Friday, July 26, 2013

Honors passed on and Organizing Center Activiities

Again I am honored! I was twice nominated this week for the Liebster Award even with it known that I had already been nominated... 3 other times! WOW!! It is so exciting that so many people are finding my  blog. And that I can honor more blogs as well.


I wish to say a BIG thanks to
 Victoria and Tricia from  2 Super Teachers
and Chelsey from Kinder Owl

You made my day and grew my heart twice the size!

So before I list my choices for passing on the Liebster Award,
let me re-address the rules.


Now To accept this nomination you need to do the following:
  1. Link back to the blog that nominated you
  2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
  3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator
  4. Share 11 random facts about myself
  5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
  6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them!
Nominations for The Liebster Award
 goes to those blogs with less than 200 bloggers.

My Blog Picks are:

I Heart Teaching Elementary

the Teaching Bug

Tongass Teacher

A Teaspoon of Teaching


Here are my questions for you...

1.What is your favorite color of ink to use?
2. What is your favorite read aloud?
3. Shoes, Purses, or Accessories?
4. What is the one thing in your class you could not do without?
5. Early bird or Night Owl?
6. What is your favorite Starbucks drink?
7. What is your favorite grade to teach?
8. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
9. What is your favorite time of year to teach?
10. What is the last book you read?
What is your favorite color?

Here are my answers to Victoria and Tricia's questions...

1.What is your favorite Pinterest board?
I don't really have a favorite one, there are too many!
2. Why do you think so many people print freebies on TPT and don't follow? (It's so crazy to us!)
I'd like to think that it is that they are excited and that they will come back to follow.
Obviously they don't though.
3. Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Oslo, Norway and I now live in California, USA
4. What grades have you taught and for how long?
I started in Kinder, then moved to 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and
 this will be my 3rd year back in 1st.
I have taught for 2o years...what! How could that be?
5. Do you have your own children? boys or girls? how many?
I have 2 children, 1 of each, and am about to be blessed with my 1st grandchild.
6. What is your favorite vacation destination?
Anywhere with white sand, warm sun, and good food!
7. What is your favorite hobby?
I have several, but I think quilting and scrapbooking...is blogging a hobby?
8. What is your favorite music?
Country and Christmas (not necessarily together LOL!)
9. What is the best teacher related material you've read in the past year?
I have re-read The Daily Five. I get something new from it each time I read it.
I am reading Number Sense by Shumway right now.
10. Do you have an instagram account? If so...share so we can follow!☺If not...you should make one. We love it!!!
I do have one and over 100 followers! I would love to have you too!
It is firstgradebythesea
11. Did you go to any great PD this summer?
No, this summer I have been teaching a Summer Math Club and tutoring
but nothing for me

And here are my answers for Chelsey's questions..

1.  When did you know you wanted to teach?
I use to teach my teddy bears and my little brother, so it was inevitable 2. What grade do you teach?
First Grade3.  What is your favorite of all blogs to visit?
All the kinder, first, and second grade blogs 4.  Do you have a Teacher Pay Teacher store?  If so, how many items do you have?
Yes, teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Pauline-Pretz has 23 items5.  What is your favorite unit or theme to teach?
My Penguin Unit. We end with a trip to Sea World6.  Who is your role model?  And why?
My 4th grade teacher. She was an amazing teacher and was so caring.7.  What time do you start and end school?
We start at 8:20 and end at 3:008.  What is your FAVORITE grade to teach?
First and Second9.  Any advice for starting in a new school? 
I recently changed schools after 15 years at one school.
My advise is 1. Don't compare. 2. learn the culture and find a person you can ask questions and count on to inform you about things 
that come up; special events, unwritten codes, etc.
 and 3. Be open to ideas.
10.  What is your favorite food?
Grilled Fish11.  Would you rather create or buy a Teacher Pay Teacher item? 
I love creating!
 but hey there are a lot of great products, why not buy some too.

Whew!! Again thank You to all that nominated and all that drop by... but follow me!
I also have a facebook www.facebook.com/firstgradebythesea
my instagram is also firstgradebythesea

I want to do a giveaway for reaching 100 on my instagram
Does any one want to join me?

Okay now on to other business. 
I have been struggling for years with how to organize my center activities, especially when I am not using them.
 I have tried boxes, bags, file cabinets, and I was tired of continually moving them from files to boxes at centers and back to files
 (which usually didn't get filed). Does anyone else go through this?

I have been using pocket folders for a while but for storage only. This was a problem because all the pieces kept falling out.
 My pocket folders are 2 type; the file folder with sides that makes a nice deep pocket and the pocket folders with 3-prongs.

With a little tweaking, I am now using these
 as both storage and ready to pull out and put in centers. In addition, I use travel soap containers, small photo boxes, to small boxes. 
Pocket File, Pocket Folder and Photo Box (Michaels) or Small Box (Dollar Store)

Pocket File: I use the pocket files if I have a worksheet or game board that needs general items that are stored in the class "Tool Box" and not specific to that activity. On the front I print a smaller copy of the activity cover and the directions. I glue them on the outside of the file. I also indicate any supplies that might be needed such as die, dry erase marker, tiles, etc. All that goes in the folder is the game sheet.
In this example the worksheet is inside a page protector and with use of a dry erase marker the student will match the opposite words. Sometimes I will mark the page protector as the master and also place Xerox copies in the pocket file in front of the master. I am also big on color coding for quick identification and organization, so I usually buy these in the various colors or I will make a stripe across the top to match the subject or topic. 
Green = Language Arts.
Benefits of this method: This folder can be laminated for durability. Glue on your title, directions, and any other label (explanation later), then laminate, cut slit at the top, and tadah!  Now it can go from file cabinet to center and back again. Everything is in the same place, and in ONE place.

So what do I do when I have game pieces? 
Pocket folder: I use the pocket folder with prongs with a pencil pouch, again color coded. Yellow = Word Work.
Last year I found pencil pouches on sale for a quarter and bought a bunch. They work perfect to now keep the cards that go with this activity without them falling out of the folder. The students have a place to put them and they stay all together with the game. But pencil pouches can be expensive so I make my own pouches using ZipLoc baggies.
I place duck tape along the bottom of the bag with the bag laying half way on the piece of duck tape. Then fold the tape back to the other side of the baggie. Then I match up where I want the holes and punch through the duck tape. I only could do 2 holes for this size baggie but it works just fine.

Next I place the game board in a page protector and place it behind the pencil pouch. If there is a worksheet for this activity, I place the master in the same page protector behind the game board. Copies can be placed in the back pocket of the folder.
Benefits of this method: Cards or game pieces don't get misplaced. The game board
also stays with the folder and doesn't get misplaced while it is being played. Easy clean up! It can go back into file or file box just like it is. Easy Peesy!

Small Boxes: I use these boxes for games that don't require a game board or worksheets.
Benefits of this method: I have tried baggies but they don't stack well and students have trouble opening or closing them. These stack well and can be stored in a bigger plastic tote box. I also print a shrunken cover and use those stickum squares to label the box. This way I can easily change the name of the activity if needed and I'm not cleaning off stickers.

The last thing I'm doing now is labeling each activity with the corresponding lesson and Common Core Standard reference.
Now it is easy for me to pull activities to match lessons and or standards as well as re-file. Now I will be able to find them when needed and know that all the parts are there. Also since these have prongs in can't be laminated, but I use clear contact paper to cover the front cover. This keeps little fingers from picking off my labels.

I hope this will help you with the storage (and finding) all of your great resources.



1 comment:

  1. Hi Pauline! I just found your blog and love it! It was fun getting to "know" you better from your answers. LOVE the name of your blog, too, by the way, and your background! I used to teach my teddy bears, too! :) I'd love you to stop over to my blog if you get a chance!
    Carolyn
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    ReplyDelete