Since this blog is meant to serve as a sort of record of sorts, I wanted to be sure to include a few photos of my current classroom.
I began my career with a couple of years in Kindergarten, and I’ve since moved up to First and Second grade. A [school] year later, I already regret not taking and keeping more photos of my first-ever classroom!
So as my third year draws to its close, even though it’s not the prettiest, fanciest room, I’ve decided it’s time to snap and compile some pictures.
I teach two subjects to two grades and actually have two classrooms. I get to focus exclusively on Math and Science while the rest of our team covers Reading, Phonics, Language, and Social Studies. I happen to think I ended up with the two best, and luckily for us, I think my team teachers feel the same way about their respective subjects. 🙂
Today, I’ll share my Math room.
It was most important to me to create a cheerful-yet-relaxed environment. I chose a blue-and-green scheme because I love the tranquility of cool colors and think they’re rather “gender neutral.” I also have a (hopefully not in-your-face) bird theme for sentimental reasons. My family and some of my closest friends have referred to me as “Birdie” and “Bird” since my childhood, and I’ve always adored that name.
I added some hanging lanterns from World Market above the cabinets separating my classroom from the rest of our Learning Community. Our school was built in the 70s during the “Open Classroom” craze, so walls and doors are a coveted commodity. It seems the space was subsequently divided into pod-style learning communities, so many rooms are still open to others.
Upon entering, I have a little welcome table. It houses a homework “drop off” area (sorted by grade, then time of day), PLENTY of hand sanitizer, bits and pieces for our morning calendar board, and a chalkboard from a sweet parent. Today, the quote reads, “Math gives us hope that every problem has a solution.”
Above that is a “Fact Family” house made of simple poster board. Creating fact families is part of our daily routine, and we alternate between addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. I try to keep a seasonally-appropriate quote or picture on the left side of the board. What better time to celebrate the seasons than Calendar Time?
I’m in the middle of fixing up this too-busy calendar board. The truth is, they come with too many pieces.
This is a temporary fix until we order some new butcher paper. 🙂 The welcome sign was made with donated construction and scrapbook paper, and the outdoor rug was a Target clearance item I purchased at the beginning of the year.
I just created these calendar bits on Word and a precious parent volunteer spent TONS of time cutting and laminating them.
The little birds in the tree are labeled with each child’s name as a special welcome, while the table below always houses a hands-on manipulative of some sort (it rotates all the time) and our “Pencil Hospital.” This fantastic idea was introduced to me by my student teaching mentor teacher. Students simply drop their broken one in the green bucket, and grab a replacement from the blue bucket. There is hardly any time wasted and no disruptive pencil sharpening during class.
This is our classroom Word Wall. The students choose the words that end up on the wall. The bunting banner above was made from more donated scrapbook paper.
I inherited this amazing block feature from the previous math teacher. It draws students in like you wouldn’t believe and I adore the bright colors. My beloved Erin Condren lesson planner. They’re a worthy investment.
My personal bulletin board behind my desk is full of quotes that bring me joy and photos of people I love.
My desk area. The speakers on the right are essential components of our day. I love to play fast-and-silly music during speedy fact practice, soothing classical during tests, and sing-songy kid music during center time. Plus, they allow me to blast my Dr. Jean (if you don’t know who she is and you’re an Early Childhood teacher, look her up)! This simple set of plastic drawers from Lowe’s has been upgraded with plain old paper to house office supplies out of sight. Atop sit a framed photo of our class on a recent field trip, and two thoughtful parent notes that remind me that what I do is appreciated. I love to send them as much as I love to receive them. 🙂 If you feel the same way, you can download a free thank you note, or join me in creating student Valentine’s Day cards while you’re here.
These file folders are labeled to store daily materials (along with the ubiquitous coffee mug, of course).
Pictured above are my cubby stuffed full of manipulatives (I picked up the blue plastic bins at Walmart for a song) and my reading center. The Ikat pillow was from World Market. You can see a little bit of my overhead cart in the photo, too.
Our little writing center (freshly wiped down, but it’s normally covered with materials). I adore my students’ paintings on the board above.
That’s it for the Math room. Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’d love hear about your classroom’s organization if you’re a fellow teacher. 🙂
That was the “where” part of my teaching. Now for the “why” part, you can refer to the post “Prayers for My Students,” which rather embarrassingly included a couple of typos until recently. 😉