Saturday, August 9, 2014

Show Off Your Space Linky Party

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I am linking up with Courtney from Swimming into Second for her Show Off Your Space linky party.  
I am also linking up with Just a Primary Girl for her Setting Up Success linky party.  
I spent the last few days in my classroom getting it as ready as possible.  I will have one day to put the finishing touches on it once I get back from our vacation.  I won’t get my class list until then, so a lot of that time will be spent labeling things.  This was the first time in ten years that I have been able to stay in the same classroom and in the same grade.  This, along with keeping the same color scheme, allowed me to get my room ready a lot faster than normal.  

The biggest change in my classroom is switching from desks to tables.  This change really opened up the space.  
I added a small shelf in front of each table (I made two from each Sterilite shelving unit).  The shelves hold my students’ book boxes, their math notebooks, their readers’ notebooks, and a supplies bucket. 

I am using the same supplies caddies from last year that I purchased at Target.  I just added new labels to the back for the three sections (with clip art from Sara Beth). I hope this helps them stay organized.  Since the tables take up less room than desks, I was able to space out my computer area onto two tables.  
 Hopefully, this will limit the distractions for my students while they are working on the Chrome Books.  
Thanks to my husband, I finally have curtains hanging in my classroom.  Not only do they add a cozy feel to the room, they allow me to close out the sunlight when I am using the projector. 
Once school starts, I will be receiving three more Kindle Fires for my classroom thanks to Donors Choose.  I needed a better storage solution for the tablets.  I decided to use Sterilite drawers for each tablet.  I still need to label each drawer and cut a hole in the back of each drawer to fit the charging cord.  I did create rules for using the tablets. 
These shelves house most of my math manipulatives.  After participating in the book study on Guided Math in Action this summer, I realized I wanted the manipulatives to be readily accessible to my students.  
 I love the labels from Amy Groesbeck! 
I also love that I was able to add a little lamp to this area.  
I love how my small group area is looking.  Last year, I used the metal stools from IKEA, but they didn't take my wiggly students too well.  I decided to buy storage ottomans this year.  I love that they match my color scheme and that I am able to store materials in each cube. 
The space behind my table is used to hang anchor charts (from the clothespins) and my students' brag bead necklaces.  I also switched the location of my word wall this year. I decided to take the plunge and get rid of my clip chart (gasp!), so this larger wall was free.  
My mom was a big help in setting this word wall up.  I wish she lived closer so she could help more often.  The old word wall space will be the focus wall for our integrated ELA with Social Studies/Science units.  
Under that board is where my students keep their backpacks and coats.  I decided to add labels to the hooks and shelves to try and keep this area organized (sorry for the glare from the lamination).  
I used both the standard form and word form of my students' numbers for the labels (thanks to Amy at Step into Second Grade for the idea). I used these same labels on my students' book boxes. 
My birthday board was another project.  
I hated how it looked last year, but didn't take the time to change it.  I think it looks a lot more complete this year. The birthday month posters are free from Ashley at That's So Elementary
This is the start to my Super Improver Wall.  I am waiting for my class list so I can print out the shields with my students' names on them.  I found the masks in the party section of Target. I plan to take pictures of the kids when they level up.  If you are interested in this super improver wall, it is free in my TPT shop.  
Another area that I am excited about is under my main white board.  
 I have been using hand signals in my classroom for the last few years, and I love it. This year, I decided to sort the hand signals with the corresponding Whole Brain Teaching rule. I used Rachel's (from The Tattooed Teacher) Whole Brain Teaching subway art rules along with my Classroom Hand Signal Posters

I think that I will also add some of Hope King's subway art inspiration posters to the areas under rules 4 and 5.  I hope that this will help my students understand what the 5 WBT rules actually mean.  
My classroom library is still a work in progress (I'll post pictures once I get that area finished).  It is currently organized by genre, but I am adding a DRA level sticker to each one to help my students choose good-fit books.  My teenage brother helped me to look up the books while he was visiting. Now I just need to search for the ones that didn’t show up when scanned.  The app I used was Lit Leveler.  It definitely has a lot more books in its database than any of the others that I checked out.  I also like the feature of being able to sort the books by DRA level right on the app.  
I can't wait to see how everyone's classrooms are coming along.  


  1. Your classroom looks great! I like your purple and teal color scheme. I have a question: HOW HOW HOW did you get Kindle Fires from Donors Choose?? I had a project up for a printer and ink, and it never got a single penny! What's the secret? I wanna put another project up, but I feel like I'm wasting my time and will be disappointed again.

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

    1. Thank you Ali! I am in love with the color scheme too. It makes me happy every time I am in my classroom. As for Donors Choose, I don't know exactly why my projects have been funded. I did three last year and all were funded within the first week. I always send out the link to friends and family and ask them to pass it on. During the first week, the donations are matched, so this is a great way to get things funded. Each of the three projects were contributed to by anonymous donors or charitable organizations. I'm not sure why they picked mine, but I do try to give each project a catchy name and a good description of how the students will benefit from the products. Maybe try a product that is directly for the students and see if it is funded. Good luck!

  2. Your room looks awesome! Love the ottomans at the small group station. Hope you have a great year.

    Oodles of Teaching Fun

    1. Thank you Meagan! I hope the ottomans help cut down on some of the clutter that collects on that table. I hope you have a great year too.

  3. Your room looks great! I love the colors. I so want tables in my room and I love how you included the shelves for organization. Smart idea! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Thank you Courtney! You room is adorable too. I love the superhero owls...too cute! I'll let you know how tables work for me this year. Thanks for hosting the linky party. I love seeing everyone's rooms.

  4. Hi! I love your room! My colors are the exact same! Blue, purple and black! I just LOVE everything! I think I looked like four times! Where did you find the large book bins in teal?! wow! Just beautiful. You should come link up at my blog as well. You could win $65 in gift cards! Just pop my link pic in and link up! I would love everyone to see your amazing room. I can't wait to get into my room on Monday!!

    Just a Primary Girl

    1. Don't you just love those colors together?!? The black really makes everything else pop. I love everything you have made for your classroom organization in the colors. I actually found the large book bins at the Dollar Tree. I was amazed to see them there. I had bought a few last year in the Target Dollar Spot for $3 each. Dollar Tree actually had a ton of stuff in purple and teal this summer...I think I bought my local store out. I linked up at your blog. I can't wait to see your room transformation.

  5. Yay! Looking so good. I love all the special touches that make it feel like home :)

    Little In Betweens

    1. Thank you Jessica! Making the classroom feel like home makes it a lot easier to come to work each day.

  6. Your room looks FABULOUS!!!!! I'm so jealous. I haven't started working on mine really. I LOVE the pink chairs!!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. I have tables in my room too. Wish I had a little more space to do the shelves with each one. Cute idea! Love your color scheme too!
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  8. Love it! Purple, Turquoise, and black...don't show me that, or I'll want to switch color schemes sooner than I should!!! :) Have a great year!
    Becky (Kinder Korner)




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