Organized Charm: August 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pop & Store Document Boxes

I have really been working on streamlining our home lately. My goal at the beginning of July was to get rid of anything in our house that we did not use or specifically cite as one of our favorite things. So far it's been working pretty well! 

Since we don't have a designated office space like we used to, all of our office items are out in the living room... books, chargers, notebooks, papers, writing utensils... and ever since we moved in, it has been driving me absolutely crazy! 

I have searched and searched for a system, and I believe that I finally found one! Pop & Store Document boxes! They really streamlined the look of our living room. I love to keep all my old planners but I didn't love seeing them on the living room bookshelf every day. 

Some of the coolest features of these boxes are that they have scratch resistant surfaces on the bottom, that they are so durable, that the foldable aspect of them makes them reusable and super easy to store, and that the metal-enforced corners keep them from getting frayed!

Having a sleek way to hide those items has really created a more cohesive and zen little look in our living room. I also love these boxes because they are so sturdy and durable. They are perfect for stacking and storing heavy items like books or hiding stacks of paper. 

I went with document boxes because I have ridiculous amounts of paper to deal with. However, the Pop & Store system comes in several different sizes in order to help you store whatever it is that you need to store! Think: crafting supplies, magazines, electronics, etc! 

I recently made the transition from teaching in private schools to a public school and the thing that has just blown my mind is the amount of paper public schools use! Daily attendance, rosters, flyers, questionnaires, memos, reminders, schedules...

The list is literally endless (probably). I have  a nice little stack of paper that I'm so excited to get organized into these boxes. If I were using them in a dorm, I would probably create little "class kits" and keep unsightly textbooks, rough drafts, syllabi, folders, etc. in them! 

Additionally, these boxes come in a variety of (very collegiate) colors. I chose white since that goes along with the very bright and neutral theme of our living room. However, there is a blue that would have been perfect for my college! 

If you're interested in grabbing some for your dorm room or office this fall, you can find them here: 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Use Graphic Organizers When Reading Textbooks

Graphic organizers are a tool that teachers use to teach concepts all the time. However, they're also really great to help YOU organize your thoughts or make sense of textbook chapters. For all of you non-educators out there, here are some great places to find them!

(Related: How to Summarize What You've Read)

Where I Found It: Daily Teaching Tools

How I'd Use It: Sure, it says it's for "writing", but you could also use this to help you outline a textbook chapter. When outlining a textbook chapter, I would probably have the chapter title in "topic", the headers in the "subtopic" spaces, and minor headers/information in the dotted spaces. 

Where I Found It: Square Headed Teachers 

How I'd Use It: This graphic organizer is perfect for helping you summarize a book or chapter in a literature course. It would also be helpful if you were writing. Having a sheet like this prepared before you walk into class will keep your memory and thoughts ready for discussion! Make sure to keep your notes organized so you know where to look!

*Bonus points if you color code it or draw pictures! ;) 

Where I Found It: Teachers Pay Teachers 

How I'd Use It: This is a perfect graphic organizer for helping you understand new vocabulary words! By simply filling out all five of these boxes, you're hitting all six steps of Bloom's Taxonomy, which will give you a better understanding of the topic! 

P.S. Sorry for the blurry photo... the image I screen shotted was just small. This is a free download on TPT and I promise the form itself is not blurry :) 

These are just a tiny sample of the graphic organizers out there! You can get cutesy elementary ones (my personal fave), or you can get very mature and detailed college and adult looking ones. And of course, you can always make your own! 

Check out this lovely one a student in @mrslizscience's class came up with! 

Still not sure where to look? Here are a couple of Google Searches to get you started:

Free Graphic Organizer College 

Free Graphic Organizer High School 

Free Graphic Organizer Kindergarten (sorry, I couldn't resist. but look how cute!) 

I hope this helps and makes your notes super pretty and organized! :) Let me know in the comments if you tried any, or found any good ones that others can use! 

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