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)'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 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.

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 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 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!