I have tried to create an inviting classroom environment that encourages learning and a happy classroom community. While looking around my classroom, my goal is to have a purpose for each item; whether to encourage students, promote our happy classroom community, or promote student learning. Here's a peak at my classroom!
This is the view of my room when you walk in the door. I will have 17 students this year and they sit in groups. In the center of their groups is a table where I work with groups as well as meet with students.
To the left of my classroom door is a small carpeted area. I have a “Focus on Math” board where student math rotations will be displayed. Anchor charts and current topics will be displayed throughout the year. The posters shown are from Amy Lemons.
Next to the math focus is my new writing center. Over the summer I took home an old desk, chair, and small shelf from my room. The desk was really marked up and I had not really been using it for anything. I sanded it and painted it black and spray painted the chair and shelf purple. I now LOVE this area of my room!! I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out! The posters are from A Year of Many Firsts and the pencil is from The Teacher Wife. We will continue to add to this board throughout the year as we begin and continue our writing!
Here's a better look at the desk. In the small container are persuasive writing dice, imaginative writing spinners, descriptive writing cards, and narrative writing prompts. I found these while cleaning out my room in May and forgot I even had them (and where they are from). Next to that is a basket of classroom writing journals. In each of the jars are writing prompts in different forms…on ping pong balls, on labels, and pictures. There are so many opportunities for student directed writing at this center, I cannot wait to see what they come up with!
In the story bags are different cards. Each has a setting, character, and problem card. Students can pick a bag and create a story. Under that are resource books for students to use as needed. (Also spray painted purple!)
I made a cute bunting for my desk and my student mailboxes are right next to my desk. On my desk I have a jar of Brain Breaks, a VIP supply bucket, “Our Happiest Thoughts” jar for students to add in happy thoughts that we will share at our morning meetings, a chalkboard sign that reads, “Happy 1st Day of School,” and I will change this sign with different quotes daily (but really, maybe weekly), and some fun flowers. Behind my desk I keep all of my resources in binders. I have made the switch over the last few years from filing cabinets to binders and I find it much easier to keep track of what I have. I also have a little shrine to my little birds back there too 🙂
On top of the student mailboxes are bins to hand in papers and to hand out papers. Keeping this right next to my desk makes it easy when I'm correcting papers or have something to go home, I can stick it right in the “hand out” bin. Also really easy to grab and organize as students hand things in! You can click here to grab these “Hand out” and “Hand in” tags as FREEBIES!
There is a little reminder for the quality of student's work next to the hand in bin and also highlighters to highlight names on papers before they get handed in. Hopefully, this will help the no name paper problem!
I love the idea of having our bathroom passes on hand sanitizer. I saw this on Pinterest and I'm not sure who the credit goes to…but it's genius! Students will put the sanitizer on their desk when they use the bathroom and then will have to sanitize their hands before they return it to its spot! I made the labels on paper and mod podged them on to the bottles so they will not tear off.
Each group has a three drawer cart that holds their interactive notebooks for reading, science and math. On top of the cart there is a supply bin, a “tidy tub” and glue sponges. (You can catch the tutorial from Kindergarten Smorgasboard here for glue sponges.) I bought all of these bins from the Dollar Tree. In the supply bin I have 10 pencils for the group. I used washi tape to color coordinate the top of the pencils to the colors of the group's bins and that group will only use those ten pencils. We will count them and check each Friday. This will be our “Pencil Challenge” which helps with sharpening throughout the day as well as lost pencils. Each group that keeps their ten pencils throughout the week will receive a small reward. We will be filling up the supply bins in the first week of school as the supplies come in. We have “community” supplies in our room so I collect them and redistribute to groups as needed throughout the year.
My all new reading nook is another new favorite spot in my room! I'm so glad that I cleared out space and was able to set this up! I found great deals on the chair, pillows, rug, ottoman, and table at Target and Walmart. I bought cardboard letters from Joann's on sale and painted the edges. I traced them onto scrapbook paper, cut out the letters, and then mod podged them on to the cardboard to spell “READ.” The READ strategy posters are from Amy Groesbeck and under that I framed the quote, “Reading gives us places to go when we have to stay where we are.” On the table I have a small bucket of mentor texts that are books we will read aloud with each other in the first week of school and I will change them as we read aloud with each other throughout the year. There is also a sign out for our classroom library so I can keep track of the books students are signing out, a small clock, and a frame from Michael's with two encouraging quotes on each side: “Believe you can and you are halfway there,” and “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” My husband spray painted ALL of my book baskets and I love how they turned out! I have shelves on both sides of the reading nook and I have them organized by author and genre.
I have a huge white board next to the reading nook and I have it sectioned off so it is like three bulletin boards. One is devoted to reading and has Daily 5 rotations on it. We will add to this as we dive into each aspect of the Daily 5. The “Calendar Math” board from One Stop Teacher Shop is in the middle and a “Genius Hour” board is on the far right and reads, “What are you passionate about?” Students will fill this with post its in the first weeks of school and then we will visit this board as we start our Genius Hour. I added the quote above the board as a class motto after being inspired by Angie's Lucky Little Learners Instagram page.
Next to that board is a small board where I framed our class rules. I got the frames unpainted at Joann's for very cheap (especially with my teacher discount) and my husband spray painted them. I love the way it turned out and think framing them adds something special!
Students sign up for lunch and also display their dismissal procedures with clothespins on these tags. This is an easy way to keep track of lunch count and also makes dismissal easy when there is a substitute!
At the front of the room, next to my smart board is my “command center.” On the top are organization labels from Teaching Sweet Shop that let's students know what they need to take out for whatever we are working on. I will also use these tags when they are writing down homework…which is the spot under the organization labels. In the middle is the calendar from Teacher Created Resources and next to that is our “OWL” of the week. Rather than having classroom jobs this year, we will have “Our Weekly Leader” that will do ALL jobs. Their picture will be displayed under this sign. The small buckets from Target's Dollar Spot are hanging with command hooks and have the organization tags and the calendar numbers. Our daily schedule is displayed on the far right and is from Funky in Fourth. The table in front displays our read aloud book on a small plate holder and also holds our class bank and the schedule cards. I will keep my own interactive notebooks on this table as I make them so students can check in with mine if they are absent or just as a reference.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my classroom!