/Classroom Organization & Management
5 05, 2017

Fitting Science in Your Primary Class

By | May 5th, 2017|Classroom Organization & Management, Science|0 Comments

Hi everyone! How many of you have an hour each day to spend on science? What about a half hour? What about ten minutes? Ok, most of you are probably like, extra time. What is that? The struggle is for real. Yet, fitting science in your primary class is so very important.

Different Ways to Fit Science in the Primary Class

First off, it is important because you are going to have some curious little minds in your classroom that have a desire to learn everything about everything. Some students might actually prefer non-fiction to fiction too. There are going to be children in your classroom that you can better engage with topics on frogs, penguins, pumpkins, and so on than with some made up story of a kid and his talking pet pig. Now I can spit off other reasons you don’t want to skip over science, but if for any reason, it is for reaching students and engaging them.

So take a deep breath! You can do this! I got some ideas below. Some you probably know to do, but I hope to add some fresh ideas while covering all bases too.

Read Alouds

Read Alouds with Science Books

Include some books when you are reading a story aloud to the classroom. Having a nice balance of 50% fiction and 50% non-fiction is great!

Guided Reading

Finding some guided reading books on non-fiction for levels AA-D is like finding gold! They do exist! Being able to add that pumpkin reader in when you just did a read aloud on pumpkins is such a great extension!

Writing Workshop

Include writing about the science topic in your writing workshop or during guided writing after you have incorporated a read aloud or a book in guided reading. You could add a fun craft twist on it to make it even more engaging and exciting.

Recess

Example of Recess Science Experiment

Do you have a fun experiment that belongs outdoors? Do it when you are bringing students outside for recess. Usually it just takes a few moments to make a soda bottle explode from the mentos, and then students can carry on with their play.

Experimental Motivators

Do you have a struggle in your classroom with transition times? Are students taking too long to pack up right before leaving? If you have an experiment that you will be demonstrating to the classroom  and letting them observe that is not very time consuming, you could use it as a motivator to get them to pack up those bags quickly or to clean up centers swiftly. Just let the student know that if they are packed up by so and so time, you will have time to squeeze in a science experiment. There are other ways you could use the science experiment as a reward for timeliness too or as some other type of treat the class earns together such as good behavior during an observation. That way, students are gaining you more class time by transitioning more quickly, and you are squeezing in that science experiment for them.

Math Centers

Some science activities can tie in with math. You can add that as a math center or tie in the theme if there is not much connection. Some examples: Measure the “dinosaur bones” with counting cubes or inches as they dig for the “bones.” (These can be print outs of course!) Let them count the pumpkin seeds to a 100 from a pumpkin you cut open earlier.

Morning Work

Morning work can be meaningful because it is review time and time to work on important skills like handwriting, but it is possible that some of you could exchange that time once a week for doing a science activity too.

Reading Response

Fitting science in the primary class is as simple as using crafts and read alouds

Find the resource by clicking here

If you don’t have time to focus on just a science experiment or craft right after a read aloud, don’t stress it. You can always add a reading response craft as one of your reading centers. Setting out an example and picture directions will help them to be independent at the center.

I hope some of these ideas get you thinking about how to integrate and fit science in your classroom. Maybe you were able to spring some ideas off my suggestions above for fitting science in your classroom. If so, I would love to hear some of those ideas below in the comments. Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class! Make sure to sign-up for email below. I have some upcoming blog posts with exclusive freebies planned!

Jolene 🙂

 

 

 

24 06, 2016

Teacher Hacks & Organization Inspiration

By | June 24th, 2016|Classroom Organization & Management|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I wanted to share some organizing inspiration and teacher hacks!

Teacher Hacks and Classroom Organization Inspiration

Teacher Hack and Idea #1

Contrary to what the clear tape people told you, student name plates do not need to be a permanent fixture on a desk. Use some mounting putty and plop those babies on the desk. Little Talks-a-lot not mashing well with the Chatsome Talkettes? You can relocate that student swiftly without a word while you waltz the room teaching that math lesson.

Teacher Hack with Name Plates

 

 

Idea #2

Labels make teaching easy. Well, maybe not, lol!  They can’t take away the stress of unscheduled meetings, interrupted planning time, and that student who you love so dearly (ahem…after they move on to the next grade level). But labels do help label away the stress of chaotic basket mash potatoes, so label, label, label.

 

Joke about labels making teaching easy

 

Supply label image of Math Cubes

Supply Label Organizing Inspiration

Tip: Simple shoe box containers with lids are really great for storing all those math manipulatives because you can stack them easily on a cheap $20 book shelf. I use the additional space on the side of these containers to stack some plastic pencil cases for things like flash cards.

Classroom Shelf Organized

Idea #3

No more looking like you are running the airport. Use center signs to smooth out transitions.

Teacher Hacks and Organizing Inspiration with Placement Holders for Center Signs

Teacher Hack: Use place holder signs for placing the center signs in their place. Super simple and cheap. I snagged up a box with 8 of these place holders for under $5 with a 40% coupon from a craft store.

Teacher Hacks and Organizing Inspiration with Placement Holders for Center SignsBasic RGB

Idea #5

Your clipboard is your mind. (Ok, now that I am rereading that statement…I am realizing that totally sounds zombie like. Your clipboard is your mind. And I don’t even watch horror movies, lol!) With all due seriousness, my biggest weakness is my memory. It’s not that I forget things. It’s just I don’t think about them at the right time…like the next day I remember. See I remembered. 🙂 I remembered that one student was suppose to go in the car rider line instead of on the bus to after school care…after I put him on the bus (and the parent came in looking for him…but they helped me remember!) I remember that meeting with the superintendent, the next week (after they hand me a pink slip…ok pulling your leg on that one, lol!) But, I do forget way too much! But those things are not forgotten anymore because I realized a long time ago that my clipboard is an extension to my brain.

Clipboard quote for better classroom organization

On my clipboard, I have kept a list of transportation that lists every day of the week for the month. Than, simply check off each student as they line up to make sure everyone is going to the right place on the right day. A to-do list is a clipboard must. A schedule with student rotations comes in handy. Keeping a form for classroom management helps too. With a clipboard doing the hard thinking, it takes away quite a bit of stress and helps even the most forgetful of people (me!) remember. An attendance list is also good to store there and comes in handy for any kind of drill. Keeping the clipboard either in my hands or an arm’s reach away has kept me on tract and well organized.

Clipboard with mode of transportation

Idea #6

Students need to know where the homes are of everything in the classroom, so they can do their part to keep the classroom organized. Keeping a classroom organized has everything to do with training students to use your organization system. Once you got those systems set-up, its just a matter of training them to use your system. Which I have found to actually be easy to do even with even kindergartners, but absolutely impossible to train the people in my house an organization system, haha! But in my sweet husband’s defense, he does do the dishes for me to help me have more time to work on my blog! 😉 The key is to know how you are going to train your students before they come to your classroom at the beginning of the year, and reinforce, reinforce, reinforce that first week. What I have found to work is picture the students coming into the classroom in the morning, hanging up their backpacks, pulling out their homework folders and placing those in the basket near the cubbies, and so on. Visualize how you would like the transitions to go between reading centers and lunch. That way, when those sweeties walk in your classroom, you can start training them the system. It’s amazing how a totally messy classroom (due to center time) can become so clean in a few short minutes….now if only that could happen at home. (By the way, my family was a good sport about my joke about them and are currently cleaning up the house for me. I just like to pick on them, and I am super blessed!)

Quote about classroom organization

Idea #7

Let students help you stay organized and use signs to keep their classroom job roles organized. Students don’t suddenly become responsible adults one day, they grow into responsible adults. A classroom job is like the water that will help that growing happen. By the way to make them even more responsible, you can send them to clean up my house too….just saying ;).

Let students help you stay organized.

Tip:

Use a classroom job chart with clips that rotate to make management of the jobs easier. You can even have a student rotate the clips for you.

classroom job chart

Tip and dot hack:

As I mentioned, students can move the clips for you. Simply have them remove the bottom clip and place at the top. Than move each clip down one. If there is a job that has more than one student, you can put a sticker dot or mark a dot for each of those spots on the job chart. Students simply put the clips on those dots.

teacher hack for putting a classroom job chart together

Assembly Hack:

Eliminate some of the cutting, by only clipping the jobs you won’t be using from the pages. Keep the rest of the page together. No need to cut it all.  Less cutting will also make it more durable and easier to piece it together. However, maybe you don’t need a chair stacker…so clip that one off the page. Then attach the rest of them together with tape on the back. Laminate them either all together (if using a school laminator) or in paper size sections (home laminator). If you laminated in paper size sections, attach them all together with a stronger tape like duck tape on the back. You want the back to have good support to hold it all together. Attach the top part securely to wherever you will be attaching it, but allow the rest to float down.

classroom organization inspiration

Click here to get to the organizers and decor. 

I hope you found some helpful ideas with the teacher hacks mentioned and some inspiration. Make sure to subscribe to my email to receive more inspiration and ideas in your inbox.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

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Jolene 🙂

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