~Classroom Reveals~ are the thing to do, aren’t they? Well mine is here! Partially. I still have some kinks to work out, and some finishing touches to put on, but I did get a buttload done today. (Anyone know what a buttload is equivalent to? Anyone?) I want to start off by apologizing for the craptastic pictures. I forgot my camera today. 😦 I will retake pictures with my “good camera” on Monday though!
Ok then. Let’s start with the basics of the room, my tips, and end it with a freebie to help you organize your library!
Meet Mr. Colorful Cart. I posted about this in my first post, but now it’s labeled and filled! The left side holds each subject and the sub tub, and the right side holds supplies. Mostly, it holds the “extras”, but it’s much easier than sifting through a pile of crap in my cabinets when a kid needs a darn highlighter.
A close up of the mason jar madness. I can’t say I’d recommend using mason jars in the primary grades, but my 5th graders should be able to keep from smashing these, I’d think. I simply glued black ribbon around the jar and glued the labels, which I made, on top. I had to cover the word “ball” on it somehow, so it worked. Seriously, 5th graders would DIE.
Updated with that fabulous pencil challenge we are all obsessed with trying:
My mailboxes in their home again. And don’t worry, the crate to the right will be spray painted by Monday, of course. I covered up the edges of the shelves and table with border. Just a simple touch that jazzes things up!
ETA: Matchy matchy now!
Organizing Tip: Utilize otherwise wasted space. This cabinet holds all of the necessary “stuff”, but is easily transformed into a bulletin board of sorts! Border the sides, and throw the stuff in the middle. Dunzo!
Organizing Tip: Have a reflection space, that is set apart from the rest of your room. It gives you a place to send a kid in need of a “time out”. I prefer to keep my behavior charts/clips in this area too, as it’s a bit more discrete and isn’t hanging in front of the room for the world to see. That said, I don’t intend on using this system past the first month–I’ve never had to, anyway. It just becomes unnecessary once the kids are clear on what is expected of them.
The very-needed “How in the world do we get home?” spot. I will be placing student clips with numbers on them, on the strip that shows how they go home. I will also be writing the bus number for each kid on the clip. This will save a lot of trouble when I get the sudden call from the front office, asking what bus number so-and-so should be on, because uh, they aren’t there. You can get a variation of these FREE signs in my TPT store, HERE.
Jobs! It’s so important for elementary aged kids to have jobs designated to them. I switch mine out each week. It isn’t quite complete yet, as I need to stick paper in each envelope to write student names on. But the general idea is there!
My jobs are:
assisting the teacher – this child does anything I need them to do, period.
leading the line – leads the line at the start of wherever we are
keeping the room organized – this child usually cleans up the library more often than not
patrolling the noise – this child will use a hand signal to quiet the class when it gets “too loud”
holding the door – this child holds the door for the FIRST door we go out…then it’s the second person in the line for the rest. Otherwise this kid would always be running.
patrolling the lights – turns lights on and off as needed
patrolling library books – these are the school library books…so this kid brings the books down for check-in on the day we are assigned to go, so everyone can check out books
patrolling the iPads – this child counts iPads at the end of the day and makes sure all are accounted for
patrolling cafeteria behavior – this is new for me, but this child will be responsible for encouraging positive behavior in the Place Where Bad Behavior Mysteriously Comes Out
patrolling the desks – at the end of the day, this kid checks desks for organization and gives me a list of names of those who need a cleaning reminder!
being understudy # 1 and # 2 – so the class doesn’t fight over who gets to fill in for the job of an absent student
A nice little message about how this classroom is going to roll! It’s a little glare-y, but it says:
“In this classroom we:
are a family
say “please” and “thank you” and “I’m sorry”
treat others kindly
learn from mistakes
do the right thing
celebrate each other’s successes
keep our minds open
always do our best
and never give up!”
Keeping “Specials” organized! This bulletin board is behind my desk. I created labels for each day of the week and for the different types of specials we have at my school. I glued the day labels to clothespins, and glued the clothespins to the fabric I have on the board. And ta-da! Easy changing in and out of the specials schedule.
My desk area. I covered up the front of my desk, the cabinet next to it, and the student desk to the side with fabric from Walmart. Seriously, $6 all together. Then I used border to frame it. The welcome sign you see if a part of a sign I made, which you can find on my TPT store HERE!
Table numbers! This year, I am doing numbers. As you can see in the second photo below, I velcroed each desk. That way, when I move desks around, I can simply remove the “Table ___” number and switch it out with the correct table number. That way, the table in the front is ALWAYS “Table 1” and so on. Heavy duty velcro is key!
My morning and dismissal routine. Yes, my lovelies have iPads. It’s a gift and a curse, but mostly a gift! I created the posters with Staples. Freakin $14 a piece to print out…
Our schedule next to the scale I will be using. I create magnets using those little vase gems, a circle punchers, and mod podge, and will be making new ones for these. That way, students can easily move their numbers according to where they belong on the scale.
Oh wait, here is an example of the magnets! My “Homework Club”. The intention is like everyone else who uses this: reward the kids who do their homework for a month straight with a picnic, extra recess, or a special treat. At the start of each month, re-enter everyone again. Hopefully this incentive works!
Homework and hand signals! Hand signals are sooooo necessary in an elementary classroom. It cuts down on a lot of unnecessary interruptions. When a kid puts up a signal, it’s very easy to either wave “okay” or shake your head no. Much easier than thinking a child is raising his hand to give you the best answer of the century to a math problem, only to realize he’s asking to use the potty.
My whole board area! The alphabet below is a FABULOUS buy I found on TPT. Seriously, I’m getting nothing out of pimping her stuff, but I think she deserves a shout out.
Updated with some more necessities:
Math workshop board, which I will post more about as the year starts.
Labeled cubbies and coat hooks. Surely, I’m not the one who invented this idea, but it is something I definitely consider a “must” in my room. With each child assigned a number, it lessens the opportunity for arguing over whose coat/backpack is where, and it keeps textbooks from mysteriously disappearing (as much).
And the pride and joy of the room, my reading zone!
Lemme go more into detail with this one. What you see above with the ribbons is my AR tracking system. It goes from “Ready to be a Super Reader” to 100 points. They will move their clips along with the points they earn throughout the year. You can see them all lined up and ready to go here!
The actual library:
I organized all of the books throughout the past few years, and label them as soon as I get them. Then I sorted them into the bins and keep the kids accountable for putting them in the right spot. Last year, my kids had such a hard time with this. No clue why. But it always got back into shape with my Organizer of the week. 🙂
I got this nifty little shelf from Staples for like $25. Right now it’s holding all of my math center supplies, but that’s temporary. It will hold books and supplies soon, and I’ll of course post that too. The “Book Hospital” is a pintrest idea, and saves you from having to let the world stop every time a book has a boo-boo! Broken books go to the hospital and you fix them when you have time!
The back of the small bookshelf, which I glued itty bitty clothespins to, so that I can switch out pics of my kids who were “caught” reading. Just another way to organize space wisely, and get the most out of the “wall” space you do have.
Andddd my favorite part, with the freebie! The library pockets!
So, as I’ve said before, I assign each kid a number the day I get my roster. They learn their number very quickly. This makes it easy to reassign numbers too, when a kid moves or you gain a new one. The library pockets are pretty self explanatory. When a student checks out a book of mine, they write the book title on their card. They write the date they are taking it out in the “out” column, and write the return date in the “in” column. It helps keep students accountable for where YOUR books are, and helps you figure out who might be responsible for a missing book too.
In this file, I have the template for creating library pockets (I suggest you print on colored card stock, and fold the bottom up to the dotted line shown), cut-outs for the strip behind the number label, and a set of 1-30 labels for the numbers. I also included the check-out cards. You can download here! I laminated my cards, but you could just as easily tape the sides of the pockets, and not have to worry about lamination. Up to you!
So, whew! That’s it…for now! Please please please comment if you have a question or something that you would like clarified. I’m happy to help as I can!