Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday

Before the overload of photos, let me just pause to thank my UNBELIEVABLE husband, my preciously patient daughters, and my Room Mom from last year!  Without all of them, none of this would have even been a thought, much less possible.

Here's my little itty-bitty corner of the room (I can barely fit in there!), but I LOVE the desk caddie I showed you in an earlier posting, and the shelf my sweet husband installed into concrete block walls.  My friend Jennifer came down and arranged my G and flowers above the shelf - she just has that eye, and I'm not sure how well you can see it, but my absolutely favorite thing in the whole room is right there under the shelf.  That little sign says, "I wish I could help, but I left my wand at home!"  What a hoot!  That just about sums up my sense of humor in one simple sentence.

My classroom library is not quite finished, as you can see.  I like to have an activity with my second graders where we go through all the books together and decide if they are fiction or non-fiction.  Once that's done, we sort the fiction books by genre, and the non-fiction by topic.  I know, I know.  I really already have that all done on my hubby's iPad Book Retriever app, but I think it's a great learning experience for the children to get to know the books, and to learn some basic genre identification.  Once we've had that lesson, I'll unstack all those pretty Dollar Tree Locker Bins and use my Leveled Library tags from Erica Bohrer.

 I use my kidney table as my Guided Instruction area, for both math and reading.  The table in back is just 12 inches wide, but 9 feet long, and the Hobby Lobby fabric hides all my guided reading and guided math instructional materials.  The file cabinet does triple duty, with dry-erase contact paper on the side facing the small group and a dry erase cling calendar facing my desk.

The front of my room is completely covered in whiteboard with a tiny little bulletin board to one side and the Promethean Board smack in the middle, covering the center third of the whiteboard.  And, no, I don't have the new Promethean Board that you can write on, like a whiteboard, and no, it's not a Smartboard, either.  In fact, right now, it can't even find its own pen!  I use this little cabinet to hold my laptop and printer, along with my HUE camera, which is like a grown up overhead projector, but will project anything onto the Pro-board!

Here's the tiny bulletin board to the right of all that whiteboard.  I use it for posting the date, the corresponding day of the year in my place value pocket chart, and my school menu.  In one of the photos above, you might can see my white buckets...I use them for my kiddos to put their popsicle stick in to make their lunch choice.

On the first day of school, when all those supplies roll in, I take them all away from my students!  Can you believe that?  Then I put out four glue sticks, four pairs of scissors, 12 pencils, a box of colored pencils, a box of crayons, and a box of markers in these flatware caddies from Garden Ridge.  The caddies go in a tray, for the table-mates to use to store their incomplete work, and a little trash bucket goes on each table, too.  When supplies get yucky, or are missing, or eaten, or whatever...I have all those brand-new school supplies to replenish our shared supplies.  I think this is one of the most important things I do.  Call me crazy, but if they can share markers, crayons, and pencils, they can learn to share thinking, they can work together to problem solve, and they can use manners to take turns.  Wow - all that from "stealing" their supplies???

Our computer center's pretty basic, but I do love my new ear buds from the nice lady at Best Buy, and I love the Whooo's Reading a Good Book poster to track A/R points, which you can download for FREE from my shop on TPT.

Here's part of my high-frequency word wall.  As you can see, I just keep it up from year-to-year.  These are the first 100 words, and by second grade, all my students have been tested on them in first grade, but still sometimes need them as a reference.  We add our new words from there forward.  You can also see Speedy the painted turtle's home. We just discovered he was a she last week, when she laid eggs!  (S)he was named after my grandaddy, who was so meticulously slow that his co-workers called him Speedy as a joke, and gave him turtle gifts for years!

 I'm working on a math workstation area back here.  Since today's only the second day of school for us, I haven't introduced any of the materials back here, nor have I posted the awesome PSA resources from Hope King, but that's where we're headed!

 These little pails from Target's Dollar spot last year were perfect for "bucket-filling".  This year, Callie, my fifth grader, thought of putting them on an old chart stand.  She's so smart!

When I first moved from fourth to second grade, I distinctly remember stomping down the hall one day, during my planning period, mumbling to myself, "Mrs. Gravett doesn't like tattling!"  Then I found the tattle monster kleenex box on Pinterest.  This year, I could resist the adorable birdhouse, which I covered in scrapbook paper and ribbons, etc. and added a little tag that reads "Whooo Needs to Tattle?'  Kids can write down their gripes, put them in the birdie hole, and the hubby cut me a hole from the bottom, so I can access the tattles to read and deal with at me leisure (or NOT)!

My Student of the Week board is also scrapbook-ish and blinged out a little this year.  I found both the birdhouse and bulletin board ideas on the free tear-off sheets from Hobby Lobby.  The rectangular area is for a photo, and the library pocket holds a little laminated card on which the student of the week can write a little about himself.  Love it!

Finally, the whole shebang...yes, I'm still trying to find room for 25 (as opposed to last year's 19) kids, and all those teaching materials on top of their cubbies.  I don't even have 25 cubbies, and since they don't have desks, it's a good thing I "stole" all their supplies!

So, there it is...where I work.  Man, I barely got posted before Thursday - it's after 11:30 p.m.!  And I have morning to bed!

See you tomorrow for Therapeudic Thusday...I'm hoping to learn from YOU about the therapy!!!


  1. The tissue balls and your curtains are so cute!
    The Hive

  2. Awww...thanks! Those tissue balls are really kind of sad - I made them last year and haven't had time to re-fluff them. They look like wilted flowers! The curtains are super-easy. I make new ones almost every year - just use 45" wide fabric, son't even hem the sides, straight stitch a rod pocket and hem, add ribbon, and you're done!

  3. Your classroom is just adorable! So many nice touches!

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  4. Thanks, Jeannine! I have finally gotten into the swing of a new schedule, new standards, and new textbooks, that just arrived this week, so I'm not sure how long the cute will outweigh my ADD!


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