New School Year

I have one more day left of Summer Break before returning to work for the 2014 school year (Jan-Dec). 2 student free days, then my Grade 1s return on Thursday and the Preps commence on Friday for a half day.

Life’s about to get REALLY busy!

I’ve spent a bit of time in my classroom, preparing it for the new year. It’s not completely finished (I’ll have some late nights Tues/Weds finishing it up), but I’m getting there. I thought I’d share some photos. I’m still in the same classroom, so no moving around for me, but I do like to change things up each year.

2014_firstdaysign

This is (one of) my photo booth signs for the first day of school – the Grade 1 dates are in because they start back first. I’ll switch it out on Friday for the Preps. I’ll also probably take out the glass in the frame for the photos so I don’t get the glare.

2014_takehomereaders

This is the table by the door to the classroom – my reading groups will have a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme this year (can you tell?). Our take-home reader boxes will go here, plus the kiddos blue communication folders. I have some charts to track reading that will also be on display.

2014_CAFE

The black tubs underneath the big board are for all our workbooks (which we’ll keep communally this year) and the pinboard (doesn’t it look pretty!) will become our CAFE board this year. I don’t run Daily 5, but I am going to try and get better at consistently and explicitly teaching reading strategies this year. It’s a movable board because none of my permanent board space is near the front of the room where I teach Guided Reading. This was I can always have the board handy! (More pics to come when I finish setting it up!)

2014_wetday

Remember my post on Wet Days inside? Here are my little rainclouds (cute clipart by Graphics from the Pond) stuck on containers the kiddos are allowed to access. There’s about 12 different tubs all around the room!

2014_tables

3 (out of 4) class tables and the rainbow wall! The green and blue panels will be my Maths Focus wall. The bottom half of the pink/green/purple panels will be my Word Wall and the rest of the space will be used for student work.

2014_chalk

This chalkboard (given to me by my sister and her partner) hangs near the door. I decided to use it as a permanent notice board this year, even attempting my first chalk art! It’s only simple, but I like it. Now I can add last minute notices on it in the morning for parents. Plus, I also have a hanging pocket chart underneath it now, to hold spare notices and newsletters.

2014_pencils

My pencil tubs for the tables this year. I got these art caddies from Kmart. They’re really easy to pick up and move around.

2014_calendar

Another work in progress space. This is just above my teacher-computer station. My brand new calendar pocket chart! I’ll change up the theme of the cards each term, and I’m in the process of making some special event cards as well! Underneath I will add a ‘Days of School’ counting chart!

2014_writingwall

My new Writing display board. Using the Writing Center Starter Kit by A Cupcake for the Teacher and the awesome giant pencil from The Teacher Wife. I’ve also got a blank display chart hanging to block out space for our anchor charts. (I’m going to have the same space blocked out on my maths wall, too!) This way I can just clip up new charts and have everything in the one spot!

2014_IWB

My IWB, guided reading materials and seasonal book display. The carpet blocks out the space and is nice and bright and colourful!

2014_reading

Sorry about the lighting in this photo! This is my reading corner – one chair, two beanbags, a car mat and a whole host of classroom reading buddies! And BEYOND that you can see my classroom’s deck – which is huge and I am going to make a diligent effort to use this as a learning space more often this year. After all, who doesn’t love working outside!

And finally, here’s a few pics of my books. They’re a bit messy (forgive!) after last year, but I’ll get to them soon!

2014_books1

2014_books2

WOW! What a long post! ❤

Don’t forget, Educents has a fantastic Writing Bundle up for purchase for the next 12 days. PLUS, for this weekend only you can get 10% off all purchases using the sale code SALE10 at checkout! Click the picture below to check it out!

EducentsDiscount

What have you been up to this weekend?

 

Classroom Library

So, my classroom library is about 95% complete. The only thing I haven’t done yet is label and catalogue my chapter books (which is next on my list) and my Levelled Readers, but I’m not too concerned about those because they’re not books I use for Guided Reading (our school has a collective collection of books which we use).

So to celebrate being almost/nearly there/getting so close to finished I’m going to give you a bit of tour of it.

Each category has a sticker code (look at me pretending to be an actual library!) on the front of the container and the back of the books that belong in each category. My theory is that it will help the students put things back in order. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

These are my ‘general fiction’ picture books that students can read (I have another small shelf of my special picture books) – there are 3 buckets, roughly sorted alphabetically by the author’s surname (A-F, G-P, Q-Z – which is just due to the collection of authors I had).

Books that come in series – There Was an Old Lady (I collect the tradition stories, Lucille Colandro’s books and P. Crumble’s Aussie versions!), Pete the Cat, Splat the Cat, Mo Willems, Mr Men, There’s a Hippopotamus on My Roof, Elmer, Hairy Maclary, Magic School Bus, Clifford, etc.

My ‘Australian’ books collection – general Aussie authors in 2 boxes, and then tubs for my all time favourite Aussie authors for whom I have a bad collection habit: Pamela Allen, Jackie French, Mem Fox and Nick Bland.

Seriously, Northern Hemisphere friends – if you need recommendations on awesome Aussie authors you cannot go wrong with these wondrous books. If you want specific book suggestions just let me know – but there are some truly magical books.

These are some of my ‘themed’ buckets – I collect Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss books like a crazy person. I’m a big Star Wars fan, so we’ve got those. My Grade 1 boys adore LEGO readers. There’s a few books that are based on movies/TV shows (Disney books, Ben 10, Pokemon etc), and a bucket for morals/feelings books (just because I have so many of them!).

A few more ‘themed’ buckets – Phonics and Words (alphabet books, Little Mates series, first words, etc), Math (counting, numbers, etc), Fairy and Folk Tales and School-themed books (starting school, 100 days of school, etc).

Yes, they’re sitting on my heater. Yes, I need to move them. I have no idea where, since I’ve literally run out of room in my classroom. I also have a little book stand that sits in front of the heater with books that fit our current them. Sigh.

More themed buckets – predominantly non-fiction, but there’s a few left-over categories that didn’t fit anywhere else. General non-fiction, weather & seasons books, space books, the empty tub will hold general science and science experiment books, and the final tub holds books on Art and How to Draw books.

Lots and lots of books on animals – general animals, dinosaurs, sea animals, insects/bugs/birds –  and puzzles (hidden pictures/mazes/look and find/etc).

And my holiday book buckets – general holidays, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Plus my comic collection for the kids – Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman, the Avengers, DC Super Friends, etc.

Here are some examples of my sticker labels for the back of the books. I purchased some generic brand labels (65 stickers per sheet) and used the Avery’s Design and Print Online function to print out simple labels that the Little Smarties can use to return books to their correct spot.

I’ll also have containers for Book Hospital (for any books that need to be fixed) and the Lost Book Home (for books missing labels or for students who struggle to find the correct place to return books.

So… that was my massive holiday project! I’m rather pleased with how it’s turned out, especially given the hours put in to get it to this stage.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Feel free to hit me with those!

Tomorrow I’ll have a Word Family and a Counting product to share with everyone. (I’m off to laminate the previews now!)

But, very quickly before I go, I have a reminder and a shout-out.

Don’t forget to get involved in the Super Pack for Bundy fundraiser. It’s only available until April 30th!

And the very lovely Chantelle, from Little Learners, is hosting her first giveaway! Go visit and join in – she has the cutest things in her TpT store!