Sunday, July 31, 2011

I love this - it is so true! So what do YOU make?

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Treasure Trove of Free Ideas!

Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits has offered a bunch of free printables - you'll want to hop over there now and pick them up!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Room Arrangement

This past year, I liked most of my room arrangement. However, there were a few little things that weren't working for me. So, with two weeks of school left for the year, I performed a makeover on my classroom. At first I thought I was going crazy, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be good. I could try out my new ideas before the new year started!

This is how it turned out, and I loved it. I did not take pictures until the last week, though, in case I needed to change anything. So the room is a bit messy - I also wasn't even thinking of putting them on to a blog - they were taken for my own reference in setting up my room this summer! So please ignore the mess.

This area is right inside the door. The frog sorter holds disaster reports, our goodbye book, my badge/whistle, and Mr. Who, our owl puppet who reminds us to walk quietly in the hall. The baskets on the table collect daily folders and work. The colored totes were used for community supplies last year - I'm not sure that's what they'll be used for or that they'll be housed here this year. The tubs under the table hold wooden blocks and clipboards. Next to this table is the listening center. My students take an mp3 player loaded with a book on "tape" and find a place around the room to sit and listen, so I don't need chairs here.

This is also the best picture I have of my word wall. I tried the Two Sisters' idea of using super sticky post-it notes with the words on them, but I guess my class uses them more than most, because they still kept falling off. So now I print the words on mailing labels and attach them to foam cutouts, and then I attach these to the wall with velcro dots. I put one side of the velcro on the letter cards on the wall, and the other side on the backs of the foam words. These have held up MUCH better than the post-it notes! I still have some post-its for quick, temporary words that someone asks for.

Still standing at the door, looking up from the listening center, you can see my Teacher Corner. Well, under the mess, that is. My guided reading table is in front, and our sensory table is behind that. I pull it out when we need it, otherwise, it divides my space. Behind that is our sink (in the corner), my teacher bookshelves on the right, and my computer desk on the left, by the filing cabinets.

A better view of my teacher corner.

To the left of my teacher corner are the student computers and smartboard. I have an Elmo document camera, which I love as well!

Still panning to the left around the room, I have a whole wall of shelving/heater/windows. It sounds like a lot of storage, but it's really not. I love how light the classroom is with all of the windows, but there is no storage above waist-height on this wall! Anyway, you can see our lego table and book cart. The students do not use the books under the pocket chart - those are my read-alouds. But we use the pocket chart daily to answer a question of the day. The students write their name on a "name ticket" when they arrive, then place it in the correct place to answer the question. Then we analyze the resulting graph. The shelves on both sides hold the students Daily 5 Book Baskets (girls on the right, boys on the left). Student-select books are on the windowsill on both sides.

Now you can see our magnetic white board easel, my rocking chair, and our frog author's chair. I attached a large pocket chart to the top of my easel, and I roll it up or down, depending on what we're doing. I also attached a small pocket chart under the marker ledge for quick little mini lessons. It also keeps little hands out of the storage bins underneath. :-)

This cubby shelf holds math manipulatives, individual white boards, picture dictionaries, newspapers, puzzles, and fine motor activities. Theme-related books are stored on top. Most of the lockers behind this area are used for storage, since I have 20 lockers, but I double-up the students and only use 10 for their belongings. Since that is the case, we can store our reading pillows behind here so they are not in the way / a distraction during whole group time.

And here is an overview of the room. Teacher corner is to the right of this picture, easel is to the left.

What do you think? Have you gotten any good ideas? Do you have any suggestions to make it even better?

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