Friday, September 12, 2014

My Classroom

I'm working on a total classroom makeover and I am so excited about how it's all coming together.   I spent a lot of time this summer making items for my room like my new crate chairs and seat cover pockets and I had so much fun putting everything together before the kids came back.

Let's start with my small group table.  How CUTE are those crate chairs!  And the extra storage space has been fabulous!  We used them first at the supply drop off to collect all the kleenex and hand sanitizer.  But now, I'm using them to store our emergency kits which is perfect, because they are right in the corner where we sit during lock downs.  So if we ever had an extended lock down, the food and water would be within arms reach.

In the background of the crate chair picture you can see my Morning Routine chart.   I LOVE this chart, because I used to get so sick of writing the same things on the board every morning.  Now, when I write their morning work, number one says Morning Routine and they know to do everything on the morning routine chart before moving on to number two of Morning Work which will be whatever activity I want them to start the day with.

I prettied up my desk this year with this fabric cover and bunting.  I plan to attach it with hot glue, but right now there are just magnets holding it in place.

Moving to the other side of my desk we come to our reading corner which I am so excited about. This summer I recovered the pillows with super soft fabric and made the bunting, thanks to Dear Beautiful Boy's tutorial.  I also spray painted the book case and found the PERFECT rocking chair at a garage sale.  I couldn't believe how perfectly the colors matched my new room color scheme.

Continuing around the corner we see the rest of my reading corner. This is the very first time that I have used Bordette on a bulletin board, and I am thrilled with how it turned out.  Again thanks to a tutorial on hot gluing it together by Maria Manore.  The book crates were ones that I already had and I was so happy when I realized that they fit my color scheme.

I'm also excited about the new way I found to label them.  I ran across these really cute little wooden trinkets at Michael's.  They are already painted with chalkboard paint.  All I did was drill a couple of holes in them and attach them to the crate with florist wire.  I use chalkboard markers to write the titles on them.

I used the same shapes to label my other book bins except this time I hot glued them.

This book case is another summer find.  A friend was giving it away for free.  It was originally all white, but I added green fabric to the back and spray painted the shelves blue.  It really transformed the whole book case.  I also redid my in and out box labels to match my new color scheme.  I LOVE how cute they turned out.

It was my hope that a lot of little touches would really help to transform the room.  I found these cans at Joann's Fabric.  Right next to the cans they were selling the flowers which are magnetic.  At Michael's I found the black chalkboard stickers which I used as labels.  These are SO MUCH cuter than my old sharp and dull pencil boxes.

Next to the student work bulletin board is my all time favorite bulletin board that I've ever made.  It doesn't match my new room color scheme, but I don't care.  We have 1:1 ipads in our classroom so this board has a lot of meaning for my kids.  

What I love best about it is that each "app" button shows something that we actually study in 3rd grade.

On the opposite wall we have my Thesaurus Word Wall.  I have had these up for 10 or more years, but this summer I updated them and made them cuter.  Cute or not, my students use these all the time to find more "precise" words for their writing.  Check out my blog post that explains more about them in detail.

Finally, we have the students' desks.  These kids are going to be so organized this year they aren't going to know what hit them.  For the past few years I have used drawers in our desks to help with organization.  Check out my tutorial on how to make them super easy and cheap.

This summer I also made chair covers.  Despite the use of the box lids, there have always been two things that I don't let kids keep inside their desks.  iPads and books that they borrow from me.  I know how kids shove things in their desks, including food, half closed glue bottles and drinks, and I just don't trust them to keep my books or iPads inside their desks.  The problem with keeping them on top of their desks however is that they take too much room and they are too tempting.  Last year I had multiple boys who just could not keep their iPad lids shut during instruction time.    Thus, the seat pocket idea.  This year the iPads and books will each have their own pocket to be stored in.  Now, their desk tops will be clean and I won't be seeing the glow of the iPad when I'm trying to hold their attention.  

Student desk all ready for the first day of school.
My final touch is my new name plates.  I made them myself this year so that they would match everything else.  They came out super cute AND I was able to personalize them with each kid's number and log in information.  A few years ago I started to use velcro to stick my name tags on desks.  No more tape for kids to pick at and make a mess of.  Now, when we move desks the kids just pull out their drawer, pull their name tag off the velcro and walk to their new seat.  No more moving furniture all over the place.  SO MUCH EASIER.

So that's my room.  I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I sure am loving working in my newly jazzed up digs.  


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