How I Organize My Math Materials

I keep most of my math materials in these two areas:

My blue shelving holds the materials I use the most: centimeter cubes, 1 inch colored tiles, protractors (I didn't even notice that my sign was misspelled until this picture was right in front of me, oh my!), rulers, dominos and compasses.

I also have algebra tiles, pattern block, color tiles, base 10 blocks, two sided counters, empty tubs for probability and tubs for math games.

I thought I was being smart when I decided to paint the tubs, put on letter stickers and then cover them with Modge Podge, but as you can see the paint is flaking...

The next shelf also has game pieces. This time I was a little smarter and bought clear containers. I still used the letter stickers and Modge Podge. They are holding up a little better.

This is what is inside some of the tubs.

Next to the blue bookshelf are the 5 drawers that hold my math games. I haven't switched them to common core yet but will soon.  I made some free common core signs for 5th and 6th grade.

On top of the drawers are the dice, cards and markers for the games.

On top of that are the wash rags for the dry erase boards...

...and the dry erase boards.

On the other side of the room are the supplies that I don't use as often:  overhead manipulatives, fraction strips, cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, tangrams and pentominos.

I hope this posts helps someone get a little more organized!

How to Set Up Your Science Interactive Notebook

As requested, I'm posting about my science notebooking. Last year our district adopted FOSS kits for our science curriculum.  FOSS has notebooking imbedded into their curriculum. We took what they had to offer and adapted it to the needs of our district.

Just like the math notebook, the students make their cover page.

Table of Contents

We start each unit by making a page for a word wall / word bank.

Following the word wall is a double page spread that has a concept map.

We work on the concept map together and when we are satisfied with what we have as a class, they students put it in their notebook. The word wall and concept map replace the vocabulary index and definitions that we have in our math journals.

We tape our lab sheets and any data we collect inside the notebooks.

We have readers that go along with the kits. I have questions that the students answer in their notebooks.  Sometimes I have a strip of paper with the questions or a full sheet which we tape inside.

We add diagrams and notes with each unit. 

Sometimes we even add color pictures.

Do you use science journals?  What works for you?

Did you try notebooking after my math notebooking post? Tell us how it is going. Do you have more questions now that you have started to notebook?  

Please feel free to share your successes, questions or concerns you might have about notebooking.

Get started with using a science notebook in your class by picking up some of my

Math Notebooking

I let the students make a cover page to personalize their notebook.

They then use the next four pages for the table of contents where they write the date, topic and what page that topic can be found on.  After those four pages, the students start numbering their pages.

In the past, I used the notebook purely as a place to do classwork and homework problems and to take a few notes. This year I've tried to make it a little more interactive. The following are some foldables I found on-line.

This coordinate graph foldable by Kate can be found on her blog, To the Square Inch.

This order of operations foldable by Sarah Hagan can be found on her blog, Math = Love.

This integer foldable is another by Sarah Hagan and can be found here.

We write all our vocabulary in the notebook with the notes that we take.

The last five pages are used as an index for vocabulary words.  The pages are folded into fourths and each column is assigned a letter.  The students list the vocabulary word and the page that it can be found on.

I hope this motivates some of you to start using a notebook for math.  If you already notebook, tell us some ideas that work for you.  If you have an awesome foldable you'd like to tell us about, leave a link in the comments so we can check it out.

***ETA: I now have many INBs in my TpT store that you can check out HERE.***


Classroom Organization: Curriculum Binders

I had someone e-mail me about my binders and ask how I had them organized.  Since the picture of my binders has been pinned thousands of times I figured others might want to know how I organize them.

Most of my binders are on this shelf:

I've started making common core binders (although Indiana has decided to put off full implementation....)

I made binders for each of the domains and inside there is a tab for each standard. I typed up the standard and printed it on a label to go on each divider.  I wanted a quick reminder of the standard at my finger tips. 

My 5th grade math binders are still grouped by Indiana standards. 

This is the inside of the graphing/data analysis binder. This is a binder I will probably keep intact and just change the cover.  Some topics just have too many resources to fit into the CC domain binder and they deserve a binder for themselves (fractions will also have a binder of its own).

My social studies binders all have the topics they cover on the cover page.  As I've gotten more materials, I've had to re-organize the binders and make new covers. In the long run it was worth it.

Inside there are tabs for each standard and then each of these standards are broken down into topics.  

I ended up putting all the historical time period things into binders that are in chronological order and all the other standards are in a binder by themselves.

 My science binders are a little different as we use FOSS Science kits.  I have things organized by standard and by FOSS activities.  Sometimes the kit does not cover a standard and the district has put together activities to do in addition to the kits.

After completing an activity in class, I like the students to read more about the topic so I have worksheets in my binders organized by topic.

 I hope that this helps you to get a little more organized for your next school year.

Thanks go to Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files and Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B for the Linky Party!