A Peek into My Classroom (and Freebies)

A peek inside my 5th grade classroom and freebies
So. Exhausted.

I feel that I've been neglecting my blog this week, which I have. Since it's my first week with kids, I'm sure that's totally expected. So I will warn you, this will be a long post, and it will be all over the place. And it might take me all weekend to write it!

Our goals banner in a window display.
Early in the week, we did the {Our Goals} activity that I have listed on TpT. It followed the discussion of our fifth grade homework policy and the {No Late Work Club}. I read the transfer cards from the fourth grade teachers, and it seems many students in this class have work completion issues. So I was very happy to see that many of the goals on these pennants had something to do with making the No Late Work Club. Some of the more responsible students even went as far to make their goal to not even use their oops pass. So we'll see if this class is also motivated by the club. I hope that the sixth graders get asked lots of questions about it because we really talked it up!

This is my goal. We adopted a new reading series this year. It's HMH Journeys. There is a LOT to it. And we only have a ninety-minute block. AND, we're missing a lot of materials that either haven't been sent or are hiding somewhere in the building. For example, I only have 20 of the 26 reading textbooks and we start teaching with fidelity on Monday. Wish me luck.

You can read the back, but I had to make the goal that I shared with my students a little less dramatic and desperate-sounding than that. It's something to the effect of "My goal is to do my best teaching the new reading series."

This next idea I had seen on Pinterest somewhere, but {Jivey} recently reminded me about it. If you want a free copy of the letters, click {here}.
NOISE behavior management system to help with talkative classes.

Mustache check in and out posters help students remember what they need to do.

Here are my {check in and checkout} posters hanging in the front on my room. Next to it is small sheet pan for lunch count. I may have bought one that's too small for my twenty-seven students! Oh well. It was only 98¢, so I could buy a second one. The white magnets were made with my label maker. This is actually my second label maker. The first one I ever owned was given to me at my bridal shower eleven years ago. Of course, I registered for it ;) And I wore that puppy out! Anyway, Dymo makes magnetic refills! Score!

Supply signs for rotating classes help students come to class prepared.
I made these supply labels for the outside of my door. Hopefully as students are in the halls during the day, or at least right before they come into class, they will take a peek to see what they actually need to have for class. They're still trying to get used to this middle school thing, and living out of their lockers is foreign. I made circles with the different supplies that they might have, then used Velcro squares to swap them as needed. You can click {here} for the freebie.

Brag tags motivate students to go above and beyond.
And my brag tags display... So far they just have a generic fifth grade tag with their names on the back. (Click here to see my brag tags products.)

This quarter's No Late Work Club display... This quarter will be a fall party, so we gave the tracking sheets and signs a football theme. Gotta know the clientele...

And now some actual content. I have the kids make a collage of anything they know about American history. Anything major from way back when to as recent as yesterday. It's a nice beginning of the year social studies activity because it lets them use those brand new colored pencils. It also gives them some extended coloring time. I think that I gave my students forty-five minutes over the course of two days to complete theirs. The requirement was that they had to fill as much white space as possible. And what could be more fun than an assignment with no wrong answers?! Well, at least that's what I told them. I do see some pretty strange things that obviously are not part of American history. Regardless, it's a nice project to hang up on those empty social studies bulletin boards. It also clues me in to some misconceptions that they might have. According to this picture, cavemen came to American on boats. They rest of it is pretty good, though!

So after everyone was done, or close to it, I had the students do a picture walk around the room. The spent about ten seconds at each picture before I gave the signal to move. I kept saying "switch" to get the kids to move from desk to desk, but later I found out that my associate kept visualizing some movie that I can't remember anymore. So I had to mix it up next class to keep from laughing.

Okay, that's it. Happy weekend, everyone!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. I had no idea that you could make magnetic labels! Awesome:)

  2. Thanks for the freebie! I will definitely be using it, though I need to think of an alternative consequence for the N and O since I'm in a middle school and can't keep my students from their other classes.

    1. I make them come back to my room after school and give them a bigger consequence if they don't show up.

  3. I like your NOISE idea. It is a nice visual way to show kids what you expect.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  4. I use Journeys! I'm not back to work yet, but this week I've been realllllly going through the program looking for gaps between it and the common core. I think you'll find that it has some good points and some weak points!

  5. Also, I think I'm going to use the NOISE idea. I'd seen it earlier; thanks for reminding me!

  6. Looking good! I use the noise strategy too. But mine is NOT as cute as yours! I also love your "mustache" you a question posters!


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  8. I love the NOISE idea. SUPER cute!

  9. Wish I could help you one the Journeys. We have Trophies in my district here in NC. If I can help, please let me know.

  10. Liking your NOISE idea...I'm willing to try anything at this point. How many stickers do your kids need to earn to receive "game day?"


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