Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Room Is Ready!

On Monday, I went to school for about 4 hours. I didn't accomplish everything on my to-do list, but my room is ready for students to walk in and learn.  I've promised myself that I won't go in again until our first "teacher day" on August 24th. 

The BEFORE picture!  This is what my room looked like in June after the custodians cleaned. Shiny floors. Lots of stuff to put away! No rug! I was a bit concerned.  My former rug was old and unraveling, but at least it was a place to sit! Now for the current photos...

Desks are set up. Each child has essential materials in a pencil box and a welcome bag. (I'll be blogging soon about what's included in my welcome bags.) The finish-the-picture freebie sheet is courtesy of Michael Friermood of The Thinker Builder.  He blogged at Who's Who and Who's New about setting the tone on the first day of school.  Lisa at Second Grade Stories blogged about how she gives each student some homemade playdough on the first day. It's a nonthreatening way for students to settle in and chat with their new classmates while the teacher collects supplies, meets each child, and shows students how to sign up for lunch and put away their belongings.  My playdough is NOT homemade! It was much easier to buy the packages of small containers. 

This is the view from the door... I like the desks to be in groups, because we work collaboratively often.  I like desks instead of tables, because it gives each student their own personal space.  There are times when I'll switch things up and create rows or pairs of desks. 

My focus pocket chart is large.  I like to be able to see the "I Can" statements from all over the room.  The kindness posters were a freebie. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the source! The generous and talented poster-creator didn't include his or her name in the file. I created the "3 Kinds of Writing Poster" using clip art from Educlips and Krista Wallden.  

This spot right near my desk is where students place notes (in the drop box) and sign up for lunch.  Each child has a colorful popsicle stick with his/her name on it that is placed in a bucket to indicate lunch choice. The cute dog dish (from my friend) holds "paw" tickets, which our school gives out for positive behavior. The plastic container with paws came from the dollar store. Students put their filled-out paws into that one. 

See the carpet? It's new and not unraveling! I inherited the rocking chair from a colleague.  Tucked in the corner is my math rotations board.  This is my first year doing math in small groups. I'm really hoping it works well! I'd appreciate any tips you may want to share. There's also a place on the board for me to assign Focused Intervention Time (FIT) activities. Our daily FIT time is a set aside block of 30 minutes. Some students receive interventions during this block. Others stay in the room and work on other tasks. 

This board is ready for our first math activity.  I've blogged previously about the mathematicians craftivity that we'll be doing. Click here to go to that post. The cute kids are by Nikki of Melonheadz illustrating.  I created the lettering using colorful purple circle frames created by Clipart 4 Teachers.

I read Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids by Chris Biffle this summer. I'll be incorporating most of the strategies. I'm really excited about my Super Improvers wall!  

Well, this has been a sneak peek.  I hope you have a great year! Thanks for stopping by. 

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