...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Working away...

Empowering Little Learners is having a "What's your room look like?" linky party. I'm not quite finished with my organizing and setting up...well, actually I plan to work about 6 hours tomorrow and finish! That will give me time to work on my new lesson plans for the first week (maybe two) of school along with a Standards Checklist I want to create to streamline grading for this school year. We'll see how that goes!

I've been back in my classroom several days now. No time to blog, read blogs, or do anything other than take care of the hubby and son (as in cooking, laundry...yep, I'm an old-fashioned girl...they can and do cook and do their own laundry when needed...I just like to love them that way). Nothing like a home-cooked meal made by wife & mama...I know I love, love, love it! when my Mommy cooks for me! ;)

Anyway, it's slowly coming together. I did the banner for behavior this year. I am soooo excited! I just know this is going to be the best year ever! I even made one for my buddy. I haven't gotten pictures of it yet, though. More on that later. Here's a picture of my yellow rocker that belongs in my reading area. I put it in front of the outside door that my hubby painted for me. The window gets morning sun and my students are blinded by it, so rather than risk the fire marshall marking my class for curtains (fire hazard, ya know), I had the window painted. It's still bright in there, but not blinding. I had the windows blocked last year with posters. Those were taken down, too. :( This year the window and door shouldn't be a problem. Of course, darling hubby may have to come and paint something new every now and then. ;) He loves it, too.

Here are some photos of before...

This is part of my "Staple's Loot!" I bought 150 two pocket folders for $1.50. I also bought the erasers and Sharpies they had for $0.10 or $0.20 per pack. I went to Target for the paper bins at back. The corkboards were $4.00 for a pack of 4 at Staple's. I also just had  to have a new notebook for lesson plans. I forgot to take a picture of the bag full of 200 pencils ($0.25 for all 200), 50 yellow Sharpie highlighters ($0.25 for all 50), and 2500 index cards (again $0.25 for all 2500!). I bought some shipping tape, a slap-on wrist watch (my niece's birthday or Christmas gift $10.00), just the usual teacher necessities.

The yellow three-drawer chest is a supply station. Notebook paper goes in the top drawer and I store pencils, more paper, and other supplies in the bottom two drawers. I have also moved pencils to the top of the chest rather than the green paper. The yellow bin on top of the chest (under a trash bag) contains our beginning writing portfolio info and the white bins on the right contain graphic organizers for reading. On the dry erase board I have a grid which shows the subject, unit standard, unit EQ, and unit vocabulary for each subject for the week. I love the new Common Core Performance Standards posted the other day. Awesomeness!!

I have my writing and Math broken up into two different areas each. I think this will work this year~not having all the Math or Writing materials bunched up in one area.  Traffic control, ya know?
This is my reading area with my desk covered in the background. I have Language games behind the rocker and ottoman. I also moved a yellow shelf filled with my library to where the brown shelf sits in this picture.  
Here's a side picture before I moved the old, tall bookshelf away and put the short yellow one in its place. I can't wait to finish up everything. I have moved Mt. Language to the bulletin board behind here, and will also make a Reading Focus Wall of some sort here. The yellow pocket chart in the top right is our "Chunk Wall" which I will tell more about later.

Here are the lovely cubbies my darling built for me in 2004. I had no storage in my classroom at the time. Due to a new class, I now use these cubbies as a storage for students' backpacks. :) Behind this you see the shoe organizer where my students' buckets will be for "Bucket Filling." To the right is the lunch graph. Once upon a time we had two lunch choices plus a salad choice which made 4 choices along with the lunchbox crew. Now we have two choices plus the lunchbox crew.

Student cubbies. The black curtain to the left now has a partner to the right. Student cubbies were all on the right, but some smaller students couldn't reach everything if they had numbers 1 to 4. This will work much better... :)

This area has been revamped. I can't wait to show it off. I moved the other tall brown bookshelf there and it now houses dictionaries, thesauruses, our library bunnies, and Math manipulatives beneath the curtain. :D
Here is my Math manipulative shelf just inside our classroom door with Mt. Math on the white board beside it. Darling hubby came and touched up the paint on my shelves he has built. I used excess laminating film and glue dots (from the scrapbooking area) to put a protector on top of all the painted shelves in my class this year. This way, the tops won't look grungy by Christmas when the parents come for our Christmas party!

My famous Looney Tunes clock...a character tells us the hour all through the day. Friends said I was nuts to do this, but second graders need to learn the time and this is an excellent way to amuse them while they learn. Don't we all remember things we learned with humor best? I do have a little speech at the beginning of the year about taking the clock home if students allow it to totally distract them or disturb class. It's amazing how quickly they adjust and totally ignore the clock. Parents who volunteer jump every time it speaks, though! My students love that! ;)

Here's a long shot of the classroom before uncovering most stuff or moving any large furniture. I'm so pleased with how it looks now and how much better it will be when I finish revamping! :)

Totally off subject... I simply had to share this picture I took the other night. We have four poles of 24 Purple Martin gourds (yes, that's 96 Purple Martin houses!) in front of our house. I read somewhere that Purple Martins eat 17x their weight in mosquitos daily. The Purple Martins have been amazing this past week. My dad thinks they are getting ready to fly south to Brazil or Argentina (where they usually go) soon. Anyhow, we tried counting (it's really hard with soooo many birds!) and estimated between 400 and 500 PurpleMartins camping on our poles each night for the past week...the most ever! I was snapping away in hopes of being able to count the birds on the crossbars from a photo. This bird flew right by as the flash lit. How awesome is this shot?!? It looks surreal, huh? It is totally a God thing...a straight-up blessing from Him! I couldn't have gotten that shot if I'd tried. My mom did try to get another one last enchilada (or bird, either! ;).


  1. Wow, you got some good deals! And you are making me excited to start unpacking my classroom. Good luck setting it all up!

    Learning in 2nd Grade

  2. Your room is coming along very nicely! Thanks for checking out my sqworl groups and glad they can be of use to you, I have no problem at all if you want to copy them!!

  3. Thanks so much for linking up! Your room has so many great pieces to it. Curious... are your window painted? That's pretty cool! I have that same grid on my board... well not yet! =)

    I took pictures today... I will post later this weekend... be sure to stop back by and see!

    Empowering Little Learners!