Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Is It August (Almost September) Already?!?!?!

I am a terrible blogger.  I have completely neglected my blog ALL summer.  It was a busy one, though.  And it went by way too fast! 
Well, to get back into the swing of things, I figured I should share my new classroom color scheme and table arrangements.  Last year I wrote a post about my messy and non-color-coordinated classroom. You can see the plans and before pics here.
And BEHOLD, the after! 

 New tables (-ish, these were found lurking in an unused classroom), decor, even new curtains! 
I have a TINY class this year (only 13 students!!  I know, right?) so changing over to tables will probably be an easier adjustment.  I hope.  I have four tables and each table holds up to 7 students but I pray I will never have a class of 28!  Right now I have two groups of 4 and one group of 5.  But I can tell you, after less than 2 weeks in session and that table of 5 is becoming a chatter box!
Here is a close-up of the book shelf I have set at each table.  It is the perfect size to hold all of their supplies but not so much in the perfect color.  I am regretting ordering the white.  It is already showing an incredible amout of dirt and grime.  I hope to keep it at bay with Clorox wipes and diligent handwashing.  We'll see.  I'll probably just end up painting them black for next year.  Each shelf has several bins to keep all of their smaller supplies.  I either got the boxes from Dollar Tree or from
I even gave each table their very own pencil sharpener.  This has completely changed our pencil-sharpening routine.  Even though my class is small, the line for the sharpener is NON-EXISTENT!  But the kids always have a sharpened pencil, ready to go.  It takes no time at all to get this little chore done each morning.  Of course, the sharpeners came from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  I even got my principal to order the 36 pack for our WHOLE school.  Everyone loves these. 
I also built (well, actually, my father and husband did) this really cool sofa table to hold all of my "stuff" up by my desk.  I got the plans here.
It's virtually empty now, but I sure I find something to fill it up with!
Here are a few of my new bulletin boards, too.  I plan to keep the black paper and crumple border all year but change out the sayings at least once a quarter. 
This board shows the writing we did on the first day of school.  I gave each student a small can of playdough and told them to sculpt something from their summer.  It could have been a trip they took, a ride they went on at the fair, something they saw, etc.  After they finished their sculpture, they wrote about it.  Most of the class was able to fill the entire sheet of paper!  That's pretty impressive for the first day!
This board is another steal from pinterest.  To engage those Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), students are given an answer and they need to think of a question that would result in that answer.  For the most part, the class stuck with addition and subtraction sentences, but I tried to get them thinking about other subjects: "How many planets are there?" or "How many boys are in our class?"
I plan to change the answer each week and give the class time to come up with their own questions.
And finally, here are some anchor charts the class and I made the first few days of school to remind them about what each of us needs to do to have a good year and what reading LOOKS like.  Of course, I totally stole these ideas from pinterest.
So that's all for now!  Hopefully, I can get back into a posting routine!