Classroom Freebies

Sweet Treats for Staff!

Staff morale really takes a beating this time of year, so I thought spreading a little cheer might be just the ticket to make it through a LONG spring.

Hopefully these fun little awards will brighten your day – and those that you are truly grateful for at work. Teachers need to support one another – even when it sometimes feels like no one else will.

Want your own Candy Bar Staff Awards Freebie?

Want your own Candy Bar Staff Awards Freebie?

Head over to Organized Classroom to grab yours for free!

~ Charity

Want your own Candy Bar Staff Awards Freebie?

Class Library Check-Out Solution!

How do you make sure that your classroom library books (many items that you have found and paid for with your own cash) are returned and in one piece?

How about a paper and pencil checkout sheet?  Have the students fill out the form with the title and date the book left.  You can glance it is periodically to see who still has a book out and make sure that when it is returned, you initial.

Want your own Library Check-Out Form?

Want your own Library Check-Out Form?

Head over to Organized Classroom and grab yours for free!

~ Charity

Want your own Library Check-Out Form?

FREE Math Vocabulary Activity

Looking for a critical thinking activity to help your students with math vocabulary? 

The “Vocabulary Dominoes” activity requires students to compare and contrast terms, as well as, look for, analyze, justify, and communicate about relationships among the terms.

Here’s how it works:
1. Group students in groups of three. Assign students to be Student 1, 2, or 3. Note: This activity works best with at least 16 dominoes for a group of three.
2. Students spread out the face-down cards.
3. Each student takes 4 dominoes. Place the remaining cards in a face-down stack.
4. Student 1 turns over one of the remaining cards to use as the starter domino.
5. In turn, each student tries to connect one of the words on his/her domino to an end and justify the connection. If no connection is made, the student takes a card from the extra pile and tries to make a connection. If no connection can be made, the turn is lost.
6. The first student to place all of his/her dominoes is the winner. 

Click here or on the image above to grab a free copy of my "Vocabulary Dominoes" template. To use the download: Insert the image into a Word document or PowerPoint slide. Just add a text box with each word you want to add and place it in the center of each half of the domino.

Want to know more? 
Head on over to The Routty Math Teacher website and read more about using Vocabulary Dominoes as an assessment strategy here. And, while you're there, grab a free copy of my vocabulary activities eBook. Check it out here!


Lesson Plan Organization Hack!

On Fridays, I always made sure my lesson plans were done for the following week, and then I started running copies and gathering my materials for the upcoming week, so that when I left on Friday (which of course, was not always right after contract time, but it is ever?), I would leave knowing that when I walked in Monday, I was good for the week.  And in the case of the sick child on Sunday night, if a last-minute substitute was needed, everything would be in place and ready!

How to organize your lesson plans and materials:

My lesson plan crate was kept on a table, counter top, or has even been located on an extra student desk that was shoved against a wall.  Inside, I place hanging files and matching file folders in whatever color scheme or theme you choose.  {The ones in my picture are red and blue to match my Nautical Theme Classroom Essentials Resources.}


1 - I place labels for each day of the week on my file folders.  You can find the days of the week labels I used in my picture, as well as additional plain labels as a free printable below.

2 - I began going through my lesson plans, and start running any copies I need or manipulatives and placing them in the appropriate day folder.  I also place my TE's (Teacher Editions) so they are standing up in the back of the crate.  If there are manipulatives that are too large to fit in the crate, such as a class set of geoboards for math, they go next to the crate on the table/desk.

3 - Last, I usually place my lesson plan book/binder open to the week on the table/desk in front of the crate.

How do you keep the lesson planning crate organized from week to week?

Super easy for anyone to walk in and find everything that is needed in one place and if a substitute would be called at the last minute, I don't have to send a detailed email or call in to try to explain where to find everything.  As a person who subbed for several years myself when I first started teaching, I learned very quickly which teachers I LOVED to work for and which I was not keen on accepting jobs for when the calls came in.  Knowing that the teacher out was prepared always made the difference in whether I wanted to cover that class.

On Friday, I always cleaned out any remaining copies, samples, or manipulatives, and filed, recycled, or put them away - and then gathered everything needed for the next week!

It takes time to do, but will actually take you LESS time to pull everything together and run your copies at once, rather than having to travel back and forth to the copy room multiple times a week.  Plus, the line at the copier on a Friday afternoon is usually nonexistent.  :)

This system has been the best way to save me time and sanity when it comes to weekly lesson planning and organization!

How do you organize your lesson plan book and supplies for the week?  We would love to hear other suggestions as well in the comments at Organized Classroom!

Happy planning!


This post originally appeared at Organized Classroom.

Disclosure: There may be affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Spelling Homework Freebie!

I used this menu in third grade (though it could be adapted easily by other grade levels as well), and the students, parents, and administrators loved it!

I love menus for differentiating and allowing student choice with guidelines in place. The freebie menu packet below comes with a basic plain template with no graphics, along with 12 other monthly “themed” pages, in case you want to change things up a bit to liven it up.

Want your own copy of the Differentiated Spelling Homework Menu Packet?

Want your own copy of the Differentiated Spelling Homework Menu Packet?

Head over to Organized Classroom to grab yours for free!

~ Charity

Want your own copy of the Differentiated Spelling Homework Menu Packet?

Fitting It All In: Is it possible?

Do you ever have time during the school year that doesn't feel rushed?   It seems as though teachers are always running, running, running.  Maybe this post will give you some ideas for how to take a breather every so often.

Some of the biggest frustrations I hear from teachers when I ask are:

  • Time management
  • Time to fit everything in
  • Taking lots of work home
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Just finding more time - and using that time effectively

If any of the above (or all) describes you, I have a special treat for you today! A Free Teacher Pack of 25 Time Management Strategies for Teachers!

Maybe 1 or a few of these ideas will buy you a little extra at the end of the week.

What other ideas would you add to the list?  I love hearing your ideas as well - and they really help out other professionals here at the OC community.

Leave your best ideas in a comment at Organized Classroom.


This article originally appeared at Organized Classroom.

FREE Editable Task Sheet Template for Math Stations

Looking for a quick template to use to create a standardized task sheet for math stations? 

One of the ways I like to manage and organize my math stations is by creating a standard game directions page to include with any game that I use, i.e. card and dice games, board games, etc. Taking the time to create these from the start makes it easier for students to locate the directions and get started right away. On the game sheet, I include the following: Concept/Skill, Number of Players, Materials, Objective, and Procedure. 

To help you organize your stations, I've created an editable freebie task sheet for you!

Here's how to use it:
1.) Download the file from Google Drive.
2.) Open the PowerPoint file in Microsoft PowerPoint.
3.) Insert text boxes and add text to create the task sheet. Be sure to add a title!

Note: Hello Literacy’s “Hello Doodle Print” font is used in the template. The clipart is courtesy of Krista Wallden. 

Click here or on the image above to grab a free copy of my editable task sheet. Enjoy!

Want to know more? 
Head on over to The Routty Math Teacher website and check out my "Using Math Stations for Spiral Review" blog post. Read it here!