KinderGals: Easy Steps to Manage and Organize Your Class Meeting

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Easy Steps to Manage and Organize Your Class Meeting

I am a super, organized person and can drive my family, and even some of my friends...absolutely crazy! I like things put away in the right place, I like things to be cleaned up as soon as you are done, …you get the point. Now, I have tried to lighten up a little, but I still think the ability to organize and get things done, have played a big part in who I am as a teacher. This post shares one of my favorite organization tools, the carpet bag. Let's look at the things that are stored  in a carpet bag.
The first step in setting up carpet bags is to purchase the bags! I pick mine up at Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Target, etc.  The bags usually last a few years before they need replacing. I use the carpet bags to store all of the supplies that we use regularly during any large group instruction. Here are some of the things we keep in them:
Each child has their own traveling word wall. When I add the new words to the class word wall, the children add them to their traveling word walls. Don't worry about the handwriting. That's not what is important.  By inviting the children to write their own words, they develop ownership, they learn how a word wall is organized, and they become independent.
My kids also keep their unit vocabulary journals in their carpet bags. Each week we brainstorm words that are related to our science or social studies unit.
As I add them to this graphic organizer, the kids add them to their own unit vocabulary notebooks.
We also store our Academic Vocabulary journals in the carpet bag.  Each week I select a math or literacy vocabulary word that I want to develop a deeper understanding for. The kids draw a non-linguistic representation of the word as well as generating their own linguistic description of the word.

We also keep our Word Family Journals in the carpet bags. Each week I select a word family and build the words. As we build the words, the children record them in their journals.  We start with the short "a" word families and move through all of the short vowels before moving to the long vowel word families.

Each week we use our Book of Lists to....make a list!  It could be a list of shapes, number words, animals, family members, etc. I tie it into something we are learning. We stretch the words as the kids write them. I fill in the letters for the sounds they don't hear. This means all of the words are spelled correctly.
Each child also has a supply bag in their carpet bag. This holds all of the supplies we use each day. For example, if we are going to be using 2 sided counters in math, they keep them in their bag until we are finished using them.
They keep their sound cards in the carpet bag, too. We use these to play games and when we are practicing writing letters or determining the beginning sound of a word.
We keep our nursery rhyme books close by in the carpet bags! Each day, we sing the nursery rhymes using music from our favorite artists. As we sing, the kids sing and follow along with the text. This helps with fluency!
They keep their yes/no response sticks inside the bags. We use these as a way to answer questions!
Want to save a TON of time? I took all of our math mats and bound them together into a booklet. Each child has a booklet containing every math mat and graphic organizer that we use. When the kids are coming to the carpet, I can easily say, "get out your math mats and turn to the domino page." Super fast way for the kids to be ready instead of you passing everything out.
During the day, the carpet bags stay on the carpet! It can look a little messy, but ohhhh the rewards! Kids are engaged, they are ready, and there is no wasted time!
At the end of the day, the bags are returned to these baskets for overnight storage.
All of the supplies, expect for the academic vocabulary journal, are from this unit. “Pack It! Learn It!”
The Academic Vocabulary is in this unit.

So what are you Working On this week? Grab the button and link up your post on what you are doing to make for a smoother start to your year.

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7 comments:

Kristin Herrick said...

I wish I could get rid of my desks! There are so many of them and they take up so much space, but we don't have a good place to put things if I decide to get rid of them. These carpet bags seem like a possible solution! I just linked up!

Kristin
Teaching In A Nutshell

Jayne Gammons said...

I am just down the street!! Call me cuz I want to get in on that work session with Megan. I can be there in 20 with stapler in hand!
Smiles, Jayne
Smart Kids
ABCs of Reading

Kim and Megan said...

Kristen,
Megan and I don't have the children have a table spot, the carpet is their only assigned spot. It really frees up the room for more "comfy" pieces of furniture and open space.

Kim and Megan said...

Jayne....Come on over! :)

kinderdiva said...

My last day is tomorrow, and I am already thinking about how awesome these carpet bags would be! Thanks!!!

Angela Nouryeh said...

I am so excited to try your carpet bags his year! What size is a steno pad of paper you use for the word families and book of lists? Could you use composition notebooks instead?
Thanks,
Angela

Kim and Megan said...

Angela,
I am sure any size book will do. I just like the steno pads because they are smaller and have a harder back to them. It gives them a little more support when writing. I think they are about 5x7. They sell them in Walmart, target, office supply stores, etc.

 
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