Monday, September 15, 2008

Classroom Pictures - After school Started

A really blurry picture of the Word Wall in my classroom. My students vocabulary is building...I think its time to add some more sight words!
This is the board where my students come into the classroom and get their punch card. It lets me know who is, and isn't here for the day.
What the computers looked like when they were in a pod. I got rid of this to free up some space. I now have the computers in a row along the chalkboard. This is really nice, it allows me to see what everyone is doing while they are on the computer. Its an eye shot distance away from where I teach small group math and reading.

A shot of what the desks looked like on the first day of school. I have since had SEVERAL seating arrangments, and the most recent seems to be working...especially with centers! Look for an updated arrangment!

Look closely at the poster at the bottom of this picture. I was trying to get my hands on one of these while I was shopping for the beginning of the school year. I couldn't find it anywhere! One of my mom's friends, who is no longer a teacher, gave me a lot of great decorations for my classroom. This was one of the things she gave me. We recite this poem EVERY time we leave the classroom, even if it is just to take a restroom break!
This is a shot of what my hall passes looked like before they all were dropped and broken. I don't get why the kids are so rough with things! I even had nice hooks in the bathroom for them to hang them on. I did this mainly so they wouldn't take them into the stalls with them! Eew!

Things are getting better!

So, things are getting better. At first, I didn't think they ever would, but, I can now truly say that they are!

I implemented a new behavior system, which seems to be working even better than the original. Instead of saying to the kids, "you have a punch." I now say, "that's a strike." Either way, people who hear me and don't know whats going on probably think I'm beating the kids! So the strike thing is just like baseball, 3 strikes and you're out! The first day I sent 5 kids to the A.P.P.L.E. Room and they weren't happy. The next day I gave 5 detentions that were to be served the following week on Monday after school. Today, I decided I would give time-outs. I ended up with a desk outside my door, which is working out really well. I make the kids go outside and finish their work. It was perfect that this desk ended up outside my door for several reasons. Not only are the kids removed from the situation, but they are getting their work done! They know they aren't allowed to come back into the classroom without having their work done. So far, no one has been happy about leaving the room to sit in the hallway! Mission accomplished! Overall, the behavior problems have gone down as a result!

Consistency, consistency, consistency! I believe that should be the key word taught in the school of education at any college you go to! I have learned so much about the importance of this concept. If you aren't consistent, the kids catch on! They either think you aren't serious about consequences, or they get easily confused!

Practice makes perfect! So, my kids think I'm joking when I say to line up quietly. I've learned that they hate spending time practicing lining up or walking quietly in the hallway. Much to my advantage, I use this as a threat! Anytime the kids aren't quiet lining up, I make them all go back to their seats and sit down! We start all over...sometimes it takes several tries...lately we have been down to only having to line up once or twice! Things are getting better!

Organization! Finally, we have had some free days after school. The beginning of the school year for a new teacher brings about a LOT of meetings. Thankfully those meetings have died down and I have had the chance to get caught up with my piles on my bookselves behind my desk. I was able to put all of the papers I used each week in their own folder. I was also able to come up with an effiecient way to organize my centers, allowing both the math centers and language arts centers to be set up at the same time without being in each others way. I even had a chance to make labels and organize my baskets for each center! Not only that, but I found an easier way to get the students to their first center every morning without me having to remind them! Every center is now labeled with a number and color. The student's center folders have a color dot placed in the top right hand corner. This tells them which center to go to first. The rest is as easy as pie, because after the first center, they simply rotate around the room in a big circle!

Things are getting better! :-) Sorry I don't have any pictures of my classroom to post! I no longer take my purse to school, which means no camera!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Decorating my classroom

Yesterday, I took my mom into my classroom to show her around. I do have to admit, a big reason why I took her with me was to help me with my bulletin boards. She was a BIG help! There is NO way I could have done it without her. I don't know if anyone else has seen the big rolls of fadeless paper, but they aren't easy to maneuver while standing on a chair with a stapler in one hand and the roll in the other. I can only imagine what that would have looked like!
View of the metting area. I now have my calendar all set up and ready to go for morning calendar time. I love my new rug!
Close up of my Calendar and Weather Pocket Chart! I love this thing. It is so cute and has so many awesome pictures to put into the pockets for different holidays and occasions!
This is the bulletin board where I will display my classroom jobs. If you look closely, you will see the border has bugs reading books. I bought really cute bug cutouts at the store this weekend. I will write the kids names on them and put them up under the job title. I hope it is as cute as I think it will be!
My job bulletin board, my number line and my yellow bulletin board for "Who's here today" This will allow the kids to flip over a picture of themselves to show me they are at school. It will be an attendence taking tool! The other pocket chart is for the behavior punch cards. When they flip their picture, they will grab their card!
My ABC bulletin board. This has bugs on it too! I guess I am going to have a buggy room!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First Visit to my Classroom

Today was the day I have been waiting for. Ever since I was little (I can remember all the way back to preschool), I dreamed of becoming a teacher and having my very own classroom. Well, the time has come and I finally have my very own room!! Room 101 to be exact! My classroom is located in the front hallway, one classroom away from the principal's office. Which I hope is place my kids won't be visiting.

I spent 4 hours at school today rearranging my room. I brought supplies to set up my bulletin boards, however, I spent so much time with the furniture I didn't get to the decorating. After leaving school today, I feel confident with the arrangement and placement of the desks and other furniture in the classroom.
This is a view of the room from my desk.
This area will be our meeting spot. I plan to do calendar in this area every morning. This is where we will dance and sing about the days of the week, months of the year and the weather. One of my favorite times of the day!
My desk and corner area! This poor desk and filing cabinet got moved so much that day. My friend walked in and was totally surprised! I think it feels cozy!

A view of my classroom from the door. I love the way I angled my desks. It offered so much extra space in the classroom, especially for chairs and walking around!

Look at all the books that were left behind from the previous teacher! I was so happy and thankful that whoever had my classroom before left such a great start to my classroom library. All I need is some serious time to organize and label reading levels on these books!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer in Maryland

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to spend the summer in Maryland with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew Oliver. It has been so much fun. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past 5 weeks!!