Saturday, 8 September 2012

Finally done!!!

Well my first week is over and my book bins finally came in. I didn't get my classroom library completely finished until Friday evening (you can see the time in some of the pictures) and then madly took pictures before I had to rush home to make dinner. Ugh (or any other disturbing noise you prefer to make)  making dinner on a Friday evening is not my most favourite task to do. Anyways enough about what I don't like to do on a Friday evening. 

Here are the pictures of my classroom !!! I am so excited to have it completed. After looking at the pictures my classroom looks bigger than it actually is. Well maybe that has to do with the fact that I only have 19 Grade 4/5s this year. Yup you read it right... 19! The perks of working at a school on the outskirts (only a 15 minutes drive ...ssshhhh don't tell the police)  of town. I guess this makes up for having to wake up early to start school earlier than the school in town. Okay, okay I am getting to the pictures.  Warning there are a LOT of pictures.
Here they are :)
Just a reminder of what my room looked like when I first walked into it in August.
And a view when you walk into the room now ! Ahhh much better and brighter:)
Another view. This time from the back right corner.
 View from the front left corner. I love my fluffy turquoise chair form Ashley Furniture Home Store ! And the kids love to read in it !!!

Ok now for come close ups ...

This is the bulletin board that is by my desk. It has our calendar and job chart on it. The blank spots will be filled with students pictures and news throughout the year.
Here is a close up of my jobs chart. I am so in love with it. I got it from the wonderful Bridget who writes the blog Little Lovely Leaders. They come in a rainbow of colours and you can get them here.  As you can see from the picture I don't have names on the clothes pins yet. That is one of my many weekend to-do tasks. I was going through some boxes of old stuff and I found that a long time ago I bought plastic clothes pins and they just happened to match my colour scheme this year. Perfect.

Here is a picture of my classroom library and the much anticipated book bins from Really Good Stuff. I ordered 3 different sets of the large rectangular book baskets. I didn't want the yellow ones that come with the mix and match set so I just ordered 12 of each of the 3 colours I wanted. To go along with them I ordered the basket label holders but printed off my own labels with a black and white polka dot theme to match my room. These labels will be posted soon !
I was super excited (wow I get excited a lot) when I found this pink shag carpet at Walmart and the green basket at Micheal's. The green basket had a chalkboard sign on the front which I printed "Recycling" on for our paper recycling. I am not sure about it though because it has only been 4 days of school and I have rewritten "recycling" 2 times because the students keep smearing it.
Another view of my library with my READ sign included. You can get your very own customizable READ sign here. The top big baskets are also from Really Good Stuff and hold my non-fiction and picture books. I will eventually separate my non-fiction books into more specific categories but for now this works. The pink basket on top of the filing cabinet hold student headphones all nicely kept in individual Ziploc bags.
The bulletin boards above my classroom library. The one on the left will eventually have my genre posters on them when the order comes in from Scholastic. For now they have on them Comprehension Strategies posters from Lyndsey who has the blog A Year Of Many Firsts. You can get the posters FREE here.
Here is my whiteboard which is between my library and my desk. It is all ready to go for Monday.
I write the days schedule on the board and have the students practice reading handwriting. Right now it is in printing because they haven't learned all the letters yet. At the top is my welcome sign (sorry for the glare). One of my students asked to have one for her bedroom. Cute. You can get yours here and they are customizable.
The owl sign is one that I made on VistaPrint and it is for work that has no names. I will have to make a new one to match my classroom colours. 
I am not sure if you can see what the sign above the books says but it says "Mrs. Browne's Picks" These are the books that I recommend. I change them every once in awhile to expose books to kids that they might not pick.
The times written on the board are for a math activity we did where they were trying to match their place value card with the card of someone else's in the classroom. The entire class had to find their partner and sit down. We did it 3 times and they had to try and beat their time. We will do it again next week and see if they can do even better. I am going to do a post about my first week activities and it will be there with more details.
The little black box is my word box. Read this post to find out how great it is!

This is my desk area (no kidding you say!) Not much to explain here. You can see my teacher tool box and daily folder organizers on the back shelf. See the post about them here and here.
A close up of my hand in drawers. 
Last year students handed everything into one bin and then I had to spend valuable time sorting through it all before I could even start to mark. I dreaded it every time. When I saw this drawer organizer I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. I bought some fancy Martha Stewart labels and wrote on them in decorative printing. There is one draw for each subject students will hand work in for. So far it has worked wonders. All I say to the collector is to hand in collected work to the correct drawer and voila organization is done. Why didn't I think of this YEARS ago? 

I found the flowers at Micheal's a few weeks ago and bought them because they matched my room colours. At the time I didn't know what I was going to do with them.  While I was getting my room together the top shelf of the organizer sat empty an the flowers lay on a desk. As soon as I cut them shorter and put them in the case I knew they would fill the empty spot on my shelf. A couple of my girls stop to smell the flowers (mmm plastic flower smell) every time they hand something in.

I really wanted to recognize student accomplishments this year so I created my Stellar Work board. 
They will get to clip up any work they are proud of, no matter what the mark is. Some of them wondered if it had to be perfect work and I said of course not. It can be ANYTHING you are proud of. When I created this I only had 16 students on my class list but now I am up to 19 so I have to rearrange it. On a side note I would like to thank my son for helping my colour all of the clothes pins black. I am a little crazy I know but the normal clothes pin colour was driving my crazy and that was all I could focus on so we watched Big Brother and coloured away. They look much better than this and all it cost me was an ice cream sandwich (cheap labor)  for my son :)

My computer area. Last year the computers were along the wall and every time a student went on them I had some students who were completely distracted and could not focus on their work. So this year I turned them so that no one else can see what they are doing. I hope this works.
Just behind my computers is the back sink counter and my Boggle Board. See this post about my Boggle Board. 
The black basket hold our outdoor sports equipment and the pink basket is for empty juice containers. Can you spot my turquoise vacuum? I actually ran for it in Canadian Tire when I spotted it down the isle. I think I embarrassed my son and husband. Hey, who doesn't need a matching vacuum for their classroom? ! The clear tub has all our Action School equipment and I am not sure where it's final home will be but it fits here for now.

Every year I have to go over how to set up a page and usually I do it all on the Smartboard but my Smartboard has been broken all week. Yup you heard me right.... ALL week. AHHHHHH It was tough to go without it and I used so much chart paper. It brought me back to the days long ago (5 years tops) when I didn't have a Smartboard to use in the classroom. Anyways I wander... I had to make up my very specific rules for setting up a page. 
The biggest question I get is why the Date and then Name. Well students know how much room their name takes up and can judge where to start it. The date length always changes and often kids will run out of room and start writing up or down the page. This way they will have all the room they need for the date no matter how long it is. Brilliant, I know :P

A view of all of my bins for student duo-tangs. I made the labels to match my colour scheme and you can get them here
They do not keep them in their desk (too much clutter) and all the duo-tangs for one subject are all the same colour. For instance my Social Studies duo-tangs are ALL purple. This makes it easy for me to see that students have the right book out and it makes it easy for them to find the duo-tang if they misplace it or put it in the wrong bin. My class supply list is very specific and I keep a box of extra duo-tangs handy so them when we are labeling them and a student doesn't have the proper colour they bring me one of their odd colour (or ones with the cute animal pictures on them that parents insist on buying their child even though it is NOT on the list)  duo-tangs and I give them one that is the proper colour.

This is a picture of one of the activities we did this week (post to come) and my puzzle table. Last year students would start a puzzle on the floor and then have to clean it up before it was finished. Not this year! I found a small table in the school and snagged it for my room. As you can see they have already started one.
Here is a picture of my behaviour chart (see post here) and some of the chart paper I had to use. Remember my Smartboard was broken :( Did you notice what time it was when I took this picture on a Friday night. How late do you end up staying at school?
Wow this post has taken me longer than I expected and my family is waiting to pack up and go camping for the night so I am off. I hope you found something useful in this post and don't forget to check back soon (hint: I will be writing it tomorrow night when we get back) to see what we did the first week in my classroom.

Monday, 3 September 2012

A Rockin' Bulletin Board

Phew.... this was the last day in my classroom before kids arrive tomorrow. I am as done as I can be for now. I know I said that I would post pictures of my room once it is done but I am not going to. Hold on don't get mad....Here is why: I ordered book baskets for my classroom library from Really Good Stuff and then didn't arrive. Well that is until an hour after we left for our last weekend trip before school starts. Since it is a long weekend they are sitting in the post office waiting for me. 
Hmmm I know it is Labor Day and all but doesn't the post office know I have important things in my parcels? Ok enough ranting:) 
I will go get my baskets tomorrow after work, set up my library, and then take pictures of my classroom to show you ! 
In the mean time I have pictures of the bulletin board outside my room. 
I am pleased with how it turned out. I knew I wanted to do a Rock n' Roll themed board for my Grade 4/5s but I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do. As soon as I saw School Girl Style's new classroom theme I knew immediately what I was going to do. All the credit goes to her for the design. Granted I am no artist but I think I did okay.

I am not sure if you can tell but these are glitter stars and I used more duct tape for the border. Duct tape is my new love. I was beside myself when I saw sheets of duct tape at Micheal's the other day.

A close up of the letters.

The guitars. My son said they look like ukelele's but I think they look like electric guitars (sort of).

Well tomorrow is the first day back with students so I hope I can sleep and that Wide Awake by Katy Perry is not going to be my theme song.
If you are heading back to school tomorrow have a great first day and if you have already been back have a great week!

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