Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My New Classroom 2016-2017

So in January this year the school I have been at for the last 7 years closed for good. We had some water damage that was too expensive to repair and get the almost 100 year old building up to code and because of the water there was mold found in the building. This means that the majority of our things were not able to come out. No books or paper items left the building. Only furniture or hard surfaced items that could be cleaned.  So my school and another school building in the same district are merging this year. I am super excited! My team will now consist of a 6 first grade teacher team instead of just 2 of us. We all get along and are excited about all the possibilities for us as a team this year!

The fun thing about my new room for this year is that this is actually the room that I did my student teaching in back in 2005! So it is like coming home for me. :)  Take a look around my new room and let me know what you think...

This is the entrance to my room...come on in!

When you first walk in the door you see my computer station. I have a clip chart but really only use it when a sub is there. I use Class Dojo and students and parents love it!

This is my ENO board. I hate that it is placed right by the entrance. I would normally have my large carpet area here, but since it is right by the door that just isn't going to work. I will let kids choose to work or read on this small carpet if they want to during the day.

This is my table for my laptop and document camera. 

Another computer station. We have to do progress monitoring with AimsWeb so I will use the file folders in the pocket chart to keep the materials we will use for that. My Light Box is sitting on top of a little cart where I will keep student scissors, glue sticks, and bottles of glue that we only use when we need them.

Love these daily objective headers from Learning in Wonderland! I will write our "I Can" statements under each section for the week.

Here is a view of that entire wall.

As we move to the next wall, this is our little library area. It will eventually grow, but since all of my books were lost in my old school it is going to take some time for me to build it back up.

These are hanging over my library area. My friend and I made these this summer. They turned out super cute but what a mess! 

Another view of the library and one of the crate seats I made this summer. :) We have some little reading buddies in the blue basket on top of the book case.

My little crate bench I also made this summer. :) 

The blue mailboxes are from Walmart. My Really Good Stuff ones couldn't make it out of the old school because they are cardboard. They are sitting on top of my Trofast shelf from Ikea. These bins hold our math stations. 

The black cart holds 10 laptops that I share with the other 1st grade teachers. This is another little small work or reading area to use during the day.

Here is a close up of my word wall. Loving the blacks and brights this year! I found these lovelies on Pinterest...here is the link if you want to make them....Word Wall.

I'm not crazy about the color of this cabinet but it is holding all of my extra math manipulatives and reading materials. The posters are the 8 mathematical practices from Third Grade Doodles.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. These new book boxes from Oriental Trading. The green pocket chart will hold our hunk and chunk cards from The Phonics Dance.

Right past the orange cabinet and the book bins is my large carpet meeting area. I adore this new rug that I got from RTRkidsrugs.com Luckily my Royal Reading easel made it out of my old school. Can't imagine not having it! I also really like my little ribbon valances I made from a Pinterest find.

The back of the book bin shelf has a tension rod hanging on it so I can post anchor charts there. The black pocket chart is from a teacher store in Florida that I visited on vacation this summer. In the neon folders I am going to place some fast finishers for students to use when they get done with their work.

Turn to the other wall. Here is my Guided Math rotation board from Teaching Sweet Shoppe.
The blue work station pocket chart will be our rotations for Daily 5. 

My calendar area, with place value pocket chart to count the days we are in school, and the monthly circles will have clothespins hanging on them for birthdays. That is August - November for now and then I will switch to the next 4 months and so on.

The alphabet cards are from The Phonics Dance.  And the neon posters on the white board are voice levels from Reagan Tunstall. The table will be for my mom who volunteers in my room everyday (Yes I'm spoiled lucky!) and her group of students she will work with. 

Close up of her little area. :)

This is our little "kitchen area". A retired teacher friend of mine found this little desk station at a rummage sale for me. Our little fridge is underneath, then we have our microwave and keurig for our morning coffee. There is a shelf also under that fabric that can store our mugs and such. 

These are 2 shelves behind my area. This has my math binders and materials from Reagan Tunstall, work on writing materials from Cara Carroll, and other materials I will need for small groups.
I also have some built in shelves on the wall behind my area too. The blue and green baskets have  DRA leveled readers for small groups. Also you see my daily drawers from Learning in Wonderland. The top shelf has my entire set of Gumball Math that I created that includes addition and subtraction for numbers within 10 and within 20. All other drawers contain extra supplies and materials. 

Here is a view of my table with my new crate seats I made this summer. :)

This is our work on writing center. It will have the task cards and vocabulary words from the work on writing bundle from Cara Carroll. The 6 trait writing posters are from Smekens writing.

These baskets are from Dollar Tree. I hate that I had to get one random blue one.  These will hold the students supply boxes. The white tub holds are dry erase boards and markers. And the green crate will hold student headphones. The green drawers next to the shelf will hold our word work materials.

The pocket chart is for our table captains. I choose one student at each table each week to be in charge of getting the table basket of supply boxes. This way I don't have a bunch of students getting their boxes at once.

This little shelf will hold community supplies that students can use including crayons, markers, colored pencils, and also sight word cards for word work time. The basket on top will be where they will get their morning work page after they hang up their book bags in the morning.

So there is a close up view of all the areas in my classroom. I forgot to get some pics of the views of the entire room so I will post those next time. I am really excited to see what this year will bring in my new school and new classroom!  Let me know what you think! :)


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saying Goodbye...Hopefully not forever!

Over Christmas break we had a lot of flooding in our area. The school that I teach in is almost 100 years old. We had a lot of water coming in through walls and floors in the basement and had a lot of water down where our boiler room was. So, we came back to school for a week and a half and then out of nowhere the Regional Office of Education came to inspect our building after hearing of the flooding. We literally were told we had 5 minutes to get out of the building for an inspection. That was Wednesday afternoon. I haven't been allowed back into my building since then, and we just found out that we won't be back in for the rest of this school year. I had to beg for them to go back in and rescue my class pet our beta fish! 

I have been at this school for the last 7 years and this is the school that I attended myself for 3rd and 4th grade. It is heartbreaking to not know the future of our school. At this time, we are not allowed back in to get any of our stuff until our superintendent gets the results of any structural damage or any possible mold growth. The worst part is that she says depending on the results we may never get back in. You know how as a teacher you not only spend so much money on things you want in your classroom, and make centers and invest a lot of time in things to organize your classroom...well imagine that everything you have made, bought, and invested time in for the last 10 years was in this room that you may NEVER be able to go into again! I am sick about it for sure! And I don't have the money to reinvest to rebuy everything all over again. :(

I understand not having us go to school there and I want my kiddos to be safe...don't get me wrong. But, there has been absolutely no water in my classroom at all on the main floor. Will my stuff really be that contaminated that I couldn't enter at my own risk and remove my stuff? 

We are being relocated to another elementary building but we will at least still all be together. I am very thankful for that.  Have any of you had to experience anything like this before? I would love to hear what you think!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Apple Fun in First Grade!

We just wrapped up our apple fun this week! My birthday was on Sept. 30th and so I decided to do our apple unit this week instead of the week before Johnny Appleseed's birthday.

The kids had a lot of fun learning lots of new things about apples, but we started it off activating our schema to see what they already knew about them. I was impressed!

We read some great apple books to help expand our learning. 

One of our favorite activities was reading the story of The Little Red House with No Windows, No Doors, and a Star Inside. As I  read we do a little visualizing lesson and I have them draw what they visualize as we start the story and also half way through the story. And then the fun comes at the end when we cut an apple in half and discover the magical star inside! Talk about excitement! The kids were so amazed and wanted to know how I did that. Lol I will admit that the first time I heard this story I was amazed too. 

Yesterday we had our apple tasting and tasted red, yellow and green apples. I  had the students list adjectives to describe each one and we compared our lists. (Sorry I forgot to take a pic of that). I also told them to pick their favorite one so we could graph them later for math. 

We enjoyed this worksheet from Teachable Moments.

As you can see we had an overwhelming favorite with green apples. 

We also wrote a poem and did this fun little apple craft from First Grade Blue Skies

Overall we had a great week and the kids learned a lot about apples! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Math Center Mania!

In our school district we use AimsWeb for our reading and math assessments. We do 3 benchmarks throughout the year and also constant progress monitoring throughout. In First grade they have Early Numeracy assessments called TENS tests that assess oral counting, number identification, missing numbers, and quantity discrimination. Also, in First grade they begin to take the 8 minute math computation test which assesses addition and subtraction with single and double digit numbers and even some adding 3 numbers concepts. This will be there first time seeing this test but it will continue on through 5th grade. The TENS tests begin in Kindergarten and end in First grade.

I like to use math centers to help practice these skills, especially for those students who struggle with those concepts. We also use EnVision as our math series and if you have ever used this program you know there are some good things and some bad things like every math series. One of the downfalls in my opinion is their math centers. They are not very engaging and they don't hold their attention for very long. We do guided math in our classroom so some students will begin their lesson with math stations. So, I usually have them try the EnVision center first. But since I know they will be finished with it quickly, I like to have a center that practices the same concept but is a little more fun and engaging for the kids.

With this in mind, I have been creating some math centers this weekend and I wanted to get them in my TPT store before the big sale gets here tomorrow! So, if you are looking for some fun activities to practice missing number, quantity discrimination, or counting to understand addition... I have just what you need!
 Find it here!
Count Your Lucky Stars is a math center to help understand how counting relates to addition. (CCSS 1.OA.5)

 Find it here!
Birdie Brigade is a math center to practice quantity discrimination.

 Find it here!
Cookin' Up Cupcakes is a math center to practice missing numbers.

Well, I hope these can help you get prepared for the upcoming school year! Stop by my store and check out the other items during the big back to school sale!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Busy Friday Night!

If you follow me on Instagram then you have already seen how I spent my Friday evening...busy creating! My teaching partner and I both decided we wanted to use mini-offices this year. I have tables in my room and although she uses desks, she puts them into groups. Either way it is easy for our firsties to have "wandering eyes". So to help with privacy during work and also to have some material that will help them while working was our ultimate goal. We had already purchased My First Grade Helper by Michelle Oakes a couple years ago and we decided it would be better put to use on our mini-offices. It has all the important information you will need in first grade. We also added a number line that I found on Google and we made a little chart that listed the days of the week and a cover to tell who is using the office. We could have added more but felt that if we put too much on there it might overwhelm them.

So basically we started with 2 manila folders and just taped them together. We then printed all the stuff we would need and had to trim to fit. We taped the edges of all the items because we plan to laminate them to make them more durable so we just need everything to stay in place until then. :)
Here are some photos for you to check it out!

This is the front of the office when it is closed.

This is the inside left side. It has all the sight words we will learn this year.
This is the middle section on the inside. Alphabet, vowels, digraphs, and blends.
This is the inside right side. Color words, number words, months, writer's checklist, and days of the week.
Outside middle section. 120 chart, money, fractions, shapes, time, and part of the number line.

Overall I think they turned out pretty well. I'm ready to get them laminated and cross my fingers that my little babies will take good care of them. I also recently got Let's Get Organized from Learning in Wonderland. I have been using the same expandable file folders to put my daily materials in for the last 8 years and I am ready for a change. So, I fell in love with these adorable inserts that go inside a 3-drawer Sterilite container and I am ready to go!

So it was a successful and creative Friday night! What have you been up to?