Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Classroom Tour (Part Two) AND Black and White Label Freebie!

Thanks for all the sweet comments from yesterday's classroom pics. Here's the rest of the room.

Aleck made some wonderful anchor charts to get me started. We outlined them all with black paper and laminated them so  I can use them from year to year. I'll add our new responses each year with post-its or a dry erase marker. I punched holes in each and hung them from the wall using the Command wire hooks. When I need a chart, I can unhook it and put it on the board. After we complete the chart, it goes right back up so the kids can always refer to it. I'll take a pic of each completed chart for them to glue into their literacy, math, science,  or social studies notebooks.

We'll brainstorm expectations for the students and the teacher during whole group sessions. I get a kick out of what the kids say. One of their expectations of me last year was to love them!

Small group expectations are brainstormed and listed. 

We spend lots of time over the first two or three weeks of school learning the procedures and expectations during station work. It's worth every minute! 
All the charts hang at the front of the room so we can refer to them all year long.
This is the other side of the Promethean Board. The board is for our Calendar Math. I'm incorporating this into Math journals this year. I'll be posting lots of freebies for this a little later.

Icing our cupcake is just a gentle reminder of how the students can make their work even better. They will write one way they can improve their work on a bright pink post-it and add to the chart. Every so often, I'll give the kids a pink highlighter and get them to "ice" their work by highlighting the part of their paper that they think is their best work. Some days, I also give them a different color highlighter to mark the part of their work that gave them the most trouble.

My kids love all things David, so what better way to talk about being a good student! We will read No, David and David Goes to School and define the characteristics of a good student. Go   {HERE} to get the original post from Welcome to Room 36's blog.
My number of the day chart is going to be part of our morning calendar work. There are lots of these charts floating around blogs. Mine is based on the one {HERE}.

Fancy Nancy is hanging out below the board. We will write our boring word on the left and brainstorm our new "Fancy Nancy" words on the right. They can add their T charts to their writing journals. I added "Fancy Nancy words made Fancy Nancy sentences" to fit our Common Core standard of expanding sentences so the children will be encouraged to use the new words in their writing.

This is my assistant/co-teacher's table for small group and one-on-one work. All Math manipulatives and supplies are on the two wire shelves in the corner.

I love.love.love my orange and blue baskets. I've had them for several years and think they came from Wal-mart. These labels are the same as those on the baskets on my new shelf. 

Here's a closeup of the labels. You can see the chain from Lowe's used on ceiling fans a little better in this shot.

Click on the pic above to get the free label doc.

This is a large chart listing the steps of bar model writing for our Math in Focus series.

I like my computers lined up so that I can see at a glance what my students are doing by just a quick glance at the screen. 

The middle of the wall is home for lots of anchor charts we will use to start the year. Since they hang on the wire Command hooks, I can move them when I need to and even hang new charts on top of these when I need the space. I think most of the charts can be seen {HERE} on Pinterest.
The charts on the left window are our expectations for buddy reading and read-to-self time, as well as our literacy procedures.
This is a new place for my Word Wall. I am using the same black and white polka dotted labels for the wall. For some reason, it's hard to keep things on this wall. The large pieces are put up with Command poster strips since they will come off without damaging the wall. I'll put the words up with Mavalas Tape (go here for info) by making a tape pillow on the back of the word card and sticking it to a small strip of Mavalas tape on the wall. Just put the tape pillow on the non-sticky side of the Mavalas tape. Did I explain that OK? :)

The Word Wall is over my classroom library. Aleck and I used my iPhone to scan all my books into Classroom Organizer from Book Source. THey are listed by title, author, and Lexile level. The kids can use the computer to check out books and I can run reports to check reading trends. It's free and I love it!
Click on the pic above for more info.

The books are on more wire shelving and are organized by Lexile level. I tried grouping my subjects, authors, etc., but Lexile levels work best for me. Since The Organizer lets me add a location when I scan in a book, I put the level range that is on the basket. A 460 level book will have a location of 400. The kids know to look in the 400 basket for it. 
I used binder clips to hold on my black and white polka dotted labels.

The top of one of my shelves holds the book hospital for repairing books and a basket of toy microphones I got at Target last year. We use them for fluency practice and Buddy Reading. I love my READ sign in the window!

This is the back of the room and the students' cubbies. The two Adirondack chars came from Lowe's. The round table was a Goodwill find. I have it lowered as low as it will go so we can use crates as seats.

I'm not a very crafty person, so I bought bar stool cushions with a rubbery substance on the back so they won't slide.

My Math station boxes are stored here. I'll explain more about my stations procedures in another post. The small easel is from Big Lots and holds our handwriting station supplies.

I added "thinking words" to my back wall last year to encourage me to use them when I was asking questions. As an extra benefit, the students started using them, too! This is one of my favorite parts of my room!

The words are taped to adhesive wall decals. We can't attach tape of any sort to the dry wall, so I smooth the decal on and tape to it.

The bathroom door is "Mission Control." The large pocket chart serves as our lunch count, attendance, and book checkout station. The two red charts are for station rotations for literacy and Math.

I turned the filing cabinets so that they make an L and put another wire shelf in the corner of the L. All of our Poetry station supplies are here.

The filing cabinet also holds our bucket filler cards I printed for free at VistaPrint. I can't find the original source for my bucket filler sign and the buckets in the pocket chart. If they came from your blog, please let me know so I can give you credit.
The sink cabinet holds our mailboxes (can't live without them) for returned papers to be put in our weekly envelopes home. The red basket is for complete work. Both sharpened and unsharpened pencils are kept here. Our treasure box is there, too. The lower doors each have a cookie sheet on them. I let the kids use this area for magnetic word building. One board usually holds the names of my helpers. The magnets are all freebies form VistaPrint.

The corner by the door holds writing paper, dictionaries, wordless picture books for writing prompts, and our literacy station boxes. The pockets on the door are numbered and hold our ActivExpressions.

The wall decals hold our stations procedures. I'll go into detail on our stations in a later post. LEt me just say that putting everything in these wonderful boxes with snap on lids freed up the space in my classroom as well as the time it used to take me to prepare stations.

This is the view from the back looking toward the front.

This is the view from the Math corner looking toward the front door.

 I guess that's it for the tour. 

I still haven't made any plans for the first day! I guess I can't put it off any longer.

Please be sure to check back for my "blogaversary" giveaway. Several of my blogging friends have donated prizes  to help me celebrate! You won't want to miss it!


  1. I love your organized classroom. Could I ask from where you purchased your wire racks. I'd love to get a few for my classroom. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    1. The wire shelving is from Lowe's. I purchased the wheels there separately. Thye also have some at Target, but Lowe's has larger sizes.

  2. A-Mazing! I am so jealous of so many things! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the restaurant shelving. Its so consistent across your room. It looks like your room is ready to go!


  4. I just signed up with Classroom Organizer. Did you find most of your books were listed? I'm afraid that I will need to manually input many of my books.

  5. your classroom looks AMAZING! Where do you teach your room is HUGE!!!!?