My Classroom

My Classroom is My Canvas... 

I love making my classroom a place students love to be. A place they feel like reflects them, encourages them to learn, and gives everyone who enters positive energy. I couldn't live without my classroom being highly organized! Color, cozyness, and organization are musts for me! 

I only have one window in my classroom, so I need to make the most of it. I used command hooks to put a curtain rod on the cement block walls, and it stays up really well. I found polka dot ribbon at hobby lobby. I prefer the little chairs to all pillows because it defines this space as being for 2-3 students at a time.
This was a tricky spot because our students open the walls and switch classrooms in this corner daily, but I wasn't willing to completely give up a corner space. The students refer to it as "The Castle" and love using it during independent work times! (Canopy is from Ikea, but you could use a bed canopy from anywhere. I hung it with a magnetic clip from metal between ceiling tiles)

Student book bins and math manipulatives!

Social-emotional learning is one of the best uses of physical space in my opinion because all students can benefit from it all year long! The students come up with categories and we label our buckets. They can fill out "bucket-filling" slips for each other and place them into the bucket they feel it fits best. When we have a spare moment, we pull out a slip and read it to the class. This helps promote student-to-student praise... and they love it!
This is in the middle of the friends board. Each week one student is honored as our "Bucket-Filler of the Week." The student watches all week to see who is a bucket-filling role model and selects the person for the next week. All week long this student has the extra responsibility of modeling what it means to be a bucket-filler, and we take extra notice to this person. This student also does extra things to help me and help around our classroom. (I print out a 4x6 individual picture of each child the first week of school and keep them in a folder at my desk, so it is quick and easy to change each week- tape it on to the laminated page.) Get one FREE here!
I set my students desks in tables to promote cooperative learning and teamwork. The seat sacks are used for them to store their iPad safely. In the right corner you see my small group table, a whiteboard table. It's fun, engaging and helps keep the table free from being crowded of materials.

This section of my classroom library is organized by genres and are leveled within the baskets. 

This section of my classroom library is organized by levels. The students can go straight to the bin to get a book at their level, which is convenient when a student is having a hard time finding that "just right book" independently. I have some leveled bins that are not open for student book selection. I use these to pull out when students are working on independent reading activities, and I feel they need to choose a leveled text-- Helps save time and shows me whether or not the child is truly able to apply a particular skill/strategy at his/her level.

I gave my filing cabinet a quick makeover! I cut strips of contact paper, made labels, and tied stiff ribbon to the handles. Totally worth it!

I covered my mailboxes in the same contact paper. They needed some serious help, so the contact paper made a huge difference and saved me from buying a new one.

A few years ago I bought cups from the dollar store, and I sticky-tac them onto each child's desk to save time digging around in their desks for pencils/scissors. They got yucky, and washing them caused some of them to rust. I printed out chevron paper, laminated, cut, and taped it on. It has held up well, and I will just wipe them out for next year.
Wowzille is where we celebrate student work we are really proud of! Sometimes the students bring things into the classroom that we hang as well. This is a great spot to help add personalization and meaning to walls of the classroom.
This back wall of my classroom has my whiteboards. It is on the same wall as my window, so I added curtains. I write learning targets on the board. To the right of the board, we have our "Leader Board." Every child has a job--They become the leader of that role in our classroom and keep the job for several weeks at time. I get those tiny clothes bins and hot glue a laminated picture of them to the clothes pin. Pictures are more fun than names! I hang our Anchor Charts across the top of the board.

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