Monday, September 5, 2011

The Night Before First Grade

I think the first week of school is one of the hardest to plan. I feel so much pressure to teach policies and procedures clearly so that students understand how the room will work. I also know that the first six weeks and even the first day alone are a huge predictor regarding the tone of your room.  I have to say that writing my "Procedures Manual" over the summer was a huge help in pulling together my plans for the first week of school. Since I already had the little details thought through, it was easy to plug procedures into my plans for the week that need to be explicitly taught.

I'm nervous tonight, but a veteran teacher told me that if you aren't nervous something is wrong. I'll take the butterflies in my stomach as a good sign! It's been a long summer of planning but tomorrow it will all be worth it. I can't wait to meet my class and set the tone for a great year in first grade!

Here is a link to my first week's plans. {Auntie, if you are reading this please look them over and let me know what you think!} Nothing too special, but I always like to look and see what other teachers cover during the first week. The picture above shows some of the read alouds that I plan on using to reinforce our class rules/good citizenship.

That's all for now. Good luck to all the teachers going back to school tomorrow. Time for me to go plan my first day of school outfit!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Classroom Finished!

View of whole room from the door
After what feels like months of planning, my classroom is finished. I LOVE IT! One of my goals this summer was to reflect on my classroom space and procedures and think about how to improve the inner workings of my room. I think careful planning, looking at other teacher's classrooms, and coming in early has helped me achieve my goal of creating a warm, inviting, and organized classroom. I'm even more glad I started working on my room a few weeks ago since Hurricane Irene decided to arrive last weekend.
Room 102!

Although I was going for a polka dot theme, here is my apple door. I think it is important for students to see their name right away and start recognizing that we are all in this together this happy bushel!

Below is our whole group carpet area. I love that I incorporated a spot for the smart board without taking up space on the carpet. Of course that desk hanging out on the carpet will be moved! 

Here is my "teacher space." I had previously used my teaching table as my desk and probably will still do most of my work their, but I like having a small corner to stash my stuff and keep little fingers off of certain things.

Here are my math station bins, numbered 1-7. I also keep all my math manipulatives, math read alouds, and any other math materials on or around this shelf. Next to this shelf is a small round table for push in tutors or other small groups that need a place to work

Math Station Supplies

Student Work Display
Above the lockers is my student work space. It was a very easy and quick way to transform an oddly shaped bulletin board. Each student will have a designated black square with a clothespin at the top. I plan on slipping their work under the clothespin and voila! Student work display!

Re-purposed ABC Station
Last but not least, I thought I would share this little project. I inherited this set of drawers and was going to just throw "junk" in it. Instead I decided to make it my ABC center. Each drawer is labeled with a day of the week. Students will simply pull out the drawer for the week, bring it to the table and complete the activity for that day. This will prevent confusion over what students are supposed to complete on each day. That's all for now! I hope all my space planning has paid off. For's time to rest before planning for the first day of school on Tuesday : )