Saturday, August 21, 2010

Come on in to Second Grade

Edit: April 1, 2013
This post is getting a ton of hits from pinterest, and I'm getting a ton of questions about my homeworkopoly board.  It was not my original creation!  Google it and you will find several variations for free that you can print.  I also created a safari version and posted on my teacher blog here:

I'm excited to share my classroom with you.  This is my sixth year teaching.  It seems every year I add a little more of my personality to my classroom.  I'm really starting to like it :)  Lets start with a couple of scanning photos. 

    Right beside my door you will find my word work bookcase.  I have always loved the size of this bookcase.  It fits perfectly in several spots in the room and it's pretty sturdy.  However I wasn't in love with the blah fake wood color.  So 2 summers ago I decided to modge podge it with small squares of scrap booking paper.  I love it!  It always gets bunches of compliments.  
    Word Work is one of the components of The Daily Five that I'm excited to be implementing this year.  The tubs on the selves contain things such as playdoh, letter stamps, scrabble tiles, letter tiles, gloves (for clapping out syllables), magnetic letters, and some other fun things.  The kids will choose what to use, and work independently during their word work time.  If you work with children you know that too many choices can be a bad thing!  So I have made closed and open signs that stick on with Velcro so the kids will know what is available for them.  Right now they are all closed (the red circle) since we haven't started this part of the daily five yet.  
    The blue pocket chart hanging behind the book case doesn't have a specific purpose.  Occasionally I put a poem in it for the kids to read when lining up.  

Next to Word work you will find my mailboxes, for graded work and notes home.  On top is the baskets where the kiddos turn in folders, homework, and notes from home. 
Above the mailboxes is my star chart.  This is how we keep up with discipline in my room.  Every kid has a star.  If they get in trouble they move it down once.  
On the other side of my door is a small bookcase where we store the notebooks for writers workshop.  I didn't snap a picture of above this bookcase.  There I have my rules posted and some of the faces that I made last summer.
Beside the mail boxes is my reading center.  I have my books stored in baskets by genre, or author, or subject matter.  This is about 1/6 of my books.  I don't have enough shelves to put them all out at once.  It's kind of refreshing to be able to switch them out.  The kids enjoy the new books.  Also in my reading center is some new seating that I added this year.  I love my seat crates!  I got the idea from proteacher and Michael cut the board for me.  It was an easy project!
Beside my reading center is my kids book boxes where they keep their books.  This picture is a week or so old.  They are much cuter now that I have the kids pictures on them.  :)

Next up is my horseshoe table for reading groups.  And then my computers in the corner.
Next up is the bucket fillers bulletin board. 
  My reading board is next to it.  It has pocket charts for the daily five, a chart for the reading cafe (comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and expanding vocab skills that I will be teaching), and a chart for our weekly spelling and vocab words.
Next is my homeworkopoly board.  The kids get to play on Fridays if they've turned in their homework all week.  This is a new favorite in my classroom!

In front of these boards is my carpet and whiteboard chart thingy.  We spend a lot of time on the carpet. 
 Behind the chart is my desk.  I'm embarrassed of this picture.  That book case is badly neglected!
In the front of my room next to the white board is a small bulletin board.  My kids are sitting in rows.  They can earn brownies for their row's pan.  When the pan is full they get a treat.   This is working wonders in my room right now!   I'm thinking of other things to change this to later on in the year.  Maybe icecream sundaes or something.
 My coat racks and birthdays....

My Math board....I'm kicking myself for using the star fabric on it.  It's too busy.  But I'm too tired to fix it this year. 

This bulletin board will display post cards from other states.  We are participating in a post card exchange again this year. 

And finally My Promethean Board.  If you haven't been in a classroom lately you will probably be surprised at the technology available.  This interactive board is hooked to my computer.  I can use it to project or it's interactive and can be used much like a big computer.  It's a wonderful teaching tool!

Thats it.  Let me know how you liked my room.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Teacher Week: Gotta Have Them

I'm back for day two of Teacher Week with Babbling Abby.   Today's Subject...Must haves for the classroom.....

1.  Sticky's no secret that blue holds the best!  :)  And why do my kids always want it if they see me taking it off something?  No way!  It's going back to the big ball in my desk to be reused soon!
 2.  Velcro dots!  I use them all the time.  For centers, discipline charts, bulletin boards, games....

3.  Ziplock bags.  I'm really not sure what all I use them for.  I just know I use a lot.

4.  Clorox wipes.  We use these all the time!  We don't want to be sick.

5.  Clip boards for group work.
6.  Fonts!  Abby mentioned this one.  I am completely font crazy.  I easily have 700 on my computer.  I really went overboard last year during writers workshop.  I would find a special font for each kids story.  I have everything from snails to balloons to frogs.  They are very addictive.

7.  DJ Inkers Clip Art.  I have recently got really into this beauties.  One day I'm going to break down and buy a CD from I'm just using a few cheap files downloaded from her site.  So far I've put them on every note I've sent home.  Who can resist these....
8.  Glue Gun...I know some administration people (well one person) reads my blog so I won't mention all the uses of hot glue in a classroom....they are probably considered illegal.

9.  Pictures of Family....I love on a bad day to be reminded what I have waiting for me at home!
10.  A book bin for each child to store books for read to self in.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teacher Week: Open House

 I am really excited that Babbling Abby is hosting Teacher Week on her blog.  Because yesterday was my first day back with kids, I missed posting due to sheer exhaustion!  (Only a teacher could understand!)  So I'm posting a day late and hope to catch up on Today's theme too.   Yesterday's theme was an open house letting others know about you as a teacher.  This will probably boring for some so I won't be hurt if you choose not to stick around!

10 Things about Me as a Teacher

1.  This is my sixth year teaching.  Hard to believe but true.  I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing....but often that changes on a day to day basis.

2.  I have been at the same school all six years.  I really like my school.  I don't live super close so I don't see a lot of my kids out and about during "normal" life.  I feel like I have good relationships with parents.  And I love my colleagues.  I teach with some amazing people.  They are people that will be forever friends no matter where we end up.  

3.  After teaching one year I started taking evening classes and got my Master's Degree.   My masters degree is in Administration...I have NO DESIRE to work in administration!   I think about getting my EDS  a lot.  Who knows...maybe one day.  

4.  My school is over 50% low income.  There are always kids that break my heart.  I fall in love with them every year and try to shower them in a little extra love.  It always helps to try and look at them as God sees them.  Several I want to bring home with me!

5.  I am teaching second grade.  Out of my six years this is the first year that I'm getting to teach the same grade as the year before.   I have only taught Kindergarten and Second....I've went back and forth.   I love love Second Grade.  It's a great year.  

6.  A few summers ago I went back to school (for a week), took a test, and added a pre-k endorsement to my license.  I'm still not sure why.  I have no desire to go that low.  

7.  I LOVE my job.  I spend way too much time on it!  Sure last Thursday (the first official day back) I was sick to my stomach...and days I want to change professions...I'm always brought back to the realization that teaching is good.

8.   Being a teacher has changed the way that I will parent one day!

9.  I don't believe that learning best takes place sitting at a desk doing worksheets.  It has it's place but if I'm able to make it hands on, that's the route I take.   The kids absorb so much more. 

10.  I love reading to kids and teaching reading.  It's a magical time.  So rewarding!

That's it for now.  Hopefully I'll be back later to post my favorite things!