Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted with My Classroom

Happy Sunny Sunday Everyone!

At least I hope it's sunny for you.  It is a chilly, but beautiful day here.  My weekend has been spent baking cookies, getting a few things organized, and just relaxing.  Yesterday, I actually watched a TV show without doing anything else.  It felt so strange, but nice.  

Today, I have a free afternoon before I head to a friend's birthday party/jewelry show for E & Company.  I am excited to see some of the new necklaces in the spring line.  I may just have to buy one...or two...or five...

I don't mind spending the money on such beautiful necklaces, especially since the proceeds go to help orphans and widows in India.

Anyhoo, now it's time to link up with Latoya for Let's Get Acquainted.  Of all the themes so far, I am most excited about this one because it gives me a chance to take a peek at all of your classrooms and to show some of mine.

Without further are my three favorite areas in my classroom:

Calendar Board/Carpet
Please excuse my finger in the picture.  :-)  My calendar board is very full, but still functional.  I love using Calendar Time to review a lot of different skills.  The right side of the board is for the calendar, which we use to practice the days of the week, patterns, skip counting, counting on and back by days and weeks etc.  We also talk about the different holidays.  As you can see, this picture is not for the current month.  I promise it says April right now.  ;-)

The left side of the calendar has a lot of different sections.  I numbered the picture below, so you can clearly see what I am talking about.

1. Season/Weather-  The weather helper changes this to reflect the current weather.

2. Temperature Graph- The weather helper graphs the current day's temperature.  We have a thermometer poster that has different color-coded zones that we use to decide what color to use on the graph, e.g. 40-60 degrees is in the green zone, 61-80 is in the yellow zone etc.  The outdoor thermometer is in a nearby window.  Both the thermometer and the graph count by 2's, which is a challenge at times for the kids, but helps them practice this skill.

3. Weather Graph- The weather helper colors a box and draws a tally to show the weather.  Options are Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy, or Snowy.

4. Problem of the Day Board- I use this blank space to write a problem or number of the day.  This gives the students practice with solving word problems.  I must confess that I have not been as consistent about using it as I should be.  I want to work on using it daily in the future.

5. Days of School Count- Pretty self explanatory.  We count the days of school with straws and bundle groups of ten.  We also write even or odd. 

6. Days of School in Money- At the time this picture was taken, we were drawing the pennies and dimes for the days of school.  Now, we are actually sticking on plastic coins using poster tack, so that kids can better recognize the different coins.  Also, I used a push pin to attach a fake dollar bill when we got to 100 and we have started using nickels and quarters too.

7. Tens Frame Monthly Days of School- My days of school helper draws a shape in the tens frame each day.  We try to use seasonal pictures like snowflakes in December, shamrocks in March etc.  

8. Days of School in a Month- At the end of each month, we record the total number in the tens frame to see how many days we were in school that month.  Then, we record the total in the monthly box, so we can compare the different totals.

Classroom Library
My prediction is that many teachers will say that they love their classroom libraries cause what teacher doesn't love books?  I know I do.

My library has grown exponentially since I started out last year with just a few books from Goodwill.  I am so thankful for Scholastic Book Clubs and my principal who ordered more books for the new teachers last year.

Here's a before and after from the beginning of last year to now.
September 2011-last year
 The shelf along the left wall is full of fiction books organized by author and/or genre.  The shelf with the green baskets on the far right is for nonfiction books and magazines.  The top of it also is home to the kid's individual bags of books that they shop for each week.  The blue bins on the middle shelf are my leveled library.  The labels have both the GRL and the DRA level on them for easy reference.  They also have a color coded sticker on them.  Each book in the bin has a matching sticker in the top left corner, so the students can always pick out books at the right level and put them away easily.

Initially I used tape to stick on the basket labels, but they kept falling off, so I decided to tie them on with string.  All I had to do was loop the string through the holes in the basket and two hole-punched holes in the label.  Voila!  Problem solved.

Word Wall and Word Work Area

I've already posted about how I use this area and how I renovated it this year.  You can read more about it here.  Basically, it is super functional for both the kids and me.

That was so much fun!  I really do love my classroom and have fixed a lot of last year's problems, so it was great getting to show you my favorite areas.

Be sure to link up with Latoya to show off your room.  I can't wait to see it!


  1. Your calendar board is awesome! Thanks for sharing pictures from your classroom. It's amazing how much your library has grown!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Your calendar wall is great! You cover a lot of skills there. I picked my classroom library as one of my favorite places too. I really like how neat and organized your word wall is. Makes it so much easier for the kids to use it!
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. LOVE the big open space you have for whole group time by the calendar/rocking chair/easel! Our rooms just aren't big enough to manage that much space :( Fun to see inside your classroom!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  4. Hi Becky! Your calendar area is so bright and cheerful! I can see why it is your favorite!! We finally had a day without rain and it was warm enough to go outside! I think it got to 58 degrees!

  5. Whoa! Your entire room is incredible! Kids must love being in your class!! I just found you through this linky and am your latest follower- all the way from New Zealand!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

  6. Becky-

    I love the pictures of your classroom. I want to come and see it in person! Maybe one night we can walk over before dinner.

    I started my blog check me out!


  7. Thanks for sharing your classroom. I'm so glad I found your blog. Thanks for letting us peek into your classroom.