Friday, January 9, 2015

My Classroom

A teacher's classroom can tell a lot about her personality so I thought this would be a great subject as one of my first posts.  My overall goal is for my students to be as independent as possible and be able to transition throughout our day as seamless as possible.
What do you do with all those sweet notes your kiddos give to you?!  I have had this board since I have started teaching and it is right above my computer, in the front of the room.... so I see it ALL DAY LONG :)
This is the front of the room where we spend a lot of time!  I use my Lucky Duck can to choose kids at random during lessons, partnering, and taking turns.  My fast finishers have been a life saver this year.  I taught K for my first two years so I am hoping to use an adaptation of them when/if I go back some year.  They are magnetic so I can switch them out depending on the kids, the time, or just what I feel.....AH the power of choice! Just as any other primary classroom - - we label everything!  If it is in my room it probably has a label on it!  My storage stool was probably the best $75 I have ever spent! It doubles to get my littles reaching the top of the board and is amazing storage for board games, math resources, and whisper phones.
We use our class coupons as rewards for a variety of things but the kids L.O.V.E. them!!  We have lots of free and non-food choices!
I have always loved the idea of not having a teacher desk and finally got rid of mine after a conversation last year when I taught Kindergarten.  Me: "If you choose Teacher's Desk, then you may sit at my desk all day." Student: "Where is your desk?!" Nuff said!  It was just taking up room and was a crutch for clutter so I got canned!  Now all I have is my little nook and our small group table that frames "MY SPACE"!  The source of all my sanity is my weekly lessons filing system where I have one drawer for each day of the week and an extra space that really gets used for guided reading materials.  I try to keep everything I need for guided reading so all my students have to bring is their desk folder and we save yet another valuable second.  My crown is probably my "signature" was selected as my desk swap item at our work holiday party.  When I wear the crown no one can talk to me...simple as that...and it works!  Oh how can I forget the ra-raca (done in my best Kindergarten voice)!  We use that to transition through our daily five rotations.  I also like to keep band-aids and lotion in an accessible place for the kids so they can get to it without help.
This is most well known as our Work on Writing area but doubles where we keep our sight word photo frame, our community markers, crayons, pencils, and our word wall.  The most used resource here has got to be the dictionaries and word resources.....I send kids here everyday to search for spellings of words!
If someone asked what I was most proud of in my classroom arrangement; my library would be it.  I spent countless hours this summer labeling every single one of MY books (and yes I own every single one of those 400+ books).  Each bin is also labeling with the same label which has made keeping it organized a breeze this year!  I also have a beautiful bookshelf I got from a retiring book distributor that I place seasonal books and ones that don't really "fit" anywhere but I can't bring myself to get rid of.  
Ok if someone asked me what I was most proud of in my classroom arrangement; I would DEMAND to pick two areas.  HEHE!  This is best known as our Work on Words shelf which has sooooo many resources for a variety types of word work!  This is a hot commodity and I limit it to 6 kids, depending on class size.
Of course a place that hopefully doesn't get used often but is a necessary beast...the Quiet Corner.  We spend A TON of time going over virtues and building our classroom community all through out the year.  Each month we have a virtue we study and try to relate to our daily experiences.  This year I place two seats here....and no not because I want to place two kids in time out but as an option if they need to settle a disagreement.

Well that is the rundown and if you stuck around this long I have a freebie for you!  Just like every where else in the world, we have been spending a lot of time indoors during our school day so I wanted a fun way to embrace the winter and still learn.  I saw this original idea on pinterest and whipped it up real quick! It is editable so you can change the facts if you need to.

Click one of these images to download.......

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  1. You really CAN get to know someone by the arrangement of their classroom. Great idea as one of your first blog posts. I love the word work center too. So many options that most kids don't get to play (learn) with at home. My favorite though is your sight word photo frame....I just sold a really nice one at a yard sale for like $5....ugh! Thank you for the freebie. I in AZ so we need all the "fake" snow we can get!

    1. Thanks! It looked a bit different in Kindergarten so I spent a lot of mental and physical time figuring out how I wanted it to go now that I am in First. It is really funny how the popular items change from year to year so I like to keep a variety of options. Jealous it is probably warm and sunny where you are! I am such a summer girl and have always joked I should move to Arizona!

  2. Love your room! Thanks for the snowball facts!