Monday, August 19, 2013

Classroom Reveal

I missed all the cool link-ups for classroom reveals, so I'll have to just go this round on my own. 

This is a view of the front of my room. To the left is my job chart and to the right is our character education program where Ron Clark's Essential 55 meet the 8 Keys of Excellence. If you look really hard, you can see my Author's chair.  I just recently bought iron on letters and added the letters to my chair-it looks pretty fancy.

This is a view of the back of the room. See those table signs above the tables?  On one side it says its respective table number, but on the other side it has one of the four regions of Texas. I'm determined to teach this little guys even through classroom decor!

 Here is a collage of my turn in basket, supply station #1, library, and computer center. A little ribbon goes a long way, and by a little, I mean 8 rolls of ribbon.

 Here is cozy central.  I teach language arts/social studies, and I love watching my kiddos sprawl out all over the place as they read and write.  Rarely are the students in their assigned seats.  Behind the chairs is our library and the bins I use to keep a folder for each student.  This folder houses their writing pieces regardless of the stage in the process.  I also keep each student's behavior reflections in these folders.

These three pics are of some of the other bulletin boards in my room.  The top frame is the CAFE menu.  Notice there are no pre-printed strategy cards.  The students make these.  I attended the sisters' workshop in Houston this year, and they even visited my classroom!  Like all other anchor charts, when the students create the anchor chart,  it gives meaning to the students.  I have to fight my inner self because it isn't always super neat, but it's about the learning not the neatness.

The second frame is a row of anchor chart frames. I added clothespins to a frame created out of poster board and decorative tape.  I use the clothespins because right after we create the anchor chart together, we can just clip it right up.  Super fast!  I created labels for each one of the six areas I'll be creating anchor charts for all year: mentor sentences, featured reading skill, featured writing skill, social studies skill, Reading Talk Show (this could be a poem we are analyzing, a featured book, or a student's book review), and finally Word Collection.

The bottom frame is where I'll post student work.  It reads, "Our Work Soars."  There's a hidden message there.  I wanted to embed something in my room that reminded me to not only teach my students but to continually push them to their own personal best.  There are two places in my room where I have hot air balloons.  Those balloons remind me that learning should "reach high" and be an adventure!

 In this collage, I have my second supply center, my check-in system, reading/writing conference center, my work station, my tweet board to be used for exit/entrance slips, cleaning supplies, and our pack up list.  See, I did add the ribbon like I said I would. :-) See this post for explanation.

And finally, this is located near the door of my classroom.  My chains for behavior/reading incentive beads--thank you Miss Nelson, my birthday board, "no name" board, the filing cabinet I covered with laminated scrapbook paper (on top of the cabinet is a bathroom log, hand sanitizer for both the boys and the girls-they place it on their desk when they leave for the potty, a mystery walker container, and the "whisper bell"-see post), and finally on the door, there they are again, the hot air balloons, reminding us all that learning is magical!

So long!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Five for Friday

Five random things from my week, you say?  If you knew me personally, you'd know I can SO do RANDOM!! Random describes me well, very well.  So, here comes my randomness. Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching for the linky.

I created "Fame Frames" this week. I got this idea from Teacher Tipster. Watch the video provided in this link for the rationale.

The second item is another great idea from Teacher Tipster called the Whisper Bell. Watch the video provided in this link for the rationale. I love this idea.  It has a certain mystery about it I think the kids will love and I love tapping that bell kinda like Si from Duck Dynasty (I threw that out there just to prove my point about how random I can be. If you'd like a good laugh, click here.)

This idea came from a teacher in a GT workshop I attended.  You know the child who can't stop bouncing his or her leg up and down?  This is a fidget that will work for them.  You take a noodle and cut it in half and then in half again.  The child can then roll the noodle under his/her feet.  It doesn't make any noise and satisfies the need for movement.

I made my little tweet board to be used "exit slip" style.  I kinda like it!

Loving this book!  I think it's a great text to use at the beginning of the year to check geography skills similar to the way my friend Charlotte over at Fabulous Fifth Grade fun does in this post.

Two more weeks a my new kiddos and I will be off and running using all this stuff!

Have a terrific weekend!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Currently

It's August 1st. No way!!! Summer is over for me which is bittersweet.  I'm looking forward to applying all that I've learned this summer, but I'm going to miss all the time I've spent with my children! Cute little buggers!

So here's my Currently!

Listening- There's a rustling happening under my desk. It's my pants rubbing against the chair.  I put my hand on top of my shaking leg, trying to get my leg to stop its bouncing.  It works while my hand stays on top of my leg, but as soon as I move my hand, there it goes again.  Off and shaking like a leaf!  Okay, so here's what I'm nervous about.  There are still twenty nine items on my to do list and some of them will take a very long time to complete!  I will be recruiting the help of my children soon. I'll pay/bribe them.  Is that wrong? :-)

Loving-I spent the day with eight team members (we have ten in total) designing a behavior plan.  I'm excited that everyone is on board and genuinely seems excited about what we've come up with.  We have our system in place and today we even started generating lessons! It was a great day!

Thinking- I really do need to tackle the curriculum items on my "to do" list.  I've waited because I wanted to plan with my team members, but I just can't wait any longer.  I'm one of those "I have to know specifically what I'm going to teach at least three weeks out" people.  Of course my plans change twenty-two million times, but hey, I know where I'm headed.  How far in advance do you plan?

Wanting-I really wish I had a time machine.  I've learned so much, but I get super impatient waiting for certain learning curves to take place for me.  You know it will come, but you also know you'll be a far better teacher when you just have that missing component figured out!!! Why do we have to wait for the synapses to connect?  Sometimes, I visualize them connecting in my brain, hoping that will speed the process.  GRRR!!

Needing-to participate in I Heart Recess's Monthly Goals. This year I want to "Flip" my classroom, apply whole brain teaching, integrate social studies seamlessly with reading and writing, make every lesson highly engaging, incorporate an effective morning meeting, use augmented reality and QR codes in my classroom, teach my students to blog, and help my team create a highly effective RTI plan.  I know, I know. Settle down HOT ROD!!! Rome wasn't built in a day, but there is a teacher out there somewhere who has already built the "Rome" I'm referring to above.  I've done the research, I've taken notes, but the application is just too much to tackle all at once!

B2 School Must Have's-Can you hear the frustration in my writing?  I have the cure.  It's called Retail Therapy, darlin', which brings me to my back to school must have's.  Each picture has a link to the source.  I shopped while blogging for the first two, and the last item allows me to focus on how I can make my students feel loved, which always puts me at ease. I feel much better. Ahhh.....