Thursday, September 3, 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015-2016

This year I am starting a new adventure!  I'm teaching in a different district and obviously a new school.  The school is an International Baccalaureate and I'm teaching the gifted/advanced first grade (both firsts for me).  
 How to find what you're looking for, if you don't know what you're looking for. Just journey onwards, you'll find something eventually.: How to find what you're looking for, if you don't know what you're looking for. Just journey onwards, you'll find something eventually.
I love a good challenge and I feel like I'm using a lot of brain power to learn many, many new things.  Guess what?  I'm loving it.  My class and families are the perfect fit for me.  Well and the fact that I am back in the grade I was made for.  

So when I set up my room I thought it was PERFECT but then the kids came and I had to make adjustments.  The kids kept bumping their chairs into each other and it was a tight squeeze.  Visually it was my perfect but the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.

So tonight I will show you the before (my pictures won't upload to the cloud so I'll have to wait on the after).  C'est la vie! 


Here is my small group/teacher work area.  I have put my desk in my very large closet, which is the first closet I've ever had.

I used Cara Carroll's back to school ideas and had parents fill out an envelope so I could send a sweet note about their child.

Birthdays and our family wall
I love the family wall so much!  The students and I use it all the time.

This is the back wall and I decided I needed to use it for subject areas.  Anchor charts are displayed on reading and writing.  While math has strategies and our rotations.

Our book bins are held by this double sided shelf.  We went book shopping on day 2!

I saw this idea on pinterest but I'm not sure where.  I put our wishes on cupcakes and the parents grabbed almost all of them!

Here is a close-up of our math rotations.  

I had a table set up for meet the teacher that now holds the mailboxes.

Frame Worthy Work will always have a place in my classroom.  The frames are from Lakeshore Learning and I love them SO just slip work inside.  This is also our supply area, hermit crab tank and math supplies.

The desk were already with Learning In Wonderland's flip book, bubbles, and login cards.

As I mentioned before, we are an IB school.  We display and teach the learner profiles (open-minded, reflective, caring, courageous, thinker, knowledgeable, inquirer, communicator, balanced. and principled).  They are displayed to the sides of the board and below are name tag holders with the traits that students wear for the day when we note them using one of the LPs.

These are the Learner Profile student recognition in name tag holders.  When I notice a student exhibiting one, we all stop and acknowledge and then the child wears one for the rest of the day.

Here is a close up of one of the profiles.

This is the front of my room with my new ActivPanel.  Two weeks in and I don't know how I taught without it.

Most of these read alouds are tied to the profiles.  We use books to introduce them each day. (i.e. Oliver Button is a Sissy helped us learn open-minded),

Word was going to be used for HFW but instead I'm going to use it for our vocabulary.

Bucket Fillers Chart 

Close-up of the board

IKEA picture frames for my unit essential questions

Hand signals

ActivPanel with Pink Cat Studios Owl Attendance

Left side of room

Right side of room

The bags are to schedule students for book shopping each day of the week so the classroom library doesn't get jammed.

Book display and Growth Mindset Posters

I put baskets with labels out for parents/students to sort supplies.

Door essentials


The IB materials and colorful classroom decor can be found in my TPT shop: 

Tomorrow I will share my 2 weeks later pictures with all the changes.  Have a great night!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

End of the Year...No Thank You

I kind of detest breaking down my classroom at the end of the year.  It's so anti-climatic. All that hard work by the students is taken down.  And all of the classroom decor that I painstakingly cut, laminate and hung with velcro/sticky tack/command strips just gets tossed or shoved into a box.  I usually retrain my focus on what I love and that is decorating all over again in a couple months time!

As I watched my news feed fill with teachers end of the year gifts, I was planning what I wanted to tweak this year.  I had these word wall headers I made a couple years ago when we first started the common core standards and there was more of a push on informational texts and topics.  I love these headers and their bright colors so I decided I wanted more of that.  I spend 7.5+ hours a day for 180+ days in the classroom so I just want to look around and feel happy.

My inspiration:  nonfiction alphabet headers

As I started making new things for the classroom I kept having more and more ideas.  So my tweaks turned into a 100+ page colorful classroom decor set!  This set is full of things that your students will use on a daily basis, such as, jobs, table numbers, number posters, ABC posters, word wall headers, word wall words, birthdays, schedule, hand signals, nameplates and more.  You can pick it up here: Colorful Classroom Decor 

I also made the ABC posters as a stand alone: Colorful Alphabet Posters

I also made Bohemian Classroom Decor based off this digital paper that has feathers on it which I L.O.V.E!  
Aren't the feathers lovely?

Now what would a post be without a freebie?!  Today I have essential items for your classroom door!  These are my must haves and I hope you enjoy them.  Pick it up here:  Door Decor

Sight word slap is a great way for students to learn sight words in a fun way.  Just print, laminate and write a new word with dry erase marker daily.  Students will high five the word and say it aloud.

Math Password is a fantastic way to give your students more practice. Again print, laminate and write a new math problem every day.  As the students pass, they will whisper the answer.  This is a great way to spiral or practice the tricky bits.  *Tip: Any child that answers incorrectly I send to the back of the line to think.  If they still don't get it right on the second try, I quietly reteach several students, model the problem, or give them a strategy.

Welcome to pennant is just a bright, colorful, space saving way to add a little cheer to your door.  I made it and intend to punch holes on the sides and thread through ribbon.

So are you planning for the new school year or actually taking time to enjoy summer?


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

All I can manage is PICTURES

My desk (no matter how much I organize, clear and clean) is piled with papers.  You know the end of the year stacks, right?  SO all I can manage is to show you what our classroom life is like through pictures.  

I also have a confessions.  I'm MUCH better at updating my Facebook page!  You can follow me here: The Go To Teacher on Facebook 

My students FAVORITE math activity is hands down Scavenger Hunts.  I can never trip them up...they always find them! is a blessing!  We watched all about bones and then used their skeleton to label bones.

My students were SO engaged by just using these spinners.  Of course they each got a chance to go up and spin them! These spinners are free at this site:

This is totally a school post!  Both are needed to keep me going.

I introduced my niece and nephew to Elephant and Piggie.  They loved them just as much as me.  My nephew who is 11 months old kept pointing to the characters and saying, "OOoooooo!"

My goal has been to organize my cabinets, drawers and basically the classroom.  Here you can see my supplies (top), math centers (lower left) and my teacher/student textbooks (lower right).

We started learning about plants by writing our schema and wonderings.

We also dissected these amazing lilies that grow in my yard.  The questions the students asked were beyond my wildest dreams!

This was the mother's day gift my niece made at her school.  It was the most precious gift I've ever seen. 

My class made these adorable door hangers.

Every morning, I give the students "free read" time.  I love when I see kids taking lead by helping their peers.

Again this is definitely tied to teaching.  Lord knows I need to decompress when I get home and I love to hang on the porch!

I love using student work to motivate students and help them goal set.

Another "free read" moment.  They are playing teacher...but I don't even think I could call it playing because they are truly teachers in their own right.

Here is a math anchor chart that reviews partitioning.

Maybe tomorrow I'll take a picture of my I won't.  I can't let others see my piles.