'Round the Room

Here are the more updated tours of my classroom since the start of this lil' blog:

In 2006, when I was starting my teaching career, I was trying to decide on a "theme" for my classroom.  I settled for western because I've always been a cowgirl, I love rolling in the mud, I grew up on a farm, and I was able to milk a cow by my first birthday...

Or not...

Really, I'm just a clean, neat freak city girl that loves the "homey" burlap feel of western decor.  It's cheerful and comfy, but not overstimulating for those busy-eyed-six-year-olds.  And it's full of texture.  Plus I was able to decorate on a *cheap* budget...which is SUPER important when you are just starting out.  You pretty much can't beat the prices of burlap and bandanas!

**These pics were taken in the middle of the year so it's not quite as "bare" as it is starting out...I'm a BIG believer in anchor charts and tracking our learning throughout the year so our walls fill up pretty quickly!**

Our table group signs: these change each unit to match what we are learning about.  When these pics were taken, we were learning about weather and each group was a weather type.

Word Wall...

I Wonder Wall: This is where students ask questions about our unit we are studying.  They can write their questions on sticky notes and add to their speech bubbles.  At different points throughout the unit, we will check in on our questions.  We will see if any of them have been answered, record answers, and sort questions into the key question types. It's close to empty now because in this pic we were at the very start of our unit.

Calendar (which is just for me...we do "calendar" activities on our Promethean Board now.) & Sight Word tracker ("We're Not Horsin' Around!")

What's the Big Idea Board: This is where I display our unit's central idea, lines of inquiry and learner profile words.  My school is an IB (International Baccalaureate) PYP (Primary Years Program) school.  So that is why you see that terminology on this board.

Our "Reading Corral" or classroom library area.  Thanks to my sweet daddy for building my corral fence for me!

Sticker charts and classroom management system:

Browsing boxes shelf for charts, guided readers.  Students use these to practice familiar reading.

Big books storage: Another thing made by my daddy! I finding myself using this less and less these days with a Promethean Board though...we seem to do most of our shared reading on our Promethean Board!

Love LOVE these shelves! I added these to my room in 2012 after I saw the idea on Pinterest.  It has changed.my.world! Sooooo much easier for organizing materials, math manipulatives, and classroom management.  Plus, I had left over storage to store our basal readers.  These "green readers" weight down the shelves so they don't move! Each group is in charge of keeping their plant alive during the year (watering once a week, plucking off dead leaves, etc.) We store kleenex and group materials that I don't want in their desks (dry erase markers, scissors, and glue sticks) in buckets on the top shelf.  Their writers' workshop journals, working portfolios and "offices" are on the middle shelf. On the bottom shelf we store the groups math manipulatives for their math story problem time, basal readers and the HORSE (take home) folders, which aren't shown.  My sweet team would say I'm slightly very OCD about my room, and my kids learn this quickly.  This is an "honest" look at a group's shelf in January.  They know to keep the labels facing out, buckets in a straight line, etc...and they keep it up pretty well--some better than others, but they all really do try their best!!

Extra math manipulatives as well as tools for counting collections are stored on this shelf:

And the curtains my sweet mom-in-law made me my first year...since then I've taught myself to sew and she doesn't have to "bail me out" as much anymore!

My Welcome sign from Embellish Your Story that I change out every month.

Yes, I've had the same theme for my entire teaching career. Yes, I could change it.  But why change something that works so well??? It seems to fit this city gal just fine!

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