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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cornucopia of Teacher Tips

I am linking up with the bloggers of Focused on Fifth for a Cornucopia of Teacher Tips. I'm not a guru of organization, but there are a few things that have worked for me in the classroom. 

1. Under the Cupboard Baskets- This is a fabulous way to take some of the dead space in your classroom and make it useful. They came from Lowe's and just slide into the cupboard - no screws, no drilling. The labels for each basket are hanging by paperclips. I use them for my students to turn in their work and I also keep one for things I need to file. So easy and convenient. 

2. Dish Drainer Electronic Holder- This is an idea I actually saw on Pinterest and it works perfectly for storing and charging all of our classroom electronics. 

3. Interactive Notebook Glue- This is a teacher tip that was all over the primary grade blogs a year or two ago. I was teaching first grade at the time and thought I had a great solution for gluing so I didn't give it a try. But when I moved to fifth grade this year I started thinking about the best way to glue in our interactive notebooks. I hate, hate, hate glue sticks. Once they dry, the pieces just fall off. Elmer's Glue will stick, but it's so easy to get too much on and have the pages stick together. So at the beginning of the year I finally decided to try these supposedly fantastic glue sponges. I put a sponge inside each container and then I poured one small bottle of glue over each sponge. After about 24 hours the glue was all soaked unto the sponge and they were ready to use. These sponges work so great, especially with interactive notebook pages. They put just the right amount of glue on every piece. No excess glue, no pages getting stuck together, so easy to use and no mess to clean up. I should have switched to these years ago.

4. Online Parent Helper Calendar- This works amazing for me. I set up a calendar for the entire year on Google slides. I simply selected "anyone with the link can edit" and then sent the link to all of my student's parents. Every two months I adjust the available times and resend the link with a quick note telling parents they can sign up for the next two months. It made scheduling all of my helpers a breeze.

5. Class Website- This is not a pretty website, but my district has us use Google Sites. It's very basic, but it has made things so easy. Lost your spelling list? It's on the website. Need a copy of the weekly reading calendar? Print one off the website. Wondering when your birthday celebration week will be? It's also on the website. Term 2 book project? All the directions are on the website. Policies, schedules, homework, pictures, and more. They are all on the class website. This is my first year using a class website, so it was completely empty when the year started and I just add things as needed. It worked so great that way that I am going to delete everything and start from scratch next year too. Otherwise I worry that my parents and students will have too much to sort through at the beginning of the year. 

For more teacher tips, continue on the hop by visiting Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade


  1. These were all such excellent tips. I completely agree about the glue being an issue with the interactive notebooks. I have seen this glue trick floating around Pinterest, but never thought to use it for my notebooks. I also started a class blog for my parents this has been so helpful in preventing lost papers between school and home. Great post, Brandi.

    The Organized Plan Book

  2. I did a class website for the first time this year and it has worked so well for communicating with parents! I love your under the cupboard baskets!

    The Math Maniac

  3. Brilliant storage solutions! I'm definitely diggin' the turn-in baskets! That would do a lot to clear my countertop.

    1. Please give a link for the baskets! I don't fully understand how they work, and would LOVE to get them, can't find them easily on the Lowe's website. Thank you!

  4. My class blog has been very neglected this year. It's a goal of mine to get it going properly next year! Hopefully if I'm on to it enough, my kids will do the posting for me!
    I love the hanging baskets. I will have cupboards like that next year, so I will have to see if I can find some here in New Zealand!

    Thanks for the tips! Great post!!

    Learning to be awesome

  5. Are these it?

    1. Yes, Katie, that's them. They work great, you'll love them.