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Classroom Set-Up

Classroom Reveal 2018

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up

The time has finally come for me to show you my classroom!  This is my first year back in first grade and I have tables again which I love for first graders.  This classroom is definitely smaller than my past one so I had to be creative with the space and try to open it up to make it feel larger.

Without further ado….my classroom for 2018!

Here is the view when you walk in the classroom door.  I have 5 tables and 16 students (yes I know I am very lucky and grateful!).  So there are 3-4 kids at each table.

This is the bulletin area on my back wall. I will have each child’s brag tag necklace hanging on a pin.  I also have our classroom jobs board and will be displaying Writing work and Anchor Charts.  In the bookshelf, I am storing math tools and other tools for the classroom – white boards, clip boards, etc. On top of the bookshelf we have our class iPads and Chrome Books. The black bins on the ground are from Target. I got them many years ago during their college sales and they still sell them now. I use these to collect library books, one is for planners, and one is to hold their take-home folders.

Here is my classroom library. I have a post explaining how I organize that…here… The bulletin board will house our reading and math anchor charts. Since the bulletin boards in the classroom were very large I decided to split them so I could use them for more things!

Here you can see one of the tables for students.  I got these caddies at Lakeshore Learning and I love the bright colors.  Each table also has one of those Target crates.  The table crate will hold their book bags, white boards, privacy folders, workbooks, etc – since we don’t have desks.

Here is the front of my room. I am so excited to have a Smart Board again!

Here is the view from the front corner. You can see I moved all of the large furniture against the walls to open up the space as much as possible.

I am very lucky to have another white board kidney table for small groups. This also serves as my desk. I am working on ways to keep it more organized so I can use it as both easily!

Here are the cubbies for students. Each child has their own cubby and then the share the backpack part. I also store classroom supplies over here and have our turn-in bins.

This area is behind my desk. Again I’m trying to make it as functional as possible since I don’t really have a desk – more of a small group table.  I’m storing my teacher books back here, supplies for small group, curriculum resources, and more.

So that is my new first grade classroom! It has been a lot of work, but so worth it! I am so happy with how it turned out. I think my students have a bright, fun, safe space to learn in!



Classroom Library Organization

Classroom Set-Up, Organization

I know there are many posts out there on classroom library organization.  While there are already many, I decided to jump in and share how I organize mine.  My library organization has worked for me the 8 years I’ve used it.  Organization and especially of your class library and your classroom books is a personal thing. Everyone has their ways of organizing. So, I thought I’d share how I organized mine in hopes it might speak to a few people.

There are probably about 8 billion ways you can categorize your classroom books.  The first thing I recommend you do is decide how you want to categorize your books and then separate them into those categories.
I chose to categorize based on types of books and series. I mainly focused on series of books that I had multiples of.  For example, I have many Junie B. Jones books. So I have a Junie B category that only has Junie B books.  I have a few of the Rainbow Fairy books, so those just go in the chapter book category since I didn’t have enough to make it’s own category and bin.  Here are the categories I have….
Picture Books, Non-Fiction, Animal, Bugs, Science, Social Studies, Math, Sports, Chapter Books, Junie B Jones, The Littles, The Boxcar Children, Clementine, Judy Moody and Stink, Mystery Books, A to Z Mystery Books, Cam Jansen, Who Was/What Was, American Girl, Holiday, and School.  
Ahhh…containers.  Containers make my OCD heart happy!  For my books, I use the three containers pictured below.  Depending on the size of the books and how many are in the category, I choose which bin best fits the books.  You can find these containers at Target, Walmart, Amazon, and I’m sure many more places.  Dollar Tree and other Dollar stores also have bins similar.
Sterilite 6 Qt Storage – Great for chapter books
Sterilite 16 Qt Storage – Great for picture books, larger books, and a big amount of chapter books
Sterilite Medium Storage Basket – Great for large amounts of chapter books, picture books, large books
Another thing that I love probably as much as I love containers are labels! I love to label things. Like love it – like probably too much.  My OCD side definitely got going with my classroom library and I was a label making queen.  I decided to make labels to place inside each book.  That way a child can look at the label/sticker and know what bin the book goes in.  The label has the name/category of the book and then also a picture.  When I taught first grade the picture was perfect for some of my friends who were still learning to read.
I recommend buying the labels at Costco. I was at mine the other day and they had a pack of 140 sheets which is 4200 labels for around $8.  I use the white address labels.  Here is a screen shot of what it looks like in Word.  As you can see, very simple, but easy to understand. 
After printing a few sets of each label, I got to work. I first made a label on card stock laminated to go on the front of the actual book bin.  Then, I started labeling each individual book. I know it seems like a lot of work, but once you do it…it’s done.  Then, as I get new books, I have extra labels in my desk drawer that I can use and then put in the correct bin. Once you get the first overhaul and organization part done, it is much easier.
We use AR (Accelerated Reader) at my current school. To prepare the books for AR, I used this awesome website called AR Book Find. It’s FREE! And, it’s awesome.  All you do is type the title in of your book and it’ll tell you the level, a brief description, quiz number, points total, etc.  If no book comes up in the search, then the book is not an AR book.  This takes awhile as well, but again worth it in the end.  Inside each book, I place the label, my name, and then also the level of the AR book. This way a child can quickly tell if a book they choose is in their AR level or not.  Some teachers put the quiz number in so it’s easier when taking the AR test. I opted not to.  One – it takes a while to do that.  Two – I like having the kids type the title into the AR App. I think it’s good typing practice.

The last thing and one of the most important things is to model how you want the kids to find books and put books away.  This past year, I did not model as much as I normally do and I regretted it.  I was finding books in the wrong bin. I recommend modeling how to find the book and then how to figure out where it goes when you are done. I also recommend having a library helper job. This student’s job can be to check the library each day and make sure things are being put away in the correct bins.
I hope this was helpful! Happy organizing!
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Classroom Reveal 2015-16

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up, Organization
I’m so excited to share my classroom for the 2015-16 school year. This is my 9th year teaching and my 2nd year at this school.  It is so much easier decorating your room when it was the room you had last year.  We have summer camp at our school so we do have to pack up everything in May, but it was so much easier setting up this year since I had been in that room all last year.
 
Let’s take a look.,..
This bulletin is out in the hallway right next to my classroom. I had seen many different variations of Instagram boards on Pinterest and used those for inspiration. My goal is to take many pictures throughout each month and post them up for everyone to see. We will also create hashtags as a class like we do on Instagram. I think this will be a neat way for us to capture a timeline of our year.
This bulletin is also outside my classroom. For back to school, it has all of the names of the students in my class.  Throughout the year, I will be posting student work on this bulletin. The clothespins make it easy to switch out work.
Here is a view of the front of my classroom. I like students to work in groups and have 19 so I have 3 groups of 5 and one group of 4.
This area is my math and work area.  The blank space on the bulletin will house the anchor charts that students and I create together.  The empty bins in the first cubby storage that have numbers on them, will be used for Math Stations.  The bins in the other cubbies will hold all the math materials that we use.  On top, I have a turn in bin as well as pencils, etc.  This will be a much-used area.
I shared these frames last year in a Monday Made-It. I use these for posting the essential questions we are working on in the different subject areas. The nice thing about them is I can move them and hang them on the white board to make them more visible.
This is the writing area. It will be used for writing station and also houses the folders for Writing Workshop. The folders go in bins that have the different writing processes labeled. This way I know what stage the students are in.  For writing station, students will use the I Can list and the items in the two white storage units on the desk. (I’ll post more on Writing Station later).
I still use the Clip Chart. I know there are a variety of thoughts on the Clip Chart, but I find it works for my students and many of the other grades use it at our school so it helps for consistency. These bins hold all of my teacher books that I use when modeling and doing read alouds. The bins up top need to be labeled, but they hold games and activities for different subject areas.
I love having a storage closet in my classroom. It is quite full, so no picture of that! On the door, I have my I’m Done activities listed.   I also have moved my Bucket Filling area to this wall.
Here is my classroom library. I don’t think I’ve done a post on how I organize it, but plan to do one soon. I’m very OCD about my library and have found a system that works for students to quickly find books, but to also keep them organized.
Student cubbies and my classroom jobs chart
Here is our meeting space. I use the rug for students during Morning Meeting, but also throughout the day. We have short throw projectors so I like to have the students up close when I’m projecting things but also like proximity when teaching to help keep students on task. I use the three pocket charts for vocabulary. One for reading, math, and social studies.  I like having it accessible so students can see it and use it throughout the day.
Here is my area. Now, I have been free from a teacher desk for awhile, but these were brand new and we have to have one in each classroom so I decided to use it as a desk and actually like it.  The table by the window actually fits on the end of the desk and can be used for many things. 
I use the board as our homework board. Each student has a planner divided into the same subjects on the board. I write the homework up here for each day and students can then copy it in their planner.  I love washi tape!
Here’s a view of the back of the classroom.
Here’s a view of the side of the classroom.
And, one last view of the front!
I’m loving my new bulletin labels. I use three boards in the classroom – reading, math, and writing. I got the idea for the pennants from Sarah a teacher I taught with back in AZ. I saw she used them on her bulletins and loved the idea! She found them Target in the party aisle. They have them in many different colors. I then used big stickers from Michael’s. I’m pretty excited with how they turned out. Now, I need some class made anchor charts to put on the board!
We are big on growth mindset at my school. I saw this board on Pinterest and it was made by Sarah from Math Equals Love. I loved it and my teammate and I made a replica on one of our hallway boards for all parents to see. 
 
Thank you for stopping by to take a peek in my room.  Excited for our first day of school tomorrow!

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Monday Made-It – July 27

Classroom Set-Up
This is my first time linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made-It for this summer. Summer has been getting away from me and it’s almost over :-(.  Be sure to link up with her here
 
For this week’s Monday Made-It, I just have one item.  This is my new bday gift for students. Over the years, I’ve done many different birthday gifts (as I’m sure many of you have to).  I used to do a birthday postcard and pencil, birthday crazy straw, etc.  This year I decided to simplify life and do a free homework pass. Now, I’m sure some of you’re thinking Jordan this isn’t rocket science…people have been doing this for years.  And, that’s true. But, I’m finally jumping on the bandwagon.  So, I made up these cute homework passes to use as gifts for my students.  I’m going to put them in the cute buckets below from Michaels that I used to use for my bday crazy straws.
 
 
 
 
 
 
What do you use or give as birthday gifts for your students?
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Classroom Reveal 2014-15

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up, Organization

I’m so excited to share my photos from my new classroom. I’m going to warn you, there’s a lot.  Last Sunday I moved into my new school and new classroom. And….I….love….it! There are windows.  Not just one – but four! It’s amazing how having windows makes the room so much brighter, warm, and more inviting.  The other cool thing is that I’m on the 2nd floor and out two of my windows I have an awesome view of the Las Vegas Strip. 

Here we go….

Outside Bulletins in the Hallway

Welcome Bulletin for Orientation

Now, the inside…

 
Love that kids can each have their own cubby and there are also hooks for backpacks.
 
 
My classroom library space
 
 
 
 
Classroom supplies (in the cubbies)

My teacher workspace/desk and small group area

I’m super lucky that we have extremely small classes.  I have only 16 kiddos. I’ve always had 20-24, but this school keeps them very small, which I’m going to like!

Essential Questions boards – can use an Expo marker to write the essential questions and change them as needed.

White board with projector. I’m going to use the pocket charts below the white board for our vocabulary words.

Writing table area. I’m going to eventually use this for a writing station.

Math Area – Math Bulletin board (blank spot is for anchor charts created as a class). Bucketfilling area below…

My teacher books that I use for lessons organized by skill or topic.

I also love that we have a closet here with shelves. Nice to have storage options. 

Thanks for stopping by to check out my classroom space. I met my kiddos yesterday at Orientation and they are so cute! I can tell we’re going to have a great year together!

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Monday Made-It- August 4

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up
I’m linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for another Monday Made-It.
This week I made my new bday student gift. My kids loved the crazy straws last year so I decided to do those again.  Here’s how I made it…
 
1. Buy Crazy Straw from the Dollar Store – 6 came in a pack…

2. Make a little tag so people know what it’s for. 

3. Cut out circles. I saw this done before and liked that they looked like little balloons once they were finished. I used cardstock paper from Michaels and also my Martha Stewart Circle Cutter (love this tool!)

4. Then, I glued on the note and then taped the straw to the back. I tried hole punching and tried to put the straw through the circle, but it just looked bad and squished the paper, which I didn’t like. So….tape it is!

5. Then, I made the little container to hold them. I love the plastic paint containers/buckets (not sure what these are really called) from Michaels. I cut scrapbook paper and taped it inside. I love the colors on this paper and love the polka dots.

And voila – here it is!

Since these containers only hold so much without falling over I decided to have 2 – 12 straws in each…. I thought about getting the big container but also didn’t want them falling all over if it was too big. So, I decided to stick with the smaller size and have two.

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Also, be sure to check out the TPT Blast Off Back to School Sale – my whole store is 20% off and technically 28% off with the TPT code “BTS2014”

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New Bucket Filling Bulletin

Back to School, Bucket Filling, Classroom Set-Up

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I’m now using bright colors as my classroom color scheme. Since I’m ditching the purple/orange Suns colors, I also needed to update my Bucket Filling Display.  I’m not in my classroom yet, but I’ve put everything together so all I need to do is hang it up.  See my plan below.
 
Also, to see how I use Bucket Filling in the classroom check out this post from a few years ago here.
 
 
Ribbon to hang the Ziploc bags (buckets) on with the clothespins.
 
Clothespins to put on the ribbon that will hold the Ziploc bag (bucket). Love, love, love these stripes!

And, the new Bucket Filling sign.

I’ll post again once I actually have it up in the room.  Hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

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New Bright Decor

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up


Since I’m at a new school and no longer in Phoenix, I’ve decided to do away with the Phoenix Suns theme. I’m a fan and used to be a huge fan of the Suns and living in Phoenix the theme worked wonderfully. I could use it for lessons too, however, living in Vegas the Suns theme just isn’t working anymore. So, I’ve decided since I’m in 2nd grade again to just go with bright colors. 

I haven’t been able to get into my new classroom yet, but below you can see some projects I’ve worked on that will go with the bright décor once I can get in there.

My new borders – love the bright colors!

 
 
Love this quote – found it here at Clipzine.  I had leftover frames from my Essential Questions project so I decided to use them as some decorations in the classroom.
 

I also love all of the various our classroom posters.  I found this one on at the Teacher Garden’s Classroom.

And, here’s my new sign for either in front of my room or by my desk. I love this striped scrapbook paper! I found it at JoAnn Fabrics and have used it on a few different projects.

Now, I can’t wait to get in my classroom and actually put everything up!

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Monday Made-It – July 21

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up

I’m linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for another Monday Made-It

 
This week I made a new classroom job chart.  Since I’m going with the bright colors theme I needed a new one to match.  Here are the jobs I included: Star Student, Door Holder, Pencil Pick Up, Clean Up Helper, Lights Helper, Lunch Helper, iPad Helper, Library Helper, Paper Passers, and Next Up (people without a job this week, but will have one the next week).  To make this project I picked up a foam board from JoAnn Fabrics, the blue border from Michael’s, and I already had the pockets from Lakeshore a few years ago (these ones even had sticky stuff on the back which made it super easy to put together).  I then made my labels and my sign and voila – new classroom job chart!

 
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to link up with Tara!
 
 
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Monday Made-It – July 14

Back to School, Classroom Set-Up
I’m linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for another Monday Made It!
 
For this Monday Made It, I made a new calendar set for myself. I actually had the same calendar numbers that went with my Phoenix Suns theme (purple/orange) for 7 years and they lasted. Since it’s a new classroom, new school, and new décor (bright colors), I decided it was time for updated calendar numbers. 
 
I used The 3AM’s awesome backgrounds and frames to make this.  Check out here website here
 
Here are my new months for the calendar…

 
 
Here are my new numbers….
 
 
And, here they are on the calendar…

 
 
 
I use the sticky Velcro stuff to change them in and out. It’s worked well over the years and I kept the same blank white calendar so I didn’t want to change it out.
 
 
Thanks for stopping by! Excited to see everyone’s projects this week so be sure to link up!
 
 
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