Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Classroom Reveal 2014-2015

It's time!  I can't believe it but it's time for a new school year!  It's always so much fun and exhausting at the same time!  I am excited to share my classroom photos with you today.  Hope you love them!

But first.........let me show you the massive load of stuff I my husband and I had to haul into school:

This was my "summer pile-" projects and purchases {three trips to Lakeshore Learning this summer. Whoops!} that I worked on/bought this summer.  Seems like just yesterday that I was working on those projects.  Oh yeah, it was.

Anyhow, on to the classroom!  When I left my room, it looked like this:

I'm OCD about getting it real organized in the spring so I don't have to spend crazy hours working in the fall. This year, with the help of my wonderful retired elementary teacher mom {shown below}, I have only spent 2 full days setting up.  I went in another day for a few hours to do some "finishing touches" and take pictures, but I didn't spend nearly the hours in my room as I have in years past.  I am a home-worker.  I like to do just about everything from the comfort of my home.  No distractions.  Food, drink, and a potty at my fingertips. You get the point.  This is the second year that I've had a circus theme in my room.  It worked nicely with my colors already, which is why I chose it two years ago.

The library.  I just love my classroom library!  I say it every year, but each fall I'm reminded how awesome it is to have these beautiful containers and TONS of books.  I've always had a thing for children's literature and it shows through this library!  I do spend my own money on books.  I of course use Scholastic points when I can but most of what you see below has been purchased with my money.  The library is my most prized possession in my classroom.

Small group area aka "the rug."  We spend a big part of our day on the rug so I keep all of my necessary supplies close!  Ain't nobody got time to be riffling' through desk drawers for a Mr. Sketch when the class is going bonkers!  I keep all of the kids' writing materials on that wooden stand.  It also holds big books.

Word wall.  This is also a favorite area of mine.  That tape job was a doozie a few years ago!  Luckily my super mom {who is also great with Math and all things measurement} helped me tape that sucker off.  I'd hate to see the sticky residue underneath that yellow tape!  And I know you are wondering-Yes, I put all of the words up to start the year.  I feel it's important to expose my students right away to all 100 words that they are expected to read and write by the end of the year.  Read more about how I use the word wall here.   The popcorn buckets hold friendship notes that the kids' write to one another.  Seeing the nice notes they've written to one another really brightens their {and my} day!!

Classroom resources.  I am a firm believer in creating a print-rich environment for little learners.  I keep these resources up all year long for my kids and they use them on the regular.  I had to re-print a few months b/c they weren't rainbow order and it bothered me {and my mom}.  Hahaha!

Back counter.  This is where I lay out everything for my day, in order.  I do this routine each night before leaving school.  It makes me feel organized and eliminates unnecessary stress when I come in to school in the morning.  Read more about the use of this counter space here. 

Mailboxes.  I used to have a corrugated cardboard mailbox system but two years ago I got this wooden one.  I like it much better.  It's not flimsy {obviously!} like the other one.  I put numbered binder clips on it with a list of student names/numbers on the end.  I use the number system for the kids' cubbies, as well.

Student computers.  Yes, I only have 3 and yes they are outdated.  3 is better than 0.  We are working on getting more technology but that stuff takes money, 'ya know!  I bought some new headphones from Lakeshore this year.  I love them because they have volume control on them!  I made the crate seats a few years ago and each summer, I remove the fabric and put new on.  Click here for the instructions for the crate seats.

Door.  Lovin' these tickets from Trend!

Big board.  Obsessed with this!  I came up with the idea to make a shaved ice garland this summer and it turned out so cute!  One thing you'll notice about this board and all of my other boards is that they are all empty.  I wait until the kids come and we fill them up together.  This giant board is going to be kept strictly for student work!  I am so excited!

Poetry board.  I just love poetry!  This board holds our weekly phonics poems.  Click here to read more about poetry in the elementary classroom.

Math area:  So I'd reallllly love to have ALL of Lakeshore's Math manipulatives.  BUT, I can not afford them, so I took what I had, bought the containers from Lakeshore, and made my own little manipulative area!  I'm excited about this!  I love having everything within kids' reach!

Student desks.  Ahhh, shiny, clean, and free of snot.  Name tags in tact.  Love it!  On my students' desk, I include: a name tag, a number line strip {from Lakeshore}, a writing helper and a number grid.  Again, I'm all about giving my kids those resources they need!  On top of the desks, are the students' data binders, a snack for Open House, and an extra special note from me!

Speaking of the "special note from Mrs. Wheeler"--I was recently introduced to Treat by Shutterfly a few weeks ago.  I came up with the idea of having "welcome notes" on the kids' desks with a special message from me inside. I chose the card below.  I loved the black/white chalkboard theme.  I decided to put my picture on in black and white, as well.  It was so simple to upload my image and write a message inside the card.  I am so excited to make more cards on Treat's website!  They can actually put postage on the cards for you and send them to the recipients!  This will come in super-handy when school starts and I turn into a busy lunatic!! The kids are going to love having a special note from their teacher when they come to meet me!  Thank you, Treat, for this opportunity!

Cubbies.  This is where I store my "skill boxes."  I've used this method for many years now and it works like a charm.  The kids hang their jackets and bags in the numbered cubbies.  The labels and number cards shown are part of my Classroom Labels and Resources pack.  

The seasonal tubs shown below are kept near the cubby area.  I created this system two years ago and really like it.  To read more about it and snag the labels for free, click here.  

Guided Reading Area.  This is my gigantic kidney table.  It works great for guided reading, RTI, and just everyday activities.  I always have kids up at my table that I am helping.

I decided to put this colored cart at the end of my table this year.  The drawers will house guided reading supplies.  On the top I have some supplies that come in handy during groups.

Personal library.  Like I said earlier, I love children's literature!  This 4-shelf bookshelf holds all of my personal books that I use for read-alouds and instruction.  I used my label-maker to section off the books.  

Teacher desk area.  This board was actually in my college dorm room back in '99!  I kept it for my classroom after college.  I painted it and added some embellishments a few summers ago and I really love having it above my phone.

This is a long pocket chart that I have on the side of my book shelf.  I keep important forms in it {office referalls, volunteer forms, etc...}  that I need to have handy.

Teacher desk.  I don't sit here often, but when I do, I like to have a clean work space!  The desk is gigantic and weighs 3 tons.  I do enjoy the 4 huge file drawers!

Sink area.  Having a sink/drinking fountain in my room is amazing.  The school I teach in is 9 years old.  My first year of teaching I was in the old building and it was sick.  I am thankful to have had nice, new luxuries for the majority of my career!  I don't have to send kids to the hallway to get drinks or wash their hands.  I made the curtain below the sink a few years ago.  I just used no-sew tape and my iron.  I hide tempera paint and markers underneath it in crates. 

Wall resources.  The alphabet is part of the classroom labels/resources set I mentioned above.  The cute number word kids are from Creative Teaching Press.  I've had them for many years, so I'm not sure if they still carry them.

Finally, an overview of my room.  Thank you for taking the time to look at my room.  It's my home away from home, as I'm sure your classroom is, too!  I would love to hear your feedback.  Please consider leaving me a love note below!  Have a great year, friends!!



First Grade Buddies said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Looks super!!! Love all the organization and colors!

:) Tamra and Sarah
First Grade Buddies

Katie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love your colorful classroom! Everything is so organized and tidy. Your classroom library looks great. I love setting up my classroom at the beginning of each school year but it always takes SO long. Kudos to you for doing it in 2 days!

Mikaela said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your room looks great! I LOVE the shaved ice decorations. Can you post a close-up of them? How did you make them (pom pom with yarn?). So bright and fun without being overstimulating. I'm sure your students will love learning in that environment.

Lori Rosenberg said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love everything about your room!

Sarah Paul said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your classroom looks SO good!

Amanda said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your room looks great! The circus theme looks like so much fun. Have a great year!

First Grade Garden

Sarah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a beautiful classroom! Your organization is amazing!

Rachel Anders said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Megan the room look great!

Kendra said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your classroom looks awesome, and kind of makes me worried that mine isn't even half way done!

Miss Squirrels said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you for the tour! Circus theme is PERFECT for those colors!! And your cards for them are beautiful!! They are a lucky bunch!
Go Nutty with Me!

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments!