish Lakeshore would step up their game and add colors other than primary into their inventory.  I added pretty paper from Michaels to make it match my class.

Love 4: Filing Tray
Are you like I was a few months ago?  That teacher who had piles of unused papers and stuff just piling up on your table?  I bought this tray because I needed to get my paper pile under control!  The top moveable tray is for the day's work.  The middle tray is for things we didn't get to, but will later in the week.  The bottom tray is for things we use over-and-over like our dictionary and interactive notebooks.  This tray makes me look really organized!

Love 5: Reusable To-Do List
Enough said!  I use this to keep track of all of those things I will forget!  It keeps me incredibly organized and I seriously think I would lose my mind without it! Just use an overhead or dry erase marker.  Snag it at no cost to you---here.

Want to see how I use my favorite things I love to get organized, I shared about it below!

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I have over 20K Instagram Followers, let's have a GIVEAWAY!

I don't know about you, but I'm kinda obsessed with Instagram.  I'm such a visual person so I love scrolling and looking at my favorite celebs, getting new ideas for my classroom, and looking for fitness motivation.  If you don't have an Instagram account you, read why I think every teacher needs one, stat!  {As I was looking for that post 2 years ago, I had less than 2K followers}

My Instagram Journey: 
I wanted to give you a little insight into my little Instagram journey.  I've shared this at a few workshops I've given as well.  I started out on Instagram when I was living and teaching on Hawaii.  We went on a hike and the lighting was horrible.  I tried to make my photos better by messing around with the filters.  I used the app for months just to make my photos better to upload them to Facebook.  I had no idea about following others and definitely had no idea that there was a whole teacher world out there!  A few years later, I decided to create an account for Easy Teaching Tools and began following teachers.  It was like a whole other world and I loved every bit of it!  Did it feel like that when you found the teaching world on Instagram?  

From there, I started meeting other teachers from around the world.  I learned so much from them and often found myself staying up way past my bedtime taking screenshots of ideas I wanted to use in my classroom.  Crazy enough, I became friends with many of them.  In a weird and unexpected way, Instagram has made me a better teacher.  It's like free bits of PD without ever leaving your house.

My Account:
How I've doubled my followers in just six months still blows my mind.  I thank each and every one of you who likes a photo, asks a question about how you can implement what I posted into your class, or leaves a thoughtful comment.  I read every.single.one.  I try to be very transparent in my account and let you know that teaching isn't always amazing and your class doesn't have to look like a Pinterest board.  It's ok.  I'm human, you're human, and we're doing the best we can!  I like to share photos of things we're doing in our actual classroom, quick ideas you can use right away, some organization tips so you can be more efficient, and lots of weekend fun.  I'm a huge proponent of teacher balance and trying to find the time to do things for you on the weekends.  That's why you'll see lots of beach photos, wine tasting, and random adventures.

The Giveaway:
I've asked some of my favorite educational companies I've worked with in the past to help me celebrate such a great milestone and thank all of you for making it happen!

My students are obsessed with the Riddle Cube {15.00}.  It's a perfect game for early finishers or rainy day recess.

I've have a Teach Happy Membership {29.85} and love it because when I'm feeling down, I log in and am instantly cheered up, supported, and loved!  There are amazing teachers to bounce ideas off of, get amazing tips to stay happy in the classroom, and great collaboration opportunities.  Sheila Jane has offered a 3 month membership for one of you!

I love the cute pencils from Bows and Bells Door Hangers {38} and can't wait to get one once I tie the know in the fall!  Their store is full of more than just pencils, too.  I'm currently drooling over the pineapple!

I'm giving away a copy of my Monthly Reflection Pamphlets for the Whole Year {16.00}.  They're a big hit in my class and on my TpT store.  They're a perfect way to have your students reflect on their learning.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a teacher with a business like blogging or TpT? Kelli Alaina has a very special gift for one of you!  Her Instagram Mini Course will help you reach more teachers!  And according to Kelli, I'm doing a lot of what she talks about in her awesome course! {29.99}
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Display Student Work that Turns into a Memory Book

Oh my word?  Have you ever spent hours at the end of the school year sorting through student work to put into memory books.  Have you ever lost your mind trying to figure out who stole the binding machine to put together books while you so desperately need to begin yours.  Were you that teacher who took the binding machine?  Oh geez, this is stressing me out just hearing about this!
the primary pack, end of the year, memory books, easy teaching tools

I blogged over at The Primary Pack and shared a video on how awesome my little memory book version really is.  Every time I post a class photo on Instagram, people always want to know about our student work display.  See what I mean here, here, and here!

After you go see what all the hype is about, come on back and grab this Memory Book cover freebie that I made just for you!

It's completely editable so you can add your class name, grade, school name, and year. 
You'll need to download KG Shake it Off, KG Drops of Jupiter, and KG Wake Me Up if you want it to look like mine!

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Winter in So Cal Blog Hop and January Pamphlet Freebie

Every January, my So Cal friends and I come together to bring you a little bit about So Cal life, share a winter freebie, and plan a little giveaway for you.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love where I live.  Growing up in Southern California is absolutely the best because you're close to the beach and not too far from the mountains for some fun.  I grew up in a cute little beach town in Orange County.  Last winter, we moved a few beach towns south to San Diego.

We took a bike ride around Coronado Island, in San Diego.

This is my favorite spot along my beach runs.   I grew up spending long summer days here with friends.

Laguna Beach is about 20 minutes from my hometown and has the most gorgeous views and clear water.  In the summer, we love snorkeling, jumping off cliffs, and relaxing at the beach.  

Just last weekend, we headed on a 2 1/2 hour road trip up to play in the mountains.  We've had a horrible drought in California and haven't had rain in ages.  We finally got a huge storm and I think everyone else in So Cal headed up to the mountains too, it was packed.  I was a chicken so we went sledding/tubing instead of snowboarding.  I was good with that!

One thing I love about this So Cal group are the great meet ups we have.  I know it's cliche, but I've made so many connections with these women.  We can vent to one another, share advice, and inspire each other in the classroom and with TpT.

I want to share with you something that I think will be so useful in your class.  Have you been looking for a way for your students to reflect on their learning every month.  These monthly reflection pamphlets are perfect {They're a supplement to my editable Back to School ones}.  Just copy back-to-back and you're set!  You can even choose from 3-4 different cover options each month and can even print in color or black and white.


Click below to grab a January copy!

Want more freebies?  Click on the button below!
Teach with a Smile

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10 Easy Classroom Organization Tips

easy teaching tools, school, elementary school

Classroom Organization is so dang important for so many reasons.  Things run smoothly when everything is organized, promise!  I want to share with you 10 easy tips that will help you in your class.

1. To-Do List
 I'm a list-girl.  I'm the type of person who will add something to the list once it's done just so I can cross it off.  Please tell me I'm not the only one.  I love this laminated planner because it's simple and to-the-point.  Just use a fine-point dry erase marker to list your tasks.  You can get this planner straight to your inbox for FREE!
easy teaching tools, school, elementary school, to do list,

2. Guided Reading Area
 Use daily bins to keep materials in for easy access. I've got a few suggestions for you on Amazon, where I do get compensated for my suggestions. Wall Pops are great little dry erase stickers that you can stick onto your table.  We use it for word work and sight word practice as well as comprehension practice.  I love the seat crates because they provide extra storage for all of your materials. 
one sharp bunch, easy teaching tools, school, elementary school, seat crates, wall pops, guided reading, guided reading storage
Credit: One Sharp Bunch

3. Construction Paper
 Use a filing cabinet with hanging folders to store construction paper.  You can also store it in letter trays if that works better for you.  Either way, all of your paper is in one place!

astrobrite, construction paper, card stock, saddle up for 2nd grade
Credit: Saddle Up for 2nd Grade

4. Folder Holder
I love how Meredith, from Creativity to the Core bought an IKEA trash bin, attached hooks to the wall, and hung the bin.  Now, it's a perfect spot to store folders, or anything really.  Could you see how you'd use this in your class?

ikea, folder holder, creativity to the core
Credit: Creativity to the Core
5. Pencil Pouches
Have you ever thought to use Pencil Pouches to store centers?  Brilliant, right? My favorite are the canvas pouches with a clear cover so everyone can see what's inside.  Keep everything students need in the pouches so it's all in one place.
center storage, math storage
Credit: Not So Wimpy Teacher

6. Library Book Bins
I love my bright bins from Really Good Stuff.  They are sturdy and match the theme of our classroom.  Label them to make for better organization and you're set.  Use lexiles in your class? Label them with lexile levels so students can choose the books that are at their level.
library organization, really good stuff, kinder craze, easy teaching tools, one sharp bunch, leveled books, library
Credit: One Sharp Bunch
7. Table Supply Caddy
I've never been able to love the idea of students having their own supplies in a pencil case.  Maybe because I'm neurotic and the sound of kids rummaging around them makes me want to cry.  So, I've always bought supply caddies.  They're inexpensive at Target in the Dollar Spot and Michaels.  One supply caddy works for 5 kids, love it!  Here's a little tip: get cups to place in the caddy to store pencils and scissors {see below}.  For crayons, get a little container to store crayons and stack them.  This year, I bought them at Dollar Tree because they matched my colors, but I always used the white stacking ones in the past.

supplies, pencil box, supply caddy, expo markers, students, easy teaching tools

8. New Students
Eeeek, it's Monday and you just found out you're getting a new student?  Do you scramble looking for all of that beginning of the year paperwork?  Not anymore if you follow this organization trick!  Grab a few folders at the beginning of the year and place important papers like your Back to School powerpoint, website log ins, class expectations, and all of that other good stuff.  So next time you have a new kiddo walk in through that door, you're prepared!

file folders, new students, easy teaching tools
Credit: Love Learning with Liana

9. Math Supplies
I've talked about math center organization before, and love this favorite little tip of mine!  Shoe hangars aren't just for your closet anymore!  I hang ours up in our math station and fill it with dice, paper clips, spinners, flash cards, and everything else that my kids will need for extension activities and reinforcement.  The clear ones are best so students can actually see what's inside!
math centers,

10. Technology
Are you lucky enough to have technology in your class?  What do you do with it all?  I've got a few tips over at The Primary Pack as well as some freebie screensavers for your computers and devices.
technology storage, iPad, student device
Here are some of the resources I mentioned.

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Books Teachers Love for February: Looking at Lincoln and some ART

I love that every month on the 10th, a few of us teachers bring you some of our favorite read alouds each month with some great activities that you can use right away.  I'm all for easy, engaging, and fun!

What made me buy Looking at Lincoln, by Maira Kalman a few years ago with my Scholastic points was the gorgeous, bright colors.  I know you're not suppose to judge books by their cover, but I couldn't resist and judged away.

This book is about a little girl who is walking down the street and sees someone she thinks looks just like Abraham Lincoln.  She wants to learn more about him and discovers many fascinating details.  What I love about this story is that the little girl makes connections to her life and has a few silly questions for him.  The book is written from her perspective while giving the reader many great facts.  This book is perfect to accompany your President's unit.

How pretty are these watercolors?!?!

I use this book to supplement our curriculum.  I love to tie in our social studies with our reading and writing to I love using Teacher to the Core's activities from her American Heroes pack.  It includes wonderful reading passages that my students work on as part of our Close Reading for the week, grammar activities, an assessment, and adorable smart art!

books teachers love, read alouds for winter, january read alouds, easy teaching tools, deanna jump, teachers pay teachers, 2nd grade

I love how pretty this project looks.  Plus, it would look amazing in our class or even in the hallway for others to see.

books teachers love, read alouds for winter, january read alouds, easy teaching tools, deanna jump, teachers pay teachers, 2nd grade

I'm a huge lover of all sorts of directed drawings.  These ones look so fancy and totally up my 2nd grader's little alley.  What do you think?

books teachers love, read alouds for winter, january read alouds, easy teaching tools, deanna jump, teachers pay teachers, 2nd grade

Get a President's Day mini book for free, right here!

Want to see more February Read Alouds?!?!

An InLinkz Link-up

Want to win a copy?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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