Mid-Year Tweaks Toward a Smooth Sailing Classroom

Do you ever tweak things mid-year?  I love to reflect on how things are working in my classroom around this time each year.  I've had plenty of time to implement new systems and programs and give them time to work and flow smoothly.  If they're going well, wonderful!  But, if not, I set forth to make some changes.

Last year, around this time I realized that Interactive Notebooks just weren't working in my classroom.  They were taking up WAY too much of my instructional time with non-instructional tasks such as cutting, folding, and gluing.  My solution:  No-Cut Interactive Notebooks!  That's right - no cutting for the students, AT ALL!  Just glue a half page into their notebooks and they're ready to go!

These have literally saved me so much time and sanity this year!  Students are engaged in LEARNING instead of cutting and folding.  I have the growing bundle (10 of 12 notebooks are already completed and ready to download in the bundle) in my shop and it is 28% off with code SMILE during the TpT sale!


Here's a sneak peek at the items included in ONE notebook.  You will certainly be set with math for the year with this set!

A tweak I recently decided to make in my classroom deals with writing.  I realized that if something gets time taken from it during the day, it's often my Writer's Workshop...which breaks my heart!  It's at the end of the day and that's just the way it goes.  So, I wanted to start integrating writing into my science and social studies block even more to ensure that my students are never missing writing opportunities.  I also love to have quick, easy displays ready for the hall, so this was born:  Opinion Writing Across the Curriculum.

This little packet has 11 different topics and includes an anchor chart, planning pages, publishing pages, and display ideas/templates.  Opinion writing for the year - check!  Students just take a stand, provide support, and write their piece!  For example, in the one below, students would choose if Sunny Days, Rainy Days, or Snowy Days Are Best.  At $5.99 (regular price) this packet will be a STEAL during the sale!

And finally, if you're searching for something for your early finishers, this is the perfect piece to implement in your classroom.  Fun Facts Through the Year

There's a set for each month of the year and these amazing facts will engage learners of every age (1st grade through ADULTS!)  They're self-checking and there's a great suggestion for storage included making them easy to take back to seats for independent work! <3  At just $6.99 (regular price) for 10 sets of 24 task cards, your students will be engaged at all times in the classroom!

These are just a few of the items that have helped change my classroom for the better.  Go check out my shop Teacher's Clubhouse during the TpT sitewide sale (November 30-December 1) to see if there's something that will help your classroom run more smoothly for the remainder of the year.  Remember to use code SMILE at checkout!


12 Books of Christmas Giveaway

I'm excited to be teaming up with 11 other AMAZING bloggers to share some of our favorite Christmas and holiday books in a fun 12 Books of Christmas Blog Hop!  We have some amazing FREEBIES and a giveaway in store for you, so read on!

Each blogger has created a special FREEBIE for you that is centered around his/her favorite holiday book!  Plus, one lucky reader will win a copy of ALL 12 BOOKS!!  What an awesome addition to any classroom collection! <3

I chose the book, How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan.  If you're not familiar with this "How To" series of books, GO FIND THEM!  She hooked me with her very first book, How to Babysit a Grandpa.  The books are hilarious, enchanting, and such great springboards for writing "how-to's" in the classroom!  I was super excited when this new addition was added to the series and knew that I would be using it in my classroom this holiday season.

Near the beginning of the book, it presents things to ASK Santa and things to TELL Santa so I created a questions and statements sort from this.  Then, I will have my students write their own statements and questions that they would like to share with Santa.  Using these sentences, students will write letters to Santa.

And, of course, the book will be a springboard to other holiday "how-to" writings.  I've included pages for 5 other holiday-inspired how-to writings.  Sometimes I have students complete these independently, but I also like to put students in small groups, with each student starting a story with STEP 1 and then rotating the stories around the group with each student adding a step.  This provides a bit of a challenge, since students will need to read what the previous student(s) have written and then plan to continue it.

I hope you can use some of the extensions I created in your classroom, too!  Click the image below to head to my shop to download the freebie!  While you're there, click on the "green follow me" star.  That will be an entry in the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win the 12 books!! #winwin


Thanks so much for stopping by! Before you hop over to see the amazing Rachel at The Tattooed Teacher, don't forget to jot down my number on the image below! Each blogger in this hop will have a number at the end of his/her post. Collect all 12 numbers along the way, and when you're done, add them all up and enter the total number in the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win all 12 books!

Click on the image above to head over to Rachel's blog!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy hopping!

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