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Monday, August 17, 2009

A Mighty Classroom

Bulletin board found outside my classroom door. My name will go above the sign. Each of my student's names is on a bucket beneath.

So, as promised, this might be a post all about Mighty Classroom.

And, in the words of beloved MckMama: your retinas might bleed after looking at all of my educational eye-candy...

Disclaimer: If you go by Nana, there is a pic of Baby B at the bottom of this post so you don't have to read through all the edu-babble without a little treat.

Brace yourself...

It's difficult to read, but this says Star Attendance & corresponds with our Star Behavior pictured beneath.

When the kiddos arrive, they sign in and move their Attendance Star to our Star Behavior chart.

My behavior management system is fairly similar to many others out there. Students begin the day on green, move to yellow for a warning, and then to red if they've had an awful, rotten, no-good, very bad day.

Students with exceptional behavior get to move their stars to the Star Jar (not pictured), which is usually only a couple students per day. I then draw a star out at the end of the day (with lots of public fanfare, of course) and make a big to-do about awarding one student with a treat. They typically choose to pick out of the prize box, swap morning work for computer time, or complete their work at my desk and use all of my fun writing tools (pens, pencils, smelly markers, etc).

For those of you who know me personally, you know what a big deal it is for me to share my beloved Sharpies with a 5-year-old. I mean, it took years of therapy to get me to that point. That, or my college roommates stealing borrowing them without my permission. Ahem, AllisonandKatie.

After student perform their morning duties (signing in, attendance, unpacking, etc.), they check out the sectioned area to the right of the Star Behavior. It is there that I list what they are to do for the morning be it explore Math Tubs, complete a worksheet, read a book, or complete a page of a workbook.

To the right of that is where I post our Daily/Weekly Graph for all to see. We work with the graph every day during the week during Morning Meeting, creating its various parts, copying it on a worksheet, discussing it, etc.

Next, is Our Schedule. I haven't listed times yet because everything is so tentative in the beginning. They'll go and change my specials times or something and then I'd have an absolute conniption having to retype or laminate something. Also, everything will be backed with magnetic tape eventually. Again, I'm just waiting we're a month or so into the year.

I intentionally skipped through the picture of my desk space because it's cramped an cluttered to afford my class extra space in our room. I was really aiming for space efficiency this year and did a lot of furniture moving to accomplish that. Unfortunately, my desk space had to suffer. No big deal though, since I spend ZERO part of my day sitting there...

Above is our Calendar Wall and our meeting space. I adoooooore my white board on wheels (bottom lefthand corner), and so do the kidlets.

Here are some up-close shots:

Do you recognize the alphabet above? Yup, it's a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom alphabet and I totally scored it at a YARD SALE!!!! My heart just raced a little typing that. I think it was like a quarter.

Here's our actual calendar and Webster the Weather Frog, aptly named by my sister, Chels, when she helped me set up my room last year. I referred to him as that since Day 1 and the kiddos loved him. I heard lots of I wanna dress Webster!!! throughout the year.
The last of our wall contains our list of birthday, pocket chart place value (with straws) and the shapes.

Moving along (are you dying yet?!) is our Environmental Print bulliten board (this will change as the year progresses), theme-book library, pointers, and our Calendar Math binders. Our number line continues over onto this wall from our Calendar Wall.

And here's our cubbies that take up a whole lotta wall space. But it's okay. I make it work. This year we're the KinderKids accessorized by rainbows, clouds, and bright colors, with a smattering of unicorns, garden gnomes, and fairy dust thrown in (along with anything else good and lovely). Because kindergarten shouldn't be anything less.

Atop our cubbies are my little tin buckets that I purchased for each of my students (crossing my fingers that my class doesn't exceed 25...and not just because that's how many buckets I bought). The buckets correspond with our Bucket Fill-osophy, and my plan is to fill each student's bucket with compliments as the year progresses and then gift it to them at the end of the year in a little Bucket Filling ceremony where I'll read each student's compliments to the class and give them a little award and cry a little bit over how amazing each of them is.

Our word wall also spans this set of cubbies, the windows, and the next set of cubbies. Right now my students' names are listed there.

Beneath the windows are shelves that house our book baskets, math tubs and manipulatives, ABC activities, puzzles, blocks, and the like.

I didn't photograph it, but between the windows and the next area, there are more cubbies, our sink and cabinets, and my assistant's workspace (a coveted kidney-shaped table!). It looks boring right now, but when it's pretty maybe I'll take a pic.

This is my Club Cadoozles bulletin board. If you're not familiar with Cadoozles, they're a mechanical pencil for little fingers. This year, I'm using them as a handwriting incentive. I haven't hammered out the details, but I'm thinking that when students can successfully write their alphabet (that means no confusing b's and d's or p's and q's!), then they'll get to do their writing with a Cadoozle. I'll use the bulletin board to advertise the names of the students in the club.

Beneath that board is more ABC center activities.

Next up is the Lightbulb Lab which is a writing center that I will stock full of fun materials to encourage {creative} writing and designing. Our computers are here also. I was inspired by Kevin Henkes' Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse for this center and can't wait to introduce my kids to it.

And, what would my classroom be without a little ADPi delight sprinkled in? I'm sure it comes as no surprise to my fellow Pi girls that our service learning project is collecting poptabs for the Ronald McDonald House. And collect them we did! We collected 5 BIG houses full of them and used the tabs as math manipulatives to help us learn subtration. This tri-fold board was from a seminar last year and will be used in a mini-lesson to explain this project.

It might be 10:04pm. I might be tired. Tired from typing, typing, typing. Tired from student loan strife (HELP ME OBAMA). Tired because I chased after Mr. On-the-Move all day.

And, because my mom complains that she doesn't like my blog unless there is a picture of sweet precious posted, here ya go ;)


Sugar and Spice said...

Love it all! So adorable. With the schedule...last year I put my schedule up on a cloth line. Different times of the day were labeled on (paper)articles of clothing and as the day progressed, we would take the "clothes" off the line. The kids liked being able to see how much school they had left. They would never let me forget to take a piece of "clothing" down. Just wanted to share an idea with ya! I LOVE YOUR CLASSROOM!!

Shubs said...

Gosh your students are lucky to have Mrs. Babbling for a teacher :) Everything is so stinkin' cute!!!

Amy said...

Love the classroom Abz! How in the world did you not know you wanted to be a teacher in college??

KateB said...

Your classroom is adorable! Those kiddos are lucky to have such fun projects and things to do on a daily basis! Good Luck!!!

Kids, Canines, and Chaos said...

I LOVE your classroom! I'm hoping to get some pictures taken this week to share. Question for you, though... What is in your Calendar Math folders? We do CM, but I have never heard of doing folders for it. Please share! :)

The Ossege Family said...

LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! All amazing ideas for a classroom and it looks fabulous! Keep sharing, so fun to read and see what you are doing in the classroom!

Nat said...

Your classroom looks incredible!!! Your kindergartners are lucky to have such an awesome teacher!
Of course Baby B is still the cutest picture up there :)

Jennifer said...

How creative and colorful! What little one wouldn't love to be in such a neat and fun classroom. Best of luck in the new school year!

The Pettijohn's said...

I would be so lucky to have you teach Baby Hudson one day :) You seem like such a WONDERFUL teacher, Abby! It's easy to see how much care and concern goes into your classroom and I imagine too, for your kiddos.

p.s. Baby B in overalls...priceless. Cutest overall'd baby I've ever seen!