A Brief Peek into My Second Home...My Classroom!

I know most of us feel like this. We spend so much of our day in our classroom, and we want to make it cute, functional, and best for our students as well as ourselves. In the weeks leading up to the first day of school, I spend a great deal of time thinking of how I can change my classroom and what part of the room I'd like to update for the next year. We are so lucky that we can leave things up on our walls. Our awesome custodian will even move all of our tables, chairs, and large items for us. When I got to school this year, my classroom looked like this.







After a "few" days and a little bit of magic, it looked like this.

This is my whole group area with the Smartboard and document camera on top of a student desk that I added chevron contact paper to the top. We love our fish carpet! Whenever we need to be in a circle, I tell them to sit behind a bubble and it works perfectly.


Believe it or not, I don't have a bulletin board here and have had to create one using a little bit of double sided sticky tape and duck tape. The wall is HUGE, and I couldn't let it go to waste. Here I put our Whole Brain Teaching posters. That also reminds me that I need to put those up as a freebie in my TpT store. I also have a place for my birthdays at the bottom. I take a picture of students who have birthdays in each month. On the right is a place for student work. I hot glued a clothespin up for each student. Then when they finish a project, I simply clip it up. SOO easy!



                            

Under my gigantic wall, I have a long countertop that is kinder height. It makes the perfect place to put things that are at their fingertips daily. Each of their names is on a removable binder clip which definitely gives my mailboxes a little less wear and tear. Next to that are my math zone practice zone drawers for guided math. They are gradually getting filled up with more and more choices as I introduce and teach each choice. Below the counter are some cupboards and drawers. I had so much fun creating these supply labels for these drawers this summer. Now I won't be opening and closing each drawer because I can't remember where I put the erasers!


The Library
 Such a labor of love. It took for.ev.er to sort and label all of the books in my library. But after getting the idea several years ago from my favorite teacher blogger friend, Leslie, from KindergartenWorks I knew I had to make the time.  Each book is labeled with a little sticker that matches the basket label. I only put out 8 baskets for them to choose from at a time. The rest I will rotate through to keep things fresh. This year will be our first year using the Fontas and Pinnell reading levels, but I at least have many books labeled and ready to go for independent reading. Hopefully my students this year will like their cozy little library nook.


These are their independent reading baskets for guided reading and our literacy centers are stored below.


If you are familiar with Whole Brain Teaching, you'll recognize our Super Improver Wall. I started using WBT last year after attending a WBT conference, and it has changed my teaching. Each student has a card with their name on it in ten different colors. Each card has a spot for ten stickers. Stickers are given for showing improvement in just about anything. Students also use these pockets to collect "wisdom cards" which are given for following our five rules. Last year I used these pockets for students to put practice cards in as well, but I haven't felt the need to implement that yet this year.


Environmental Print Word Wall 
Our kinders get so excited when they see words in our classroom that they can already read. At the beginning of the year, I have students bring in examples of environmental print for our class word wall. They love it!  I loved these large letters from Cara Caroll.


That sums up our classroom for the most part. Where do I do guided reading and guided math? Where do students sit? Stay tuned for a future post specifically on those two parts of our day and classroom. I hope you have a wonderful start to your school year!



Beautiful Girl!

Well, it has been quite a while since I updated my blog (almost a year--eek!), but I have been busy, busy, BUSY!  Last year around this time I found out I was expecting another wonderful addition to our family.  Since this may be our last little one, I wanted to devote my free time to enjoying my pregnancy and embracing every moment of it. 

On February 25, 2012, we welcomed our second beautiful little girl, Teagan Grace, into our family.   She was 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 inches long.  She is quite the little blessing.


Life has been full of fun since then, and I have been enjoying being at home with my two girls.  My maternity leave lasted right through the end of school, so I have been able to enjoy an extra long maternity leave and summer vacation.
   
                                      

I will be returning to teaching Kindergarten in the fall and am looking forward to it.  I've been pinning a lot of great things on Pinterest this summer and am looking forward to doing some new things in our classroom.  Hopefully I will find a spare moment to come back to the blogging world on a regular basis.

I hope everyone has a spectacular summer!