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My Classroom

Here is the saga of my ever-changing classroom.

2018-2019 Classroom

Hi Everyone! I am SO EXCITED to finally release photos from my classroom now that it is FINALLY finished! Please note that it took MANY hours to complete and many years to finally get my room to be in a state that I am absolutely in love with. Most of what you see item-wise (computers, all of my books, flexible seats, etc.) came from donations/crowdfunding. This classroom was set up for second graders. Without further ado, here are some whole-classroom glances. Further down I will take close-ups and explain things that need to be explained. Enjoy!

Now, let’s look at things a little bit closer!

This is our morning meeting area. First I have all of our black and rainbow decor-the schedule cards, months of the year cards, birthday board and “Today Is…” and “Days of School all come from that pack. I also have a year-round calendar pack for the calendar cards, a quote of the day pack for our daily morning message and my pink superstar poster that compliments my Class Dojo management system. This is also where our “book shopping” reminder is, that tells students what days they can refill their book bins and how many books can be in it (this is a freebie in my store). Finally, we have our class mascot sitting on the table by our morning meeting area for students to see and work toward earning.

Next, I have a whole wall of bookshelves. In between the bookshelves, I store my flexible seating options with my expectations above them. My first tall bookshelf is sorted by F&P level and is all picture books. My second tall bookshelf is sorted by DRA and is all group sets of books – these are great for guided reading, buddy reading or additional browsing options. My little bookshelf with the red, pink and orange bins are all sorted by author. They are also all picture books. The little bookshelf that is yellow, green, blue and purple are all chapter books that are sorted by level. (By popular demand, all of these book labels are coming to my store soon.) Finally, the last small bookshelf hosts my BUILD math centers that students can access, manipulatives they can use underneath that, then my own personal files on the bottom shelves.

In the corner is my desk and guided reading table. I went “desk-less” a few years ago and will NEVER go back. This allows me to constantly be in contact with my students and I always have students working at my back table. The tall black bookshelf is where I hold all of my copies for the week, read-aloud books, and small group materials for the week/month. I have a rainbow cart next to my area that holds all of my office supplies and things I might need during small groups such as crayons, white boards or game pieces.

My back wall is full of all of my bulletin boards and anchor charts. Starting at my back table, I like to keep my center rotation chart close so that it is very easy for me to change. The group pieces are from my rainbow decor pack and the flexible seating cards small rotation cards can be found here. On my reading bulletin board, I post our weekly targets and anchor charts that can be used to help students reach the target. My math board changes by unit, and these first cards also come from my rainbow decor pack. My writing wall also changes weekly (by project). The main anchor charts that take students through the writing process can be found here and my writing units that I rotate through this board can be found here. Under the work, I always post last week’s best writing projects. You can read more about my writing process and teaching tips here. My spelling board pieces are laminated so I can write the words on each week and wipe them off. I hang “Tuesday-Friday” signs so students know what to do at the center each week. My science and social studies board changes by unit and is still in progress at this time :). The rainbow cart by the board hosts all of the word work materials students can access including stencils, crayons, markers, white boards, magnets, stamps, etc. The notebooks on top are all of our classes shared journals, which they can read or write in as an early finisher activity.

Along my back counter, there are windows into the hallway (which I love!), our Class DOJO Clip Chart, my student mailboxes, our Chromebooks and headphones and our pencil sharpener. In the cabinets beneath, I have more flexible seating options that kids can access and all of our extra supplies that students can access with permission. Above the windows is our alphabet strip from the black and rainbow decor pack.

Next is our cubby area. Student backpacks hang underneath the cubbies. On the far right, we have our Stem Bins (Thank you Teach Outside the Box!). Under the bins is where I hold all of our copies for the year. The posters for student success criteria/self-assessment are above our data binders and our bins to turn things in. I do highly recommend making your own success criteria, which is why I do not have these in my store. Grading is very personal to schools, subjects and teachers so I strongly encourage you to use mine as inspiration to create your own – my first few years, these were just handwritten on poster paper. You can read more about how I use these and how to make your own here. Underneath the turn-in bins are my students book bins. They keep all of their curriculum books in there, as well as books they are reading for fun. My “extra” bin is also held here so that students can find any extra papers that they might need. I strongly recommend this because I am never the one having to find extra copies. Paper passers know that extras belong in there, and if students lose their paper, they know not to ask me and where to go.

Our front wall has our white board, and math anchor charts that students might need daily. I have a big number-line at the top and another smaller one on my board. I like to have the smaller one so I can model to students how to use the one on their desks. We also have our student spotlight board (you can read about it here), and our self-assessment wall on the board (read about that here, I also do not sell this because it is very personal to your grading system and teaching style). Finally, I have a few growth mindset posters that students can refer to when they are struggling and our four-step apology anchor chart (freebie) as well.

In the center of my room, I have my five tables that students have their personal desks and regular desk chairs at. Around the room, I have our various flexible seats with our flexible seating posters. Read more about how my room is a partially-flexible model here.

Hopefully you loved your tour! Please just remember, it took many years of teaching and many fundraisers and donations to get a classroom that looks like this. Your classroom needs to be a space that makes you and your students happy, but does not need to be anything extravagant.

Please drop any questions you still have below! Thanks so much for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Classroom Reveal 2016-2018

Classroom Reveal 2015-16:

Before Pictures:

We had to completely take everything down off the walls and off of the floor for our building to be cleaned this Summer!

After Pictures:

 View of the front:

View looking back from the front:

 Library area:

 Windows Into School/CAFE & Birthday Area

 Front of Room: Cubbies with book bins and blends/digraphs:

 My desk area, objectives area:

Side wall with leveled bookshelves and more bulletin boards:

 View Walking in!

In Depth:

I have a focus board for each subject area. The circle labels for each focus board can be purchased here. This is my reading focus board. There is a spot for the weekly vocabulary, fluency goal, phonics skill, grammar skill and comprehension anchor charts.

Our writing focus board right now has different genre posters and topic sentence anchor charts that are featured in my second grade common core writing pack. The COPS editing checklist is a freebie – check it out here!

Our math focus board is set up for our first unit, reviewing addition and subtraction and place value.

This miscellaneous area is for my rotations, our writing process chart, 100s chart and teacher table anchor charts for both BUILD and Daily 5. The BUILD anchor charts and rotations cards can be purchased here. Daily 5 anchor charts can be purchased here.

Next is the word wall and word work/using manipulatives table. The word wall words came from Cara Carroll (one of my favorites) and can be purchased here. The little white board is for spelling words & the rainbow cart is full of materials to use when students finish their Daily 5 “must do” work and move onto a spelling task card.

Here is our behavior chart! Last year I used class DOJO and my students loved it! The only problem I had was that my students struggled to always know how many points they had and to keep track of their points, etc. I created this pack, complete with anchor charts and trackers to help with that this year!

If you keep moving through the room, here is our CAFE board, birthday wall, mailboxes, class pet (Olaf, the hamster) and storage areas. We will add the CAFE strategies as a class the first 2 weeks of school and students will use post-it notes to identify which strategy they are working on.

Here is our phonics and blends pack from Danielle Faerber, which can be purchased here. I also have long vowel anchor charts posted next to the door, which are not pictured but are fabulous and can be purchased here. I just have the main 5 posters hanging, but will add the others to our focus board as we go! Our student book bins house their Reading A-Z books and leveled books from our library. We change the classroom library books out every other week, or more, and the students are constantly adding the RAZ books so that they have plenty of leveled reading books for Daily 5 time. The book bins were purchased last year from Steps To Literacy. I purchased them on sale and it was totally worth it. They are completely durable and will last for years, unlike many dollar store and target bin baskets I had previously tried.

Here is our BUILD center area. Students grab the materials they need from the basket they are working on and move either to their seat or center to get to work. The expectations are posted around the room and on the basket, so students know exactly what they need to be doing. Again, the BUILD materials can be found at my TPT store, here.

My numbers and clock numbers are both products from Amy Lemons, and can be found at her TPT store here. My objectives are taped off and written to our districts format, which is GEL (goal, evidence and learning environment).

Here is the other side of the board with our class schedule and COPS poster for editing.

Next to the board is another math area for students to get math supplies. There are bins with labeled materials in them that students can access. (Labels can be found here). On the bottom of the white wired shelf are small baskets from the dollar tree for students to bring a small supply of manipulatives back to their seat if needed.

Here is our social studies & science focus board, along with our work on writing table and learning about numbers table/anchor charts.

Calendar area & read to self/independent work with circle rugs the kids can use (from Target) and bean bags (from Five and Below).

Thanks for touring my room! Let me know if you have any questions or feedback below!

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Classroom Reveal 2014-15:

Unfortunately, we are locked out of our school until July 20th! (Killing me!) But, here is are two quick pictures of what my room looked like last year! I cannot wait to go in and set up this year!