My Classroom

Welcome to my classroom, come in and take a look around! As you enter, I will take you though a tour as if we were going through a normal day in the classroom. Complete with a schedule and freebies you can collect from each stop! So lets get started!

Before we begin our tour there are a few rules and behavior consequences you will need to learn. Below you will find my classroom rules as well as my behavior chart. We use the card system, where every student starts on green everyday and then will move their card when they have made a bad choice or wrong behavior decision. Their card could be moved from green, to yellow, to orange, and then to red depending on the number of bad choices made. This system does not take the place of my discipline it is simply a visual for the student to see where they stand with me as well as what will be written in a note home. They know that when I have to move their card their parents will be hearing about that behavior choice. Click on the picture of my classroom rules to grab yourself the first freebie!

Moving right along. At 7:30 the bell rings (RRRIIINNNGGG! I just had to) and the children start to arrive to class. The second bell rings at 8:00 (this is the tardy bell) and our school morning show starts right after. As the children enter the classroom they need to unpack their  backpacks. I have two cabinets where the children store their belongings. They need to remember to take their "SHARK" Binder to their desk with them. I for got to get a picture of this so I will be adding this later.

Once they are seated they need to write down their homework for the day. They will also need to sharpen any pencils or purchase any supplies they need. You are probably thinking like what is she talking about? We have a school wide money program for positive reinforcement (PBS). So any times they make a responsible choice or go above and beyond during the day they can earn a "BULL BUCK".  So if they need supplies before I hand out my normal round of refills throughout the year, then they have to purchase it.  They just get out their Bull Buck wallet and hand me one! (Let me just tell you that glue sticks are a H-O-T item in my classroom this year) I have to put a limit on those bad boys. So making them pay 1 Bull Buck has seemed to do the trick. They usually wont soak the paper with glue if they know they have to buy one.

 After they take care of their belongings they need to do their classroom job (some jobs require things to be done in the morning). Then after that, they can finish any work, work on a piece of writing they are dying to finish, or read a book and take an RP test. This is the same thing as AR but our school uses Renaissance Place. Each student has their own book bin where their keep their books from my classroom library. I do not let them keep my personal books in their desk because the covers/pagers get all ruined. They can only keep library books in their desk (this is also great in case I need a little time filler their books are right there and we just get them out). I used labels this year for their names but I think next year I am going to put their pictures on the front. I think that would be really cute and personalized! They have 3 books in their basket two on their reading level and one of their choice.

Okay, we are going to get off the schedule for just a minute or two!  I wanted to tell you  about RP tests and how it works in my classroom. First they will need to write their name on the sign up sheet. This is just a piece of notebook paper folded in  half on a clip board.  Once the first person starts for the day they will cross their name off of the list. When they are finished taking their test they will quietly go get the next student on the list for an RP test. I have a little index card box and inside I put the ABC tabs along with an index card that has each student's name at the top. On the card the student will have their log in and password. This makes it easy to find since we store them by using the first letter of their first name.

After they take their test they log their book into the Renaissance Place reading log. Each student has a tab with their name on it. They just need to flip to their tab and start filling out their reading log. I almost forgot, if they get 100% on a test they get to ring the bell! I think this is what gets them focused on their questions because boy-oh-boy do they love ringing this bell! If a student fills up a reading log page they just get a blank page in the back  of the binder and just add it in behind their name. Also if they fill up a page they get to put their name in a Reading Raffle! I usually do 4 Raffles a year (one at the end of each nine weeks). If you click on the picture you can grab a copy of my Reading Raffle cards which makes this your second freebie!

After they finish taking an RP test they can get new books. First they need to put their current book bin books back. Now they are ready to get new ones. My library is broken up into two sections. Fiction and Nonfiction. There is also a rack of themed books that they can choose from. I usually display books that we are reading, have read, or will be reading in a read aloud. Okay, time for another freebie! Click on the last picture of my classroom Library to download the labels I used on my bins. You can check out the labels below.

This is the fiction book section.

This is the nonfiction book section.

These are my classroom library chairs.

The fiction section is much bigger and has 3 different groups of books they can choose to look in. There is Easy Readers (blue bins), Picture Books (pink bins), and Chapter Books (green bins). Then there is a label on each bin to help them find a book they might be interested in.

Easy reader labels.

Picture book labels.

Chapter book labels.

Alright now for the nonfiction section of the library. This smaller than the fiction section and is only one color (yellow bins). I broke the nonfiction books up into different categories.

Nonfiction book labels.

I can't believe we haven't even started a subject yet and I have already given away 3 things! I need to get a move on before I give away more everything! =)

Let's start with Science. So on a great day when we have no late buses or tardy students we start at 8:15 after the morning show. We do science until 9:00.  I have the students use composition notebooks for their science journals. We keep a running table of contents so we can easily find information or so I can quickly grade their work. Check it out below.

I use a small sticky tab and place it on the Table of Contents that way the students can always find it quick and easy. I also start a new table of contents for each of the 9 nine week grading periods. That way I know what happened when.

Next stop is reading! We start reading at 9:00 and go until 10:45. I start with Shared Reading and then move to independent reading followed by centers and guided reading. Here is a look at my guided reading area.

I  have tried many different ways to organize reading group materials over the past 4 years. However I have never found anything that I really liked because I felt like it was more work on me than it was on the students. So this year I decided to purchase chair pockets to use as my organization. They are great because the students collect/pass out materials and then store them in their group's pocket. They are always accessible to them so if they need a different tool they can get it out and I can still be productive assessing a student.

Each chair pocket holds each group's materials that they need and use for their reading group. Most of the time this consists of their book, sticky notes, reading strategies mini booklet and a type of organizer or tool they will use during guided reading. I especially like these chair pockets because they have a pencil pouch on the top. So I can store highlighters, sticky tabs, pencils or anything else small that I don't want getting lost in their pouch. Literally everything is here at the table so they waste no time running around getting their things together. There is even a clear protective sleeve so you can label each reading group.

Time for another freebie! Click on my guided reading chairs and you will get one of the activities I use with my groups!

If you are wondering how I organize my guided reading books you can check it out below. I have lots of books for guided reading that my school provides us with. We even have a book room filled with other books we can check out and use. Since there is so many books I use Ziploc baggies to group each book together. Then I store that baggie of books in the correct leveled bin.  I have labels on the front of each bin to indicate the level. I also keep a small 3 tier bin on wheels that I keep my guided reading supplies in. All of the materials that are in the drawer are not in use. I also store a copy of each book that my groups are reading.

Leveled books for reading groups.

After reading we have lunch from 10:50 to 11:20.  When we return we have math. I forgot to take a picture of my manipulative bins that the students use during math. Each bin is organized with many different manipulatives they can use to solve a word problem or an equation. Each bin has a label on the front that matches the table that they sit at so delivery and clean up is easy. I will be adding this later.

After math is over we start writing at 1:30. Each student has a writing binder where they keep all their writing piece's as well as their writing tools inside the correct divider. Here is a quick look into one of my student's writing binders.

Writing Binder Cover.

Here are the tabs that are inside each student's writing binder. The tabs are as follows, writing tools, ideas for writing, work in progress, writing we love, and writing conferences. If you click on the picture below you can get a copy of the writing conference form I use with my students. This freebie I am giving you is a conference for for the teacher. This is not one that I give the students to store in their binder.

During writing we focus a lot on how real authors use writer's crafts to add details to their stories. Crafts help spice up their writing, so after I teach a craft I add it to my writer's craft wall. this way they always have a place to refer to a craft they want to use. It also helps me direct them to something i think they need to work on in their writing.

After writing we have to pack up and head to specials. We have the last specials of the day. The day can feel pretty long when you have last specials, but once you are done, you are DONE! My specials are from1:45 to 2:15.

That is how the day runs. I will post a few more pictures below to show how I organize some of my teaching materials.

I have a set of two metal shelves behind my desk that I store all of my teacher resource books in. I bought a lot of bins from target in the $1.00 section two summers ago. I put labels on the front of them that say what subject the books are used for. As you can see, in two years I have added a lot more bins. I need to get more labels.

Another way i get organized is by using binders to store my subject calenders. This is something I have created this year for reading and writing. For the reading binders I separated them into guided reading and just reading lessons. The reading binder is organized by strategies so that I can easily find what my students need or what I should bring to my team planning. The guided reading binder is organized with assessment pages as well as student data.  As far as the writing binder, the lessons are organized by month. There is a calendar in front of each tab that has lessons that I could use for that week/month. On the back of each tab I store my modeled pieces of writing that I would use for a lesson. I love keeping the stories I write because who wants to write new stories every year. I also am able to store the modeled pieces based on what writer's craft was modeled throughout it. It really makes planning  easy peasy! My math and science binders are under construction this year. As soon as I finish them I will post.

Last but not least I have plastic storage bins that hold all of the themed units I teach throughout the year. I have found this the easiest way to organize all the materials. The books and all the materials fit great into the bins so I can store everything in one place. I store all the bins on top of the cabinets in the classroom. I use a label to mark each bin so that i can quickly glance up and know what bin has what inside.

Thanks so much for visiting my classroom. I hope you enjoyed picking up some freebies for you to use in your classroom. Please remember that the lessons and documents you download from my website are for your personal use only.

 If you have a classroom blog that has pictures of your classroom, I would love to see your room! Leave me a comment with a link to your classroom blog so I can check out all the amazing ideas you have to share.


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