No More Bulky Data Folders!

Your shelves getting rather full of student work?  Tired of having the piles of student work stack up in your "To File" basket? I've started saving my students' work on one little mini iPad.  Yes siree!  No more lugging that enormous data binder to my meetings and IEP's!  I simply have to grab my iPad and GO!

You can collect any data from any student at any time!  Collect videos, writing samples, pictures, and screenshots galore and have it all a couple of clicks away!  Think about can email it to parents, administration, intervention teachers, school psychologists, social workers, and more with ease.

If you have 1 iPad-YOU CAN DO THIS!

Yes...I said 1.

Here's a short video tutorial on how I do it using various apps and resources.  I store it all on my hard drive, iCloud, or you can download it into Dropbox or Google Docs.  I simply provide you the tool...the way you utilize it is up to you!

Video Tutorial 1: Collect Data (Click here if on mobile device.) 
If on computer view video below.

Video Tutorial 2: Organize Data  (Click here if on mobile device.)
If on computer view video below.

I guess this was more of a Vlog than a Blog:)  Hopefully the video tutorials will help explain this process in a simplified way.

Really the possibilities are endless... Start brainstorming now on how you could use your computer/laptop/ipad to collect student data.
If you have any questions feel free to email me at!


Keeping organized to help students

Staying organized is a great way to keep your classroom clean! It also helps you and your students know exactly where everything is!

I love an organized classroom!  I love knowing where everything is.  I also love knowing that my students know where things go, and where they are to put things!  One way that I did this was to keep baskets for them to put their notebooks and workbooks into.  These worked well because I was able to split my kids into two classes.  We kept each type of notebook or workbook in a different basket.  This helped them keep their desks clean, and helped them know exactly where their notebooks were at all times.  I had a separate turn in basket too, so I knew they were done when it was in there.  After I graded their notebooks I was able to return it to the basket as well, and then they would know that I had looked at them.  It worked well and I can't wait to set it up again this next year!

Keeping your math area clean and organized helps your students get to work quickly so they can know exactly where things are.

Another area that I loved to have organized was my math center!  This area was great for students to go and grab things that they needed right away for math time.  They knew exactly where their math notebooks were, where the dice, cards white boards, clocks and money were.  It made it perfect when it was time to play a game, when they needed something to help them, or when it was time to work on their notebooks.

Command Central: Never Lose Anything Again!

Please tell me that I'm not the only teacher who has spent WAY too much time looking for the duty schedule... or the assembly seating chart... or the Human Growth & Development permission slips...  {insert here any document, form, or group of papers whose absence causes your adrenaline to surge!}

Despite the fact that many around me think that I'm quite organized, the reality is that I only APPEAR to be organized because I've learned how to compensate by using systems that keep everything in order!

Today I'd like to share with you my secret weapon against frustration, panic, and wasted time:
my Command Central crate system:

The whole point of the Command Central crate is to keep things at your fingertips without having to weed through piles, drawers, totes, computer files, and cupboards.  If that sounds like an exaggeration to you, then you are probably one of those naturally organized types!  On more than one occasion, I seriously searched in ALL of those places - and sometimes still came up empty handed despite my best efforts!

With that in mind, I don't "overthink" my files.  I divide them into sensible categories that I can quickly thumb through and then find whatever I am looking for.  In my freebie, I've included these labels plus editable labels so you can personalize the system to fit your needs:

Assemblies - seating charts, schedules, etc.

Awards - awards that have been given or are coming up, as well as award coupons.

CARES Compliments - I have a recorder keep track of who gets CARES Compliments each week.  (You can find my CARES Compliments in my store here!)

Field Trips - protocol, forms, ideas, parent volunteers, etc.

Parties - notes, volunteer info, etc.

PAWS - In our school, we give die-cut paws to students who demonstrate excellence in the Pillars of Character.  In my main PAWS folder, I keep the forms as well as a checklist to keep track of who has been awarded.  I also have a separate folder for each pillar - trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship - so that I have quick access to the paws as needed.

Permission Slips - I keep permission slips clipped together here for various purposes.  One could create a separate folder for each bunch, but I haven't had to do that yet.

PLC - I pop any notes or agendas in here for easy access and follow up

Receipts - I keep any school-related expenses noted here (hopefully with a receipt!) until I'm ready to take it home for tax purposes.  This is also a good place to have receipts ready to turn in for reimbursement from administration or PTO.

Rosters - I have several versions of my class list (first & last name, first name only, on a check list or grading grid, etc.) so I keep masters plus any extras clipped together

Staff Meetings - Agendas and notes

Technology - Computer Lab schedules, instructions from our tech support, student passwords on a roster, etc.

Testing - Calendar, special instructions, student modifications, etc.

Tickler Files - At the back, I have a tickler file for each month.  This is where I pop anything relevant to that month that isn't already stored somewhere else.  It might even be as simple as an idea that I jotted down for a lesson; now I'll be able to find it again!  I also keep all of the birthday certificates for that month here, already filled out and ready to give to the birthday boy or girl.  (Summer birthdays go in May, because that is the last month in our school year.)

Other - Pretty much any system I have has the "other" option!  This is where I put anything that doesn't have another place to go, but that is important enough to hang onto!

I've uploaded a freebie for you here!  It includes both the crate signs and the file tab labels in two versions - the Book Bunny that I used last year, and the Friendly Monster that I've created for my monster-themed classroom this year - as well as helpful hints on how to edit, print, and implement.

This system has seriously saved me hours - if not totaled up to days - of time, not to mention that calm that comes with knowing exactly where to go for what we need!  I hope that you find this useful too!

Storing All Those Task Cards!

Organize all of your task cards for reading and math centers using these affordable containers!

I don't know about you, but I loved using task cards during my centers in my class.  I used them in both math and reading.  I struggled with organizing them in an easy way.  I wanted to be able to keep them accessible to my students and myself, so that crossed off file folders or page protectors.  I also didn't want them to take up a lot of room in bulky containers since I only had limited shelf space.  

Organize all of your task cards for reading and math centers using these affordable containers!

I was at The Dollar Store one day and saw these sandwich containers.  It suddenly occurred to me that these would be the perfect for storing task cards!  They were colorful, yet transparent so, I could easily see what was in there.  They were small.  And they were only $1!  

Organize all of your task cards for reading and math centers using these affordable containers!
Task cards pictured can be found here. :)
I see these often in the store, so if you stop by and they don't have any just check again the next time you go.

If you're more interested in a paperless classroom, you will love my Digital Place Value Task Cards!

How to Organize All the Random Things

9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!
I love, love, love organizing my classroom!
It's a little weird, I know...but I'm okay with it!
So I wanted to share with you how I organize all the random things in my classroom!

Paper Drawers

9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!
 This bin is pretty self explanatory.  It sits right under my wall calendar and this is where 
I keep all the extra calendar pieces, any extra copies, and lined paper!

Turn In Bins

9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!
ALL work that needs to be turned into me goes into these bins!
(I had two different classes this year which is why I had two different bins)

Lost Property Bucket

9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!
 This bucket is LIFE CHANGING!
Anytime something is on the floor or nobody will claim goes in the lost property bucket.
And then when a student comes to me and says I can't find my black crayon...go check the bucket!
It has seriously helped me to stop dealing with all those little things during the day!

Extra Student Supplies

Students bring all the things on the first days of school!
To control their desk chaos, they are only allowed to have a certain number of supplies in their desks.
The extras go in either these drawers above or the shoe pouches below!
Then when students run out of glue or something, they can go and grab what they need!
9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!

 Teacher Toolbox

9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!
I love my toolbox and I love that it keeps all those little things from junking up my desk drawers!

My shelf of organization!
This is where I keep all my organization bins.
This shelf is right behind my desk, so it's right at my fingertips!
9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!

bandages, mints, and nurse passes

9 elementary classroom organization ideas that will save your teacher sanity!
Just a small 3 drawer that I bought at Walmart put all of these items 
to make it easier for the kiddos to find what they need!
If you're interested in this little procedure chart, check out my resource library on my blog.

I hope this wasn't overwhelming!
I told you I could talk about organization all day long!
What's your favorite way to organize?

Do your kiddos have an APPitude? Apps to Help with Classroom Management

Hey everyone!  It is Kami from Teaching with Appitude and I am here to share a few items about Classroom Management and what I do in my third grade classroom.

Since 2011, I have had iPads in my classroom.  The device is a game-changer.  Students love getting to use them so behavior has decreased.  Now, are they the answer to your prayers for EVERY student? No, but they are pretty handy when it comes to an incentive to be on your best behavior.  My students are more attentive, more productive, and more creative than I have ever seen in my twenty year teaching career.

In the past five years, iPads have played a major role in my classroom.  It took me awhile to get the hang of it.  Everything I learned was self-taught.  I have spent MANY nights trying to find out what works and what doesn’t.

I use Class Dojo app to keep track of their behavior.  I love being able to reward great behavior. I also love that you can contact the parents. To go along with earning DOJO points,  I have a treasure box.  The MOST popular prize in there is my PHOTO BOOTH and VID RHYTHM cards.  These two apps are ONLY used for PRIZES in my classroom for good behavior.

Vid Rhythm is a paid app.  It was free when I first started teaching but now it costs $2.99.  Totally worth every single penny.  I have it on my device only.  It has a variety of songs, super easy to use, and the students feel like they have created a REAL rockstar video. The following video is an example from the Harmonix company that created this app.  Super fun, incredibly easy, and highly motivating to be on their best behavior to earn this reward!

Photobooth is already installed on iPad devices.  My kids love using this for story starters but they also love earning the opportunity to take a funny photo with their friends.  My treasure box is filled with Photo Booth cards also and buy Christmas, I need to make more!

My students love the nine different options to take a photo with a friend or on their own.  They cannot wait to get their hands on these cards when it is DOJO spending time.  These pics could also serve a DOUBLE purpose and be used for a funny story starter or journal entry of the day.  I am always looking to spark their interest and get them writing.
This set is a FREEBIE in my TPT store.  Click on the GOLD iPad and it will take you directly to the page so you can download these cards for your classroom. Take care and have a wonderful rest of JUNE!

Noisy Classroom? 5 Ways to Keep It Quiet!

Hello everyone! It's Anna from Hanging with Mrs. Hulsey-- and today I'm going to discuss some tips and ideas to help you quiet a noisy classroom! 

Try using a traffic light in class! You can find a real one on Amazon-- which is pretty awesome-- but pricey. I created one on Smart Notebook (just insert a clipart traffic light or create one using rectangle shapes) and inserted an arrow. 
Then, when my kids are working around the room I project it on the screen. When they start to get noisy I move the arrow from green to yellow to red. It's a great visual for students!

Try using an app or website to track noise. There is one called "Bouncy Balls" that provides another great visual for the kids to see just how noisy they are. It's simple to use-- just visit the website-- enable your microphone-- and project it where you students can see it! 

Worried the previous ideas won't work if you have younger kids? Some great ideas for younger kids include "quiet spray" or "quiet critters" ! I think younger kids will be willing to work hard for the magic in these ordinary objects! 

Teach your students some "call and response" chants! A few years ago my school learned "whole brain teaching"-- and one of the practices is to say, "Class?" and every student responds, "Yes?" Immediately the students are silent and paying attention. 
There are TONS of different and fun attention getters you can use in your classroom-- you don't have to stick with just one! Here is a FREEBIE I found on TPT with a lot of ideas! 

Use a "NOISE" chart! This one is pretty simple-- hang up the letters using magnets or clips. 
If students are being too noisy-- flip letters over one by one. If you end up getting down to the letters "NO" students have to work without talking. 
Rewards for having a full "NOISE" chart can be up to you-- Dojo points, brag tags, extra recesses, etc. The possibilities are endless! 

Here is a freebie so you can make your own NOISE letters (or click the picture below)! I've got 2 versions (rainbow and navy/lime) because I am using the navy & lime in my own room-- but some people may prefer a generic rainbow. 
Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you walked away with some good classroom management tips you can use in your classroom! 

Take This Job and Shove It!

Okay, okay, if you have taught for a year or more now, you may have had the "Take this job and shove it," thought at one time or the other.  But let's face it!  We LOVE teaching too much to quit.  So here are some tips on how to "shove" some of the responsibilities onto your students to lighten your load every day.

I sincerely believe when the students walk into the classroom at the beginning of the year, the room becomes OURS!  I want my students to take ownership of the classroom and have a sense of pride in how it looks.  There is much discussion over classroom jobs every year, but I want to look at the jobs our students do in OUR classroom as helping the teacher by lightening his/her load.

FREEBIE ALERT!  (Check out Tip #5)
First, ask yourself what are all the custodial duties you do as soon as the students walk out the door? Start writing those jobs down and prepare to make it the students' responsibility.  When you get a list large enough for your class you are ready to get started.

Here are some suggested ideas to get you started:
*Turn off computer monitors
*Push in chairs at computers or tables
*Straighten out flexible seating areas
*Charge the tablets/technology
*Use a wipe to clean any table or shelf in the room
*Put the dry erase markers and erasers back in place
*Sweep the floor
*Write tomorrow's date
*Set out morning work
*Put chairs up on desks
*Straighten book baskets or center baskets
*Empty pencil sharpener
*Close windows
*Turn off SmartBoard

I almost forgot to tell you about this amazing bargain I found at Dollar Tree!  For just $1, you can purchase a mini dust pan with broom similar to the one I have in the picture.  Here is a link to the dust pan from Dollar Tree, but at my Dollar Tree they had a combination dust pan/broom for just one dollar.  It is so worth having a few of those for end of the day jobs!  

Now all you need to do is write each job on a chart or on a card with a magnet on the back.  Plus you need a movable card with each student's name on it.  I introduce these jobs to my students and model them within a few days.  I have my job cards and student name cards on magnets so that they can all be moved if needed.

When you have modeled all the jobs, now it is their turn!  I have my students complete their job at the end of the day so we are fresh and ready to start the next morning.  I turn on an upbeat song (Phillip Phillips, Home was one of their favs) and tell them to focus on the task at hand.  When they are finished, they are to sit on the carpet.  When the song ends, time is up.  Everyone should be back on the carpet.  If we have time, I read a page or two from a book we are reading together.

 Every teacher chooses differently on how and when to switch jobs, but I have my students switch once a week.  This way everyone gets to do every job on the list.  Mondays take the longest since the job is new to them.  By Wednesday, they are rolling.  On Friday, they are so fast that I have time to switch up the names so they can see what they will be doing next week.

Tip 4 1/2 (Haha) - If you have a large number of students and can't find a job for everyone, then just give one job to several kids.  I have 2 or 3 dust pans for sweeping the floor and I have 4 pods of desks so I have 4 kids put chairs on top of the desks.  Just make it work for you!

How about some pre-made FREE Classroom Job tags that you can print and laminate now?  I got ya covered!  Here is a freebie!  You work hard for those kiddos, but you shouldn't have to do it all.  Get these labels made now so when school starts you can, "Take this job and SHOVE IT" - to your students who will love being helpers!

Floating Down the River also has some Summer Tips for Making your Next School Year Easier.