Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Better Late Than Never...My Classroom Pics!

Hello lovelies!!  I am SO sorry for being gone for so long. School started on September 9th for me, and it has been a non-stop whirlwind of activity like I have never experienced before. I seriously cannot remember a more stressful start in my 15 years of teaching. There are so many changes to get used to. I am usually one who embraces (and actually likes) change, but this is just too much.

My new schedule is KILLER. My little loves have the first specials period of the day and the last lunch/recess so we have 2 and a half hours straight of strict academic time. That is a long time for those new little loves! They are still practically babies and we have so much to throw at them. They are exhausted by lunch time. Thank goodness the afternoon is short.

Another major change is the elimination restructuring of our AIS (academic intervention services) program. We used to have 3 reading teachers and 1 and a half math teachers who pulled out our most at-risk kids for more intensive intervention. They were all reassigned to classroom and we now have 1 reading "coach" and 1 math "coach" for our building. They will be working with teachers only, not kids. They are going to be helping us figure out how in the world we are supposed to provide Tier 1 AND Tier 2 intervention WITHIN our classroom without support from other educators or paraprofessionals. Piece of cake, right?

My final major change is more personal. My biggest little love started kindergarten this year (I know, OMG!) and she is coming to MY SCHOOL! While I absolutely love the extra special time we spend together each day, it is putting a bit of a strain on my productivity. She is a great kid and always wants to help. We are finally getting into a groove together, but boy is she ready to go home when we are allowed to leave in the afternoon. Most days she is asleep before we leave the parking lot.

I am really hoping to get back on the blogging train. I know I will have lots to share this year. I know its a little late, but I still want to share some pictures of my classroom. I am really pleased with it this year, but I am a horrible photographer...LOL. One of my colleagues came in today and told me my classroom looks like a birthday party...LOVE!
This is my back to school hall display. I LOVE how it turned out. I used an adorable free owl craftivity from Amy Lemons. Aren't they too cute?!?!  I sort of have two themes going on in my room - owls and the pink/green/purple color combination. My classroom is definitely more of my happy place then ever before!
 This is my job chart. I kept it the same as last year. It is actually the only board I didn't take down and do over. It is also the only board that doesn't match my color scheme, but I can deal with it! My little loves get a job every other week. I just move everyone over to the next spot when their group is up for jobs again.

 I am in LOVE with my new Word Wall. I used this same system last year, but it was nowhere near as beautiful as this one!  I used Erica Bohrer's Bright Polka Dot Word Wall Headers. I also have her matching editable word wall cards ready to go with our Fundations Trick Words. There is a curiously strong magnetic peg at the bottom of each circle. I use binder rings to hold the words for each letter. My little loves can just take down a ring and find the word they need. I used to have a giant word wall that displayed all the words, but I needed the board space for my essential questions and key vocabulary.
 This is my computer that is hooked up to the SMARTboard. Behind it is the start of my ELA/Daily 5 board. There is a lot more on it now, but I forget to take a new picture!  The Daily 5 posters can be found here. I wish I could give credit for my adorable class rules, but there is nothing on the file and I can't remember where I got them. Please let me know if you know who made them. I love them!
 I saw this sign at Christmas Tree Shops and HAD to have it. 
I think it is absolutely perfect for the classroom!
 This is a snapshot of part of my math bulletin board. I display the unit essential question and key vocabulary here. These are my Bright Polks Dot Number Signs by Erica Bohrer. I love the ten frames on them!  She has Owl Themed ones now, too. I might have to grab those for next year!

 I found these cute owl bookends at CVS of all places. I couldn't resist!  This is my large book display in the reading corner. I usually put books that I've read aloud to my little loves on these shelves so they can revisit them later. The READ letters were my first experience with Washi tape. I think they came out pretty cute!
 The back (or maybe side?) wall of my classroom is all windows with cubbies underneath. There are about 36 cubbies. I have a basket full of books in EVERY. SINGLE. CUBBY. Yes folks, I have a LOT of books. I also have a bookshelf with 9 smaller baskets of chapter books. The purple baskets are my leveled books A-L. The green baskets have themes (insects, marine life, poetry and song books, favorite characters, authors, etc.) The end of the row has orange baskets with even more categories. You can also see my glorious new crate seats with the perfect owl fabric from Hobby Lobby.

I hung purple, green, and pink curtains on every other window along the wall. It makes the room so pretty and "homey" (is that a real word?). My wind chime is in this corner. I use it for transitions and as a quiet down signal.

Well, there you have it! I should've taken pictures of my tables but of course, I forgot!  I don't have desks, I have rectangle tables that I group together for 4 or 6 students. Every group has a desk with a large pink or green bin to hold workbooks, writing journals, and book baggies. Each student has a pink or green little supply box for pencils, crayons, scissors, and glue sticks. I'll try to grab a picture soon!

Hope you enjoyed my classroom tour. Please leave me some love and let me know what you think!