Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Classroom Design-Part One

Sooo here's a little peek into my classroom design!  I'm always tweaking and learning from my colleagues and all the amazing teachers out in the blogosphere.

Here's a BEFORE pic of my class.  Gotta love these.  Just a little background, but I had to move 2wice in the last 2 years (as I'm sure many of you have to do).  The one great thing about it, is that I've been able to purge a lot of old teacher stuff I've inherited and stuff I've held on to that I don't need. 
As you can see my room is cozy.  You can see all the boxes in the back of my room just waiting to be unpacked.
My first bulletin board.  I decided to go with blue and white with some splashes of color here and there.   
A Pinterest inspired project!  I used scrapbook paper (on clearance from Michaels) for the cupcake holders.  I would probably mix up the colors next time, but I like how it turned out. 
These are the scrapbook caterpillars I made for the front door.  I got inspired by Leslie Ann's "Life in First Grade" blog!  I LOVED her adorable birds.  It took me a while to do all 16 (I'm totally blessed to have such a small class size) but I liked how they came out.  I used pipe cleaners taped on the back of the circles.

This is my incentive charts for homework.  In our school this is the first year students have homework (they have a bit in 1st grade but not much).  They love filling up the homework charts with stickers each day.  When they fill up the chart they can get a homework pass or a prize from the prize box.  These incentive charts are from Lakeshore and they match the dot borders they sell which are too cute.    
I just had to put this guy in my blog.  He is our class mascot "Hippy the Hippo".   The kids sign up to take him on their vacations or over the weekends.  Hippy has been to Paris, Mexico, Hawaii, and beyond.  The students take pictures with him, fill out a journal page, and share their experiences when they return.  
I use table leaders with my students and it has been a huge help!  The table leaders for the week (or for the day depending on the class) retrieve the supplies for their group and help motivate the group.  I made 4 (even though I only have 3 table groups right now) so I can have the option to change it through the year.  I make index cards with labels with the students names on them and each group gets put in their table group.  Then when the week (or day) is over just put the card behind the stack.  (Thanks to my co-teacher for the labeled index card idea!) 
Another Pinterest inspired idea! I made this memory jar from paint cans that were on sale at Michaels for $4.  When you or the students remember an anecdote whether funny or touching fill out a little slip and then put it in the jar through the year.  It's a great option to use for end of the year memory books, sharing time, or even for report/parent conference times.  
This is my helper board (we are the bugs).  Most of them are self-explanatory.  The journalists dictate 2-3 sentences about their favorite/interesting part of the day at the end of each day.  Both 2nd grade classes have 2 Journalists.  We save it on a Word Document we share.  On the opposite side of the newsletter we write our weekly teacher note.  It's fun to share the student's perspective of the week and what they find to be the most interesting or exciting.  It's a great way for parents to have conversations with their kids about their week.  I currently have one job that I haven't assigned yet.  I'm hoping to have the kids help me pick a new job!  :)
The Dismissal Helper helps me dismiss the students at the end of the day.  I dismiss students table by table.  It helps to settle them at the end of the day.  It gets so chaotic at the end of the day and they work together to get quiet and organized before they leave.  They even look out for each other by making sure everyone has all their papers in their homework folder ready to go.
The Distributors help to pass out papers as everyone is getting ready.
The Homework Checker checks off that people have brought in their homework for the day.
The Morning Message helper fills in any blanks on the morning message (date, how many days till an event, etc.) or makes corrections/deletions/additions as we begin to work on editing later in the year.  

More pictures to come!!


mrsk said...

Hello Ms. Pretzel. What a happy Blog you have! It is so colourful and friendly. I hope you have settled into your room. I moved into my room last year and I am still trying to find things!! I have Year 1 children and we are in our third term for the year and Spring arrives tomorrow. We love looking at Blogs from around the world. Have a great year!
From Mrs. K and Room 4 at Craigburn Primary School
Our Blog is http://mrsksclass.edublogs.org

Amy said...

I love your classroom Laura!!! I can't wait to come and visit :-)

Ms. Pretzel said...

Thanks Mrs. K! Your my first blogger comment outside of my family and friends! It's so neat to see someone on here from Australia. It will be neat to check in on your blog to see how school is different and similar to ours here in the States. Have you started school then?

Amy, you are welcome to come anytime!!

Kim Skipper said...

The memory jar is a super cute idea!!! How did I miss THAT one on Pinterest?? Glad I saw it on your blog!!!

Ms. Pretzel said...

Hi Kim! Thanks for stoping by. I can't remember where I got it from. I'll find out though. I have to say that I wasn't super consistent this year about it. I have to come up with a new way to keep on top of it. I may use it this year as a "Jar of Thanks" (or something cutesy like that) that the kids can put in. We have a school-wide one that we read from once a month.

I may incorporate it next year in my Morning Meeting once a week. :)

Thanks for following!