Friday, June 27, 2014

My New Classroom!

So I had to switch classrooms this year. It was a pain, but I feel like a "real teacher" now because of it! I always hear about how teachers were in their room for x amount of years and had to move, and  that always made me think they were important veteran teachers! I don't know why...strange how I think of things! Anyway...moving was a hassle but it went very smooth with all of my students eager to help and my team members helping me!

Im going to show you a couple pictures and explain how I use these displays to help my organization in the classroom! Please know that my classroom is not completely put together, so excuse any mess you may see in the pictures!

Below you will see my FAVORITE display in the classroom! This will be in every classroom until I retire! I use this to display my centers! Before I started using this my center routine was so confusing and stressful! I don't know how my students and I managed! So here is how it works!

I put my students in groups and assign them a group number. The group number is on the stars on the top of the bulletin board. On the left side, the colored paper is labeled, Rotation 1, Rotation 2, Rotation 3 and Rotation 4. You may need more or less center rotations, 4 works best for me! I usually spend about 15min per center. So if you look at the board you can see that group one goes to teacher table during the first rotation. After the timer goes off on the SmartBoard, they then will go back to their seats (they sit with their center group) and work on the yellow star center activity until the timer goes off. Next they would complete a page in their workbook or text book and finally they would complete the pink star center activity. And this works for all the groups! They are in charge of following the chart and completing their center work.
On the teal pages is where I write the activity I want them to complete. All I did was take card stock and laminate it! You can easily write on it with a dry erase marker and it erases pretty easy! If you notice, each group completes all centers every day! I like this system because it allows me to work with all the students in small group! When ever I ask the students what they like best about my class, they always say they like working with me at teacher table the most! They told me they like it best because they feel safe to ask questions when sometimes they are shy to in front of the whole class, and they say that they have fun talking with me! I LOVE that my students have told me that because I feel the same way!

Below is how I keep track of the students ready to take and AR test and go to the library. All of my students are numbered, their number is on the teal numbers on the bottom of the chart. To make these I just typed them and put a rounded rectangle around the number. Once I cut them out I laminated them and put a magnet on the back. I teach my students on the first day of school that if they are ready for an AR test they are to take their number and put it on the Read for AR test section. Once they see a computer free they move their number to the Taking an AR test section and move the rest of the people waiting for an AR test up in line. Once they are done with their test they can either put their number on Ready for Library or back down at the bottom. The kids do a really good job moving the numbers, keeping everyone in the correct order while waiting for an AR test. They are also really good at telling who ever is next in line that their is a computer open if they don't notice. This system allows me to be in the hall way greeting students as they come in and monitor behavior. When I get back to my classroom I will label the small little squares in each section with numbers in a metallic marker. There will be up to 6 students waiting for an AR test and 2 people taking a test (I only have 2 computers). To make the chart, I just used the Scotch Expressions tape! So easy! I got mine at Target! I used colorful duct tape in my old classroom!
I love my new bulletin boarders! They seem clean yet colorful to me! Below is a picture of my calendar and another board where I keep my students Frog Money. The students are rewarded with one frog dollar a day if they complete their homework. They can also earn frog money for making good choices! Each envelope is labeled with their number! The envelopes next to the calendar are where I keep popsicle stickes...with the students number for who my helpers are that week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Here we go!

I guess the best way to start a blog is to begin by telling a little about myself. If you haven't already guessed  by the name of my blog, I am from the south, North Carolina! I went to East Carolina University and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have just finished my 3rd  year teaching, teaching 4th grade all 3 years. I teach in a small town full of farms, sweet students, caring parents and amazing teachers! I am very close with my family and have a wonderful boyfriend of 4 years. They all support me unconditionally! I am truly blessed!

I am creating this blog to share my teachings! I wish I would have started this 3 years ago like my mom said. I know I would have had great stories and lessons to share these past 3 years, oh well...I'm starting now! Currently it is summer and I am out of school till August. Although school is out, I am working on school stuff! I started selling items on my Teachers Pay Teachers account back in November. I am using the summer to create more products for my classroom and to share with other teachers! I hope that you are able to get some ideas from me and learn as I continue to learn how to improve my classroom/lessons!