Welcome to my classroom!
Here are some pictures to guide you around my new room in 3rd grade! I took advantage of the room move and grade level move to make many changes this year. First up, you'll see my writing board. I have some charts up about small moments, some examples of types of writing, and that cute giant pencil from The Teacher Wife. I love her products!
A farther back picture of that wall. Notice my learning target sign and the learning target posters from Lesson Plan SOS - they were even sweet enough to make me a custom ELD sign! The giant plus sign is from The Teacher Wife. Taped below the chalk tray are observation charts for my GLAD unit on weather. Read more about GLAD here.
Another shot of that same northeast corner. Here you see the shelves with my math manipulatives. The shelf on top of the counter has plastic drawers (From the Target dollar section) that hold my work places - math centers from our math adoption Bridges in Mathematics. Next to that shelf is a wooden listening center organizer. It holds my tape and CD players, headphones, and chargers for the iPods and DVD players (those get housed in my locked closet when not in use). I have two iPod touches that I got from a grant from my district's education foundation. I also have an old nano that I never use, so I loaded it with the audiobooks from our Houghton Mifflin anthology. I also have two DVD players that I got as a grant from Donorschoose. I have phonics and sight word DVDs that my low kids can watch, and I also have videos of children's literature that kids can watch with subtitles as an alternate Listen to Reading.
Here is my classroom library. It faces the northside of the school. I believe that children need access to many books to choose from; books at their level and books that interest them. My classroom reading levels range from kindergarten to middle school, so I need to have LOTS of books for my kiddos to access. I use Scholastic bonus points and ask for donations from friends and family getting rid of books. My first year of teaching my grandma gave me a ton of novels she had read and didn't want any more. I took them to a local used bookstore, explained to the salesman that I was a first year teacher, and he let me trade them straight across for children's books. I went back to that store several times that year, trading in my own books that I knew I would never read again. This really helped to beef up my library and now my kids can all benefit from that man's kindness!
On the shelf, in the left of the picture, you'll see a big basket with teddy bears in it - this is for Read to Someone. My kids can choose to read to a teddy bear instead of to another student. It is so cute to watch them cuddled up with a bear and reading to it, like they are the teacher and the bear is their student! I also have some round rugs (from Ikea) and pillows (mostly made by my mom) for kids to cuddle up with during Read to Self.
Here is where the library and the math manipulative corner meets. Nothing too exciting. Books on tape/CD are hanging, the wire drawers have supplies for Work on Writing (story starters, blank booklets to write stories on, sheets to write lists), and a small basket with DIY whisper phones. I bought pieces of PVC pipe and corners. My hubby cut the pipe and I glued an elbow piece to each end, then spray painted them lime green for a pop of color. Some of my third graders still read out loud when reading to themselves, so this helps cut down on the noise. I'll have to do a quick tutorial someday - they are seriously so easy to make.
A close up of the "teddy bear" corner of my library, facing the northwest side. In the shelf on the counter, I always keep content area books. Right now, I have books about weather in there, since that's what we are studying in science.
I love my book organizing system. I always know where every book is when I want to find it. I'll have to post about that another day.
Here is a pictorial input chart about states of matter. It goes with my current GLAD unit. Read more about GLAD here.
A water cycle input chart and chant. I love GLAD!
Here is the top of the northwest corner. My classroom promises are from Debbie Miller's Teaching with Meaning. I put it up on these super tall bulletin boards, since they aren't very accessible. I figured it would be good to be able to see our promises all year long. The faces art projects were a math glyph from our math adoption, Bridges in Mathematics. I made the fabric bunting after seeing one in Abby's classroom over at The Inspired Apple.
Here is a shot of the southeast corner. Behind that door is the girls bathroom. The classroom next door and I share that bathroom. You can see my schedule and classroom jobs cards on the white board. My desk is turned diagonal. Behind my desk is my problematic shelves and closet. I've been working on them this week and they already look WAY better! You'll also see a glimpse of my mailbox slots in the right of the picture. I got those from Donorschoose last year and they are so awesome. I couldn't imagine sorting all that paper myself anymore. I only have kids turn things in that I want to grade. Sometimes I will give kids a stamp on their paper before they can put it in their mailbox - that way I can walk around and check if they had done the work correctly.
Here's a wider view of my whiteboard and writing bulletin board. One table a week who wins the table point competition get to sit on yoga balls for the week. They LOVE it! It's a great reward to good behavior! I got the balls from Donorschoose.
Here's a view of the front door, the south side of the school. You'll see the blue set of cubbies - there are 25 slots, but wait, I have 32 students!!! Ya, it doesn't work out too well. My teacher table is to the right. That's where I meet with small groups. The shelf behind it houses all the word work materials. There is the boys bathroom that connects my room to my bestie, Carla's room. Next to the bathroom is a tall bookshelf where the kids put their book boxes. Our principal bought bookboxes from Really Good Stuff this year for the whole school. They are so much nicer than the cardboard Ikea ones we used to use!
Here's a wider shot of the northwest corner. I still have a string of Christmas lights up. Need to take those down!!
Above each table is a colored tissue pom-pom, made from this Martha Stewart tutorial, but inspired by this beautiful classroom from Pinterest. I hang vocabulary words from the bottom of each pom pom to be the table name. Right now, the table names are vocab words from our weather unit. Next, they will be geometry vocab words. I just love this idea! It's cute, and educational!
Here is the west wall. You can see my calendar, CAFE board, and a pocket chart for math vocab words. I painted my bulletin boards turquoise at the beginning of the school year. I just love them!
So there you have it. A super long tour of my classroom. I still have a ton more I want to show you, so make sure to follow along! :)
Do you use whisper phones like me? Or what about yoga balls? Maybe you use something else as a reward for the winning table group? I'd love to hear about it!