Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My 2013-2014 Classroom!

It is the eve of a brand new school year and I will be meeting 21 22 brand new 4th graders in about 13 hours! I'm looking forward to the new year. Here is a little tour of my "Pinterest-ified" room--

The view from the door. I have what I call a "pie shaped room"--it's basically like a slice of pie!

My large bulletin board area and half of my library plus the student book bins.

My desk area.

Whole group meeting area and the other half of my library. My books are still arranged by Lexile range but I know the research says not to do it that way. I hope to find the time to redo this system this year.

I've always had my student desks in groups of 4 or 5. I really love this arrangement because we do a lot of small group and partner work and this lends itself well to that. Having fewer students this year allows me to keep an extra desk in the middle of each group for storage. I bought some clearance fabric in a cute pattern to dress it up a bit!

Math morning work chart (Pinterest idea came from Math Workshop Adventures) and writing center (my goal is to get it to look like "The Writer's Eye" featured on Teaming Up to Teach).

Information Wall.

Close up of the behavior chart (switching to the famous color system this year after 10 years of "sticks"!), Homework Brownie points (see here for more info) and my fun magnetic board for tracking where students are.

Another small group meeting area by the sink.

I finally have my 10 class pictures properly hung up! Also, I renamed the 4 student computers after my 4 cats--Bella, Blu, Max and Sadie!

Here's a close-up of the Bella computer--each one includes a picture of the cat. All my cats are black and hard to tell apart unless you're me! I think the kids will enjoy that.

I hope you've enjoyed the tour. I know I love looking at others' classrooms. Here's to a great school year!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Classroom Management Projects

With 6 days left until my new class of 4th graders walk in my classroom door, it's becoming more clear everyday that summer vacation is just about over. Sad face.

But, I do always enjoy the start of a new school year! New people, new colleagues, new kids, new families, new supplies, new ideas--everything feels fresh and new. With that attitude in mind, I've been taking some of my recent Pinterest likes and pins and making them for my classroom. I've learned a couple things in the last couple weeks--
1. There are so many things you can do with duct (duck--the brand name) tape! I bought 3 rolls of the fun polka dot print and I just LOVE it!
2. The Dollar Tree has been a lifesaver in helping me snag quality, but cheap, supplies to make my projects! Without further ado, here are my projects and a link to the original post where I found it:

----Revamped File Box----
I've had these files boxes for over 10 years in my classroom with various uses over the years. Last year, I did not use them for anything so I decided to sell them at a yard sale but kept 1 for this project! I turned my old, drab, white, plastic box into a cute organizer! I found the idea at Fifth Grade Frenzies. I love it!

----Magnetic Student Boards----
I'm really impressed with how these turned out. I wanted a quick visual to see where students are located and help take attendance and lunch count. The original idea came from A Spoonful of Creativity. Dollar store cookie sheets and clear flower vase marbles + spare magnets + adorable numbers and labels from A Cupcake for the Teacher = These beauties!

----Brownie Points----
I'm using this as a whole class incentive for completed homework. I'm hoping that this idea will keep everyone motivated to get that completed homework in on time--everyday!! A brownie can be earned each day all homework assignments are completed by everyone in the class. For every dozen brownies earned, the students will earn some kind of reward. Later in the year, it will take 2 dozen brownies to earn the reward. I'm not 100% sure what the rewards will be yet--nothing extravagant--something simple and cheap but that the kids will enjoy. I'll share more ideas on that later. In the meantime, the idea came from What the Teacher Wants.

I'm looking forward to getting these into my room and finishing up all the prep work in there before the kids arrive next Wednesday. I hope to post some classroom reveal photos before that day. I'd love to hear about your classroom management tips and ideas. Also, be sure to check out my classroom Pinterest board for all the great ideas I've found!
Happy New School Year!