My Classroom Digs!!!

I am soooo excited that you stopped by to see my Classroom Digs with Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week '13!!! I had so much fun with Meet the Teacher last night, that I couldn't wait to blog on my classroom! This year I changed rooms for the first time in 9 years at my school! After the initial feelings :), I actually was very excited! It gave me a clean slate to work with and change things up a bit!!
The past few years I have done the Hollywood theme which was always a fun time especially since I keep my guitar in my classroom and sing all the time! However, this year I wanted something fresh and new and more able to use for lessons and learning. ENTER...My Community Theme!!!! I am completely in love with my theme this year!! I thought and thought about a theme and was trying to incorporate Indiana and Indianapolis since my students have a hard time remembering where they live! However, it was really hard to find the clipart and/or ideas as to how to make that a complete "working" theme. So one day in June, the light bulb finally turned on and my community theme was born! haha I know tons of people have probably done a community theme, but I really wanted this theme to engulf them when they walked in the room. Everything I created has a purpose and a use which I love!! Already, we have had great conversations about community, community places, people at those places, the importance, etc. So I hope you can get a good feel for my classroom environment through these pictures and video!! I was so excited to do a video tour so I hope you enjoy it too!  So the video tour will be coming at a later date! haha We had some SD card space issues that I just didn't have time to fix today; however, I will be putting one up soon! :) So I hope you enjoy the picture tour! 

 Since our theme is community, I wanted the bulletin board to resemble one. So we are working on creating flowers for each student with their pictures in the middle, and facts about them on the petals, stems, and leaves. :) Our Open House is this coming Tuesday so it's crunch time, even though I can't even seem to get through all of my lesson plans yet alone a craft! hah We can do it!
 This is our Info Center! I still need to make a sign for it, but I loved Tangled Up in Teaching's "How We Go Home" set so I had to buy it! Then I created the "Are you looking for us?" class locator set to help others in the building to know where we are if they need a student or me. I used the best velcro EVER with the arrow!! It's Poster Velcro that is reusable! It is AMAZING!!! It comes in squares for the wall and circles for the materials, but they are flatter and easier to work with! I found them at Walmart on clearance!
 Look from the door! It's hard to get a good look with the design of the room! :)
 These are their "Parking Spots!" Since it's a community theme, I made cubby numbers using cars in a parking lot type idea. I absolutely love them!! It does remind me a bit of The Truman Show haha, but it just fits so well with the room. Above their cubbies is where they keep their bags of extra school supplies so we can have some control over them. :) You know how they seem to eat supplies! Inside their cubbies are their privacy tri-folds with their mailboxes. On Pinterest, I found the idea of using ice cube bins for mailboxes and individual book bins so I was off on the hunt!! Of course, every Walmart around me only had maybe 6 at the most and sometimes none when I went. So it was a collaborative effort with my mom (my parents live 2 1/2 hours away) and me driving all over to find these! Now, I just have to finish the labels for each! I LOVE them!! They fit perfectly, and we use them to store their Center Recording Sheets as well as mail and books/library books. It's nice to be able to make areas multipurpose. I also have their jobs velcroed (sp?) to the top of their cubbies to save space and as a daily reminder!! :) My Community Jobs are all real life professions which I love. I like to make things relevant to everyday life especially since it's common for kids to play like they are adults (at least I always did hah). On the job cards, they see the title of the job with a person in that job position, the job requirements, and when they are needed to do their jobs.

 Word Wall Headers with Community Theme!! We use a combination of Phonics Dance, Sitton Spelling, and pattern words.
 Birthday Balloons (freebie) with Pixie Sticks and monthly birthday picture frame with photo the students with birthdays that month.
Here is a look at my Calendar area! One of my favorite sets I created for my theme!! I correlated the seasons to go along with the months included in that season as well as with the number cards for the calendar!
My Class To-Do List with ordinal numbers...I love the size with the ordinal numbers so it's easy for my kids to use as a reference!
 My Rotations Board for reading and math- I do 3 rotations for math just like Beth Newingham's model (got the idea from her website). I also do 3 rotations for reading where I have a small group, my EL teacher comes in for reading and does 1 group, and 1 group is on their own and follows the rotation board during their independent time. It's awesome because it's so easy to move around kids and visually see the groups. It also makes their independent time more efficient when you can break them into pairs within the group. This way you can match up kids who will work well with each other which inevitably eliminates many of the problems that could arise.

 My Classroom Library!
 Another look at the reading area
 This is my small group area for reading! 
 Since most students end up destroying peeling off their name tags, I decided instead of trying to change something that won't change, why not make them write-on name tags! So I created Editable Write-On Desk Name Tags where they can actually use dry erase markers to work on handwriting, spelling their last names hah, and any skills I'd like them to practice. So I had favorite activities, numbers that equal 10, and words that rhyme with cat. Simple skills to start off the year and catch their interest. They actually have begged me to let them write on their name tags! These come in handy when they finish early, or I may have to attend to a situation. So these have helped a lot!
 Lakeshore Learning is my best friend or worst enemy (spend wayyyy too much money there)!! I changed to these group caddies last year and love them!! They are so much easier to handle and take up less space.
 This is the math area/smartboard rotation area and any other time area! hah I meet with my math small groups here which is perfect! I have all of my math materials right there! I found the Flower Clock Labels from Primary Divas and LOVE them!! I can actually reach the clock in my new room so these are perfect for teaching with and as a resource!
 My Objectives Board (I've added the subject cards to my Community Classroom Decor Set as well as the separate Community Class Posters pack.)
 Spelling Patterns Wall
 A Look at the Back of the Room

 Another look at the classroom library (I won the minion at the Indiana State Fair with a basketball shot!! :) I display a few books that go well with the reading skill we're working on that week. I hang my Reading Skills Posters up on the window as I teach them. I also post my Genres Posters on the windows as well to be in close proximity with the classroom library. My Genres Posters go right with the book bin labels. They are identical expect that the descriptions aren't on the labels. They are also color coded for the major genres of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The genres within the major ones each have a label but are all red. The book bins from Lakeshore Learning are color coded to match the genres as well! 
 These are my Exit Posters which I love!!!! They "park" their car under the road sign for their understanding based on the 1-4 number system. They have another set of these signs in the math area to do the same after my small group.
 Another Look at my Genre Posters
 More of my reading area with the bench as well as the magnetic file holders where I store some of my centers for when they are not in a book club. They are so nice for organizational purposes and space saver reasons! Of course, there's my desk as well! :)
 Behind my desk, I have the Phonics Dance and the ABC magnetic letters center. The Phonics Dance has chants for different word chunks along with ABC chants, monster words, and tons more. 
 A Look at my Community ABC Posters!! I'm in love with these!! This is also a writing center where the kids can make up stories using the different scenes, label the pictures, etc. I will even personalize 3 of the letters with zoos or aquariums in your area. Mine, of course, have the Indianapolis Zoo! Like I said, I like to relate as many things in the classroom to their daily lives to make it more relevant!
 This is my Writer's Workshop supply area! I bought the wooden letter holder at a garage sale for $3 this summer so I will be using this for letters to be "mailed" to other students in the class as well as for our Pen Pals that Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory organized!! 
 Finally, these are an example of our classroom community posters! I created scenes for each area of the room to reflect a community! :) (post office, bank, hospital, and library)
 WOW!!! Now, you know what I mean when people call me a "talker!" haha Thank you so much for joining me to see my Classroom Digs!! I get so many great ideas from all of you wonderfully, amazing educators so I hope I was able to spread too! :)

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