Over the years, I've received a lot of questions about what my classroom looks like, where I store everything, and all that other fun stuff. I've also included some new photos and older photos because I move things around…a lot, depending on what works best for my students and myself. I can't wait to share with you 9 different spaces of our classroom tour.
1. Guided Reading
I love having a guided reading area that also has all of the materials we'll be using. I always have a caddy on the table that has supplies we use like sharpened pencils, highlighters, pointers, and expo markers. The “easy” button is something I picked up at Staples 13 years ago. When our lesson is done, I'll choose a person who was showing expected behavior or gave great feedback on the book we're reading, and they get to tap the button which is the signal for the rest of the group to push in their chairs and go back to their seats. I am paid a small fee from Amazon for sharing these awesome resources with you! I've also been using wall pops for the last 4 years and love them. They're great for word work practice and written responses, especially for your early finishers. Tip: Only use light colored markers like pink, turquoise, and lime on them so you can keep them clean all year.
I velcroed a hula skirt from the 99cent store for decor. Would I do it again? Probably not because my kids liked to play with it or pull it off, no matter how many times we went over our expectations. See how I manage guided reading here.
It's so important to have a comfy reading area that's inviting. My 2nd graders loved our reading area last year with our Ikea benches. I'm also a fan of warm lighting and found the perfect lamp from Brighttech Shop They were kind enough to send me this lamp for my honest review. It was hard to narrow it down to one lamp because they have so many great ones that would work in our classroom. It came in an easy-to-open packaging and I was able to put it together in under 10 minutes. And let's just say that that's pretty impressive for me because putting furniture together is not my strong suit. Everything was labeled so I just had to follow the simple instructions. I also wanted to be able to have my students turn the light on-and-off easily so I attached it to this wireless receiver. So the student who has the job of turning the lights on-and-off in our room loves it!
Our school likes the books to be leveled by lexile, so that's how ours is set up. That doesn't mean that they can only read books at their level, so don't jump down my throat. They have lots of options to read other books as well.
I added lots of comfortable seating last year as part of our new flexible seating classroom. I often found myself sitting here with my kids and it was hard to get up!
3. Displaying student work
We used our memory book display that was up the entire year. Students added writing and art to it as the year progressed. I love that my students were in charge and I didn't have to change out a bulletin board!
We also had a writing wall above our computers and I'll be honest…I have always been horrible about changing it out. My goal was to change it out monthly, bug that rarely happened although we wrote all the time! I hung up their work with chunky clothespins from the Dollar Spot years ago that I hot glued a thumbtack to.
4. ELA Centers
5. Student Seating
We have lots of seating options in our classroom. But before I switched to flexible seating, we had traditional seating of desks and chairs. I had 6 desks per group in my 2nd grade class and we moved seats monthly to keep things fresh.
Use these bed risers to raise your desks or tables. In year’s past, my students loved having a standing table. Last year, my group didn’t like standing as much so we added these stools and these ones that doubled as storage.
6. Teacher Desk
When I moved into my classroom, I didn't have a teacher desk. Instead, there was a small counter with big drawers below for storage. I made this tray to hold our copies and plans for the week. I share about how I use it here.
7. Math Centers
I like to keep our math center area open to my students at all times. It's filled with manipulatives and things they'll need to solve problems. They are free to grab what they need, at anytime. The shoe organizer is perfect to hold all of the materials. Tip: Buy the containers with the magnet to hold foam dice. Kids won't lose them and you won't hear dice hitting the desk every 3.2 seconds!
I also keep our math center games within their reach, which is perfect for early finishers, review, and center time. I've talked about setting up math centers here.
8. Extra Supplies
I keep extra student supplies like crayons, glue sticks, markers, highlighters, and our stapler and tape so students can grab them when they need them without interrupting instruction.
9. Teacher Area
My table is in the middle of the room and it holds my laptop for morning messages, our projector, our lessons for the day. One way I organize all the paperwork for the day is with this awesome tool!