Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Classroom Tour

I spent some time this summer, cleaning, organizing, and decorating my classroom. My decor {or lack of it} last year drove me nuts, but I was really just concentrating on finding cool investigations for the kids and I to do. Now that I have a year of Science Lab under my belt, I can focus this year on tweaking everything to get it one step closer to perfection...

I managed to snap a few pictures before my little friends came in for their first sessions and, er, altered some of the decor. ;)

Anyway. Here's a panoramic view:

The lines you see on the floor are for when the kids sit on the tile. It works like a "teacher carpet" but without the huge cost and without having to clean carpet whenever I do messy demos at the front. ;) 

Here's a close-up of a whiteboard. I use the green outlines to show students where to put things in their notebooks. The scientific method is above it.

Here are our safety posters + our "scientist of the month" feature. I'm going to change the featured scientist every month. Kids can read quick facts about the scientist or a book about them after they're finished with the investigation.

Here's a zoomed-out view of that wall. I like that there are books about Einstein on the whiteboard shelf now; I'm surprised how many students are eager to finish their investigations early so they can read about him! Mostly, though, I just looooove that my littles love to read. :)

Under this black curtain is a big, ugly, industrial-looking steel shelf. It looked too unorganized for my tastes last year, so I sewed this curtain {with help from my mother-in-love} and Velcroed it to the top of the shelf. It's working great so far! 

I have to accommodate 5 grade levels worth of vocabulary words, so my word wall has strips of ribbon hanging down from each letter... I use a mini clothespin to clip key words to the "wall" while we're on that unit, and then I can easily take them down/switch them out afterwards.

Motivational posters at the end of my word wall/on the cabinets:

Here's a better view of the valences my mother-in-love helped me sew. I am in love with that fabric.

A furry friend made of recycled materials + a motivational quote... this "dry erase" board was made out of a picture frame and some scrapbook paper, courtesy of my sister for Christmas last year.

I covered an opening under the sink with a dowel rod and another curtain. It's been working perfectly so far.

I didn't show the view of my actual desk, but there's a bulletin board board behind it that's all about "Mrs. K." It's nice to sit down next to pictures that make me smile while I'm slaving away at lesson plans. :)

Here's my "teaching desk." My lesson plan binder is here, as well as my doc camera, my iPad connector, my laptop, my remotes, etc.


My hallway bulletin board is pretty much the size of a football field, so I had to break it into pieces to take pictures:

 It says, "In a galaxy far, far away, OUES students excitedly say, "Science Lab is fun in every way!"

This rocket is my pride and joy. My sweet friend helped me make it out of foam board, fabric, ribbon, pipe cleaners, and scrapbook paper. I SO owe her for helping me!

Here's another bulletin board I have around the corner {also in the hallway}. The art teacher graciously made my Yoda to match with this year's district theme, and then my 4th graders added the speech bubbles. {They had to think of a way they are scientific or a science topic they enjoy and write it like Yoda would say it. I got a lot of "Explosions I like." but I think my favorite is the "Mrs. K. we love."}

I'm in the middle of the third week, and I am just worn out. This picture pretty much sums it up:


Fellow teachers, can I get an amen?

But I'm so lucky to live what I love.


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