Classroom Tour - Part 1

Whew!  I usually spend at least 2 weeks preparing my room for the coming year.  This year, I decided to get it all done during pre-planning and enjoy my ENTIRE summer vacation for a change.  To top it all off - I MOVED classrooms too.  I had the opportunity to choose a new room and I moved to one that's more off the beaten path (my old room was right outside the front office and library - a very busy, noisy area!) at the end of the hallway and it even has a window (albeit a small one!).   It took some doing and lots of help but I love the way it turned out!  I'm thankful for my FANTASTIC full-time intern and my creative teenage daughter.  My theme this year is owl:  observe, wonder, learn.  I really wanted a soothing, earthy, color-scheme with little pops of color.  I also wanted a very uncluttered, almost minimalist space.  I sometimes think that classrooms are overdone - so many colors and so much going on - and that can be distracting for some kids and I just wanted to try something totally different.  Here's the tour and I'd love your feedback!

Entrance table.  Students will file their homework into a file folder each morning.

View from the door.  (Don't mind the trash can!)

Smartboard & projector table.  The classroom job chart is on the left
and daily essential questions will be posted on the right.

My director's chair!  This was my big splurge this year.  I've always wanted
one!  I hardly EVER sit down but I love to read-aloud to my students and this
 will be my special chair for that!

The bathrooms!  On the book rack are leveled readers.  To the right,
is my behavior clip chart.  Students will have a clothespin that starts on
green (Ready to Learn) and can move up (Role Model) or down.  This
is a blend of several systems I've used over the years. 

The computer area - I have 5 this year!!! Hanging above are my
Accelerated Reading ribbon "owls". The students will earn "buttons"
to attach to their ribbon as they reach point goals.

Reading Corner. I added camp chair this year (thank you Big Lots!)
with lots of fluffy pillows and big stuffed animals.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll post more photos soon!  :)


First Day of School - Scavenger Hunt!

A fun, first day of school activity is a classroom scavenger hunt.  It's a great way to get the kiddos up and moving to explore their new surroundings. It's a fun way to break up the seemingly endless review of rules and procedures! The students choose a partner, grab a clipboard & pencil and explore!

Classroom Scavenger Hunt - Google Docs


In preparation for the coming year, I'm going through all of my resources to reorganize, plan and purge for the coming year. I came across a keeper with this:
I used this site quite a few times last year to supplement our reading curriculum.  ReadWorks has links to K-6 unit plans related to specific reading comprehension skills.  Last year, I would put my reading class into small groups based on needs and I would work with them on specific skills and strategies.  This site has A LOT of good nonfiction passages and recommended books.    There is a registration requirement to use this site but best of all it's FREE! 


I'm an avid fan of MANY teaching blogs and credit them with keeping me up to date on new strategies and fun, engaging ways to teach my students.  I've decided to jump in and add my two cents by sharing my reflections, techniques and ideas with the world. 

I am going into my second year of teaching 3rd grade.  I previously taught 4th grade for three years.  I have to say that last year was my BEST teaching year ever.  I think it was a combination of many things that made it so awesome but it really boiled down to finally having confidence in myself and learning how to let go and have fun.  That's not to say that we played every day.  Nooooo.  I have extremely high expectations of my students and we work HARD but I found ways to make my classroom engaging and fun.   We took the time to laugh, sing, play and dance along the way.

I officially go back to work next week - we have four days of planning leading up to "Meet the Teacher" on Friday, August 19th.  Next week will be a whirlwind of planning, copying, laminating, decorating, shopping and catching up with colleagues!  I can't wait!
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