Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting There....

I used to think summer was the time to relax and not think, even for a second, about school. Well, things have definitely changed thanks to good ol' Pinterest! I have spent much more time than usual this summer working on things and "pinning" ideas for school. I have always made it a personal rule to not go up to school until after the 4th of July, but here it is the 8th of July and I am nearly finished with my room! I do have some finishing touches to add, as well as labeling/stuffing folders, getting things ready for open house and sending post cards to my new little first graders, but for the most part, I think I'm about finished!

Now, let me go ahead and say that I am in NO WAY an overachiever! I have a summer class starting tomorrow and it goes until after school starts, so I was really on a race against time with this class starting. I have also had my parents and my husband's parents offer to keep my two-year-old at their house for a few days, which leaves me with no excuse but to go up to school and work. I tried to take the lil' miss with me one day, but it was a nightmare! My unifix cubes, which were perfectly organized into rows of 10 by color, were in complete disarray; my counters, which were so nicely put in ziploc bags in groups of 20, were lined up in a "counter train" around my room; and I can't even speak about the situation with my books....let's just say the babysitting help was much needed and appreciated. As I type this, I have my little helper sitting on my lap telling me to "push 'd', push 'f''!"

This may be my last post for a little while as I tackle the demands of summer school. I am looking forward to graduating with my Master's in Literacy Education in May '13!! I am also really looking forward to meeting my new group of firsties as I try out some new teaching techniques and ideas. I am SUPER excited to try out the Daily 5 in my classroom and am happy to report that I am "Daily 5 Ready!" Check out my set-up!


I am so proud of the way this section of my classroom came out. The top row contains baskets for different word work materials such as magnetic letters, glitter letters, play-doh, stamps, scrabble tiles, etc. The bottom two rows are my students' book boxes (which my wonderful sister-in-law picked up for me from IKEA @ $1.99/5 pack!!!!!!) The book boxes will contain 5-7 "Just Right" books that the students will select themselves, a writing journal, strategy bookmark and a Daily 5 folder which will contain a weekly self reflection and checklist, as well as Work Work handouts to practice spelling and phonics skills. As each component of the Daily 5 is introduced, we will make a rough draft of the anchor chart and I will transfer the ideas to the posters (I just had to go ahead and hang them to get the full effect).

While doing my Master's in Literacy, I have learned a lot about reading strategies, which brings me to the Literacy CAFE that will be part of the Daily 5. Each time a strategy is taught, it will be posted under the appropriate CAFE heading. Student names will be placed beside the strategy in which they will be asked to focus on during the Daily 5 for the week. I have been searching for a way to manage my literacy block for the past four years of my teaching. I love that the Daily 5 is not a curriculum and does not take away from anything I am already doing in my classroom. This system is simply going to allow me to work in small groups with students and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student! I know that sounds like a whole lot of "blah, blah, blah", but I really mean it! I truly believe this is my answer to a question I have searched and searched and searched for: "How can I teach EACH student in my classroom how to read?" I look forward to sharing more on my experiences with the Daily 5!


I will leave with more pictures of my {almost} finished classroom. I still have about another day's worth of work, but I really think it is getting there!




Here is the "Work on Writing" area with the Word Wall right next door. After students finish their writing, they will use glasses (3-D glasses with the lenses taken out) to check that they have the "Writer's Eye."


Here is a closer look at the "Work on Writing" complete with the "Spotlight on GREAT Writing" frame that was a huge hit and motivator last year! Also, thanks to my crafty mom for the crate storage seats!



View from the Cubbies



View from the Door



Classroom Library and Star Reader Board



I used 2 Scrabble tile holders and hot glued tacks to the back to make a little shelf for the Star Reader's Favorite Book. The yellow book shelf is for seasonal and curriculum specific books. It will have "Back to School" books on it in a couple of weeks.
{Probably needs some fresh paint, too!}



Calendar Area



Guided Reading Area





Behavior Area



Whole Brain Teaching Rules and Hand Signals



Owl Theme Door


Well, I guess that's about it! I'm sure I will keep scouring the internet, teaching blogs and Pinterest for more inspiration. I hope everyone has a great rest of the summer!

15 comments:

  1. Your room looks amazing Calli! Your kiddos are lucky to have such a wonderful place to learn. =)

    I love having a glimpse into other classrooms. My district is very big on not having much of anything on the walls or labeled. We are to create everything with the kiddos during Morning Meeting Time and through Interactive Writing.

    I hope to get up to my room this week. =)


    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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    1. Thanks so much! I probably did go a little overboard on that one section, but I didn't take a picture of the huge blank wall I have for anchor charts and posters we make as a class. I just like to have some things on my wall for open house. :)

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  2. Your blog is awesome & your classroom looks great!

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  3. I love your owl theme and labels. I'm thinking about doing the same thing in my classroom this year. Can you show me where you got them from and your classroom looks great!

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    1. Thanks so much!! The owl theme is super fun :) Are you talking about the owls on more door or the owl posters? I have made several owl labels and posters myself and some of them are available on my blog. I made the owls on the door myself from an online template and scrapbook paper. I would be happy to send you a link. Just let me know! Thanks for checking out my blog!

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  4. Looks awesome! Where did you find the table caddies?

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    1. Sorry I am showing up as "unknown"...I am so behind in the blog world...need to learn how to give myself an identity!

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    2. Thank you! I have had bad luck with plastic caddies in the past so I decided to go with metal this year. Hopefully they will last longer. I got them at Target. Here is the link: http://www.target.com/p/white-round-caddy/-/A-13957147#?lnk=sc_qi_detaillink

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  5. I am your newest follower! I love the bright colors and owl theme:0) Your students will love the classroom!!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it! :)

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  6. I love your owl themed classroom! I am planning on doing the same one. I love the writer's eye. Where did you get that from. And the labels for each table?

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I got the posters from TpT. Here is the link:http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Owl-Writers-Eye-Posters

      I made the labels for the tables. I cut out the scallop designs and glued the white circles to them. I don't have a document for that...sorry :(

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  7. I was imagining something similar for my writing center this year. I love the look of yours. Did you create or buy the posters for yours? I'd love to know if I could purchase them somewhere.

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