Saturday, August 10, 2013

Classroom Tour 2013

Whew! It has been a crazy week and a half. I have completed 7 school days of my year already! SEVEN! Now that things have settled into a more normal-ish back to school routine, I'm finally sitting down at my computer to share some of the gazillions of pictures I've been taking lately and share more about my first week-plus of the school year.

First, I reorganized my classroom library using the Ready 2 Number Customizable Library Labels from Ladybug's Teacher Files. I adore all of Kristen's work (as you'll see in later parts of the classroom tour!), and I was so excited to reorganize my classroom library this year.

I decided to use the Booksource Classroom Organizer tool to manage my classroom library this year, so this was really quite the overhaul -- scanning all of my books, sorting them, and labeling them. And like so many of my projects, what I thought would take me 1-2 days of work this summer ended up being closer to 5, so that really ate up a sizable chunk of my pre-planning. But it's so worth it. My books are now impeccably organized.

 And when I ran out of shelf space, I spilled some of my larger nonfiction books into drawers.
Those used to be drawers for students to store their many notebooks and folders. One of the benefits of going to a mostly paperless classroom is that I can reclaim those for other things.

Here's a view of the library as a whole, with my "Welcome to Eberopolis" pennant banner and iPad cart in the middle.
In addition to reorganizing my classroom library, I created a better small group space for my classroom this year, courtesy of Ikea.

 Last year, I used one of my 6 student tables for small groups, but with the number of students I have, I didn't feel right about packing them into 5 tables and leaving open a table that we'd only use some of the time. I also had a shortage of chairs, and I hated having to wait while students hauled over chairs from their tables to my small group space.

This year, I bought 2 small white tables from Ikea (each about $20) and 6 teal stools (about $5 each). I already had the blue swivel chair for me, but that was only $15 at Ikea. So in the end, this is a great small group space for less than $100. Well worth it to me.

I'm trying to do Daily 5 and CAFE this year, and I came across the very cute CAFE letters from Terri over at the Creative Apple.  (I think she's updated them since then, but I'm not quite ready to return to my printer and laminator just yet!) I also finally hung up my cursive letters from Ladybug's Teacher Files.

On the other side of the wall I have my class job chart, an explanation of my class economy, and my Standards for Mathematical Practice posters. I also made something new that I'm trying out this year for exit tickets, but I'll share more about that in a future post. 

Here's our class meeting/carpet space.

I have some new buckets for holding clipboards at the front of the room, and I brought in a new chair for read alouds. I like that the chair easily folds and stores away so that we can move it out of the way when we don't need it.

The view of my desk is perhaps the least inspiring section of the room, although I'm loving the new paper lantern lights that I've put in my room. They really affect the ambiance, especially when it's early in the morning and we're all settling in.

 And then in front of my desk are all of my students' book bins, numbered 1-27 (so far!). That's where students store the few notebooks, books, and papers they have in my classroom. They're also keeping their headphones in there for now.

Finally, I acquired a few Ikea desks from a friend who was leaving our school at the end of last year. They run about $20 each, and they're a total pain to put together, which is why he left them with me rather than disassemble them for his move. They're awesome because they fit under the lip of the table and act as an extension for the 3 tables of 5 students, and they also give a little extra space to some of my students who need it. They're getting well used this year.

So, that's my classroom tour for this year! It's the happiest the space has ever felt to me, and I really need that happy space -- especially given how many hours I spend there each week. It feels a bit smaller now that I'm packing 27 bodies in there, but bit by bit, it's getting very organized.

I hope that everyone is having a great transition back to school -- or is enjoying those last few weeks of summer before heading back! I start classes for my doctoral program on Monday, so I don't know how often I'll get to blog this year, but I promise not to drop off the face of the blogosphere anytime soon.

Can't wait to see everyone else's classrooms!


  1. Hey! Just wanted to post a friendly comment here. I have been following your blog for just a few posts, but I think it's cool you give an inside look into your classroom. I'm going to be a high school teacher so things might be a little different, but I always like seeing other's ideas! Keep it up! :D Your classroom really does look cozy. And I love folding camp chairs too. They're strong, comfy, and usable. (I mean a chair with cup holders!?) I used to have mine in my bedroom all the time. It's a great idea to use them in a classroom. I may just have to do that in the future!

    Oh, and I am still just starting my teacher preparation program, and I'm blogging about it!

  2. Your classroom looks sooooo good! I'm jealous of the windows. I want windoooows!!! Or even ONE window. Sigh. xoxo :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  3. Very nice classroom! It's so long! Kudos on your library! I need to re-organize mine, but I keep putting it off because I fear it will be a HUGE task! You're motivating me to get it done =)

    -Amanda @
    Teacher at the Wheel

  4. I love your classroom! I have those library labels, but I never got around to redoing my library this summer. :(

  5. Your room looks great! Thanks for sharing photos!

    Our classes are bigger this year, too. I averaged 24-25 last year, and this year we're starting with 29 and 30. Eeek.

    These first weeks are exhausting - we just finished our fifth day - and I don't know how you find the energy to blog. Ha! :)


  6. Oh my goodness, I just came from your other post about the QR codes and saw this...thank you ever so much!!!! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear you like the signs for your classroom :) :)

    Thanks again!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...