Finally, my classroom is mostly finished! I say mostly because are classrooms really ever complete? We are always adding, fixing, rearranging and making things more effective. I am sure I will be doing some of that in the future, but for now I am more than happy with the way my classroom is looking and running. I thought I would write a post to give a mini tour of the room and describe the main areas I have included.
I will likely do another post in the future with closer photos of some of our systems and organization! Please be aware I teach french immersion, therefore all of the signage and resources are french. The photos included in this post were taken moments before parents walked in for our schools open house night, I promise our classroom is not always this clean! I hope you enjoy and please leave any questions or comments below!
This is the view from my desk:
You will see in the next picture that I have my desk kitty-cornered in the far left corner of my class. I like it here because I have all of the cupboards and storage behind me, out of the reach of students. On the far wall is where we have our word walls (I prefer subject specific word walls as opposed to one all inclusive one) Going from left to right we have our success criteria display, the french word wall, social science word wall/display and then science. Above all of those are our growth mindset posters.
I love this part of my classroom, mostly because it is so functional. I can use it as a personal working space when I do not have any students in the room, it is easy for them to approach if I am working there (which is rare), and it houses most of my supplies. However, I keep almost everything I need on a daily basis in the orange rolling caddie to left of my desk. I simply roll it around with my where ever I am instructing. You can find it here at IKEA.
This is the view from the door:
On the far wall I had just… wall. There were no bulletin boards on this wall or anything. All I had to work with was the wall and windows. I still wanted to fill the space, so I used it as a place for (from left to right) their artwork, our Birthday display, maps of the World and Canada, and the French lyrics to Oh Canada. I really like the way everything turned out! I used tape for somethings like artwork however, there were other items I needed to stay up for the whole year. For this I used Scotch Indoor Mounting Tape. Find it here. It sticks like nobodies business, but it does come off clean when the time comes.
Here is the view form my desk, looking farther to the right:
In the far right corner you can see our carpet and community meeting area, Since this is a grade three class (primary division) we still have a carpet. I plan on transitioning away from the carpet as the students move closer to grade four. I have included a storage bench which they use as flexible seating, along with the iconic pencil pillow also from IKEA.
I have a round table to the right, as well as a larger rectangle table. I use the round table to conference with students at this time (I am waiting on a guided reading table) The students use the rectangular table as a standing work station. Some students even choose to read under the table. They are still small enough that they will not hit their heads.
A closer look at my whiteboard:
Here you can see our daily agenda, where I typically have our learning goals or the focus of each class written beside the according subject. We also have our “Jobs” display farther down the whiteboard. How cute are the pineapple lights though! I absolutely love the addition of alternative lighting in the classroom. I have a lot of natural lighting as well, so I try really hard to use the florescent lights as little as possible.
The area next to the door:
This is the most effective and useful area in our classroom. In the cubbies the kids have their indoor/outdoor shoes and some smaller items they use throughout the day. On top of the counter each class (I teach 2 different classes) has 2 crates with a hanging folder assigned to each student. One crate for things that are not finished, and the other for their portfolio. This is where they put the work they are most proud of, and the work they want to showcase during student led interviews etc. (I will do a close up on these soon)
In the white bins they put the work that is completed. It is the hand in bin if you will. We have a special system for this that makes it very easy for me as the teacher to monitor that everyone has turned in their work. Every student is assigned a number (used for many different things) which is written on a clothespin. When they hand in their work (hopefully with their name on it) they attach their clothespin to the page(s). This way I can just look at the bin, and if there are clothespins remaining on the side of bin, those students did not hand in their work, or are absent.
I hope you enjoyed my classroom tour. I plan on doing some close up posts of certain areas and systems in place, so keep an eye out for that!
Until next time,