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Friday, July 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday and My New Pencil Skirt!

Well, hello there!  I'm linking up with Cara at The First Grade Parade today for Throwback Thursday.  Wait, what's that you say?  It's Friday today?  Yes, I know I'm a little late to the party, but it's summer, folks!  That's just how I roll during the summer all the time. 

Now that I've accepted the fact that we will be going back to school very soon, I'm easing myself in by doing some major blog hopping and pinning (from my couch, of course).  My favorite posts and pins to draw inspiration from are classroom tours.  I just get so many fun ideas from other (super creative) teachers!  So today I want to throwback to one of MY very first posts, my classroom tour!  I hope you can gain some inspiration from my classroom, too!

Originally posted on April 8, 2013

Classroom Tour (Part 1)

Welcome to my owl themed classroom!  When I moved to a new city and district this summer, I knew I would have a chance to decorate a new classroom. I immediately decided I wanted to try a theme, which I had never done before.  I stumbled upon a seriously amazing blog called Schoolgirl Style and fell in love with Melanie's owl theme, which is where I got a lot of my inspiration and owl themed printables.  I can't wait to show off the "roost"!  

One of the reasons I love my room is because of all the bulletin board space!  I knew I wanted to use cute sayings on each of my boards that would tie my theme together.  
This is the board where I display exemplar work.  I laminated white sheets of paper, hot glued green polka dot ribbon to the top of each sheet and attached a cute binder clip.  I wish you could see the cuteness under the student work.  Maybe in a future blog post!  The students love seeing their work up on this board.  I try to make sure every student has an opportunity to have work displayed.
This board is dedicated to reading concepts, which is why it is titled "The Reading Nest!" :)  Identifying genre has been a big focus this year in 4th grade.  Each student completes a "Genre Challenge" throughout the year in which they have to read 20 books that fit into categories set by the teachers (historical fiction, realistic fiction, chapter book-choice, fiction-choice, biographies and non-fiction).  Not only do the students become genre experts, but they find out they even love to read books outside of their favorite series or author.  Can you believe it? :) I have the most wonderful teaching partner who came up with this great idea, and I can't wait to use it again next year!
Our classroom library is categorized by genre.  It makes it easier for the kiddos to choose books for their Genre Challenge and to learn to identify books in each genre.  My book baskets are from Really Good Stuff and labels are from Schoolgirl Style.  The picture makes it look like I don't have very many books, but the baskets really fit a TON!  I also have a picture book display case that I will try to post a picture of. 
 Every student needs their name displayed in the classroom as much as possible.  I think seeing their name or picture up around the room helps students to feel a part of the "community."  Another way I create a "community" is by having a weekly "V.I.P."  The V.I.P. creates their own poster and is the helper for the week.  I would love to think of an owl themed name for the star student for next year!
The front of our room...I almost died when I found out I had a SMART board!  My goal for next year is to find more ways to incorporate technology into my lessons!
A couple of my management tools... (More to come!  I believe a classroom that runs smoothly is much more conducive to learning, so I have many different "systems" in place, most of which the kiddos LOVE!)
Students have a magnetic owl that goes up on my file cabinet if they leave the room.  They do have to ask first, but if I'm missing a student and can't remember right away where I sent them, I can glance quickly at the file cabinet and account for everyone.

I used a green, yellow and red card system last year for one behavior management tool, but found this idea on Pinterest this summer and had to try it out.  Students move their clip down for negative behavior and up for positive behavior.  I love it and will definitely use it again!  Maybe I will even think of cute owl sayings for each level next year! :)  Students receive a homework pass if they end the day on "outstanding."  I love that it also rewards positive behavior!
Here are our classroom (and school) rules!  Easy to remember and they seem to cover everything!

 Our mailboxes.  I'm not sure what I ever did without them!

Every fourth grade classroom needs test-taking tips, right? :)

I realized that today's tour would be SUPER long if I showed you everything, so there is more to come tomorrow!  

Today's outfit matched my classroom, so I thought it would fit perfectly with the classroom tour! :)  Oh, and the skirt is fourth grade girl approved...I received lots of compliments today!
Necklace: LOFT (no longer available, similar here)
White tee: Ann Taylor (old)
Skirt: LOFT (available here)
Shoes: LOFT (old) 
Can you tell I love LOFT, yet? :) 

Classroom Tour (Part 2)

Yesterday, I shared some pictures from my classroom with you.  (Find Part 1 of the tour here.)  There ended up being so many pictures I wanted to show you, so I divided my "classroom tour" into two posts.  Twice the fun, right? :) 

These cute frames sit on top of our mailboxes and greets visitors as they walk into the room.  Remember how I said students should see their name in the classroom as much as possible? :)  The first idea came from Susan, a fabulous computer teacher at my last school.  Check out her blog, The Digital Scoop, for directions to make your own! 
This frame is changed every couple of days to celebrate a student in our class!
Find a free printable on my TPT store here!

My desk area...probably the most cluttered part of the room, but it works! :)

The front of my classroom...
I typically use this board for general class reminders and anchor charts.
I usually teach guided reading twice a week, and I have a Special Education teacher who co-teaches reading with me.  I love being able to meet with every group each day, but wish it worked to do guided every day!  I use one of the white boards to post the groups and stations. 

Part of the other white board is used for our class schedule and other miscellanious information.  Students sign up for Library and Accelerated Reader if needed in the morning and I call them to use the library or take A.R. tests during morning bellwork or independent reading time in the afternoon.  I think posting a daily schedule is SO important.  Kids crave routine, and knowing about any changes in the schedule before the day starts helps everything run more smoothly.  Notice I don't post times next to the schedule because kids also love to correct me any time I'm a little off schedule! :) 
The tally T-chart was an idea from my mom (a first grade teacher).  The class earns points for things like receiving a compliment from another teacher, getting all of our homework in, working extra quietly, etc.  The teacher gets points if the class is too talkative, poor report from a sub, etc.  The first to ten gets to roll the dice for a special prize.  Each number on the dice means something different, like movie, popsicles, extra recess, pajamas, etc.  My kids are so good this year that I haven't won yet, but my mom makes a big deal about getting to take her shoes off in the classroom if she wins, or something small like that.

Students earn their owl on the door when the complete the Genre Challenge.  Read more about the Genre Challenge in yesterday's post. 

Our "Morning Meeting" board is located in the reading area.  We meet around this board every morning for our meeting, and any other time I want the students to gather on the rug.  Yes, even fourth graders can still sit on the floor for stories and lessons! :)  I post the monthly calendar (can be purchased at Schoolgirl Style), weekly objectives or "targets," and the strategy we use for selecting independent reading books.  I would highly recommend posting objectives in your classroom.  The kids learn so much in a week, that it is sometimes hard for them to determine what it is that is most important.  If I forget to share the objectives one week, I always have someone who reminds me, so I really do think it is helpful to them!  The objectives posters can be found here.

These two boards are along the same wall.  Does the "Owl-Stars" board look familiar?  I posted my V.I.P. board on yesterday's tour, but once we have made it through every student, the board becomes a display for students who have mastered the district "priority words" (spelling words).  The stars are made from cute scrapbook paper and laminated.  
Since writing is SO important in 4th, I wanted to dedicate a board to writing!  I have the six traits and figurative language vocabulary posted.  I also keep rings of leads and endings for students to use during Writer's Workshop under the board.  The posters on the "Wise Writers" board were found on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I love my reading table!  I really enjoy working with small groups, so I think that might be why! :) 

How cute are my folder covers?  Find them on Schoolgirl Style.

I keep a lot of miscellanious items on my back counter: turn in baskets, pencil sharpener, paper tray, science materials...boring right?  But these cute little guys jazz it up a little!  After finding this idea on Pinterest, I headed to Target for cute lanterns and Archivers for the scrapbook paper.  I got out my hot glue gun, and Voila, adorable mascots for my owl themed classroom!

The Word Wall is currently displaying the 4th grade priority words.  It also usually includes vocabulary for each reading story.

My favorite board...I just LOVE birthdays!  Notice Lucy is also part of our birthday display...she even wore her party hat and brought treats for the kiddos on March 6th!  We ALL love Lucy!  
Hope you enjoyed the tour!  I'd love for you to leave me your comments and ideas as I begin to think about next year's classroom!  Thanks so much for stopping by! :) 

Find me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  I can't wait to share more pics with you as I get this year's classroom all ready to go!

Remember my shopping trip from Tuesday's post?  I promised I would share the winning back to school pencil skirt with you this week and I know you all have been on the edge of your seats anxiously awaiting, so here you go!

Find it here.  I can't wait to pair my new skirt with a pink cardigan or denim jacket for fall!  Every teacher has to have a cute PENCIL skirt, right? :) 

Have a wonderful weekend, fashionistas!  Stop back and see me soon!

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  1. Your classroom is adorable! By far the cutest that I've seen!

    1. Awwww thank you, Lovie! I think it's important to have a classroom you LOVE, since we spend most of our days there!

  2. Where did you get your test taking skills posters?! LOVE THEM! :)

    1. Hi Candace! I have had a few people ask me and I can't remember where I got them and can't find them anywhere! If I do happen to come across them again, I will let you know! Thanks for stopping by :)