Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Picture Walk Through My Classroom 2014

This is what the kiddos will see when they first get to their classroom!  All that's missing is their sweet, little faces! I'm hoping I don't forget to take their pictures at Open House like I did last year!


My smarty pants neighbor Miss Clarke (who also happens to be an icon in my son's starry eyes as his former teacher) had a GREAT idea that was super, easy to implement.  After thinking long and hard about how I was going to have both a fiction and non fiction library in my classroom (....all summer long), I STILL didn't know what to do.  It bothered me to think that I had to separate my dinosaur fiction books from the informational ones. Shouldn't we teach children the difference between fiction and non fiction so that, when they pick up a book, they know what type it is? Why should they have to learn to go to one section of the classroom to get a Frog and Toad story book, but go to another spot to find a book that explains to them the difference between a frog and a toad?  Well, thanks to Laura, my own students won't have to.  She made these caution tape tags that make students take another look because there are "informational texts inside".  So, instead of a full on (10 hour long) revamp, I cut the strips (she even printed them off for me!) and taped them onto baskets that included any informational texts.  Sounds like a mini lesson coming up to me!  I bet if we begged Miss Clarke, she would add them to her store so you could do this in your library as well!

I have tried all types of different nametags.  I am afraid of them choking with the strings around the neck (but, truthfully, even moreso, CAN'T stand it when they are constantly swinging them around and chewing on them).  These are just quickie tags I whipped up that just happen to match my classroom.  I cut off the clip from the plastic insert name badge, attach them with my favorite glue dots and voila! They are so easy to store as well, you just clip them to a wide ribbon and they are at your (or a sub's) fingertips anytime you need them!

When you don't have the perfect sized/colored pocket chart you need, what do you do? Well, I make my own and I am soooo super excited about it....if time settles down, I might be able to post directions, but it really isn't that hard.  I cut scrapbook page protectors to the size of my vocab cards (see below), put a piece of border in it, attached to the wall with clear mailing tape (another of my fave teacher supplies!).  You just have to NOT tape where you want to slide in the cards you want to be able to switch out. Then I cute border in half and used that as a border for my pocket chart! Woot--love it!  It will work great to display those weekly must dos for our Treasures Reading Program.  The oral language stories and retelling cards are readily available and displayed so the students can grab them and sequence, retell and/or write about!

I wished I took a picture today because I added a Vocab Wall sign to it, but you'll just have to picture it for now!

Yes! They really are paper curtains and NO! I can't believe they are still alive and well but they truly are!  I made them just like I would be making a valance with fabric only I didn't sew, I used mailing tape to "stitch"...seriously so so so EASY! It was all because I couldn't find black and white valances...but, guess what I found? Yup, I found some zebra valances for $5 each at Walmart, but I couldn't see any really good reason to take these beauties down (which, by the way, probably cost me about $1 or maybe $2 to make).  The purple is that mesh type ribbon and I just used glue dots to attach it to front just to add that little bit of purple!

Love my easy to change binder/cubby clips!  I had to laminate plain colored paper (if I had thought ahead, it totally would've been purple and black) to cover up the old, yucky labels that wouldn't come off (that got put on before I found this fabulous idea on Pinterest).

Do you love this or what? My sweetheart neighbor got this for me...it is made by Jenna Shute...click her name and it will take you to her Facebook page...make sure you tell her MMMB sent you! All of her stuff is amazing...seriously...would take one of everything if I could.

One of the best feelings (albeit a small feeling) in the world is finding that perfect puzzle piece that fits perfectly....that's sort of the feeling I got when I was searching for a spot for my brand new schedule cards that aren't being used. I grabbed a zebra designed pencil box (that I bought because it was a zebra designed pencil box) and THEY FIT PERFECT! It's the small things people! I know many of you will know just what I mean. Ha ha!

I am just loving all of my new black pocket charts! Thank you Scholastic.  Hopefully they will be coming out with a variety of sizes SooooooooN! As far as I can tell, they just have the file pocket folder ones and your big, standard sized ones.  If you see my bulletin boards below, you will notice that I cut the big pocket charts in half.  I may even buy another one to cut vertically for my math vocabulary display.

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  1. LOVE! So many great ideas!
    I also did b/w in my room. I really like the purple accents. Your students are going to love learning here!
    Good luck, Jen :)

  2. You have a nice classroom! I'm sure that your students had a great time exploring it. I also admire the personal touches that you added to make kids feel more at home! Great job!

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