Let's start off with a view of the hallway. We are doing a camping theme this year, so I used Posteriza (Posteriza.com) to enlarge clipart for decorations! The process is super easy if you have some cute clipart that you've purchased! I will try to do a post on how to do this soon. The banner is made of burlap that I pinned together with a stitch and wrote on with permanent marker. The tree just took lots of tape, staples and patience! I got very lucky that another teacher was giving away a Magic Tree House Stand-Up. I used rocks from my grandfather's pasture, moss and a cardboard fire to decorate the outside of my room. Let's go right on inside, head left.
When you walk in, here is your view. Welcome to my 2nd grade classroom! Wondering already what is behind the curtain? One guess. My new storage area! I labeled paper boxes (free...go run and grab them from the copy room!!!). Now, when it is close to say...Valentines, I can go and grab my box which holds centers, materials, manipulatives, teacher read aloud books,, etc! The labels for these boxes can be found here. Yes, you could fancy the lids with colored masking tape and more. You also have the option of adding these to plastic tubs you've already purchased. My boxes have a simple piece of cardstock taped to the front of the box the label.
My son is sitting on the new benches we made. Did you know that a body pillow fits perfectly as stuffing for a 3 crate bench. Easy route, I did! Walmart has body pillow for super cheap. The crates were found on sale at Menard's for roughly $2 each before school started. The rug area is where I work with students in small groups. I also do read alouds here. If we are working on a worksheet, students bring their show me board (dry erase board) to write on. The boards provide a hard surface so they can fill in their worksheet, etc. I like having students right in front of me! The crates (under the benches) house more book series!
Behind my son are black tubs. Inside the black 3 drawer tubs are math centers that are laminated and stored in ziplock bags. File folder games get stored in jumbo (not gallon) storage bags. It is nice to be able to go and open the "place value" drawer when we are studying that skill. The labels for these tubs can be found here. I have several instant math centers inside my TPT store....too many to name here. Go see for yourself why I am the "Instant Math Mama!"
After having the math drawers all perfect and just the way that I wanted them, I decided to do the same with my reading centers and games. They too are organized by skill. So now, when I am studying "plurals" or "compound words" all I have to do is go and open the drawer for hands on activities, pocket chart activities, file folder games, word cards, etc.! Even my tier reading paras can go and open the drawers to find the items they need which is nice. The labels for these are found here.'
Now for my favorite make-over! I reorganized my classroom library this summer. It's so organized that even the students hate to see books misplaced. On the outside of the book spine I added a garage sale sticker with the reading level for each book. I covered the sticker with a small piece of packing tape, so hopefully the sticker will last for the life of the book. The book bins came from Menards. It is really important to get bins that are not wider on top than the bottom, otherwise they will topple over. It's worth the extra little price.here. A preview is below. My kiddos are going to love completing the silent e word mat tomorrow! The fishing word wall collector is available here. I add words to the laminated pages as the year goes and as we talk about them. Mainly, the list includes often used and often misspelled words. Students like the opportunity to check and see if a word they are struggling to spell is on the wall. I included a booklet A-Z with the poster set. Students might be able to write them down, then use the booklet during writing time.
Students each have their own Math Box. This is an idea from Everyday Math. Inside is a calculator, money vial, measuring tape, place value maniulatives, etc. I add each material as they learn to use it. These are very handy.
The photo to the right is my listening center pocket. It houses books with cds and tapes. On the labels is the reading level and title of the book. When I am unavailable to do a read aloud because I am progress monitoring or working on something important with a furious deadline, a student is able to turn the pages while the story is being read aloud. Life saver! I will be adding a poster that has listing skills displayed very soon.....just trying to get to cutting out lamination!
Last but not least is my clip chart for behavior. It is seen to the far right! I love it! When students make it to the top twice (we don't restart each day) they get rewarded. I put a garage sale sticker on their clothes pin when they make it to the top once, then they go back to the middle. I don't think I'm going to have to call a single parent this year! It's a nice reminder to myself that sometimes we have a bad day and have to clip down (i.e. forgetting homework, being rude, etc.) but overall, I have wonderful students who like to be recognized just as much for positive behavior! The students love clipping up (standing nice in hall, first team ready, bringing back an important note, helping others in their team be ready to go, getting compliments from other teachers, etc.) and have shown a lot of community. For rewards I use Mel D's reward coupons (55 ideas total). They fit perfect inside my little necklace badge holders. The rewards don't cost me hardly anything. I hold 8-9 badges out upside down and tell the students "pick a card, any card." Then, they get rewarded the very next day and wear their badge for the day. Some of the rewards include wearing flip flops inside the classroom, getting a new pencil from me, sitting at my teacher desk, etc. I love not having to purchase a lot of prizes like I used to! Thanks Mel, you've transformed the way I deal with difficult behavior! Okay, goodnight all! More next time.