Tip: What to do with Incomplete Work

 I have a quick and easy tip for you! With my student desks, the students would have folders where they were supposed to keep their incomplete work in there. Of course some students did and  some just shoved their papers in their desks. I found this idea somewhere on the internet five or more years ago. Just take a large plastic bag and tape it with packing tape to the side of your students' desks. I wrote on the side "Incomplete Work" with a sharpie. Then you can see exactly what students need to complete.

And another piece of advice - initially I tried taping it horizontally along the top edge of the gallon size plastic bag, but if a student got more than a few papers in in their sleeve, or bumped into it or they were a little rough when they pulled stuff out, the bag would fall so I added the less attractive vertical pieces of tape. Hey, it holds, though! Also, it is easy for parents at conferences to see how much work their students have to catch up which can help you if you are concerned. It is also a cinch to just reach in, pull the papers out and right there at the desk, and review them with the student.


15 Halloween Costume Ideas for Teachers

I know some of you have already gone back to school, and you know what that means? Halloween will be approaching fast! If you're looking for some Halloween costume ideas, I have rounded up a couple of my own ideas and many terrific Halloween costume ideas for teachers from around the internet! The ideas that folks come up with are so creative! Also make sure to scroll down and grab a Halloween teaching freebie!

First, here I am dressed as a 100 year old lady for the 100th Day of School! Why couldn't you do the same, but on Halloween. It was easy and my only money spent was on the wig and about 5 years ago I bought a cane so I keep that in my closet at school - very handy!
Get with a buddy and be Thing 1 and Thing 2! Here is my teaching buddy and I being just that two years ago! I even saw that you could get decals to make your own Thing 3, Thing 4 and so on shirts! I got the shirts pictures here from Amazon and this is the headband we got, too!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie costume!  Cute and easy idea from The Reading Room. Click on the pin and any pin below to learn how to put it together!

Another clever book character costume idea - this one from Angela Watson's The Cornerstone for Teachers.

An adorable one suggested at The Cornerstone for Teachers is this Grouchy Ladybug getup!

SIX Also found this super fun idea for Where's Waldo's costumes, and a family who wore them all at that! The idea was originally here.

Not sure of the origin of this one but it sure is clever, easy and a great group costume idea!

This clever idea was from the blog Couldn't Get Michael Kors. I love my Starbucks! This would be great for me!

Here's a great DIY popcorn costume idea from Studio DIY!

You could be a giant emoji for Halloween like this gal!

I was the Grammar Police for Halloween a couple years ago but I couldn't find a picture. I bought the T shirt from Amazonthat this lady has from Amazon, and a Police hat, sunglasses, and plastic handcuffs were all I needed!

Miss Viola Swamp costume from the book Miss Nelson is Missing!

There are a ton of ideas for Ms. Frizzle costumes out there! Here's just one to inspire you!

Looking for a healthy costume? Try this salad costume! Totally doable for an adult!

This is adorable, but less healthy - from the blog Cute Girl Hairstyles.

And how about this last one? Are you a Snapchat addict and love their filters? Well you could turn yourself into a real life filter with something like this! Don't know where the original went but I bet you could buy or make one!

Now, here's your Halloween freebie! Help your kiddos practice place value with a fun Halloween theme! Click here or on the image below to grab it! If you love the freebie, check out the full pack here!
Also,  if you're looking for something else Halloween or fall themed for your class, check out my Fall Themed Story Problem Pack!   Plenty of addition and subtraction practice for your students!
Also this Spooky Writing Prompt Collection is not Halloween themed, but perfectly spooky for the season!

Want to be part of the Reading and Writing Redhead Insiders Club? Sign up here for freebies, insider tips and more!

Revamping A Classroom Library and More

It's that time of year, teachers! It's time to get back into school and set up your classroom again! As for me, I had to pack almost everything away in boxes because our floor was getting redone, so there will be a ton of set up!

When we get back into the classroom, we often change things up, right? Some things we replace every year and some things we keep for as long as we can. Well, I have had the same classroom book baskets for many years. Some of them I got back when I was a new teacher- dishwashing pans from Bradlees and KMart (remember them?) and purple plastic containers from Walmart. About 8-10 years ago I got some new ones in colors like purple, brown (random, huh?), red, yellow and more,  to replace and add to what I had. So this year, when unpacking, I decided it was time to revamp my classroom library. I found these super cute neon baskets from Learn 365 by Oriental Trading Company (they have a ton of amazing teacher classroom supplies) for my books. They are almost the same style as some of the baskets I still plan to use so they were a great match, and they come in super cute bright colors!

Take a look at the baskets below after I got them out of the box! The baskets are 11" long, 8" wide and 4 1/2/" high.
I tested out a couple of the books I had at home first, and the large hardcover picture books do fit if you put them in sideways, which is what I already do with some of my current book bins.
Then as soon as I could get access to my classroom, I  headed in and found my old book bins. I took a snapshot and the moved the books into the new bins and voila.... 
I also took some close up pictures of the old and new book bins. Take a look!
Here's a shot of the old ones! Some of them are a little warped, but the colors are dated. Primary colors were stylish at the time that I got them. But that green- blah!
So check out the dishwashing bins I sometimes used for book bins! That one has some kind of emergency handwritten label.  They are sturdy and good for holding the large books, though!
And... here are the new bins! So cute and colorful! I realized I could just have some bins displayed sideways so that even when the books are large, students can still easily browse through the titles. 
I should note, they are a little smaller than the previous baskets I used, so they don't fit as many books. For example, the Joy Berry books no longer fit in one bin, so I might have to spread them out into two bins. Another option is to still use the extra large dishwashing bins or rotate books in and out during the year. 
A few books did not quite fit into the book bins. Here they are, so note if you have very wide or large books like these, you might need an alternative! 

Now, onto the next item I found! This was not something I was looking for specifically, but caught my eye. They are called Easy Clean Flat Trays and measure 16"x12"x1 and come in a bunch of fun colors. Their suggested use is for classroom crafts, projects and painting, but I immediately thought they were perfect to contain center materials during reading and math rotations! Here is a look at them fresh out of the box!
The first thing I thought of was they would work so well to corral the TOOTHY games and materials while students played, and also outside of reading and math workshop, they would be terrific to hold all of those pieces for STEM centers! I have one set of six trays but may have to go back and get another set!

Finally, check out what I found for birthdays from Learn 365 by Oriental Trading Company! I am one of those teachers who does not have a routine for student birthdays but I have done different things like given out birthday pencils, bookmarks etc. I saw these birthday medals and immediately thought - BAM! Perfect! They come in sets of a dozen and they are all bundled up nicely so they don't get tangled in transit! You get 6 blue and black ribbons with yellow and blue medals, and 6 red and black ribbons with red and blue medals, which is nice because kiddos can choose which one they want! And I know they will love wearing them proudly all day on their birthday!
The ribbons are generous in size (32" long) so they will work for taller kids and can easily be tied to a shorter length if you prefer!
So what new items are you trying in your class this fall and how do you think they will help you and your students?

Disclaimer: These products were provided to me in exchange for my honest review. I will always share my honest opinion and only will share with you products that are beneficial to teachers. For more information, please see my Disclosure page.

FAQs: Using Google Drive in the Classroom

Using Google Drive and other digital resources in the classroom is an amazing way to approach teaching, but at times questions can come up and you might be looking for answers!  I know that before I even began using Google Slides, Docs, etc. with my second graders that I had a bunch of questions. Well, I gathered a few top questions you might have when using Google Drive in the classroom with your elementary school students and now you can have all the answers in one place!! 
This is a common question, especially for folks who have never seen a resource for elementary students on Google Drive/in person. An easy way to get an idea  is to look on Teachers Pay Teachers and search for "Google Drive"  or "Digital". Let me show you a few examples here though of the digital resources I have created! 

Here you can compare some printables and a cut and glue activity  from my paper and pencil Cause and Effect Pack with the Digital Cause and Effect. The highlighted blue areas on the digital version show moveable pieces that a student has just clicked and dragged to where they should be. Also don't forget, if you're hoping to use less paper, Google and Digital resources are paperless!
 Yes, any Google Apps are accessible on iPads, tablets, and any device with internet including laptops, smart phones, and desktops!
Yes, Google Drive resources can be used in  One Drive/Microsoft Classroom and many other top Ed Apps. It is not hard to export and download the resources to One Drive, and in fact if you end up purchasing one of my digital resources, zipped into the file will be a detailed guide on how exactly to do that! I learned a lot and the resource will be shared with you  thanks to the amazing Danielle Knight from Study all Knight!  Which platforms can you move your Google Drive teaching lessons to? Here is a list of the ones I know of:

  • One Drive/Microsoft Classroom
  • Seesaw
  • Nearpod
  • Edmodo
  • Padlet
  • Schoolology
  • Canvas
  • Notability 
  • Pic Collage
  • Blackboard
  • EvernoteYES,  they can!  You just click on the print button like in the example below. Just a note, all my Google Drive resources and most that are from other folks are very colorful so have the colored ink handy if you want the print outs to come out like the slides/docs. If you don't mind having them come out black and white, select that option when printing to save colored ink. Just a note, some digital activities will not work on paper, but many of mine will. Just cut and paste or write instead of click and drag or type.

Students will accidentally delete or change the size or orientation of moveable pieces, and other teachers have asked me  if the moveable pieces can be locked in some way to prevent this. Unfortunately, nope. If they were then they wouldn't be moveable. BUT as I mentioned in a previous blog post (Tips and Tricks for Helping Students Work in Google Drive), the undo (and redo) button is incredibly helpful. You will need to model moving pieces around and students will improve after they have tried it a few times, but you will always have kiddos accidentally enlarge, shrink, or delete moveable pieces. Undo solves my second graders' moveable piece problems 99% or more of the time!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to comment if you have additional questions that I might be able to answer for you!