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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Classroom Reveal 2016

After two weeks of moving, cutting, taping, pushing, and sorting - my classroom is finally ready for my kiddos on Tuesday!  Are there a few things left to do?  Yes, and always.  There are some things left to hang (I'm laminating this weekend) and I forgot my zipties to keep cords nice and neat, but it's ready for my students to come in.  This is my fourth year at this school and this is definitely my favorite classroom set up yet.  I have plenty of pictures to share, so sit back and enjoy!
This is what you see when you walk into my room.  I need to cut the strings from the welcome sign and put up some bows, but I ran out of time before leaving yesterday.  It's always nice to get pictures before kids get in there.  By the end of next week, it will be a completely different place.
This is my hallway bulletin board.  I decided to do the Kindness Challenge by Blair Turner.  It's actually perfect because there are 180 cards and we have 180 days of school this year.  I like the idea of doing little kind acts for others and this lets me bring it into the classroom in a really cute way.  Plus, in social studies we talk about being a great citizen in our community, so this really kind of helps to push the idea a little further.
After walking in the door there is my calendar and objectives area.  All of those will be swapped out for the new standards we are covering at the beginning of the school year, but as you can see, I was just starting to work on that.  Also, next to my calendar and hidden by glair, is my classroom schedule.
Right after the cubbies area are my mailboxes.  Anything that goes home, goes into their numbered box.  I have some direction arrows and a a few little decorative things.  I use the question mark when asking "big questions."  As long as the light is on, it's their time to think and share ideas.  Once it goes off, we discuss.  
All I see here are cords that I need to get together.  Organization problems, people.  So we have some number cards, skip counting, my cart that I use to organize different copies/scholastic readers/extras/etc.  Some of the lights around the board are out, but the strand is still working, so I'm going to go with it until Christmas lights are out.  (Now that it's B2S time, they probably already have Christmas stuff out.)
Again, more cords.  Looks like Tuesday morning will be all about cleaning those up.  Anyway, I keep my CUBES poster upfront since it's a math strategy that we use all year.  I have an insanely long power strip under my board, but my kids know they do not go on that side of my desk for any reason, so it's never been an issue.  Above the board are my class rules - something we discuss and review a lot in my room!  The rainbow colored bins are used to keep my copies for the week.  It helps to keep things organized in a neat order.
My classroom is definitely a colorful place.  I think the curtains are adorable, personally.  I wish I could take credit for them, but all I did was buy the fabric and then my grandma transformed them into curtains.  I used tension rods and 3M hooks to hang them from each window.  I have A LOT of windows in my classroom.  The light can be super intense, so having curtains is a lifesaver.  It's funny, I started in a room with no windows and now I have a room that has windows covered half of the room.
A view from the front of the room!  Each group has their own card where things like scissors, glue, crayons, data folders, and interactive notebooks are kept.  In each caddy there are pencils, erasers, a CUBES mini card set on rings, and a math desk topper I used as a card (the long objects sticking out).  I loved these 2nd grade math desk toppers by Amy Lemons, but when I've used them as actual desk toppers, they've been torn up or ruined in a couple of months.  I wanted these to last longer and be usable from year to year, so I printed and laminated them.  There are enough for each student at each table.  I'm actually skipping the name tags and such this year.  It becomes a challenge to clean and ends up torn up too quickly.
Lots of storage and games over here.  I keep my cabinet FILLED with lots of resources, trade books, and supplies.  Zingo is a big hit in my room, so I have all the ones they've offered.  Most of these are math or  STEM related resources, and of course my context clues poster that I absolutely love!
When you're trying to take classroom pictures and your co-workers want in on it.  Honestly, I would be lost without these two.  They are my work family and I couldn't survive a day there without them.
Kids turn in their papers on this table, but I brought home the baskets to label them, so it's a bit bare.  I have a sharp and broken pencil bucket, an area for no name papers, and a cute chalkboard from Hobby Lobby that I have yet to write on - another thing to do Monday morning!  My pipe shelf is all strange and supplies, but I hated that it shows and looks cluttered, so I use a shower curtain from Target to keep it hidden.  I used velcro to keep it up, but the velcro just won't hold (even with super glue!), so for now I'm using clothes pins to keep it up.
I have tons of little math strategy reminder cards that I rotate here throughout the year depending on what we are working on.  This has become an important little area in my classroom!
This year I am using Jessica Tobin's Endless Math Bundle in my classroom.  Having something that is common core aligned is a time saver and life saver.  I have everything printed and organized into bins already, and I'm even going to print some of the 1st grade resources for my kids that need extra support. 
A big goal of mine this year was to get organized.  I have printed out centers in the past and by the time I use them, I forget how to play the game or how they're used and they end up on the shelf.  Not anymore!  I printed out all of Jessica's great center previews and put them in a binder.  Easy way to remind myself as I present them to the kids.
This month I watched a Jessica Tobin webinar on setting up your math block.  She had an amazing idea for math center rotations and I loved it!  My whole team loved the idea so much that we are all using this style for our center rotations.  There are four rotations and students have the chance to work on what we just learned, the beautiful centers I have printed, iPad math time, and small groups with me.  It's wonderful and I can't recommend watching it enough if you have the chance!
Where the magic happens - small groups and team lunches!  This area becomes somewhat cluttered during the year, so I'm hoping I can keep it as tidy!  I have balance ball chairs coming (thanks to a donors choose project) that will go around the table for my kiddos!
I'm really trying to work on flexible seating this year.  I want my kids to move around more and get out of their seats.  I have little reading strategy cards, phonics flags (that I love),  and even a cute little lantern on one of the tables.  Tables and pillows are from Ikea (yay affordable!) and the bean bag chairs are from Wayfair.  (I'm just noticing that pillow is crooked and it's bothering me - teacher problems!)
This is my favorite area - my library!  The rolling carts are so awesome and were a Craigslist find.  The woman gave them to me for free since I was a teacher!
This year I decorated the ends of them to make them a little cuter.  I am a huge Mary Poppins fan, so including her in my classroom in an adorable way finally seemed to fit!
I know I talked about using different book bins this year, but nothing really seemed to fit, so I replaced some of the broken bins with other styles and made what I already had work a little bit better.  Perhaps I will try the book bin thing again another year.  I tend to use lots of personal pictures in my classroom - my kids love seeing my life outside of the classroom and it really helps to build and strengthen my relationship with them.
Another area I have set aside for flexible seating!  The rugs were on sale at Walmart for under $20 each.  While they aren't super colorful, they matched the pillows and worked well enough for me!
Last, but not least, my resource shelf.  I keep binders of resources, versa ties, phonics dominoes, and books in this spot.  On top is my scentsy burner, because we gotta keep the smell positive in here, and my fairy garden that my mom made for me.  

And that's it!  That's everything!  Later this week I will have a sneak peak at how I'm using items that I've received from my Donors Choose project and how I survived the first week back to school.  Enjoy your weekend everyone and good luck getting back in the classroom!