Saturday, April 28, 2012

Classroom pictures

Get ready for a lengthy post and picture overload!!!
I know I have posted classroom pictures in the past... but I wanted to share an update with you b/c I am so excited with how much better it looks after 3 years of teaching under my belt. I've started figuring out what work vs. what doesn't... what it wasted space vs. what isn't?... etc!
Do you ever get bored with your classroom and feel the need to rearranged some things? It ALWAYS hits me this time of year... with the my spring cleaning in gear I thought.. why not get my room ready so I can tell the custodians how I was it set it up next year. (They take out all the furniture and clean our carpets, then put it all back. lol) 

So I thought I'd share some pics b/c my room has NEVER looked so good! =) 
{click on any picture to see a larger view}
When you first walk in... there is this big wall which I hate... but I painted it my 2nd year this pretty pastel blue with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree and some clouds! All my indoor recess toys are on the brown shelf and my filing cabinet beside it.. the white drawers are for our kindergarten aid... drawers are labeled: 1-Send home, 2-Finished copies, 3-Needs to be copied, and 4- Laminate. So she can quickly see what needs done without interrupting class. I also place a bucket of pencils on top when they need sharpened and she will do that too! It's worked great!

Now onto the rest of the room...
Earlier this year I cleared out ALL THE JUNK that I had stored on this orange shelf so that my kiddos have space to place their lunch boxes! They were so excited! It' also perfect b/c I cleared out the floor area on this side for our tornado and intruder drills! With 20+ kids I needed all the floor space available! And side note: We got new phones installed a few weeks ago and they are AMAZING! We can now put our phone on "hold" so all calls go to voicemail if we are busy teaching (which I don't do b/c our secretary can do that for us!) and we can intercom to other classrooms if need be! I told my teammates to do that with me from now on so I don't have to GET UP from teaching if they need something immediately from me!

Here is a view when you walk in:

We'll start over in this corner:
I moved my computers away from the window so it can now be part of the reading center! Here you see the book bins,  predictable charts hanging and on the rolly thing below the window I have clipboards, whisper phones and fun sunglasses to use when they are reading or writing around the room... the teal bucket holds all the pointers used as well!
To the right of the small window is the reading "nook"... =) The kids are allowed to read anything on their small book shelf (that I got from donorschoose! LOve it!) and inside the big blue book bin. The smaller blue bin holds reflection paper they can write on after reading a book. (Sometimes it's drawing and writing about their favorite part, favorite character, etc.- just like the listening center... got that great idea from Deedee Willis as well! (that is HER creation- NOT mine!)

Another change i made was putting the "Ready to Write" and "Sharpen Please" buckets near my desk on this big book cart. This way I can keep a close eye on when we are running low on pencils and make sure kids are putting them in the correct bucket... lil stinkers!

Then next to the reading nook is my small group area. This has been working out GREAT b/c now I can make sure teh kids in library are READING and not "chit chatting..." =) I also love how much nicer my Word Attack Buddies look on the bulletin board behind me now! 

Here is where I store all my small group materials... sorry it's a lil blurry!

Then my listening station is on the other side of my table... which is great b/c I can make sure they are on task as well =) Hope to get a shelf for it this summer at a garage sale with more buckets so each student has one for the headphones and book! =)

Above my listening center I've put all our word family posters for display! Next year I will have a clever title in the empty space above for it... any clever ideas??? =) I also love that I moved my calendar center away from her b/c now I can keep my screen down more often during the day when we use our projector... you can see the string hanging down in the middle where I pull it down!

I LOVE the computers here... b/c it's the center I have the LEAST amount of problems--- so it's closest to the hallway door and kids won't be sitting on the floor in this area anymore! (It's also great b/c I can see all the screens if they happen to get off starfall. Which I haven't had any problems with this year! YAY!) My 6+1 writing trains are on the blue bulletin board for now... Trying to think of what I can do with it next year!

Now turning 90 degrees to your right... you have my writing table and Word wall. (along with the housekeeping center that is used for indoor recess.) I love my new bulletin board display b/c of the pocket charts. I plan to use them to display the word cards I bought on TPT made by Deedee Willis... check them out here! They are ADORABLE and she has some AMAZING writing paper and such to go with them.... I am goign to download them ALL this summer and get them ready for next year so I can have it all ready! 

This picture reminds me... I am really wanting to make my housekeeping center more literacy based! Any great ideas or posts you can link me to, to give me some new ideas?! 

Behind the housekeeping center I have all this junk... lol It's not cute at all... which is why I made it out of sight! Hoping to start a new mailbox system next year using a crate and file folders! =) It will take up less space!

Behind my mailboxes is my huge closet...  I was hoping to use that big pocket chart for centers... but it's just not a good place for it b/c I can't see the kids back there... so I'll probably move it next year! (And yes... I still have my turkey graph up... I'm thinking about laminating it so I don't have to "re-create" it every year! That was from one of Deanna Jump's units that I bought for the week before Thanksgiving! The green chart is my kids' reading log count... So I can keep track of how many books they are reading at home... and below it we keep their bear bucks in those pockets... I'm thinking about doing "punch cards" next year b/c I feel like our school wastes so much paper on these bear bucks! 

Next to my closet is where I display student writing in the classroom! (You can click the pictures for a larger view!) All the math manipulatives are on the shelves below! EVERYTHING else is stuffed in my closet! haha

Next to my sink I have the carpet area... My easel is amazing and I don't know what I'd do without it! My whiteboard that hangs here broke off... so decided to use this space to hold our behavior chart... I love it b/c now I can just roll it on over to the mailbox area when I'm marking their charts at the end of the day! =)

Here's what it looks like on the other side of the easel.... I love this area near all the windows b/c natural light makes puts me in a much better mood! And all I have to do is close the curtains if the kids are distracted by something outside... (I've already had to do that this week b/c they were watching kids play on the playground. haha)

Behind my rocking chart i post my daily targets that we go over each day and all my center tubs are on the shelves.

My station rotation chart's new home is on the side of my flat file cabinet.... it's at the kids' eye view...  but out of plain sight... Not sure if I like it here... but for now it will do! =)

My area is all nice and organized now... (I put green tape on my heater/ac unit for a word work station... they can build words using magnetic letters and such... honestly I haven't used it this year- but plan to next year!)

I have been meaning to share this wonderful idea with you all for a few months now and kept forgetting until now!  My wonderful co-worker- Lisa came up with this fantastic idea on keeping track of your helper for the day! We printed off each child's picture (with their name below it) and glued them onto a sentence strip as you see pictured. Then I hot glued a fun wooden frog I got (you can find them at JoAnn's/Hobby Lobby or any craft store I'm sure!) onto a clothespin.  Each morning I move the frog clip down til everyone had a turn to help, then we start from the top again! It has helped so much b/c now I know that each child gets turn to help read the morning message and with calendar time! The  kids even help remind me who the helper of the day is! So no more "He already had a turn!" Or "I never get a turn!" You could even use this as a job chart...  have different clothespins for each job and rotate them each day or week (depending on your liking!) Ooohhh I'm going to do that next year! I just thought of that! haha

Here is our special friend "Benjamin." He came with the Scott Foresman Reading Series... I named him Benjamin b/c I used to work for Primrose Schools and they have an AMAZING curriculum for birth thru pre-k that uses puppets to teach. So b/c I couldn't take the amazing puppets with me... I decided to use what we have! Benjamin helps check the weather every day... He sits in his little rocking chair and during math calendar- the helper gets to take Benjamin to the window as we sing "What is the weather, weather, weather? What is the weather out today? Is it sunny or is it rainy? What will Benjamin see today?" Then the helper tells us and we do our weather word for the day and graph it!

Any other Scott Foresman teachers out there come up with clever ideas of how to use this adorable lil guy?! I'd love to hear them!

So sorry for the lengthy post today! I had a lot to share and feeling in a chatty mood! =) 
We have 16 and half school days left until summer break! 

Happy weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Addition Math centers

We finished up our addition unit last week in math and are moving onto subtraction!
 Today I introduced the skill by reviewing how addition means "to put together." Then I said this week we are going to being "taking away" or subtracting. I read "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" and had 5 kids come up with frog masks and had them help model "jumping into the pool" as we read/sang the song and I wrote the subtraction sentence on the board as well. We did this 3 or 4 times to let each kiddo have a turn. Tomorrow we are going to do the same activity with Monkeys swinging in a tree! =) Afterwards, we did a subtraction activity page together that talked about "taking away"! They did a great job!

I kept the math centers addition related since they need to be able to complete them independently!

I got all these amazing recording sheets from here: Free addition centers
These are GREAT centers! They were easy to get together and I'm really happy with them!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Catching up

Hey all! I remembered to take a few pictures before I left school on Friday and wanted to share a few things we have been up to! If you recall from one of my earlier posts, I used Deanna's Jump's idea of reading "Where the Wild Things Are" and having the kids write about what they do when they feel wild. Then they made their own wild thing and they turned out too precious!!! I don't want to take them down! =)
 Here are a few close-ups!

We have to have our standards posted with any work we put up...

Last week we did a lot of Earth Day activities, so my other display in the hall is the writing responses they did after discussing ways we can take care of the Earth!  ALL of this was pinterest inspired, not my original idea... except instead of using green paint, the kids traced and cut out their own hand prints, then glued them in the middle of the blue circle. Then I had them "recycle" the left over green paper by cutting it up into smaller pieces and glue it on to make the other pieces of land on the Earth. They turned out cool!

 The standards posted! My awesome K team likes to tease me b/c I have to make EVERYTHING cute. haha =)
The adorable anchor chart idea I got from pinterest!

Not as cute... but I wanted the kids to understand the different between natural resources and man-made materials. 
Some close-ups of their writings!

Random picture! I found the cutest ocean stickers in the scrapbooking section at Hobby Lobby and used them to make this lil goody! (I made one for my Pinterest exchange pal too!)
A few more random things... 2 weeks ago, we were learning about seeds and I placed 4 ziplock baggies around the room on Monday. I wrote on them (as you can see) so we wouldn't forget which is which! We put a lima bean seed in the bags...
and tape 2 to the window, labeled:
1. In sun, no water
2. In sun, with water
and 2 in the closet, labeled:
3. No sun, with water
4, No sun, no water

Then we made predictions of what will happen with each seed then I wrote our predictions on the bags. 
On Friday we sat out in the grassy area you see pictured above and planted grass seed in the cups below. (I put their picture & name on a popsicle stick so they can keep an eye on their own seeds!)


Last week for reading, we read Old MacDonald had a Woodshop (from the Scott Foresman reading series) and discussed Character.  

The first day we really practice preview and predicting the story and introducing the vocab in the story. 

The 2nd day we reviewed the skill by using Goldilocks and the Three Bears from earlier this year and made this character web that I found from Fran!
The next day, we re-read the story and completed a character map on Old MacDonald in the story.

Then the last day I gave each child a paper where they drew their favorite character from the story and had to describe them by telling me what animal it was and what tool they were using in the story. 
(I forgot to take pictures, I'll try to remember to take some tomorrow!)
 Friday we went on a field trip to the farm all day, so we didn't have any plans for reading!

One last thing I wanted to ask was how do you manage indoor recess with your class? thankfully, we haven't had to do this too many times this year... but I foudn that Like using a pocket chart so the kids can take turns at the "favorite centers". (housekeeping and computers were always getting picked first!) So now I have it so they can take turns- I just rotate it like we would any other station rotation. i am actually editing it a bit this week... I'm taking out the names and putting thier pictures in it's place, and wnat to edit some of the recess stations! =) I'll try to remember to post them when I finish! =)

Hope you all have a wonderful week! We have 22 and a 1/2 days left!!!