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Monday, August 20, 2012

Classroom Tour 2012-2013

I wanted to edit this post to link up with Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week

**Disclaimer- this post is heavy on PHOTOS!!**

Here is my classroom for the upcoming school year.  I am sure that things will change as I get to know my students and we begin working and learning together, but for now- I am really excited about how it has all developed.  I am thinking that this room will be a wonderful place for my second grades to blossom into little learners!

This is the view from the doorway.  I have 25 desks arranged in a modified U-shape.  You can see my windows that look out onto a courtyard

This is what I will see standing at my technology cart.  Up in the top right corner you can see a pennant banner hanging above the cabinets.  My very first class made that for me as wedding decorations and I have kept it hanging up ever since!

This is another view of the whole room.  Along that wall is my second white-board.

Here is a picture from the back corner- I am standing in front of my word wall.

This is my reading area.  My CAFE board is here along with an easel to make anchor charts.  I like to host my mini-lessons here with the students sitting on the carpet.  The bookshelf has magazines and books in other languages and other "special" books to share.

Above my white board I will post my Daily 5 t-charts. I currently have Daily 5 task cards up there to designate a spot for those charts.  

Another view of the library.  The leaning tower on the floor are pillows that I ordered with Scholastic book order points!

UGH! This cart is sent to annoy me!  The boxes have different consumable materials (think workbooks) from our curriculum that I need to distribute throughout the grade level...I will get to it eventually!

My lovely rain gutter bookshelf!  This one is in the front of the room- away from the library.  The books in here are my special books that I will use to teach different lessons.  Once I have used the book for my lesson then I will put it in the library!  For those of you interested in gutter bookshelves- these were super easy and super cheap to make.  I called around to different gutter companies and found someone to donate the gutters to me.  I am not allowed to actually mount anything to the wall so I got some scrap plywood at Home Depot, used a staple-gun to attach oil-cloth to the board and then screwed the gutters into the boards.  The gutters were free, the scrap plywood was $4 and the oil-cloth was a Dollar Tree tablecloth so I paid $5 and have used these shelves for 5 years!

I will be using some of the concepts from Whole-Brain Teaching in my classroom this year.  My rules are posted above my front whiteboard.  You can get a copy of the rules posters here.

This is my writing area.  Authors sit in that chair to read their work and I often hold writing mini-lessons in this area as well.  I have dictionaries, clipboards, and editing tools on the shelves.

This board will be added to as the year progresses.  I am hoping to spotlight authors-both famous and emerging in the center area.

This is what students will find on their desks when they stop in for Back to School Night.  I have a questionaire for parents to fill out and a copy of our school schedule.  I try not to overwhelm parents with too much information to begin.  I have already mailed home a newsletter that included information about our rules, homework and school supplies.  I like to just keep it simple and give myself time to get to know my students and their families!

A little treat for the new kiddos!  I've seen a ton of adorable printables for this on pinterest but my teammate had these fish name tags and wanted to use them up- so of course we obliged!

A summer project- I used contact paper to cover up my old and shabby supply containers.  It has given them a whole new look and I am loving them all over again!

Another pic- the students don't keep ANYTHING in their desks.  I can't stand desks! Instead they have pencils, colored pencils, crayons, glue, erasers, scissors and a book in their supply containers.  One container is shared by four students.  I keep markers in a separate area and bring them out when we need them.

My listening center- an old ikea coffee table, an old ipod and some lakeshore headphones!  I downloaded some audio books and a coworker graciously gave her picture books/cd to my team to share (they're in the basket below the ipod)!

UGH-another problem area for me! This technology cart is HUGE.  I posted a while ago asking what I should do to make it look cuter and some people suggested contact paper. I tried using my leftover paper on the sides and a small area on the front doors to see if I would like it and I love the look but it wont stay on! Any suggestions??

A project waiting to be finished- I picked up four crates to make seat crates for my reading area.  I have the measurements and most of the materials, just have the cut the board and staple it all together!

My mail boxes- nothing fancy!

My computers.  You might notice the seat cushions on all the chairs.  One of the perks of moving is that we start to rethink our decorating at home which means that I get to bring all of the cast-offs to school!  The cushions are super cute and I am happy to have them in school where I will see them more often!

Another new thing for me! I sectioned my white-board and I will use this area to post what targets we are working on for the day.  My team and I are trying to use the same language to talk with our students about the standards.  I am going to purchase these from TpT and put magnets on the back of them so they can be quickly posted in this area!

My hall passes.  I found the cute felt owl at Michaels in the clearance section for 50 cents!

A view towards the hallway.  I have loved the look of all the trees I've seen on pinterest so I had to create my own.  I  am not done with it yet, my student teacher is going to add a couple more owls! Cute!

My new "Where Are We?" display for the door.  We'll move the magnet to show where we are!

A picture of my door.  I need to add my name but I am not sure how I am going to do it yet to make it look cute!

Well, there you have it, my room for the year!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's Back to School Time!

Wow, was my summer a whirlwind!  I did not accomplish a single thing that I thought I would accomplish but boy did I have fun!  My brother got married last weekend in San Francisco and it was a wonderful way to end my summer vacation.  I spent time with family whom I rarely get to see and it was four days of wedding celebration which meant good food, drinks and playing dress up for four whole days!

Here is my bro and new sister-in-law (aren't they beautiful)!

But now, it is back to work! This is what waited for me when I came in on the first day...

Every year I come back in August and I feel so relieved that I don't have to take down my paper and borders over the summer.  The new teachers have been in for hours just hanging the paper! I am so glad to have "been-there, done-that" because hanging paper/borders is one of my least favorite things to do!  Besides, I have found plenty of other reasons to be in the classroom!

I have a few new things to share and I hope to post my updated classroom pics over the weekend.  For now, I am concentrating on preparing for a district workshop that I am leading on Tuesday, having my classroom ready for a back to school night on Thursday and THEN I will be lesson planning.  I am starting to feel guilty because I am teaching a new grade level this year and haven't truly dove into the standards, but honestly, I can only do one thing at a time and I am prioritizing!

I hope that you didn't forget about me out there in blog land!  I suspect that I will be posting a bit more now that I am settled back into a routine! :)