Knowledge Mobile



Showing posts with label Organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Organization. Show all posts

2016 Goals and Objectives

Hi Teacher Friends! I hope you had a wonderful Saturday, filled with rest and relaxation before returning to the classroom on Monday.  I had lots of rest and even more reflection as I link up with with Schroeder Shenanigans and Lucky Little Learners to discuss plans and goals for the new year. 

My one little word is "Refine". I talked a bit about this yesterday and how I want to refine small elements of my life to make improvements. The following post is not to make grand statements or resolutions, but to instead put my aims out into the universe and remind myself what I am working for, and what I am striving to achieve. In order to scale and increase my impact and my support of teachers, I have to do what I do well. Thus, I am applying the word refine to how I create, learn, and collaborate with others in 2016. 

You Oughta Know: Classroom Library Cards

Hi Teacher Friends! So glad you are stopping by on this fabulous blog hop hosted by the wonderful Jasmine McClain from Buzzin with Mrs. McClain. This month, I thought you oughta know about setting up a classroom library.

Thursday Tips for Teachers: How to organize TPT units

Happy Thursday! 
I hope you are having a fantastic week and that this nugget of goodness will make it even better.

This is how I have been organizing the creation process for my last 3 projects and it has worked so well for me, that I had to share it. 
As a result of these changes, I have DRASTICALLY reduced my creation time from 3 weeks to 1 week from initial idea to final product, using this system. 


I work for a guided reading after-school program. We work across 7 school sites and with over 350 kids, and 45 staff. I evaluate the program and develop units/projects/ideas/whateverisneeded to best support students and staff. As there are a lot of stakeholders, I have to work quickly and efficiently. This is the system that I have found (thus far) that has worked the best for me. I hope this helps you and that you will share any additional strategies in the comments below. :)

Tip 1: Work from a template and enter information by hand

My first Fry Word Unit was crafted entirely on the computer and it took me MONTHS to complete. I literally felt like my brain was melting as I crafted 1,000 sentences for the unit. My progress was slow and I really didn't enjoy the process. As I have been working more and more on new units, the key to my productivity, success, and frankly, preservation of my brain cells, is creating a template for each page and enter the data on each sheet by hand. 

Below is an example from a sight word unit I am currently working on. I write all of the information that I am planning to type and it LITERALLY takes me about 3 minutes to complete a section versus 20 minutes of dithering around, trying to tear myself away from my pin boards.

I typically fill these pages out while watching tv or in between playing with the baby. I love that I can see how it will look when it is finished and I can make notes about things that I will have to trouble shoot later.

Tip 2: Get a Binder

I love binders, so beware, I am biased. You may prefer another way of organizing and I would love to hear it. I found that working strictly on the computer severely hampers my productivity. I get distracted by Facebook, Instagram, and the ultimate time suck, Pinterest. I  I prefer to use a binder to organize my materials because I can easily add new sections and take papers in and out as I am creating.

 All of my pre-planning usually takes place in one of my many notebooks. The current binder is a white 1 inch binder. I found that any bigger than this makes it difficult to transport and honestly too heavy to cart around.

Below is my typical organization of my binder. I use the simple yellow tabs and I have a different unit in each tab. I hole punch each set of pages and hand write the information that I will type in later.  I will be honest. After I complete a unit, I typically throw all of these planning sheets away for the next project.

I have been working on a series of vocabulary worksheets/activities for K-8. In the left hand pocket, I have some of the words I will use for a future unit and post it notes for to dos for the projects that are currently in progress (and dinner plans for the next week lol)

Here is an example of the note cards I take after working on a unit. I give the completed unit to students or fellow teachers and write down their feedback to include. I also jot down notes for future units to be planned out later. 

Tip 3: Printing

I print my sample document with my binder in mind. I want to optimize the amount of paper I'm using while still leaving room to make everything legible and provide space so that I can write notes. I first select fit to page option and print double sided.

I found it is easier for me to select the flip on short edge option. I honestly I had to try this multiple times because I would forget which one printed the way that I liked it. 

When you select this option, your pages come out like this ....
I like it because I can keep the notebook in my lap facing me, and complete an entire unit, versus turning and flipping the binder around to work on the different pieces.

Tip 4: Color Coding

An drum roll please for my favorite tip! Colorful paper!!!!

When I would print out my materials in the past, the glaring white of the paper would actually hamper my progress. When working on a 100 page unit, the endless sea of white paper felt like it would never end. It was also easy to get confused as which sheets belonged to which unit.


I found that breaking the unit up into chunks and printing on different colors dramatically increased my effectiveness. I could see visually how many more sections I had to fill in, which then helped me to set small goals until I was finished. This honestly my favorite tip because I love all things colorful anyway lol. But seriously, this has been a game changer for me. I only use these colors for my planning sheets, so my brain just feels triggered to be more creative.

I hope you founds these tips helpful! Next week, I will focus on the electronic component of building your units! Please leave a comment below if you have another way that you organize your TPT units.


Setting your vision and planning for 2015

Ready to make a resolution? I'm not. As 2014 comes to an end, I'm thinking about all the wonderful things that happened this year. I have to say 2014 is the best year yet as my daughter entered the world and changed my life.

This year, I am going to avoid the disappointment and dejection of January 12th rolling around and I have yet again, failed to stick to resolutions.

As the new year comes in, the only promise I can make is to be the best me I can be.

1. Meditate and think about what I truly want for myself.

2. Meditate and think about what I want for others in my life.

3. Backwards plan those things in action oriented goals. 

Setting Your Plan for the New Year

I took this course in October and it has really changed the way I prioritize and set goals for myself, my family and my business. 

This course emphasized being purposeful in your planning and planning action oriented tasks. Best of all, it is FREE and goes at your own pace. I have been recommending this course to all of my teacher friends and it has really made a difference in their lives. 

I modified one of the sheets to accomodate my lifestyle. Since then, I have been setting goals in manageable bite size pieces to complete my tasks. Below is an example of my week planning. 
Click below for the FREE template to kick your year off right by first changing your mindsets and then your to-do list. 

I think planning ahead and being purposeful is the true key to making a change in your life. The first step is making up your mind to do something different. Take the course, make a plan, change your life.

Back to Top