Late to the party, but here's my classroom!

I have always been the type of person to over-think whatever it is I am doing.  I really do annoy myself at times, because in the end it results in me taking FOR--EEE--VEER to do anything in its entirety!  Aaanyhow, that's something that I'm trying to work on, but with two kids, a husband, a house, a busy career, and a demanding second job (TpT)...it's no wonder that some things take longer than others, right?

So I'm few weeks into my school year, so these pictures show some not-so-perfect flaws if you take a closer look at them.  I want to begin by flashing back to May.  I drew these pictures while I was brainstorming what I wanted my classroom to look like in the fall.  I don't know about you, but at the end of the year, I am itching to tear everything down (especially after a challenging year) and start from scratch!  My ONLY regret is that I don't have before pictures to show you.  I'm sorry...

My "blueprints" for my 13-14 classroom...



Sooo, most of my plans stuck.  Some of them changed.  I basically map out where my bulletin boards are, make lists of what I think my kids really need to focus on and what will help them do better throughout the year, make my tentative seating chart, like you can see here.  However, that DID change!

Enough chit chat...let's take a look and I'll talk you through it!!

This was the first year that I used fade-less paper for decorating.  I LOVE fabric for my bulletin boards!  As for the front of my desk, I have always found a really cute scrapbooking paper that I liked and just tiled it to the front of my desk, added border, and some words.  Honestly, the scrapbooking paper is MUCH more durable than these fade-less rolls.  It doesn't rip and tear like the rolls.  

I set my kiddos up into pods this year.  I don't write their names on their nameplates for a couple of weeks.  This gives me time to easily move my students around.  It's easier to move the kid...rather than the desk!  I also started using a word wall in my room for my fifth graders this year.  You can see that in the right side of this picture on my cupboards.  Instead of asking me how to spell a word, they use the dictionary and write the correct spelling on a strip of paper and tape it under its matching beginning letter.  I am working on a great project right now that will an "at your seat" approach and spin off to my word wall.  That will be posted this week, so stay tuned in for that!!
 I have to be honest, I created my own "Daily 5" activities for my kiddos.  In a hurry to take these pictures before my kiddos came, I didn't realize that this bulletin board wasn't all the way up! Oops!  I will be adding a coordinate grid to my "Interactive Math" bulletin board.  The large ruler that you see in between the boards can be found here.

Here's a better look at the ruler....  
These ruler pics were taken last year. 


 This is a bulletin board that we did for the story 
"Sees Behind Trees."

Here's a picture at my library / interactive writing nook.  Need I mention that it comes with its very own skeleton?  (That's my science corner. :)  I plan on using this bony fella to study bones this year!


Here's a closer look at my Interactive Writing Center that I made.  Its purpose is to practice and perfect vital reading, writing, and language arts skills!  You can find out more about it here!








Sorry...I got carried away!  I LOVE this product!!


Here's a look at how I'm using the back of my book case.  There's no such thing as wasted space in a classroom!  This is holding my anchor charts that will be interchanged throughout the school year for both Math and Reading. :)




A space for small groups...


My computer area...


 

Okay, let's focus on what that picture was really about...my teacher toolbox!  Here's what you need to know:
I bought my toolbox at the Home Depot.  It was a steel blue when I bought it and then spray painted it a matte black.  It looks just like a chalkboard!
I used scrapbooking paper for the drawers, by simply cutting them to size and taping to secure on the INSIDE of the drawers.
I used black glitter stick on letters for labeling.  I LOVE them!!  I found those at Michael's.  Of course, right?
The pencils were also found in the scrapbooking section of Michael's. I stuck these to the outside...just because I thought they were cute and added a little something extra to my project!


Here are a couple of reminders that I made for my kiddos.


HOMEWORKOPOLY BOARD!!
Listen, my kids LOVE doing this!  It's definitely a great motivator for them to do their homework each night.


Here's how it works...
Step #1: Students must complete their homework.
Step #2: RoLl!!

Step #3: Move their personalized game piece on the Homeworkopoly board.


Depending on where they land, they will choose a card with a special privilege given to them, or simply stay on the space that they are on until their next roll!



My newest investments...Interactive Reading and Math Notebooks!! They make learning so much more than an observation...students are now working with the content, explaining, thinking critically, and then applying it to these notebooks.  Good stuff!!  I will be creating a blog post just on these tools very soon...you won't want to miss it!  Thank you Nicole Roberts Shelby and Jennifer Runde!  Great girls with great products. xo!


I got word that this great rug was at IKEA, so off I went!!  I had never been there before, so when I loaded a chair onto my 1/2 cart (if you've been there, you know what I'm talking about) from the showroom...everyone looked at me like I had 3 heads!  My sister and I finally figured out why, lol.  Remember to grab a pencil and checklist when you go to IKEA, first time IKEA shoppers!



I use these to call on my students...simple and effective! 


This was up during our Open House night for the parents to see. :)  I LOVE our classroom blog!


 Hands-on Math and task card center...


I'm currently using Jennifer Findley's "Back to School Math Centers."  They're adorable!


I used this adorable frame from Michael's during our Open House night...love it!


This is one of my Homeworkopoly rewards that my students can't wait to get their hands on at the end of the day!  


Here is what I use to keep track of our daily homework. 


This school year is off to a great start!  I love my students and my classroom.  People wonder why some teachers spend so much time and energy decorating our classrooms, well, for me it's a way of coming to school and enjoying my time there.  My students both past and present walk in and their eyes light up the first time they see it.  I hope to inspire them and motivate them to learn!  I know that my classroom inspires me. :) 

Thank you so much for spending the time to read about and look around my classroom!



21 comments:

  1. I am so glad I found you!!!!! I can already tell I'll be referring to your blog a ton as a first year 5th grade teacher. LOVE!! :)

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    1. I'm so glad you found me, too! Welcome and please come visit me often! 5th grade is fantastic!!

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  2. I love love love your classroom! I have the same philosophy as far as spending so much time decorating my room. It's my home away from home. If I am leaving my happy place to go to work, I want it to be even happier living there all day. If only sleep could come in a bottle and the days were 30 hrs long! (provided we still only "worked" 8 hrs!) Thanks for the inspiration. I'm sure your students enjoy their home away from home too....now to find an industrial laminator to keep at home...lol Sincerely a Fellow Teacher Nerd,
    Pennie Dahl

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    1. Thank you so much, Pennie! You and I are definitely on the same page with the decorating and time spent "working." My hours FAR exceed the 8 hour day, but I do it happily! There's always room for improvement and learning, so that's what I have been working on. :)

      From one teacher nerd to another...thanks!!
      Joey

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  3. Your room just makes me go "WOW"...sweet Moses that's awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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  4. MyMyMyOhMy!
    I love every inch of this room. Amazing!
    WooHoo! Congrats, Joey, on a wonderful learning space...
    Now I am off in search of that King Tut puzzle!

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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    1. You literally made me laugh out loud at your King Tut comment! Thanks, love!

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  5. This classroom is worth of a magazine cover! There isn't a spot where I did not fall in love with it! A-mazing!

    tania
    My Second Sense

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    1. You are too kind, Tania! Thank you so much!

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    2. This is the most beautiful classroom I've ever seen!!! I agree, it should be on some magazine! I honestly am going to try to use many of your things you have up such as the "kinds of books to read" I think that is what those are, they're above your small group area? I have a ton of questions...I wish I was able to email you, I'm in the middle of redoing my room and I hit the jackpot finding this...if you are able and get a chance I would love to hear from you through email ONLY to ask questions 😊 my email is teach5@socal.rr.com and I teach 5th in Los Angeles, CA...I hope to hear from ya! Hope you're having a great year....thanks so much

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  6. WOW!!!! is all I can say! Your classroom looks incredible!!! I wouldn't want to be other fifth grade teacher at your school! :) (Kidding, of course!) I can't believe I didn't happen along your blog before now...I truly am excited to sign on to follow it!
    ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

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  7. Your classroom looks awesome!!!! I love looking around at different blogs and seeing how teachers make their rooms a home for kids. Specifically, I love your writing center. Having sample pieces that students can refer to is great. Overall, the color, brightness, upbeat feeling, organization...it's all incredible. Can't wait to decorate my own soon!!

    Chelsea

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  8. Hi! I love your room! Is there any way that you would consider selling your "When you Arrive" and "Before you Leave" posters on TPT? I love them!

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  9. I'd love to know what you used to make your When You Arrive and Before You Leave posters! Your room is beautiful!

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  10. I was at an amazing event here recently. The event was outdoors along the water and against a beautiful sunset. As the party moved indoors, I was struck by the decor.
    Denver venues

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  11. Your classroom is awesome!!! I'm serious...best classroom I've ever seen and I've been teaching for 20 years!!! Can you tell me where you got a few things? Like the names Of the genres? There are a lot of other questions I have, do you mind taking them?? I hit a rut this year and looking at your room inspired me and realized why I love being a 5th grade teacher...again, I would to ask you just a few questions to get me back to that "teaching" mode, please let me know if email or phone is ok...I'm so excited, my mojo is back! 😀

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    1. If you can email me at: teach5@socal.rr.com that would be great...I'm trying to blue print your room, but there are so many questions! 😀 thank you in advance

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  12. Your room is totally adorable! Do you by chance have the "Welcome please sign in here" sign? I love the font of it! Great ideas! Thanks :)

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  13. I was looking at your reading interactive notebooks. I teach in a combined 4th and 5th grade class. Would the 5th grade one work for 4th too or would I need separate ones?

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  14. I would LOVE to purchase your arrival/dismissal charts. Are they available for download or purchase? It would be great if they were editable.

    Thanks!!

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