Saturday, August 22, 2015

Classroom Reveal!

As probably any teacher reading this can relate to, my classroom set up and design changes CONSTANTLY! There is just something about figuring out a new way to make your classroom more functional that is exciting. But, here is a look at what my classroom looks like currently!   

So, we have these fantastic trapezoid tables. For the first couple of years, I set up the tables in the obvious hexagon shape. However, it has turned out to be pretty cumbersome to walk around and help kids at each table without completely turning my back to the rest of the class as well with being able to work with more than one kiddo at once. This set up came to me as I was redoing my classroom last spring. I just started playing with the tables, and this is what came of it. It really facilitates an easy way to reach multiple students at once. I found that while conferring in Writer's Workshop, I was able to talk to and meet with more kids because they were right next to me. PLUS, it is really hard to get out of my peripheral vision in this set up ;)

The classroom library is right under the reading wall where I hang all of our anchor charts that we make during Reader's Workshop. I have two IKEA shelves on either side of a triangle bookshelf. The triangle shelf in the middle is where I display the theme books that apply to whatever Season, Social Studies Unit or Holiday is upon us. I have a cute sign that says "What is on the shelf?" where I display what books are on the shelf at that time. 

On one shelf is my "Just Right Bookshelf" where all of our leveled books are housed. The bins on this shelf are Serilite Mini-Crates from Wal-Mart. 


On the other shelf is my "Choice Bookshelf" where all of the theme books are. Unfortunately I have a book problem, and all of my theme books do not fit on there. The bins on this shelf are from Really Good Stuff. 

This is where I display all of our writing anchor charts we make during Writer's Workshop. It is right next to where our word wall and all of the posters for reference are.  I keep two clip boards and a bin on the ground for students to go to during center time if they want to get some extra stories in! 

The Alphabet Picture Cards and Word Wall Headers are from Stephanie Rhodes at Definitely Elementary. I had the pleasure of teaching with Stephanie last year, and we immediately bonded over our mutual OCD personalities and love of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee and Washi Tape. On the right side of the word wall is my Seasonal Word Wall. You can find a whole year worth of seasonal word walls at my store here. This is really nice to have because the students do not have to waste time being stuck on the spelling of words. Lord knows when October rolls around, the all LOVE to write about pumpkins. Bless their little hearts, that is hard to spell! So, they just look that the seasonal word wall and BOOM, pumpkin. 

Since this is where I spend a good portion of my afternoon with guided reading groups and guided math groups, I had to put a lot of thought into where this table goes and what goes by it. It is in the corner of my room so I can keep an eye on the rest of my room, but is removed enough so that we can focus on the fun we are having. I have a math manipulatives shelf behind me so that I can easily grab whatever I need when doing guided math groups. The carpet and stools are both from IKEA. That bee hat hanging on the seasonal word wall is my "Busy Bee" hat. My kiddos know that when I am wearing that hat, it means I am being a busy bee and they need to use their brains to solve their problems. Except for emergencies of course. :P

This is where I display my classroom jobs. The goal is that every student has a job each week. Y'all. This is a GAME CHANGER. Amy Groesbeck knew what she was doing when she made this. They take ownership of their job and it really helps my classroom run smoothly. I never have to worry about having enough pencils or closing the door, because I have someone to do that. 

This is where I store all of my Mentor Texts in these great Sterilite bins. It makes it so easy when we start a new unit. Just grab the box, and GO! 

On the left side, I display my birthday babies! I will take pictures of them and tape them up there once school starts. On the right side is my version of a Focus Wall. I have what our goal or focus is in each subject area posted up here. These Objectives Headers are from the incredible Learning in Wonderland. 

Excuse the crazy glare. There was not a place in my room that I could get my phone not to pick up on the glare from the lamination. At training this past year, the presenter suggested compartmentalizing your classroom, so that students can find information easier. Also, our brains store information in a compartmentalized fashion. It is like if we had a file cabinet in our brain called Math. We would have different folders of reference for Geometry, Algebra, Addition, etc. So, I am trying this approach this year. It was very hard to come up with a wall big enough to fit all of this. We will see if it works! The Number Domino Posters are again from the incredible Stephanie Rhodes and the Shape posters and Number Line shown are in my store here and here

Carpet area, meeting carpet, circle time, whatever you call it. This is our meeting area. If we are doing anything whole group, this is where we are. Gathered around the SMARTboard.

I have tried everything under the sun for seating on the carpet. Carpet squares, duct tape, bath mats. Everything short of buying an expensive carpet. Then, sit spots. DONE. They are fantastic. They have a single spot they know to go to. There are no boundaries they feel like they have to stay in. They feel more in control, but really I am :) They are also removable, so if I need a blank carpet space for anything, I just take them up, and put them back when I need them again. Best of all, they do not hold a candle to those crazy expensive carpets. 

Finally, the calendar area. Now, because of technology being so wonderful, I do most of my calendar activities on the SMARTboard. However, I think it is very important to still have it displayed in the classroom. This calendar set can be found in my store here. There is much much more in the product on TPT than shown here. I use velcro to make everything functional, removable, and usable daily. 

That's all folks! This is my classroom! I am sure it will change a ridiculous amount of times this year. Lord have mercy, I have a problem!  I will try and post when it does. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Currently

Today I am linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the August Currently link up!

Listening: I am currently listening to Grey's Anatomy. I am hooked. It is not the best show to be watching when you are trying to be productive on your computer. Let me just tell you! 

Loving: I am loving the time I am getting to "sleep in." Even if it not a second past 8 am, it is still sleeping in in my book! I am going to savor every second of it.

Thinking: I don't know that I can expand on this one. THERE IS NO WAY SUMMER CAN BE ALMOST OVER. I mean I had a full list of things to get done this summer, and I am not even half way through. So that means Summer can't be over right??

Wanting: Coffee. I am having a hard time getting going today. I got up went to church, and now I am just lying around and being lazy. I need a little kick in my pants to get productive! 

Needing: Remember that list I mention before? I at least need to do the B2S things on that list! 

B2S RAK: I am working on getting together a First Day Survival Kit for my team! So far, I have cokes for a little caffeine boost that day, a cute eraser to erase the many mistakes we will make that day, a cute color flair pen from the new Tropical collection, and a pack of bubble bath to relax that night and get ready for the next day! Any other ideas?? 

That's all folks! Now go link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for your Currently!