Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Six Classroom Questions

I found several pins with a variety of questions to pose for my class on the 1st day of school. I chose six that I felt were appropriate for my group of kids and LOVED it! There was a lot of information to gather from my students apart from their answers - I looked at spelling, engagement, and how they followed directions. Very informative.

I went over each poster (in Spanish as well -- one of my students doesn't speak English! -- thank goodness for iTranslate!) and passed out dots and sticky notes to everyone. The were able to address each poster on their own and I wandered around to help individuals. Great activity!

Inservice Exhaustion

I've been back to school for two days now (paid-days, of course) and find myself more exhausted than any day spent at school all summer!! I think it is mostly stress - knowing school is beginning just around the corner - that keeps me running on what feels like empty. I have been working on my new "Michelle-styled" lesson plan book, preparing writing materials, organizing my start-up order, and organizing the staff book room. So much to do!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Breaking News! New Bulletins!

I have been using Daily 5 and Cafe for a couple of years now and have changed my boards every single year. This year, thanks to Pinterest and the LadybugTeacherFiles, my boards look FANTASTIC! I am so excited to begin filling them in with strategy cards. I even have teeny-tiny clothespins with student names on them to clip onto their strategy card. I can't wait!

I used a 6+Traits bulletin board last year but was unhappy with how it looked. I love the Voices board and I even had room to squeeze in a Boggle board as well.

Plugging Away at the Chaos!

I finally finished my classroom libraries - with the help of friends, of course - and have been working on centers and bulletin boards.

Here is a photo of my fiction library. Each box is sorted by author, genre, or theme and is labeled with a sign and a numbered dot. Every book in the box is labeled with a coordinating numbered dot. Books are easy to find and easy to return!

So many picture books!! I nearly ran out of room!

Here is a picture of my nonfiction library nook.

The book boxes are heavy-duty washbasins. I love them!

I LOVE my classroom library and find that if I start organizing it first, the rest of my room sorts itself out easier. I did make the book box labels this year -- I started on them last spring and worked on them over the summer. I love that they are uniform and that the clip art is engaging and colorful.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Rest... Or Unpacking!

I moved classrooms within my building in only a few hours at the end of the school year. I am in the process of unpacking the unorganized boxes shoved into every nook and cranny in my new space. It is both frustrating and fun all at the same time! Luckily I wasn't the only 'mover' this year, so there is plenty of company for me at school this summer! Here are some photos of the progress I've made this summer!!

Here's what I started with - can you believe that!!

This is how I started organizing my classroom library - luckily the custodian had pushed all my furniture out of the way so I could spread out all over the floor! I stacked by genre, subject, author, and theme.

And this is the start of my fiction library in my classroom. It is organized by author, series, genre, theme, and subject. All my books I have collected over the past 7 years (holy cow, that went fast) from thrift stores, Powell's (my second favorite place on the planet), my school principal, and Donors Choose. I have organized them in boxes I purchased from the Dollar Tree, larger boxes granted through Donors Choose, and the large wooden boxes made by the local high school shop a million years ago. My classroom library is the center of of my classroom -- it gets organized and set up first!!