Friday, August 17, 2012

My Classroom Make Over

So it's been a crazy first week of school! I had great intentions of posting my classroom photos last week know, stuff happened! It seems like at the beginning of the year a teacher's job is never done (who am I kidding, all year long that's true!). As much as a love my new batch of little ones I find myself longing for the reading and writing workshops of last year where everyone knew what to do and where to go. I always forget just how long it takes to be running like a well-oiled machine! I'm kind of wishing we could just skip ahead to October but I'm forcing myself to love these few days when random declarations of "Kindergarten is fun!" or "I Love School!" are common! These are precious times...

On to the main topic of this post- my new room. As I mentioned in a previous post I was gone for most of the summer and then when I came back I took care of my ten-month nephew for two weeks. So I had about a week to get my classroom together before preplanning started. This wouldn't have been a problem if I hadn't decided to change around EVERYTHING! Kind of silly on my part because I really loved my old classroom set up but I just got the rearranging bug and I had to follow through. Plus I had five more students on my roster than previous years so a little rearranging was necessary! I will say I tried to be super strategic about all my choices so that things that didn't work well in previous years were addressed and hopefully fixed. So here's the final product, what do you think?

This our math focus wall. The white signs are the problem solving strategies from KindergartenWorks (her guided reading pack is awesome!). The green pocket chart is for our essential questions and our math vocab cards. The clipboard holds our class data pages (I use the pack from lakeshore). The colored circles are burner covers from the Dollar store which makes them magnetic (I'm using them for grouping my kids into guided math groups- easy to change weekly based on our pre-tests!).  The small numbered boards to the left are for our math stations (these are white boards from the dollar store). I attached velcro to the right of each number where I'll put smaller colored circles to indicate which group is going to each center. I'll write math station specifics (i.e. computers, addition yahtzee, numeral practice) on the whiteboard part. Oh, there's a hundreds chart too!

Trying out the FACE acronym this year instead of CAFE. I'm going to surround our menu with the faces of my little kindergarten readers. I'll try to remember to post a picture of the completed project!

The front of my classroom, math station materials under the FACE board and math station board. My SMART board is down there too!

The rest of the front of my room and whole group space with our Reading Tree, Spin and Play Phonics Games, and our Language Arts focus board (its the blue board on the right side of this picture).

Part of our classroom library, green books=fiction, yellow= favorite authors. I moved my word wall to this wall this year. I used pocket charts from Target's Dollar Spot. It makes putting up words SO easy (definitely a plus!). The blue bins on top of the cubbies are our book bins. 

Here's a view from the door. To fit all the kiddos I have this year I had to switch my smaller rectangle tables to the really long ones- they fit 8 kids! I also still have two circle tables that seat four. I like how our whole group area is really sectioned off. It makes distractions coming from the hallway a lot less noticeable. 

This is our fence area that serves as word work storage, listening center space, and backpack hooks. It's a cozy little space that the kiddos love! We only take the cushions out when we're using this space, otherwise we store them on the shelf above the hooks.
 Another look at our word work bins. The blue bins are our cubbies. We keep our math "toolkits" and calendar books in here.
 Further back view from the front of the door. I LOVE my new guided reading table. Totally got inspiration from Deanna Jump (Love her classroom). The black stools are great because you can lift off the tops and store LOTS of stuff inside. I have lots of teacher stuff hidden behind this space.

Our Fancy Words board and computer station. Lots of other good stuff hidden under these computer tables. Seriously if you do anything skirt your tables! It triples your storage space!

A little corner near the computer station, a good place to read and our clip chart. Love this thing!!

Hope you enjoyed my classroom tour! I'm loving this space so far. We've made a few changes since the kiddos have come back but most things are working out great! Looking forward to really making this house a "home" with my new little kindergarten family!

Happy Decorating!
Jessie Roberts

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pinterest Project: Welcome Message and FREEBIE

So my stint in Africa this summer helped me turn my teacher brain off for a while which was so nice! However the second I got back I was back on pinterest pinning like mad, and it was so much fun! So every summer I find just amazing ideas from other teachers, and I get so inspired. Granted there are many, many pins on my boards that I will probably never get around to actually using but I've picked a few of my favorites to actually do this year.

So without further ado here is the picture of what inspired my first pinterest project!
Cute right? I love what a positive message this gives the kids and really anyone who enters your classroom. So I typed up my own version, changing around a little to meet my needs (I'm thinking this original door is on a science classroom). And here's the final product!

And as promised here's a freebie for you to create a door message of your own! I included some extra words so you can customize your message to fit you and your students.  I printed them out, cut them and then backed them with colorful cardstock. Download your copy here!