Thursday, February 28, 2013

Label Power Cords {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


The Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focuses on organizing your classroom. Each morning I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

Did you ever notice how we allegedly live in a "wireless world" and yet there seem to still be cords EVERYWHERE?! I loathe cords. And therefore I love this idea for labeling them easy-peasy. Simply attach one of those plastic tags that hold your bread shut and label it with the name of the item on the other end. That's the simple way. If you want to get a little more fancy pants you could use some spray paint you may have kicking around and make them all fancy pants. Either way it's a good use for a free item.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Removing Ink From Plastic Containers {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


The Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focuses on organizing your classroom. Each morning I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

Over the years I've written several posts about classroom storage and more specifically, creating your own storage containers out of recycled materials. At one point I collected several Stoneyfield Yogurt containers to use as manipulative containers during Math Workshop. {You can see them in this post.} I spray painted mine. But, did you know that you can use acetone nail polish remover to take off the printed words and images on those plastic containers? Now you do. 

Best of all you are helping the Earth and saving money!
{source}

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

3.OA.1 TASK CARDS {Meaning of Multiplication}{

{Click here to access and download the 3.OA.1 Bundle}
The goal of this bundle is to guide students to understand how multiplication and addition are related. The strategy of knowing that equal groups can be recored as either an addition equation or a multiplication equation will help them to understand the concept of multiplication.

This bundle contains 4 sets of
task cards and a related printable that can be used to document mastery of the skills. 

1) 3.OA.1 MEANING OF MULTIPLICATION CARDS SET 1: Students are provided with 3 expressions (example: 5 groups of 3; 3+3+3+3+3 and 5 X 3) and are asked to create an image to represent them.

2) 3.OA.1 MEANING OF MULTIPLICATION CARDS SET 2: Students are given a multiplication expression and are asked to draw a picture to represent it and find the product.



3) 3.OA.1 MEANING OF MULTIPLICATION CARDS SET 3: Students are shown an image of equal groups and are asked to write an addition equation and a multiplication sentence to represent it.



4) 3.OA.1 MEANING OF MULTIPLICATION CARDS SET 4: The students are provided an equation that shows repeated addition and are asked to write a related multiplication sentence.
5) A printable and a corresponding answer sheet for easy grading that can be used as a pre and/or post assessment, practice page, morning work or homework assignment. It includes questions that are just like the ones used in the 4 task card sets. I use it to document mastery.

This set is ideal for grades 2-3 as well as 4th grade review and for advanced 1st graders.

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DIY Charger Station {Coffee & a Clever Idea}



The Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focuses on organizing your classroom. Each morning I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

In our high-tech world teachers now often find themselves charging ipods for the classroom...or perhaps their own cell phones at times. I have added this to my DIY plans because it is such a cute solution to having cords cluttering the classroom (and admittedly my own house). Check out the site for a great tutorial on how to make a neat charging station out of a lotion bottle.

As an added bonus, you'll be able to make it match your classroom theme or color scheme which always helps to create a sense of neatness and order. 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Keep Rolls of Paper Neat {Coffee & a Clever Idea}


The Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focuses on organizing your classroom. Each morning I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

When I posted all about my classroom makeover last summer, I wrote about how I used wrapping paper a lot in my design. I love how it gave me more options for bright colors and fun patterns and not to mention it is pretty cheap. Needless to say, I have some leftover rolls of paper that have been open. This would also work well with traditional bulletin board paper and craft paper that you've set aside for projects.

Simply cut a toilet paper or paper towel tube and use it to secure the rolls of paper closed. In the past I've used elastics which sometimes leave creases. 

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Spray Painted Muffin Tin Organizer {Coffee & a Clever Idea}

Last week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focused on organizing your desk.  Please visit that post for over 25 tips on creating and maintaining an organized workspace. This week I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

Let's wrap up the week with one last DIY desk organizer. Placing a muffin tin inside an open-space drawer will give you 6-12 little compartments to house all those little desk doo-dads. I'm pretty sure it was the yellow spray paint that had me at hello though.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Magnetic Desktop Organizer {Coffee & a Clever Idea}

Last week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focused on organizing your desk.  Please visit that post for over 25 tips on creating and maintaining an organized workspace. This week I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

Yesterday I posted a cute desktop organizer that was created using fabric and a frame so this seemed like a good follow-up. While the version above appears a bit "cluttered" to me, you could certainly take the concept and streamline it a bit to manage your basic needs in a neat and useful manner. 

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Picture Frame Desk Organizer {Coffee & a Clever Idea}

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Last week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focused on organizing your desk.  Please visit that post for over 25 tips on creating and maintaining an organized workspace. This week I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

Isn't this a great option for taming all of those little scraps and odds and ends that find their way onto your work surface? This would be especially useful if you use a table in place of a traditional teacher desk.

I'm also thinking this would be great for correcting. You could fill it with colorful markers, stickers and an EZ Grader.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Area & Perimeter Task Cards 3.MD.5 / 3.MD.7 {Task Card Tuesday}

Happy Task Card Tuesday!
{click to access and download this packet}

In my neck of the woods we've been busy mastering multiplication, division and area and perimeter...kind of at the same time. I created some Common Core activities with a farm theme to help supplement our curriculum. I'll spotlight those after we wrap up the unit, but for now I wanted to share the task cards I created to provide extra practice.



The cards require them to calculate the area or perimeter of a space when provided with the dimensions. There are also three cards that provide them with the perimeter of a space and they are asked to draw a diagram that would equal that.


The set includes task cards, an answer guide, and student recording sheets. All of my task cards can be easily viewed at my Task Card Pinterest Page.  This set reinforces 3.MD.3 and 3.MD.5.




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Organize Your Desk With DIY Boxes {Coffee & a Clever Idea}

Last week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focused on organizing your desk.  Please visit that post for over 25 tips on creating and maintaining an organized workspace. This week I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

This is a super-cute and economical way to containerize the items in your desk. I am always a fan of anything that allows you to personalize your space to match a classroom theme or color scheme. The labels are a great addition because labeled spaces greatly increase the odds that things get put back in their proper place.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Cookie Sheets as Desk Draw Dividers {Coffee & a Clever Idea}

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Last week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project Challenge focused on organizing your desk.  Please visit that post for over 25 tips on creating and maintaining an organized workspace. This week I'll be featuring Clever Ideas related to that topic.

The photo above shows cookie sheets being use to create defined spaces within a larger desk drawer. If you have an oversized drawer without dividers this might be a good solution. Bonus: It's magnetic!

Join me each weekday morning for coffee & a clever idea. 

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