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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Simple Ideas to Make Life Easier in the Classroom!

There are a few things that I am just plain loving lately.

When kids come in the room, they turn in homework to a tray by the door, and anything else (lunch money, permission slips, etc.) to a special basket on my desk. It works so well to collect everything, but if I had any notes about dismissal, I used to tend to forget about them by the end of the day.

My solution was to hang this cute bulletin board by the door! One of my best friends made this for me as a gift, and I love it. Now, it's not super thick, so the pushpins stick out a bit, but it works great for keeping dismissal changes right where I will see them at the end of the day!

This cute Crayola tin is filled it with binder clips (which I LOVE). I leave it under my paper clip dispenser, which was cheap at Wal-Mart and has a magnetic wheel in the middle. I can spin the wheel towards me, and it picks up the paper clips!

Yes, kids are tempted to play with it, but honestly... I think it's fun too so I don't mind having to remind them occasionally :) Plus, keeping it out on my desk has helped the two kids with the new classroom job of putting papers in number order and then clipping them together. I'm really not sure why I didn't make this a job sooner, because it is one less step I have to do while grading!

Target had these for $1 a few months back, and I snatched them up. I have one for each Treasures unit, and inside is where I keep spelling and vocabulary cards for each week. I have List A in one color, List B in another, and vocabulary words in a different color. 

 For $1 each, they're keeping my many many index cards organized! Worth every penny!

Ahh, my PaperPro stapler. This isn't really an idea as much as it is a thing, but... I am in LOVE with this thing! I had one that broke after a few years, and bought one that looked similar...  but it won't open like the PaperPro to staple flat. And I need one to open flat to do bulletin boards!

I put up with it for a few months, but finally broke down and bought another PaperPro. Lesson learned. Don't get one that 'looks' similar. Get the PaperPro one. It's loud, but it's the best stapler.

 A few weeks ago I was going to have a sub, and plans changed at the last minute. First thing in the morning, a student threw up in the classroom. I realized that, if there had been a sub, that person would've had to go through my plans to find the number of the nurse and custodian.

I realized it would make more sense to have important numbers right on the phone- so I put them there. So much quicker than looking them up every time! (I know- should've been a no brainer!)

So... those are some things making my life easier in the classroom lately. Considering the crazy that is the end of the year, I'm trying to take the time to appreciate some recent changes that are working for me!

Also, this is completely unrelated to the rest of the post... but does anyone know where I can find some cute footprint clipart? I really want to digitize this game and share it with you!

P.S.- I've added an 'email me' button over in the sidebar! :) Feel free to say hi or ask a question!


  1. I am oficially following you. I had been reading your blog via Reader.
    I love the note board. I usually just tape the notes to my door (tacky!!).
    I tried to contact you...couldn't :(
    My Second Sense

    1. Oh no! When I try it, it works for a built-in client like Outlook. Does it work if you right click and copy/paste the address?

      Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Dude . . . what a wonderful idea to put the numbers ON THE PHONE! I always try and keep my sheet pinned to the wall, but somehow I always manage to walk off with it!

    Thanks bunches Jenny!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

    1. I know, right? It seems like such a no-brainer, but for some reason I never thought of it before. I still have the directory for other teachers' rooms, but it's so useful to have this for the quick ones I use all the time!

      I am so excited about your giveaway, Kelley! I made sure to check it out and enter :)

  3. Love this post! Usually it's the simple things that make life the easiest :). I have that stapler and I will completely agree with you that it is the best. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Spotted in Second Grade

  4. Great ideas!! Got me thinkin'... THANK YOU! :)

    The Learning Tree


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