Saturday, September 6, 2014

From Frightening to Fabulous: Classroom Reveal

Hello Friends!

It was a rough start to the school year for me.  I'm one of those people who goes in a week early on my own time and sorts, organizes, and staples my way to a nice tidy classroom before the actually "start day".  This year my plans were foiled by.........   my gall bladder.

Two weeks before teachers were due to report back to school I had to, quite unexpectedly, have surgery to remove that angry little organ.  I wasn't released to go back to work until the official start day and, even then, I was suppose to "take it easy"... yeah...  right!  Some people think our jobs are just about talking in front of the class and shuffling papers...  ummm...  not even close!

This is what I came back to on that Monday:
So, between mandatory meetings, lesson planning, and such I put in 12+ hour days to get to where my classroom is now...  or at least to where it was before the kids walked in the door.

Disclaimer...   You know that magical moment when you stand back and survey your hard work?  That teeny tiny moment when everything is "perfect"?  Most of the following pic were taken during that moment...  before my wonderful new kiddos walked in the door with their backpacks, pencil-shaving-creating pencil sharpeners, snack wrappers, and supplies galore.  :)  Gotta love them!

The Library

 Picture books and magazines.  I used patterned contact paper to cover the wood paneling on the front of this bookcase.  I love how it turned out!
 We participate in Battle of the Books, so those books will be located under the armor and shield.
 I teach 4th grade, so my books are organized by genre and author.  These book baskets hold author and series specific books.

Science Station
The science station houses a microscope, books, hand lenses, jeweler's loupes, and a variety of objects (rocks, fossils, plants, etc.) for students to study.

Our first science unit is about the brain, the senses, and mindfulness.  I decided to create group signs with different colors and these symbols.  I made them on PowerPoint, so when we switch topics, it will be easy to create new group signs to go with the curriculum.

The Front of the Classroom
Along the front wall I have inspirational Subway posters (purchased from  The Brown Bag Teacher on, my favorite books for back to school.  I love to read Chrysanthemum and we talk about our names.  I also read "It's Hard to be a Verb", a great book for students who have difficulty concentrating and staying in their seats.  

Here is the main part of the classroom ready for the first day.  I buy book boxes from Ikea and I have wire "cubbies" for each of the students.  I don't put a lot of bulletin boards or posters on the walls to start the year.  We create anchor charts, display our work, and show off our art on the walls as the year progresses.

The Teacher's Corner/Small Group Area

This year I decided to let go of my desk and replace it with a multi-purpose round table.  This is where I plan on meeting for conferences, holding small reading groups, and doing my planning.  This is my favorite part of the room.  It is my ZEN place.  My goal is to keep it looking like this ALL YEAR LONG... which is not small task for me.  I am a clutter keeper.  I fight is every year and every year I LOSE!  

 My CAFE wall is here, close to my table.  I used paper plates I found at Walmart and some die-cut letters I had.  Of course, This isn't done, but it is a start.
If you follow my blog, you probably recognize the pennant banner hanging.  I posted a quick tutorial on how to create one.

This is my favorite spot.  My favorite books, my favorite colors, my favorite animal.  Ahhhh....  makes me happy.

Outside the door of our pod, my teammates and I created this WELCOME bulletin board.  We wrote the names of our students on each of the grapes and organized them into their classes.

Outside our class, in the hall, are the pennant banners students completed the first week of school.  You can find these pennants as part of my "All About Me and VIP" product on TpT.

Well, there you have it!  From frightening to fabulous!  I hope you have fun touring my classroom and have an idea or two to take away with you!  I hope you visit again soon!

BTW...  I recently started posting on Instagram.  I tend to post quick pics more often there, so if you are on Instagram, consider following me there.  You'll find me under #literacylovescompany

Have a great weekend!

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