Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Classroom... Just About Ready!!

I am making some headway in my classroom and am almost ready for 23 (that many as of today) students to walk through my doors.  I want to share my before and after classroom photos with you as I organized and re-organized this week. 
I was hired late into the school year, last year, so didn't take the time to clean out cupboards and put things on my wall in a rush.  This time around, I was able to clean all my cupboards and cabinets out, rearrange furniture, remove what wouldn't work in my room with my plans, and create sections and stations in the classroom that will work with Daily 5 structure.

I am SUPER excited about my classroom arrangement and it will continue to evolve and change as I build up my center rotations.
First, I would like to share my cabinet I bought at Goodwill on Teacher Discount Day.  For $29.00, I found this gem of a cabinet and my husband helped cut the top off it and get a plywood top put on it.  Then, I spray painted the cabinet (not the best paint job, but it works!).  The cabinet is incredibly heavy, with some great old wood.  It will not be moved too many times!  I am currently using it to hold many, many games.

My classroom when I walked in near the end of July.... YIKES!

After a lot of work and many, many days of arranging and re-arranging, purging and throwing of things (donated to Goodwill that which I couldn't use), here's what I finally have settled on for classroom organization... for now.
My workspace


The front of the room with the student tables.

Word Wall with Daily 5 Word Work tubs below, along with a few other things.  The top of the shelves are empty... amazing!... but will surely gain some items shortly.
New to my classroom this year.. a writing center.  I had to sacrifice some furniture to make it work, but I think it is GREAT and can't wait to see students busy, busy, busy at the table there.

My one section that is still being organized.. my reading area.  I have these wonderful baskets to hold the books for the students when they work on Reading to Self during their Daily 5 rotation.  I am just waiting for a finalized list of students to finish the baskets.  You can also see my library books that need to go on shelving in the space behind them.  I have yet to get any shelving.... must do that this weekend and get my corner organized!

There are other pieces and parts to my classroom I didn't share, but am just as pleased with what I have accomplished so far.  Let the school year begin!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Reading

I LOVE to read!  During the summer I read quite a few books, but two of them were my absolute favorite. 
The first book, to further aid me in my classroom and literacy for the students, is the Daily 5, The (Second Edition): Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  Let the literacy learning begin!
The other book, just for my pleasure, is Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon.  This book has 848 pages... GASP!  Lots and lots of Revolutionary War history woven into the story... captivating!
What book did you read this summer that was your most favorite? 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Language Arts Graphic Organizers

It's summer!  That means swimming, sunscreen, watermelon, and hot dogs.  Yet, I still find myself entrenched into teaching mode, and I am preparing worksheets for next school year.  I really want to have some worksheets, not only created by me, but ones that will be FABULOUS to look at and EASY to use for the kids.

So, I started to create worksheets for reading.  I have only created two so far, but will continue to add to them as the summer progresses.

I am really super-excited about this vocabulary worksheet!

My students really struggle with reading comprehension (as many are well-below the 2nd grade level).  I want to help them make the text-to-self connection in a simple, straightforward way.

2nd grade students must be able to ask and answer questions about the 5 W's (Who, What, Where, When, and Why and How) in order to demonstrate meaning of a text.  I created this worksheet to help them with that task.   I am LOVING the thought bubbles!!


My students must also be able to describe the structure of a story through the progression of Beginning, Middle, and End.  I created this organizer to help them with this task.  Still using the thought bubbles, which they will use to draw their thoughts.

I wanted a quick Book Response the students could do on their own and have them accountable for the AR book they are reading.  I had created this response sheet a while ago and found it in my files.


I really wanted to have an alphabetical order and dictionary worksheet that most students could complete on their own during their ELA center time.  I revamped some old worksheets I had quickly created to make them more functional and a bit more appealing to the eye.