Saturday, August 18, 2012

I think I might die from "tired disease!"


Well, school started this week, and it was great . . . but when I woke up this morning I felt like I had been run over by an 18 wheeler!  Anyone else feeling that way?  Or, am I a total wimp? I have a great class, and they were doing really well with our classroom routines!  I'm anxious to get all of our routines in place and working, so we can get to business!  I wanted to reveal my classroom to all of you.  So far my families (kiddos included) love it!  Here it is:
My classroom starts out as a fall farm theme at the beginning of the year.
My main colors in the room are black, green and blue, then the other colors are accents.This pictures shows approximately 1/3 of my classroom.
 
Each table has a table color, and shape designating its space.  This helps with organizing of materials for each table, book bins, and math tubs.  
Here is one of my comfy book nooks.  My mom, dad and I created this tree approximately 11 years ago, and it's still holding up!  The green canopy is created from green garden netting.  The trunk was painted on a box by my dad, and the letters were painted by my mother.  I added the branches from crinkled up brown butcher paper, and fall leaf garlands from Michaels and twinkle light fall leaf garlands from Oriental Trading. Hallie loved finding and naming all of the letters.
My mom and I worked on making this "Big Red Barn"  (thanks to the inspiration of Margaret Wise Brown) out of red and silver bulletin board paper, and regular masking tape. The colored bins below are the tables book bins.  There are a variety of levels (approximately levels A - K) for the kids to choose from.  Soon we will learn about just right books, and then they can start to make wise choices from these books.  What's great about them is that each bin has different books, so when they wear them out, I just have to rotate the books! (or the kids :)  Next to them are the children's open journal bins.  This is where they keep all of their math, literacy, science and handwriting notebooks.
Here is my writing bulletin board.  I tried to make it look almost like an aerial view of middle America.  I just love the look of the fields from up high.  I used brown bulletin board paper as my backdrop, and then put 12x12 glitter paper in a checkerboard pattern.  I made little cows holding signs for the kiddos names, and the heading of "moo"velous writing!  Now, I will proudly display the kiddo's work using the red push pins in their spot.  Not only am I showing the kids that I love each one of their efforts, but it encourages them to do their best, AND I can keep track of who needs to finish what!
Here's my discovery choice board (free choice)  I use clothespins with velcro dots on the back for the kids to use to designate where they are choosing to go.  Then . . . depending on how many kiddos I would like per station is how many velcro dots are on the cards.  It works out great!  Then, when the kids want to make a new choice, then they just move their pin to a new spot, and then their previous choice is opened up for someone new! This is available on TPT!  Just click the picture above to link to my store.
The back of my choice board is a bookshelf.  I resurface all of my bookshelves after getting some inspiration from Clutter Free Classroom.  I used black contact paper for the shelves and outside, and various patterned ones for the back . . . of course in blues, greens and blacks for the uniformity.  Here is my math tub shelf.
Here's what that bookshelf used to look like!  It had really seen better days.
Here's our classroom library!  Since we have a frog theme going year round, the pond carpet was perfect. I also like to envelop "our meeting pond" with books. The green tubs are fiction, and the purple are informational texts.  This helps the kids organize them a bit better.  I also purchased an organizational system (from Kim Adsit) on TPT to help me organize the books.  I ALMOST have it finished.  Phew!

And now . . . all complete as my math station!
The rolling rainbow drawers next to the shelf were purchased from Really Good Stuff.  I use it for my Marcy Cook Tile Math, which is part of my math version of "the daily 5."  The foam sheets on top are used as mats for their work.  The tubs are for EDM math games, and then the two other independent choices are a teacher's choice and a math journal.  That way I can pull kiddos to do guided math!  Yay!  The organizational system for these choices I got from the Clutter Free Classroom on TPT.

Here are our cubbies that I refinished with the contact paper.  They look soooooo much better!  On top, I have grippy rubber shelving cover, and then the edges were all trimmed with black duct tape!  Sharp!
The back of my main book shelf has all of our classroom supplies.  I love how this turned out as well, especially with all of my blue, green and black labels!  On top, I have acrylic 8/12 by 11 frame holders to hold my decoding strategy posters which I purchased from Deanna Jump.  I got the idea from one of my district teachers to put mini-anchor charts in these frames.  I also got beanie babies to go with each strategy.
Here's our job chart! I use clothes pins to designate who does which job.  I plan to put this up on TPT.
Our Farm ABC Words!
Here's the word wall I created to go with Deanna Jumps Popcorn Words activities.  I'm so excited to start that this year, as I've never felt I've had much direction in teaching my kiddos their sight words.  They've always managed to learn them anyway.  Isn't that funny how that happens?  I just want to be more intentional with them this year.
I loved having cupboards, but hated having to use painters tape every two seconds to use the fronts as displays.  Then, I got this huge brain storm!  I decided to cover them with black felt and trim them with ribbon.  Now I can use them for the literacy and math vocabulary word walls I purchased from Kim Adsit on TPT!!!!!  Here they are in their blah form, now . . .


That's all for now.  I'll add more about what I did the first week in my next post . . . or, you can check it out now in my classroom blog: hopintoourkinderpond.blogspot.com

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