Saturday, January 14, 2012

So NOW what?

The bulb in my Smartboard projector went out. It will be a week before I can get a replacement. Seriously? A week? The district really pushes technology. Every teacher has a SB. When they installed mine they took away my whiteboards. They didn't even ask, they just took them away. I told a tech guy last Oct that the bulb was growing dim, and he told me they wouldn't replace it until it went out. Fine. Could you have at least ordered the damn bulb? People, you can't push technology and then not make support a priority! I know your busy, but how the hell am I going to teach?

I'm panicking. Almost every single lesson I teach is on the SB. There might be an overhead in the building, so I could utilize that. It is questionable whether the bulb is good in it, though. Otherwise, the only other way I can think of teaching math is on the rug, in a circle, so I can use manipulatives and slates to teach the lessons.

Ok, deep breath. Maybe I'll teach everything with projects. I do have a lot to teach with the snowology unit, we have science and health to make up. Hey, I can teach science all week!

I reorganized my classroom books, and wanted to share. Two years ago, I had scored all these cardboard magazine organizers. I divided all my free-choice books into specific categories, and made cutie labels for the bins.

There are two major problems with this system. 1) not all the books fit into the bins. That means they get crammed in and thus bent and ripped. 2) The kids have to be very savvy about where a particular book goes. Lots of books get put into the wrong bin. 3) oops, thought of a third! You can never have the number of bins you need to organize this way. Even grouping books into larger categories isn't enough. 

Here is the awesome bookcase I scored from an empty classroom.  My leveled library is on top, and the bottom is stuffed with pillows and, embarrassingly, loads of books that do not have a home in my library yet. 

The Solution? Bins from the dollar store. They are a tad flimsy, but I didn't want to invest $$$ if this system wasn't going to be the answer, either. I made larger categories, such as "Princesses, Ponies and Pets"; All the cutie books like My Littlest Petshop and My Little Pony go in here, along with pretty much anything pink. Another category is "Cars, Heroes and Machines"; anything that goes vrooom can go into here. Then there is non-fiction animal, fiction animal (a catchall for nearly any book that is about an animal), and Science. It now looks like this (but not so blurry, sorry for the bad pic!)

Notice the bags of books that still need a home? I obviously still have some work to do. Who got all those books anyway?? (ok, ok. I'll admit it. My name is Heather and I'm a book hoarder.)

Add cutie labels tied on with ribbon. Pretty strikes again! (hint, glue the ribbon bows otherwise the kids with untie them).

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