Classroom photos, freebie updates, and student work highlights!

Alright, I know I have talked about all the changes in my classroom this year, so finally I have taken pictures of everything so you can "picture" just what I am talking about! =) As you know I am co-teaching with the teacher next to me, Diana Patrissi! This is the 5th year our classrooms have been next to each other. Let me just say that when I first took the position and walked into what is now my classroom, I never thought I would be teaching next to someone that I would not only respect and admire as a colleague but be honored to call my friend! I can't imagine teaching with anyone else. I don't think words can come close to describe how much I treasure our friendship! It is one of the reasons why I love coming to work everyday {besides teaching my kiddos}!

So when we decided to try co-teaching this year, I was excited get started! That meant that we would have to change our classrooms around a little to accommodate 36 kiddos. So the pictures I am showing of my classroom are the changes that I have made! I think my room looks really big and open now.

This is a view of my classroom from the front board. So when we are up there teaching this is the view that I see! Of course on a normal day there are kiddos looking back at us, 36 to be exact! My desks are arranged in 3 groups of 6 in the front, 3 groups of 4 in the middle and  then 2 groups of 3. We just fit. =) I know I have said this already but I am going to say it again, I LOVE our group of kids! They are working so well together! I don't know what it is about them that is working so well, I mean we have our struggling students, behavior challenges, high achievers, and students that are new to our school {you usually never like getting the new students, but ours have been great additions}, but they all are making progress. Maybe it is just because they have two great teachers! =) I think I am going to knock on wood and cross my fingers to ensure they work this way for the entire year!

A new organization strategy we created since there are 8 different groups of students is to use colored dots. Our school no longer lets us hang anything from the ceiling! I know, a total bummer! So we have to come up with a new way to assign table colors. We decided to laminate name tags and then place a colored dot in the right hand corner of each name tag. We had to buy 3 different boxes of dots to get the 8 different colors. We have the colors pink, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, red, and lime. I didn't take a picture of this but inside the colored dot we added the number we assigned each student. This helps them remember what number they are.

Aah-ha, here is a picture of a dot with a student number in it. =) Another new addition to my classroom are table trash bins! They are AMAZING! First, these trash bins are only for paper or supplies that not usable anymore, like finished glue sticks. Since they are at their table groups there is no reason to have the students get up to throw things away. Then I assigned a student the job of emptying them out every morning before we start the day. It's great, definitely a time saver. These bins are from Walmart and they were $2.00 dollars each.

Here is a look at my new behavior management system. I have used the card system in the past but wanted to switch after reading up on how this system works. Last year I have a group of several students that were naughty. I was continually felling like my well behaved students were getting left out. I mean you do the positive reinforcements to keep them motivated but I still felt like something was missing. I am really loving the upward movement of this behavior system. It clearly identifies the students going above and beyond the others in the class. It also helps motivate other students to improve their behavior and participation.  If you are not familiar with this system you can check out the book in PDF by clicking {here}. Can you believe that I found the book for free?! =) I changed the amount of colors in the chart because I wanted to keep the reasons for movement largely different. I felt that with two more additional colors it was to easy to move from one color to the next; weather it was up or down. I also didn't want to have to use 7 colored markers when signing agendas. I felt 5 different colors were enough for me. In addition to those changes I also titled my assigned colors different. The biggest difference I have is when the clip is moved down. I write a note home to a parent when they move to yellow or red. I hold the students accountable for all their behavior choices so having red say contact parent does not work for me. I also wanted to stress to the student that when they are on yellow or red they need to fix their choices. So titling these colors with behavior strategies instead of consequences was important to me. I want their focus to be on changing their behavior not on the consequences they are getting, even though they are.

Here is my new schedule! I am so excited about the finished product! I used clip art to show each part of the day as well as added an analog clock with the times for each subject. For specials I put them on those sticky hooks so we can flip through and change them based on the what we have that day!

I made a new word wall too! i moved it from my wall onto the cabinets. There are two letters per cabinet and the vowels are in a different patten to stand out from the other letters. I think these look pretty darn good as well.  I needed to move them because I needed to change up my large wall were it's home used to be.

This wall was where my word wall used to be. Now this is where I am going to store my anchor charts. Since I can't hang anything from the ceiling I needed a way to display them and this is what I came up with. I haven't put the command hooks that the wall yet. Each chart will have the metal rings on them, this will allow me to use the rings to hang the charts on the command hooks. It will make the anchor charts act like a flip chart. That way all my charts for each subject will be stored in one place and I can flip back to them if I need to revisit a skill. I am hoping to kill two birds with one stone with this; storage as well as purpose!

Okay I am really sorry about the fuzzy picture! I didn't realize it was fuzzy until now! This is a picture of my guided reading area and Daily 5 wall. At the top of the wall it says Reading and will display two reading strategy anchor charts. I haven't decided what two I want to use so I placed blank ones there so you could get an idea of what it will look like. In the middle of the two charts I made a Large I PICk poster. I have shoe images I have yet to put up that will go around the I PICk to remind the students they need to pick books that are a good fit for them! Then under that I have the D5 center posters. I used the name of the center, the behavior web expectation, and a definition poster for each center. Then I place the thumb check in strategy on there as well. I want to carry that self monitoring/ reflecting procedure in guided reading as well! I have added a few things the my Daily 5 Classroom Pack Freebie as well as to the Daily Classroom Centers Pack. Click on the product covers to get all the updates!

I have added the large I PICK posters for bulletin boards along with the shoes for decorating! My students wanted an I PICK bookmark so you will find this freebie in there as well! I also had a few requests for a "meet with teacher" poster and rotation card so they are added too! Tons of new additions so make sure you update your freebie of The Daily 5 Classroom Pack!


Okay, so if you purchased my Daily Centers Classroom Pack I have added the definition posters to this pack! They were added to the back of the PDF file, so make sure you scroll all the way down to the last few pages! If you have already purchased this unit make sure you go into your purchases file in TpT and Re-download yourself a copy! If you are interested in this pack you can check it out by clicking on the product preview button in the listing to see what you are getting in this pack!

The last classroom photo I have to share with you is of my new chevron rug! Isn't it so cute?! I LOVE it! The best part about it is the price......guess where I found it? This fashionable rug was found at Big Lots for $18.99! Big Lots, who knew you could stock such cute items! =) I am so excited about that find this summer!  It is in my classroom library! I want to find some round floor cushions in the bright colors but have hand no luck so far. I am even willing to use black. If you know where I can find some, please let me know!

I have one more update to share with you! Last week I started creating materials to go with the CAFE book! I had made the comprehension skill cards and promised to add more to the freebie each week! Thank you for being understanding and patient about when I would post more to the freebie! =) Well today is one of those days where you can grab up some more freebie items for your CAFE instruction! I have added the accuracy skill cards to the pack! So make sure you get the update by clicking the product cover below!

To go along with the CAFE pack I have started making a reading strategy cards and tools pack. This pack will offer strategy cards as well as organizers, activities or student tools to use with each of the 4 skills addressed in the CAFE. Meaning there will be materials for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expand vocabulary. The best part about them is that I have color coded them to match the freebie strategy cards for CAFE. So you can place an example of the strategy next to the sentence! You can also have the strategy cards with you in guided reading as well as when you conduct independent conferences! These cards would also be great for you to give the student an example of the strategy when they leave your conference so they have an accurate idea of how to meet their new goal! This is going to make using the CAFE tools so easy! I have just started working on them but wanted to share what I have made so far! 

Here is a look at a few strategy cards for comprehension! I used the pink background to match and also kept the banner detail as well. I wanted to add more of a visual aspect along with words. This way the cards can be used to help them when working on a strategy. But that is not all I am including in this unit. To make sure you have all the tools you need to teach and address each strategy, I am making organizers, activities or student tools for each! How great would it be to have all your resources in one convenient spot. So here is what I have made for comprehension, most of it is still in the making.

Here is a look at the 3 stop signs I made for when students are having trouble understanding what they read. There are 3 because each one has a different amount of pages the students should read depending on the age/grade of your students. One says, "once your read ___ page/s STOP! If you are confused go back and reread." There is one for paragraph/s and chapter/s. This way there is one for any type of book your want your students to read. I have also included a check for understanding that asks the "who" and "what". Then I have provided a summarizing organizer. As you can see there are different resources depending on the strategy. My goal is to have it done by the first week in October but you never know! I have 4 skills to do and all the resources to make for each, so I will keep everyone posted on the progress.

Before I sign out I wanted to share some of the super reader capes my students made! They are a product of our I PICK lessons and the introduction of their hero notebooks! They look amazing. I got the idea from Hope King, you can check out her post {here}. I also used her cute freebie printable you see on the cape. I changed it up a little because I wanted to review everything they had learned from I PICK, so mine are a little different.

Since the capes are pretty large you need to use a whole piece of 18x12 construction paper. I wanted to make templates for my students so I just took a file folder and opened it up. Once I drew my cape on the file folder I cut it out and voila I had a tracer! Then I picked my color cape and got to tracing. Like I said it was pretty big so, it took up the whole page. I like the file folders as tracers because they can still fold up to store for next year! Here is how some of them turned out!

Can you tell what his interest is? Lol!





The last picture I have to show you is the bookmark I made from my Chrysanthemum activity! It helps celebrate every student's name with words they feel help describe them! You can check out that activity {here}. I thought I forgot to take pictures of the student bookmarks but then I remembered that I didn't take pictures of them because it has their names on it! lol! I wish I could because they turned out super cute, but you know how that goes. So I just have mine to share with you, I hope you like it!

I hope everyone has a great week and stays germ free! That's right make sure you Clorox Wipe everything!! Did I mention I am fighting the flu? A girl can't get a break lately!


  1. Hi Shannon,

    I just ran across your blog...I LOVE your rug!  I just re did my reading area...your rug would look adorable there!  I got some cute cube seats that have storage inside at Target for !17.99!  They had orange, teal, grey and black last time I was there.  I live in Washington State so we may have different things.  I have pics on my blog if you want to check it out!  Best wishes!   I just started my blog last month.


  2. I love your freebie daily 5 classroom pack! It is a great way for my students to sign up for D5 everyday. I hope you don't mind, but I linked your TPT page to my blog in my work on writing post. Come take a look when you get a chance and follow me while you are there please! Thanks for the great product!


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