Thursday, August 23, 2012

Room 13

Hello friends! I survived my first week and then some of school and boy was it tough, but incredibly satisfying. I have never been so happy while being so tired at the same time.

First year teacher tip #283: Be prepared to stay late, really late, especially if you are teaching kinder. I forgot just how much prep goes into all the various crafts and activities.

Setting up my classroom required lots of thinking and resources. Being the teacher of the overflow class, my room was sparse with resources and smaller than the other kindergarten classrooms. Not to mention I had a whopping two days to get my classroom going - certainly not the ideal situation for my first year of teaching. Regardless of the circumstances, I had to make it work. I'm a teacher. Shame on me if I haven't learned to be flexible and pretend like it was on the lesson plan by now. With that said, welcome to Room 13! Here are some snapshots of the bare essentials that I put up to get my room started for the year.

I lacked wall space so I decided to use my cabinet doors for our calendar area. Our daily calendar routine includes counting the days of school (place value and number line), talking about the month and date, days of the week, seasons, and weather (graphing). My alphabet sound cards are right above for when we work on phonics/phonemic awareness.

I haven't decided if I want to integrate elements of the reading CAFE into my classroom yet but I set up the pocket charts just in case. I may end up using this for topic vocabulary later on. I feature books that we have read aloud in the class and encourage students to check them out with their parents when they go to the library. I keep clipboards, homework folders, old morning messages, and my treasure chest in the shelving.

Here are our classroom rules that we review every single day and star chart. Every 10 stars earns students a trip to my treasure box.

Here is my clip chart for monitoring student behavior. Super Duper earns students 2 stars. Doing Great earns students 1 star. Ready to Learn earns students no stars and I explain to them that they should always be and are expected to be ready to learn so no stars are awarded. Stop and Think is a warning. Lose Recess is a second warning in which I discuss with my students better choices that they can make. Lastly, a phone call home. As the year goes on I will be using this less and less and wean my students off incentives.

Again, I lacked space in the room so I turned our whiteboard into our class Word Wall. So far we have put up everyone's name, a, and I. Next week we will add the word see.

This is our classroom door and the kids love it! After we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom I had students write their names (good assessment for the first week of school to see what letters your students might know, etc.). I cut them out and taped the first letter of their name climbing up the tree with their names attached. I then took photos of my students and taped them into the coconuts. The finished product turned out awesome and every morning I have students of all grades complimenting me on our class door.

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