Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week- Where I Live

Today's Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week feature highlights where we live! Of course I don't mean our house! I mean our "other" house! Let's be real-we spend enough time at school that it is practically our second home, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I don't have a big reveal to share with you today. My classroom is in a growing phase at the moment. I say "growing" because I am in the process of making a lot of changes to our classroom in regards to design. 

I am slowly pulling down items that are too colorful and loud. I am keeping my laminating of new resources to a minimum because the glare can be distracting to students and can actually prevent them from reading the document. 

I do love color, but I am trying to stay with items that are gender neutral so that ALL students feel comfortable in the classroom. 

There are some other changes going on as well. I was blessed enough to be able to leave behind my desks when I moved to my portable classroom. Now, I have tables which are great for cooperative learning opportunities. But, students are still fidgety because they have to sit all day, and research shows that restlessness means that student learning is not priority to the body. So, new changes include brining in new Hokki stools(which came in the mail today!), more reading chairs, some yoga mats so students can spread out on the floor to work and not have to lay on the cold floor, and some yoga balls as sitting options as well. 

The big idea is to bring in student-choice to the learning environment. In just a few short days, I have watched students venture out to work in spaces that were not their desks. It is a difficult adjustment for me, as the teacher, because it looks chaotic. However, I have seen better student focus and engagement in lessons where students are free to move and do what works best for them over the past few days. Baby steps. We will get there!

It is a process, but I am excited to see where it takes us. Obviously, the room still has some "flair" to it, and for the moment..I am okay with that! 

Here are some of my favorite spots in my room! 

This is our new "writing area". Students can come to this place to write as well as pick up writing tools during our Lucy Calkins writing time. 

At the moment, this focus wall is hanging anchor charts. I love this space because it is right beside our "meeting space" and students can easily refer to the charts for information. I can also show how skills correlate across content areas by referring to multiple charts at once!

The moment my students and I decided to own our data was the moment that my teaching instruction and student engagement did a 180! We "rock" our data. We share it. We analyze it. We celebrate it when it is good, and we make changes to it when it is not where we want it to be. The key word with data is WE! My students know that they are held accountable for their work, and I can't wait to dive into the data with my new class. Our data wall and data notebooks were HUGE tools in our classroom last year, and it will be even better this year. 

My mom, who teachers preschool, gave me this calendar last year because she didn't want it.  Now it has found its place in our room(bye bye old calendar!). We do a rigorous calendar routine   every.single.morning. Do you do calendar? If not...I encourage you to try it!

And...I also really love this space. It makes me happy! Minus the rug---need to change it out!

And, this is a mural that is in our library! I know, I know...this is suppose to be about my classroom, but I am proud of my school and our building so I had to share. A former teacher painted it for us. I just LOVE it. 

So that's my room! It is home for me. The classroom is a work in progress, but isn't that what education and learning is in itself? A work in progress? I think so! 


  1. I'm with you on the alternative seating...I have a hard time with it at the beginning of the year, but I use the "gradual release" approach in first grade....s l o w l y letting them choose where they will learn. I'm loving all of your changes...it's an adjustment, but I think you'll be so happy with it!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  2. I love the seating options, and I wish I had room for seating options. I used that same border in my classroom this year.
    Kovescence of the Mind


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