Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ready for the First Day - Finally!

After several weeks of getting everything set up and in place, I am finally ready to greet my students for a new school year. Here is how my third grade classroom shaped up:)
This is part of our classroom library. I love, love the swivel red chairs a parent donated to me a few years ago. It is just precious to see not one but two students snuggled reading together! The magazine rack in the back corner was designed and made by my husband and me. It holds about 10 or so magazines.
Another view of the library. We have leveled books, books by genres, and separate non-fiction and poetry sections - I'm trying to emulate Beth Newingham but lo' she's over the top! Nature item trays are on the top shelves. My students love to bring in "treasures" they find outside. I actually have the trays divided into regions of South Carolina and item match each region.
Here's the CAFE board all ready to post our first strategies. The clocks over the board represent different countries and time zones. I ask each student to choose a country (which entails looking at the world map to locate them) and we take turns changing the clocks every month. They are always amazed how far Asian countries are ahead of us. 

The pictures above show our clock with the 5 minute intervals displayed. I love this idea I saw on Pintrest because it helps them learn time even before we get to it later in the year. I put up a bright new cursive alphabet and our birthday poster. 
Here's how the whole front of the room plays out. Love my SmartBoard. I sectioned off the whiteboard and post a daily schedule. Third graders love to know what comes next and when lunch and recess are!!
I put up a "Coming Soon" area on the wall to whet the interest of what on earth is it going to be? It's where the Boggle Board will go! I'll start that sometime in September so as not to overwhelm them at first. Sometimes I change the Boggle for a Math It Up. 

Last year I made one of those great zip lock baggie "quilts" to hang up student writing. This year I changed the colors to go with our theme. Just slip in colored paper. Our Friendly Letters will be the first thing in the quilt.
This is a view of some of our cubbies. Each has a book box as we do Daily 5. I also got buckets from the Dollar Store to use to store writing folders.
Last but not least is hubs holding the frame I am using to take first day at school photos. All I have to do is change the date from year to year! School starts this week so here we go!! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Big News

Oh my gosh! I am in shock! I just won Melonheads adopt a classroom. I entered Nikki's contest mainly because teaching in an independent school means not only lower salary but also missing opportunities such as Donors Choose. Nikki came to the rescue. She is generously donating funds to help me buy things my students can use all year and for years to come. And guess what? I also get to choose $50 of Melonheads clip art from her store! Can you hear me singing "Oh happy day"?

We get to correspond back and forth all year. I'll keep you informed of the marvelous things we do. I have been involved in intensive teacher training all week and working in my classroom. I'll post pics of the big reveal soon.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It Party

I am trying my first link up to Monday Made It so here goes:

Monday Made It

For the first day of school, I make these little puzzles for the kids to do when they get to their desks. I got these at Oriental Trading. They come whole and white. I just used Mr. Sketch markers to color a design. Some years I have used Sharpies too. Next, I break each one apart and put each one in an envelope with the student's name on it and put it at their desk.This is a good icebreaker too as most all kids love puzzles. As you can see, they are all different. I always hear students asking table mates, " What does yours say?" 

So you can see that it does not take too much time to do this and it' s inexpensive as well.