Monday, April 1, 2013

This is where we learn...

I love beginning-of-the-year classroom pictures. Everything always looks so neat and clean. Then, the first day of school happens... And those picture-perfect classroom shots just aren't quite as easy to capture anymore.

I wanted to share some classroom pictures with you, but brace yourself: April looks far less polished than August! Regardless, this will give you a little insight into our classroom at this point. Maybe in August, after I have had chance to make a few hundred changes, I will post pictures of the updated, fresh look! :)  

View from the door as you walk into the classroom.


This is probably my students' favorite spot in the classroom: our cozy reading rug! Each morning, I meet with small groups for guided reading on this rug, and throughout the rest of the day, students use it as an independent reading space.


 We use this pocket chart to manage students' reading progress. The system is pretty self-explanatory. Each student has his/her own index card which contains their name, AR id, and AR password. The students place their cards in the appropriate pocket, depending on whether they are currently reading a book, ready to take an AR test, or finished testing and need to return their book to the library.


Students who finish their work early use this spin-board to manage any free time in the classroom (we don't have a lot of that, but this is fun for them when we do!) They love to spin that arrow, and I change the activities regularly so they do not get bored with the options.


This is our owl-themed word wall. At the beginning of the year, I considered structuring the classroom around an owl theme, but I didn't know if I would want to have a 100% theme-oriented classroom or not. I decided to give myself a year in first grade to decide the best way to design/manage the classroom. I used certain owl-themed elements throughout the room, and the word wall is one of them. I'm still undecided about whether or not to use a theme in the classroom next year, but the word wall will remain. I love it! :)



Well. Every classroom needs a calendar...


These baskets help students manage their own assignments throughout the day. Work that is finished belongs in the "complete" basket. If students need additional time for an assignment, they place their work in the "more time" basket and come back at some point before the end of the day.


Well, there you have it: a glimpse into our classroom! Hope you enjoyed the brief tour! :)