Thursday, August 29, 2013

Classroom Reveal 2013-2014

Open House is over, I met my new kiddos, and my classroom is full of new supplies! Now that I have them all organized, I'm ready to show pictures of my finished classroom.

First, I would like to point out a few things. Although I started this blog to track how much time I spent setting up the physical environment for my students, I did not blog to point out how "unfair" it is that teachers are expected to do things outside of their contracted hours. However, I think the numbers are interesting, and I don't think the general public realizes how much time teachers put into preparing their classroom. With that being said, here are the stats:

-It took me 130 total hours this summer to move into, and set up, my new classroom. Only 3 hours of this work was completed during my contracted time.
-Teachers went back to school this past Tuesday. We attended many required meetings and in-services during this time. I had approximately 12 contracted hours to work in my classroom, most of which was spent planning. This means that the work I did in 130 hours (and actually more, if you count time spent planning) was actually supposed to get finished in 12 hours.
-I did not keep track of how much time was spent on planning, curriculum development, and reading professional texts this summer. Those hours definitely exceeded the hours spent working on my classroom.

A few details about classroom decorating restrictions in my district:
-We are not allowed to bring in anything that has to be plugged in (refrigerators, lamps, etc.).
-We are not allowed to paint.
-We are not allowed to have items made from fabric (couches, throw pillows, etc.) in our classrooms.
-We may only cover approximately 20% of our wall space.
-We may not hang anything from the ceiling.
-We may not hang anything on our doors.

If you have been following my blog, you may have seen many of these pictures, but I'm recapping everything here.

The hallway:

View to left when you walk in:

View to the right:

View to the left from the opposite corner:

View to the right.

Calendar/mailbox area. The basket is for finished work, and the little container to the left hold fish sticks for choosing students at random.

I'm keeping it simple with birthdays this year, and taking pictures like this to place on this chart.

CAFE menu (with 2 columns for comprehension), word work shelf, and document camera:

Class schedule:

Writing area: this will contain anchor charts, mentor texts, paper, and work on writing options. The binders below will store student assessments and tests throughout the year.

Alphabet line:

Social studies/science board, and student computer area.

I did away with my teacher desk this year, so this is my new "teacher desk area."

My listening center, complete with the Ikea spice rack idea that is all over Pinterest:

Daily 5 anchor charts:

Student book bins, and small group area (I keep all of my small group materials hidden in the cupboards):

This is the other part of my "teacher desk area."

These baskets hold teaching materials for the week:

The cupboards contain my "math word wall." (To see the post about the inside of my cupboards, click here.)

This is going to be my author study board. We're going to be celebrating Dot Day in September, but I didn't get a chance to pick up more Peter H. Reynolds books from the library. So, I put back to school books in the rack instead.

This will be the home for our class frog, who should be arriving soon! I set it up early to keep the kids wondering what it will be for.

Genre board (posters are from One Extra Degree):

This board is going to to contain ELA anchor charts.

My PBIS board. The pockets contain my classroom jobs, and the puppies move from pocket to pocket. Later I will add the "Top Dog" poster for the student of the week.

Classroom library:

Doubles posters and number line:

I try not to keep a lot of supplies on the tables-just pencils and erasers. I place student names on the back of the chairs with Velcro. The extra spots in the bin are for any "fun" pencils that students bring.

Each table group has their own bookcase to store supplies (the idea came from Dandelions and Dragonflies). The container on the left is for headphones. The basket on the right is for art boxes (crayons, markers, colored pencils), and the bins on the bottom contain notebooks, folders, and take-home binders.

That's pretty much it! I didn't go into tons of detail, but if you want to learn more about the different areas of my classroom, please click on the various blog posts on the right.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Almost There!

I spent a few hours at school tonight, finishing some small projects. As I have mentioned before, I have been at school A LOT lately, but my time has been spent planning, and I'm not counting those minutes. Maybe next summer. :)

The first project I worked on was for my school's PBIS program. Students earn "paw points," which are small laminated tickets. Teachers have to collect the paws, and transfer the points to each child's paw card. The card is how the teacher keeps track of how many points a child has. I had an ok system last year, but it was sometimes difficult when I would pick my class up from lunch, for example, and 7 kids would hand me a paw to record on their card. My teammate came up with the great idea to use Carson Dellosa's Positive Reinforcement Pocket Chart to help keep paw points organized. This pocket chart is awesome, because it contains a small clear pocket in front, and individual pockets behind. Students will simply put their paws in their individual pocket, and I will record the points on their card when I have time.

I haven't decided if I want to add a title in the top pocket. I kind of like it plain and simple!

Here is a picture of it hanging by my PBIS bulletin board:

I also finished my Dot Day board. This area is going to be used for author studies. I need to make a visit to the public library to check out more Peter H. Reynolds books.

My laptops were ready to be set up, too! I have 6 total, but they do not all fit on the built-in shelving, because I am using the 6th spot for my teacher desktop computer. The 6th computer will just be unplugged and taken to a student's desk when they want to use it.

Finally, I worked on writing names and number on student materials.

Teachers go back to work this Tuesday, and Open House is on Wednesday night! I should have my "reveal" pictures ready on Thursday!

Time spent working on classroom today: 2 hours
Cumulative hours: 127

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Almost Finished!

I have been at school a lot lately, working on planning, sending letters out to families, and preparing for Open House. I have not posted in quite a while, because my classroom setup has been 99% finished since the end of July. :) I am still waiting on the following things:
-My new ottoman "teacher chair" should be arriving next week.
-My new easel should arrive next week, as well.
-We have to turn our laptops in to the library for the summer. I will be able to check them out next week.

I will be doing the "big reveal" of my classroom next week after Open House. Check back next Thursday for pictures!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Labeling With Students' Names

There is something about putting students' names on things that makes back-to-school time seem more real. It is a bit early to put names up, but my school doesn't have a huge transient population, so hopefully I won't have to change anything in the upcoming weeks.

I didn't want to put nameplates on my tables, but I still wanted to have something to show each child's spot in the room. I decided to use sticky nametags. I stuck them to cardstock, laminated them, and attached them to the chairs with Velcro. This makes it easy for me to change seating throughout the year.

Here is my hallway space. It's not very cute, but it will be full of artwork and getting-to-know-you activities after the first few days of school. :)

I have been at school A LOT lately, working on my website and planning for the upcoming year. However, I'm not counting those minutes towards my cumulative hours. It would be almost impossible to figure out how much time I spend planning over the summer! The minutes below reflect how much time it is taking me just to set up the physical space for my students.

Time spent working on classroom today: 2 hours
Cumulative hours: 125

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bookcase Repair

I loved the idea of having a bookcase for each table group after seeing it on the blog Dandelions and Dragonflies. I purchased five bookcases from Walmart this past May, and let's just say that you get what you pay for. After only one month of use by my students, they were falling apart.

The biggest problem is that the backside is simply a piece of cardboard. In the future I may attach a piece of plywood to the back instead, but for now I used my staple gun to make the cardboard backing more secure. My fiance brought his power drill in and put 2 extra screws in the top of each side, as well. I'm hoping this will help them make it through the year!

I also wanted to spraypaint the back of the shelves black. As you can see from this "before" shot of my classroom, the back of the shelves is a beautiful cardboard color, complete with "WARNING!" labels that will not peel off.

Here is an after shot (it looks a little light in a few places, because the sun was shining in):

That's one more thing crossed off the list! :) I only have a few more things left to do before the kiddos arrive next month.

Time spent at school in the past 4 days: 4.5 hours
Cumulative hours: 123