As my little sister would say, this post is a million years late! I got into the classroom mid August and started prepping, but then September rolled around and the business of teaching took over. It is Saturday, I am sick with a head cold, and I finally have the time to sit and write this post. I can’t wait to show you!
I am very excited to show you my classroom because for the first time in 5 years, I have changed my classroom theme. I had a ladybug theme year after year, hence the reason why my blog was aptly named BuggyForFirst for some time. In keeping with the bug theme, this year I transitioned the classroom over to bees and I couldn’t be happier. The yellow is vibrant and feels conducive to learning. Of course, there is the added bonus that my blog and brand reflect all things bees.
Admittedly, my classroom is quite large, but I also have large and bulky furniture that makes our space a bit tight at times. The high ceilings and the hardwood floors coupled with the sunshine that comes in through the windows, makes the space “homey”, which I love.
After years of having an unorganized library without a proper system, I finally put a labeling system into place. I am so very happy with the final look and feel of the space, and if I’m being honest, I wish I had a space like this one in my home.
I also like to write on the windows and for that I use the window markers used on cars. I buy them at Michael’s.
In my library, I use a leveling system so that the students are always reading at their instructional level. I tell them which level they can read from, but they also have the opportunity to pick just right books from my library area that is not leveled. This way they are reading books that they really enjoy as well as books that I know they are able to read, thereby fostering their love of reading as well as preventing frustration.
I started using Brag Tags from Lucky Little Learners
last year and my kids loved it! I can’t wait to use them again this year and encourage my kiddos to strive.
This is the area of our classroom where we meet for Morning Meeting and for whole group math and ELA. I know I have claimed “favorite area” already, but I really love this area also. I love coming together with the kids to discuss our learning and to spend time together. Our Focus Wall, Calendar, and Portable Word Wall are right in the front of the class for easy student reference. This part of our classroom is the heart of it. It is where we spend most of our time together.
I have limited wall space in my classroom because of all the windows, big closet space and various doors. I also do not like to clutter my walls because it can be overwhelming for both myself and the students. With this idea in mind, I decided to make a lot of our reference tools in miniature size, put them in binder rings and hang them up. They are not at eye level, are not overwhelming or distracting, but the students know the tools are there and use them when they need it. These resources are in the front of the room by my morning meeting area but are kept low.
I got a brand new teacher desk and since I don’t use a desk, I decided to let the kiddos have it. Brand new pair of stools, some writing materials, and we have ourselves a writing station!
As the year goes along and I introduce the different types of writing and the traits, I start making a life size rubric and posting it so that the students know the expectation. It worked wonders last year.
One of my goals is to always utilize the space we are given to provide learning opportunities for the students. The closet was the perfect place to put this table in. This area serves dual purpose. It will be the listening to reading area as well as the STEM area. I am so thrilled to use the STEM bins
from Teach Outside the Box. I have a feeling my kiddos are going to love it!
In our classroom we practice a growth mindset and I also use Whole Brain Teaching. This year I am combining the idea of Growth Mindset together with the Super Improvers. Pictured above is the wall where I will be putting up our super improvers goals. Above that area, I posted some Growth Mindset Posters
Look at our big Mistake Quote Banner
. We got that beauty from the fabulous Ms. Vee. It is a freebie in her store!
This is the truth! Guys, I live off of bins and labels. I’m the Monica from Friends of Classroom Organization. I wish the same skills transferred over to my kitchen, but it just hasn’t happened yet. When everything is labeled and in its place, it makes for a smoother teaching day. I am a self proclaimed label snob. Label ALL the things and I’m happy.
This is it! Hope you enjoyed this classroom reveal. I can’t wait to see pictures of other classrooms plastered all over Instagram!
Happy School Year,