Sunday, June 17, 2012

Getting Started and Classroom Pics

Hello all!  Or no one!  Because as of right now I have one follower.  That's okay, though!  :)  I'm excited to just get started!

I originally created this blog {last}summer!!  It's now one year later.  I've survived (and loved) my first year teaching Firsties, had a blog make-over, and transferred to a new school. 

I follow lots of teacher blogs and love them all.  The first blog I came across a couple of years ago was The First Grade Parade -- Thanks, Megan!!  So last summer, feeling inspired from everyone else's amazing blogs, I thought, "What a great way to  document my year in first grade."  I have a lot of sharin' to do before the new year begins!!

About me...
Professional: I taught third grade for 11 years before moving down to first last year.  I totally fell in love with my Firsties and will be teaching first again this year.  It breaks my heart to think about not seeing my past students since I've moved, but I'm beyond excited about my new school!!  :)

Personal: I've been married for 13 years and have two girls.  Ainslee is almost 6 and Bella is 4.  Our lives are crazy for the typical reasons - full time jobs, ball, gymnastics, Pinterest addictions, blog stalking, etc. - but also because my Bella is a Type 1 Diabetic.  She was diagnosed on Christmas Eve at age 2.  Our lives revolve around checking blood sugar and monitoring carbs.  It's very tiring, frustrating, heartbreaking, and so on, but I'm so thankful she's still here for us to take care of.  :)

Blogging - I know just about nothing when it comes to blogging.  I'm a "baby blogger" and hope I don't break too many blogging rules as I learn the ropes.

For my first official post I thought I'd just post pics of last year's classroom.  Here goes.

 2011-2012 Classroom Pictures

View from the door

View from my assisstant's corner...and might I add...the best assisstant and friend ever!  Miss you, Kasey!

View from the Classroom Library

The Classroom Library - one of my top three fave spots in the classroom.  Arranging books in baskets with covers face-out by genre, author, and/or series makes it easier for the children to browse.  I also believe this  supports children in discovering and/or developing their reading interests.  The chair and couch add to the homey feeling of our classroom.  I just love it!  :)

Another pic of the classroom library.  On top of the black shelf are book tubs.  Students shop for books each week by following a schedule which hangs on the wall.  When I taught third grade, students book shopped first thing in the morning in place of Free Reading.  This past year, my Firsties were able to shop during their Finished Early time throughout the day.  I just loved watching them browse and help each other find particular books.  They knew our library inside-out.  I.  Love. That.

Book shopping schedule can be seen above the chair in the corner.

This spot is in my top 3!  I have such fond memories of my Firsties gathered around this table reading and writing together and working on special projects.  It's so satisfying as a teacher to see students work so well together learning from one another.  And without me leading them!!!

A non-fiction shelf

Another non-fiction shelf.  I've never had a group of students read so much non-fiction!!!

And here it is!  Perhaps my absolute most treasured classroom area.  No!  Wait!!  It has to be a tie with the Classroom Library.  I can't help it!  Anyway, this is where we began each day together during Morning Meeting.  This is where I met with small groups.  This is where Quinton displayed his magnificent break-dancing skills and students read together and played together and wrote together and applied math skills together.  And yes, this is where the baby goat peed on the state of New Jersery.  Sorry, but it's true!!

The red shelf to the left of the easel housed more non-fiction books. White shelves under the Promethean housed more book tubs.  This year I tried to spread out book tubs and writing and math supplies so that retrieving them wouldn't be so time consuming. 

Above the book tubs in this picture are the Word Wall pockets.  Words are moved into appropriate letter pockets after being displayed for a while on the Wonderific Words chart.  I'll write more about this in a future post.

The Rockin' Guitar behavior clip chart was developed by Abby of The Inspired Apple.  You can read more about it here

Writing folder on top and supplies
 on shelves

My genius assisstant turned a cubby on its side to create more storage.  The purple (girls) and red (boys) trays hold unfinished work.

The crate on the left held extra handouts and copies of the Gumball timed tests from Made For 1st Grade.  You can read more about that here on TpT.

The crate on the right held Finished Early activities, such as Read and Write the Room sheets and graphic organizers.  I'll write more about this in a future post.  :)

Gracious!  That took a while to get through because every time I tried to delete a picture, several disappeared.  I'll be back tomorrow (actually, later today since it's after midnight) to share more.

1 comment:

  1. This is try number 3 Betsy! =)

    I love all of the pictures you shared....your room is amazing!

    I agree that Firsties are the BEST! I also would not worry about the blog police and rules. I am sure we all do things that are "breaking the rules"...whatever those rules might be! =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower, I would love for you to come and visit me when you get the chance.

    Heather's Heart