Sunday, September 11, 2011

Classroom Tour!

Phew!  The past 2 weeks have been a little crazy.  Two weeks ago I had jaw surgery, and was totally out of commission for the entire week.  Luckily I knew in advance about the surgery and was *almost* ready for the first day of school.  Almost...I still had to spend one afternoon/evening when I wasn't feeling so hot camped out in my room getting ready for my little ones!  

Last week was the first week of school.  I have the sweetest class!  My 2nd graders and I had such a fun week.  Fun, but definitely tiring!  Come Friday, I think all 27 of us (including Lucy!) were ready to sleep in! :)

Those crazy 2 weeks are the reason I am just now posting photos of our classroom tour.  I LOVED seeing all of your amazing classrooms out there in the blog world, so I wanted to post some of mine, too!  Here they are...

View from the door.  I just love my seat pockets from Carson Dellosa!  Not sure what we would do with all of our binders (Poetry, Writing, STAR Binders, and Math Binders this year thanks to Cara over at The First Grade Parade!) without our seat pockets.

View from the other corner of the room.

Our classroom pet - Lucy!  She is a Lionhead Rabbit that I've had for a year now.  I just love her...and so do the little ones!  I have little visitors all day long from various classrooms in the school. :)

Our cubbies and the Theme & Genre wall.  I add photos of the stories we've read underneath each Theme or Genre category throughout the year.

Celebrity of the Week pocket chart and our Classroom Jobs pocket chart.  I got the job cards from Teacher's Clubhouse!

Our classroom library - the gray Massage Chair is definitely one of my students' favorite spots in the room!  They can choose the "Sit in the Massage Chair" coupon from the Prize Box on Friday if they'd like to sit in it during Daily 5.

Our Beanie Baby strategies.  I have seen so many cute bulletin boards with Beanie Babies displayed on them.  Call me crazy, but one thing I could NOT do was stab the little Beanies with push pins to hang them up!  It just seemed wrong!  So I put them in these little baskets instead. :)  We take them down one at a time as we are learning about the strategies.

Student book boxes from Really Good Stuff, and reading binders modeled after Beth Newingham's.

Some of the fiction and non-fiction book baskets.  Books are organized by theme or genre. They have a small label on the inside which matches the label on the basket.  I forgot to take a picture of that!

More fiction and non-fiction book baskets.  Book baskets are also numbered to help students find where a book goes more quickly.

Some of our favorite authors and more fiction/non-fiction baskets.

On the top right, we have our classroom magazine subscriptions (American Girl, Highlights, and National Geographic for Kids).  Underneath that are some of our chapter book series including A to Z Mysteries and Magic Treehouse.

More chapter book collections!  I had to re-do these baskets (and add quite a few more) this summer because my chapter book collection keeps growing!  I love Scholastic Book Order Bonus Points!

Massage Chair. :)

Our book display holds monthly books.  I rotate them out every month to keep things fresh and exciting for my readers!  These are our September Back to School books.

These are my Literacy Bags that I created through a grant from Donor's Choose.  Students take them home every Thursday to share with their family.  They are centered around a theme and contain several books, a game or activity, and a notebook to write about their experiences with the bag.  You can read more about them here!

This year I am trying something new!  Students are going to check out a book each day to take home for their nightly reading homework.  This is the chart where they will place the card from inside their book so I know who has what.

Here are the Take Home Books.  They are not completely ready yet, as I need to label the boxes with different levels.  These books are organized by level only.  Each student will be required to take a book home at their exact level.

This is my personal bookshelf.  It is where I keep my monthly books to put in our book display, or other books I use to teach with.  I like to keep some special books put away so they are new and exciting for students when I teach a lesson with them!

View from the back of the room.

Our classroom Clip Chart!

Star Reader chairs to use during Daily 5.

Our writing table, shelves, and crate seats.  The top on the crate seats lift up, and I plan to keep Daily 5 writing materials inside!

Smarty Pants bulletin board!  I plan to display one or two SMART pieces of student work on the board each week. :)

Our math meeting area, along with my easel.  I also just made that clipboard for our daily lunch count - it was my first experience with "Modge Podge"! 

Our Jitter Juice stand!  We used this to make our Jitter Juice on the first day of school.  I got the idea from Abby's adorable Back To School Unit!

Reading Focus Wall and CAFE menu.

A monthly poem will be displayed in this pocket chart.  On top is our Work on Writing basket of activities, Word Work basket of activities, and Listen to Reading i-Pod books.

Listen to Reading nook...complete with movie candy pillows!

Not sure why I didn't get a pic of the table, but this is the area behind my small group table.  In the drawers I have things I might need while meeting with a group, like phrase cards.  In the tubs are different items I use with my small groups to make things a little more fun. :) 

My desk...wouldn't be complete without a large Diet from McDonalds in a styrofoam cup!

Area behind my desk.  The sweet teachers in my school introduced me to this drawer system for filing my papers each week.  I love it!  There is one drawer for each day of the week, and one drawer for "extras". It keeps me so organized.

My friend and colleague Molly had the idea to use this wasted space in the corner by getting this bookshelf from Target!  I use it for teaching books that I don't need access to all the time.

The students' Tower of Power!  Over the years the tower has expanded from the sets of drawers to the entire counter. :)  

The Read to Someone table, complete with a cute little poem that I "borrowed" from Amanda over at One Extra Degree!

Here are the crate seats again.

I picked up these stuffed animals at Kohls for $5, and they included a hardcover book!  Great deal.

I designed our name tags at Really Good Stuff this year.  The front is mostly ELA...

...and the back is math.  Love them!

Well, that's about it!  I will be posting soon with photos of my 2nd Grade Writing Menu and another writing display that I am working on!

Hope everyone has a great week. :)


Miss J said...

Your room is absolutely adorable!! I love all of the organization!! Especially your desk arrangement!! In fact, I just pinned a lot of your pictures. Thanks so much!!

Miss J
Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories

Rebecca said...

Your room is fabulous! I have just found your blog and enjoyed my first visit! I have been teaching third grade for 14 years but just now started a teaching blog...even though I've been blogging for years now. Hope you can come by for a visit.

Happy Teaching,

Jen said...

Your classroom in amazing. Wonderful how everything is organized. First time to your site. I taught gifted education for 10 years and am now at home teaching my own children. Take Care!


Amy said...

Can you tell me more about the cute little buckets behind your small group table??

Ms. Fliss said...

I just stumbled on this post (about 2 years late haha), and I was wondering if you could tell me more about which books you set aside for read alouds, etc? I love your idea for a "teacher bookshelf," and just was wondering which books you include. :)

Skye said...

OMG, I wonder if I'll ever have my classroom as neat as yours! Is so beautiful!! This year I'm shifting (from middle school for 7 years) to second grade. This gave me an idea of all the stuff I need. Any suggestions on how to start from scratch?

Unknown said...

Hi! I love your ideas in your room. Couple of quick questions. I am a new full time teacher this year and I was hoping you could tell me more about the Literacy Bags? I love the idea! Also, where did you get your seat covers and the fun reading comprehension star wands above your EEKK poster. By the way do you love Daily 5 and Cafe. I wanted to do it this year but am a little nervous.

Elizabeth Jazinski said...

Hi Amanda,
I just found your blog and love it! Is there anyway you can share your Beanie Baby strategies with me? I am also wondering if you can share some of your literacy bag ideas, I am looking to do this next year in 1st grade.
Thanks :)

Tara Smith said...

Love your classroom. Next Fall I am teaching second grade for the first time and even moving froma Portable into the main building. I am struggling to find ideas for classroom setup and what it important to have, etc.
Your blog and pictures are great!

Shelton, WA

Kay Bowers said...

Where did you find the primary colored baskets and tubs?

Anonymous said...

Hi!!! I really loved your Literacy Bag idea. I was wondering if I could have more information about it or how you went about it. What kind of things did you send out and did every child get the same book? Thank You soo soo much

Leslie Lim said...

I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.


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Beverly Ladd said...

The link for the take home bags doesn't work. Would you mind sending it to me at Thanks!

Caruml said...

Hi, just wondering if you could send me info/details on your beanie baby strategies and literacy bags. Thanks!