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I have tried the cute system of book organization where every book was grouped by theme or author, but honestly, it didn't work for me. I have found a simple way that works for me and it's aligned with our school's Accelerated Reader (AR) program. 

I had a shelf that was underutilized, so I converted it to hold my classroom library. Each shelf is marked with the AR reading level and the corresponding color of that reading level. 

I added matching shelf color dots to the front of the books so my kids "should" put them back where they belong.

If you think this system may work for you, I created an editable version of the colored shelf markers that you can download for free. 

Click here to get the file from my TPT store. 

I first started using math tubs two years ago for the modules when I taught kindergarten. (I'm now in 1st.) I used them out of necessity because my kids sat at tables. I needed a quick fix for my kids to grab what they needed for math lessons, but I had no idea how efficient they would become. 

The tubs are shower caddies that I purchased from Wal-Mart in the college dorm decoration section. They are thick, sturdy, and large and deep enough to hold six composition books on one end. 

Contained in the tub are the basic necessities needed to quickly move through the fluency practice, application problem, and concept development stages of the modules.

Dice: two per student ~ later in the year add multi-sided dice for differentiation or add blank dice with number words written on them for sight word practice

Rulers: one per student ~ used as a straight edge at the beginning of the year, but then used to measure later- I have two versions; the basic wood and the inch worm ruler. I also pull out the attachable inch worms for differentiation. Later in the year, I keep about ten inch worm pieces in the tub for my kids to practice measuring in their free time. 

Double-Sided Counters: at least 10 per student ~ My FSU colored counters are plastic because my kids loved to chew on the foam counters. (Oh, how I love watching the Noles and our local high school on Friday nights!)

Unifix or Linking Cubes: one set of 10 for each student ~ Make sure each set of 10 is a different color. Always make sure your kids put the cubes back in same color sets of 10 before the lessons or you'll spend time during your lesson finding and sorting pieces. 

Composition Book: one per student ~ We call these our math journals, and my kids use them to work the daily application problems. (YES, do these daily! Find something else to skip if you need more time.) My kids also use these in their free time to practice skills learned in previous lessons.

Flip Books: one per student ~ The flip books are a part of my kindergarten module materials pack located in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I created the flip books because I didn't want to constantly pass out and collect work mats that were required by the modules. Now, I'm able to tell my kids to get their flip book and turn to the number line, ten frame, or the work mat that's required for the lesson. Because they are readily available, my kids are able to use them during down time to practice learned skills and to use them as a reference because a lot of the pages are mini personal anchor charts.

For a free sample of the first few lessons in Module 1 for kindergarten and first grade, click on the grade level within this sentence. Additional module materials can be found for K and 1st in the "Custom Categories - Engage NY/Eureka Math" section on the left hand side of my store Fun in Room 428.

Before I leave on Fridays, I make sure everything my kids need for the next week are in the tubs. Having the math tubs, manipulatives, and flip books allow me time to teach without needing to pass out and collect materials daily after every activity. Everything my kids need for the ENTIRE WEEK are ready and in the tubs.

These materials are the basics that stay in your tub week after week. There are usually extra papers or individual sandwich bags with lesson materials in the buckets as well. The materials I created in my module packs are stored so that each student has a zippered sandwich bag with a specific lesson's materials. Having materials stored individually makes it fast and easy to transfer from one activity to another. If you own my materials pack, you know what I'm talking about.

I used this method in kindergarten, but not last year in my 1st grade classroom. My kids in 1st had desks that held the materials they needed, but I feel we need better organization this next year. I have asked parents for two plastic pencil boxes with lids; one for their daily supplies and the other as a " Math Tool Kit." The "Math Tool Kit" will basically hold the same materials needed in kindergarten with some additional materials needed for 1st. 

My best advice for you is to think of ways to stay organized and efficient. 

I'll keep you posted with more ideas and tricks that I have learned in my three years of teaching the modules.

Two years ago, I walked into school for pre-planning and was handed the Engage NY math curriculum. (The name changed to Eureka Math half way through the year.) We had four days to study and be ready to teach students. OH MY GOODNESS! I couldn't believe the amount of time preparing just one lesson took. How about all of the materials you and your students needed that weren't supplied?!?  I will admit that I didn't teach each lesson from the modules that year because I didn't have the materials that I needed for each lesson. That was a VERY stressful year, and I knew that I couldn't go through another year like that one again. Last summer, I sat down and organized my math modules and created the materials my students and I needed. (To see my module materials, visit my TPT store, Fun in Room 428) Last year was my first year teaching the modules as directed, and because I was so organized, the year went well. I thought I would share how I organize my modules and lessons with you.

I wrote a grant and was able to purchase a few items to help me get started. I would suggest you do the same or you can make a request on Donors Choose or Go Fund Me.

I purchased 4 hanging file boxes with lids, hanging files, and file folders. I put module 2 and 3 together along with 5 and 6. It saved me space only having 4 boxes. (I'll tell you about the blue tub beside the box later.)

In the front of my box, I keep the set of "I can" statements (get them here individually or in a bundle) and files with miscellaneous items I need for the module.  

My first file holds a set of 5 group cards and 10 frames. Because they are used so much in the module, I keep them in front to make them easy to grab. This is the only piece of a lesson that I do not file with a lesson.
 I also have my search the room, or walk the room activities. I made these as part of a game/activity pack to help my kids practice skills taught in module 1. I have a math shelf with activities that I made that I will share with you later.
The next file is a set of worksheets that I had or that I found online. I use them as supplements for extra practice, morning work, homework, or RTI. 

Simply, all supplemental material and flashcards that are used constantly go in the front. 
Now it's time for the lessons. I have a file folder for each lesson. The file contains a copy of the lesson and any materials that are needed for that lesson. Lesson 1, which is in the picture, is actually in a bag because there are pieces that I didn't want to lose. 

I have teacher editions, but I keep a copy of the lesson with notes in the file because it's easier to pull out the copy to refer to as I'm teaching. (The blue socks came from The Dollar Tree, which is were a lot of my materials come from.)

Bigger supplies go in a labeled bag in the back of the box with a written note on the outside of the file folder.

I quickly learned to leave everything I need, even if it's small items around the room in that lesson's folder. It's easier to just grab the math folder with all of your materials ready to go and then put them away after the lesson, ready to go for next year. I spent more money on card stock to be able to do this, but its worth the money. I tried sharing materials between lessons, but in the end, I couldn't remember the original lesson that the material went into.

Make notes on the outside of the folders. The flip book referred to in lesson nine is part of my module materials packet.

For lesson 14, I made a note to teach this lesson over a two day period because it was introducing the addition and equal signs. I used the problem set for the first day and the homework as the problem set on the second day.

Making notes makes it easier to remember what and how to each next year.

These are my "I can" statements that I keep in the front of the box ready to go for each module. There's an "I can" statement for each lesson and a page of new terms for each module.

I hope I have given you some good ideas to help organize your math modules and your lessons. I realize that teaching these modules can become overwhelming and time consuming. Keep checking back for more math posts.
Did you ever have an idea of what you wanted or needed for your classroom, but was unable to find what you were looking for? Well, that was me last year. After reading tutorials and watching YouTube videos on how to download and save fonts and clip art, I learned how to create exactly what I wanted. Case in point, my new color and shape cutouts for my bulletin board. I wanted something cute, that wasn't large or tied to a theme. I also wanted to make sure it covered all of the color words and shapes that I was teaching and assessing this year for easy reference. I'm excited with how they turned out!

Click here to get them free in my TPT store, Fun in Room 428

Story retelling ribbons are a great way to help students with reading and listening comprehension. It's a visual reminder of story elements. By the end of the year, my students can retell a story without prompting or support.

All of the materials came from Hobby Lobby, but I'm sure you can find them at any craft store. The palm tree, mermaid, and pirate symbols are made of thin wood that's already painted. There were many to choose from in the unfinished wood section of the store. Since our theme last year was pirates, I picked what I thought would represent setting, characters, problem, solution, and the three little jewels represent retelling the story from beginning, middle, and end. I hot glued them on a ribbon, which I keep on a magnetic clip so that I can hold it up or move it to my small group table.
Palm tree ~ setting
Mermaid ~ characters
Pirate Flag ~ problem (pirates are coming)
Jewels ~ retell beginning, middle, and end
Pirate Ship ~ solution (pirates are going away)

Well, by looking at these pictures, I see it's time to go ahead and get the professional camera I have been wanting for the past 10 years. I think I'll buy one next month for my birthday. I wish you could see the bright colors in my room that are accented by these super cute borders. I teach kindergarten, and I have always decorated my room with the kid theme. You know, safari, jungle, pirate, superheros, but this year I wanted a change. I went with something more "grown up." I went to my room yesterday to changed my backgrounds and borders and to add new words to my word wall to reflect our new reading curriculum. It's a work in progress, but I still have three weeks until school starts.

Our district divides sight words into four lists with each list being taught and assessed during one of four nine week grading periods. My first year teaching, I added the words as they were introduced, but I realized that doing so wasn't good for acceleration. I had kids who were already reading and writing, so why not have all of the words on the word wall? We also have the "orange" words. They are additional words that I've added through the years that my kids usually ask me how to spell.

A couple of years ago, I divided the T's because at the time, this was the largest group. I made sure that I posted the "th" a little below the "T," making sure it's not in line with the rest of the letters, because it's a subgroup. In doing so, I have noticed that my kids learn and retain the "th" sound quicker.

I would do the same with "wh," but the word WHO doesn't begin with the "wh" sound.

I also added the "ed" and "ing" endings on a pink note with the words "now" and "past" written in small words in the bottom corner.

My vowels headings are also a different color.

You may notice that my words are not in alphabetical order. I keep my words in order as they are introduced from our word list.

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