Thursday, August 23, 2012

Classroom Tour

My room is finally finished and I'm so glad because I have yet to write out my lesson plans for next week.   Here are just a few pictures of my favorite parts of the room.   

My reading area before I changed the bulletin board.
Reading area bulletin board.  It will be an interactive board where students can write
book recommendations on the fish for other students to look at.
This is the back of the room.  I have a small round table for conferencing with students.

I love the giraffe print border I found at All About Education.  One
side of the agenda will be for writing the daily objectives and the
other side will be for their homework.
The front of my desk

Next on my list of things to do is write out name tags for students to find where they are to seat, figure out a way to organize make up work and then start writing my lesson plans!  I'm so excited that the first day is right around the corner.  I will feel even better about it once everything is ready tomorrow afternoon.  I'm very thankful though that everyone at my school has been super helpful.  I really believe I chose the right school to teach at and can't wait to see what this school year will bring!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In The Middle

During my undergraduate reading course I was required to read a few chapters from the book "In the Middle" by Nancy Atwell.  I'm now reading the textbook over again to see what I can learn about teaching middle school language arts.  What I've taken from the book so far:



1) An idea to introduce students to the classroom is to provide a scavenger hunt of classroom supplies instead of just pointing them all out to them.

2) Require students to write a letter to me at least once a week about what they are reading and then reply back to them.  I will be making sure that each student has a one subject notebook for this purpose.

3) Nancy Atwell structure her daily schedule to include a writing workshop and a reading workshop everyday. I most likely won't have the time for both but I do like the idea of having word work as a bellringer, followed by a mini-lesson and then either a reading or writing workshop which I can alternate each day.   I also like how she emphasizes the importance of read alouds which I think I will end each day with.

4)  "In the Middle" offers many ideas for topics for mini-lessons.  Some suggestions for the beginning of year include:
 -Expectations for writing or reading
 -Conferring with peers: where, when, how
 -How to use an editing checklist for writing
 -Classroom literary resources
 -Procedures for booktalks
 -Setting goals for reading and writing

If anyone else has read "In the Middle" and used Atwell's approach I'd love to know how it has worked for you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Read Alouds

I absolutely can not wait to read aloud to my students.  I think it is so important for students to hear how good readers sound.  It also is fun to hear a voice with a story no matter how old or good of a reader you already are. I plan on reading aloud to my students for at least 5 or 10 minutes each day.   The pictures below are of books I'm considering using.  What books do you enjoy reading aloud to your students?




Monday, August 6, 2012

Reading Area

My reading area is starting to come along in my classroom.  I now have two seat crates and a small rug to match.  I found the rug at T.J. Maxx on clearance for $5.00 and I bought the fabric for the crates for $4 at Walmart.    I would love to get a really big rug for the reading area but the large rugs are well over $100 dollars even at places like Ikea.  Here is a picture of the crates (thanks to Pinterest for the idea) and the rug I bought.



I still need to carry in the other crate and a bean bag chair I have.   After that I'm pretty that the reading area will be complete.  I would like to have more fun seating spots but my room just isn't big enough to have too many more chairs.  If I see any beach mats on sale I may try purchasing a couple of them.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pinterest Crafts

After having searched Pinterest for months I can now finally pick out the things I want to make for my own classroom.  Here are a few things that I saw that I really want to make before school starts.

1)  Crate Seating:  I already have the memory foam topper and the crates.  All  I need is to get some fabric and make them.   I have a very small reading area in my room that these would be the perfect size for.


2) Teacher Binder: I've seen so many ideas on Pinterest for keeping a teacher binder organized. Teacherspayteachers have several free already made labels to organize your binder.


3) Hanging File:  This idea is really pretty and cheaper than buying a hanging file organizer which I wanted for  keeping work to return to each period in.   It also will give me a cute way to use the duck tape I bought.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My classroom

Today I went to the school I will be teaching at and saw my classroom for the first time.  Luckily there is a lot of furniture in it and books from the teacher in the room before that I will be able to use.  However, there is still so much work to be done.  I took a few pictures of the before to help me figure out how I want to arrange the furniture.  I'm excited to see how it will look when it's completely ready!

 View from the front, facing the smartboard.
 Back of the room, whiteboard & bulletin boards.
Back corner, filing cabinets, supply closet, tv, teachers desk
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