Saturday, August 25, 2012

Open House and some Classroom Photos

Whew!  Teacher Work Week is over!  We had a week full of meetings, cleaning, decorating, planning, organizing, and a district-wide Back to School Celebration (complete with hundreds of teachers in a huge auditorium competing for a Spirit Award, dressed up as everything from Pirates to Alligators).  It's amazing what teachers will do for an ice cream party ;) 

Thursday night I met my sweet new kids, and I know we ALL say our "sweet new kids" at the beginning of the year, but I'm telling you this group of kids are SO S.W.E.E.T.!!  I am really looking forward to this year!  So, when I started this blog I did so with the intention of talking about life in a k-1 combo and I know that I haven't done that yet but I definitely will once school gets started!  I taught first grade last year, so it made me forget just how tiny a beginning kindergartner is!  I can't wait to get started!

So, onto the classroom photos.  I have been looking at some other people's classroom photos, and I will tell you that my classroom is NOT as fancy as some of the amazing ones that I have seen out there, but I love it!  I decided to go with an owl theme this year, and I have had so much fun finding and creating new owl resources!

Here is my hallway bulletin board.  It says "Look Whoooo's in Our Class".  Now that I am looking at the picture I can see that the top of the tree is not centered, so I will have to go back and fix that on Monday!
 The owls were SUPER easy to make.  I just made a little template and traced them on scrap book paper.  The bellies and beaks are just free-handed pieces of scrap book paper, and for the eyes, I just made two circles on the computer with an oval inside and printed them out.  Here's a closer look:
This is a view looking over the tops of the kids cubbies at my storage cupboards.  I put some favorite books in the cubbies above the counter to add some color over there.  I like the simplicity of it!  The cupboards above the books will soon be filled with vocabulary words that we find in our read-alouds.  I just photocopy the cover of the book and put the words we learned next to the picture then the kids keep a vocabulary journal all year.  (I'll post about it when we get rolling!) 

Here's my little corner of the world.  My guided reading table.  Nothing fancy, but soooo much learning happens here!
My school is transitioning to a PBIS model (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) so we are using clip charts this year.  I made this little clip chart for the other first grade teachers on my team.  I read an AWESOME post from the Clutter-Free Classroom (check it out here) about having the kids add stars to their clip each time they end the day on outstanding.  You can read all about it over on her blog, but I am definitely going to give that a try!
Here are my science, math, and writing walls.  Again, not fancy but will hold so much great information.  I am all about having kids create (or help create) most of the things that hang on the walls, so they are pretty bare right now.  You can also see my (mostly empty) writing center and part of my listening/iPod/Nook center
My Owl Job Chart.  The sign and small owls were FREE from here and I made the tree from a piece of clipart that I blew up.
If you saw my classroom library picture from my last post, you will know that this is a HUGE improvement!  I'm going to try out a Pinterest-inspired book borrowing system this year.  The kids will take their clothespin from the cup and clip it to the box that they borrowed a book from so that they know where to return the book.  I hope it works because I strongly dislike sorting books!  It looks like there are lots of books available to the kids, but they are only allowed to take books from the shelves that are inside the red duct tape.  I will switch out the book boxes for the ones that are on the high shelves.
Here's another view:
And last but not least is my finished word wall.  I posted about the coffee filter garland in my last post, and the letter cards I made are available here.  My amazing assistant is working on laminating some yellow strips of paper to hang between the rows of letters so that the kids can take the words off and put them back on.  They use the words in their writing all the time and love to come take words off the wall.  The words will be stuck with sticky tack.  I hope it works!  I also have a step stool that they will use to get the top row words down.
Well, I think that's enough for one day!  I can not WAIT to start school on Monday!!!


  1. I heart those bean bags. One of these days I am going to get some for my classroom. They have been on my wish list for years . . . years I tell ya! Great job on your room ;)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

    1. Thanks! I actually got mine from a sweet teacher I work with. She got like 20 from a donors choose project and they were taking over her classroom!