Sunday, June 3, 2012

Goodbye Room 105 - LOTS of Classroom Photos!

These last couple of weeks have been so bittersweet.  My life is in a complete transition phase.

On a personal note, my husband and I are expecting our first baby... any... day moment... now.  He is five days overdue and we are all so anxious to meet him!  If he does not arrive before tomorrow evening, we have an appointment at the hospital to get the ball rolling with medical help.  I still cannot believe I am going to be a mommy in no more than two days!

Due to the fact that this baby could come at any moment, I have been on maternity leave since his due date (only six days ago).  I miss my students.  I miss my classroom.  I am not sure how I am going to handle being at home for three months.

On a professional note, there are also major changes.  I had thought when I return to work in September, I would be returning as a Third Grade teacher.  However, that is no longer happening, for reasons I prefer to not "get into" on my blog.  I am extremely disappointed and have shed many tears over all of this.  But the good news is, I am still employed.  I will return in the Fall as my school's Title 1 Math teacher.  I am trying my best to keep my head up and stay positive that this will all work out for the best.  My husband and I are hoping this position may even allow for more time with my own little guy.

Anyway... enough of that.  Once this school year is over, I will be going back to break my classroom down, pack, take things home, bring things up to my new office, etc.  So I took lots of pictures of my Kindergarten classroom, so I can remember it always as I had it.  Goodbye Room 105!

This is the view from the main doorway.

I was lucky enough to have a coat room / storage area.  It was not always that crowded, but I was housing some boxes that were supposed to get moved up to my third grade room.  Not sure what I am going to do with all that stuff now...

Ignore my mess of boxes.  Like I said, those were temporary.  I took this picture because I was fortunate enough to have TWO sinks in my classroom.  :)

We had our very own bathrooms!  :)  Yes, I was a spoiled Kindergarten teacher.

Wow!  This looks so unorganized from this photo, but really it was super organized.  These are all my guided reading materials.

These are the students' cubbies with our Radius Center on top.  I feel like a broken record, but that mess on the counter behind the cubbies was temporary.  I guess I should have taken these photos earlier in the year!  Things got crowded toward the end of the year and right before my maternity leave.

This table housed our "Boo Boo Basket," our "Crayon Lost and Found," our "Pencil E.R.," Kleenex, hand sanitizer... you get the picture.

One of the best moves I ever made was when I moved all four computers to one table and utilized the second long table (pictured here) as a small group work area.

I loved all the storage space in this classroom!

Here you can see more storage.  I used the counter as an area to organize my materials for the week.

And here we have... more storage, LOL!  This was the space behind my teacher desk.

I am proud to say that my teacher desk was always clean and organized!  I never left at the end of the day without making sure it was in order.  :)

In an attempt to keep my kids interested in the classroom library the ENTIRE school year, I would keep some books by my desk and introduce them whenever we started a new Reading theme.  It worked!  They loved when I brought out a basket of "new" books.

These shelves housed the students' Poetry Binders, workbooks, whiteboards, and teaching materials - most of which I never looked at.  I do not like teaching from teacher texts!

It is hard to tell from this picture, but those books are all Math related.  I used old rulers as dividers.  I labeled the rulers, using permanent marker, by Math topic.  So when we started learning a new topic, I would take out all the books I had that matched that Math topic.

This is our Word Work Center.  It used to be one of the kids' favorites, when we had a gumball machine / high-frequency word activity there.  But when the electricians were replacing the lights in our classroom in April, one of them knocked over and broke the gumball machine.  Bummer.  :(  I replaced that activity with a stamping / high-frequency word activity that the kids enjoy, but it is not the same.

This is our big book stand - a treasure one of my colleagues found in our school basement!  You can see our "Mystery Letter Box" beneath the stand.

I love our windows!  We have three huge windows in our classroom.

This is our big book rack.  I made it using a rolling clothes rack, but I just did not add the extension poles.  The books are hung using clothes hangers with strong clips.  By the way - I do not recommend putting this many books on the stand.  It makes it too difficult for the students to see and select books.  I should have removed some of these books a long time ago.

Do you ever look around your classroom and think, "I STILL have not updated that!?"  Ugh... that is what I think when I look at this corner of my room.  That ugly yellow paper has been there since I moved into my classroom THREE years ago.  Oh well... too late now, haha!

This is our classroom library.  It is not as cute and cozy as I had imagined it would be - maybe three more years and I would have made it just perfect, LOL!  Anyway, I like how big it is.  It used to be much smaller until I did some rearranging, I think, last summer.

Here is another view of our classroom library.

These pocket charts were critical for Literacy Centers and Math Centers.  They reminded us where the students were assigned to go each day.

Did I mention how lucky we were to have so much storage and shelving built right into the room?

This is the portable whiteboard that we used during whole group teaching.

This is the wall that housed everything we needed for our Calendar Time.

I recommend purchasing a stool, if your little ones have a difficult time reaching the SmartBoard.  The Dora the Explorer bucked store all of our pointers for the SmartBoard.

Here is our SmartBoard - something we (including my students) used during instruction on a daily basis.  The pocket chart on the left displayed our carpet seating chart - mostly for sub teachers, when I was absent.

The table is our Phonemic Awareness Center.  The red crates (to the left of the table) stored the binders that we used on a daily basis during Calendar Time.  At the top of the photo, you can see our Bucket Filling "stuff."  Whenever I saw my class doing something extraordinary, I put a "warm fuzzy" (pom pom ball) in the bucket and when the bucket was full, we celebrated with a party!

Here is an under-utilized whiteboard.  I should have thought of a way for the students to use this.  Oh well... it displayed our homework chart.

This is our Big Book Center and Kitchen area.  Do you see the REAL cash register?  I purchased it at a Scholastic Book Fair for $5.00!

The right side of this counter was home to our Writing Center.  The left side of the counter as well as under the counter housed our Sponge Activities.

This is our Computer Center.  How lucky are we to have FOUR computers and our very own printer!?  :)  You can also see our "Tattling Turtle."  He sure did get a workout this year!

Here you can see part of our Word Wall.  The red, mobile cart on the right is our Felt Board Center.  The wooden cart on the left housed our Math Center Tubs.  The counter was primarily used for our Letters and Sounds Center.

That door leads to our supply closet.  The white paper that hangs from the board on the floor was used for the Overhead Projector Center.

This counter is where I stored materials for Guided Reading and small group instruction.

Here is our U-shape table - a critical piece of furniture!  I learned early on in my first year of teaching how important it is to have a comfortable chair here!

We have two long strips of cork in the hallway for displaying student work.

My students put together money poems.  I highly recommend posting your district's targets or learning objectives whenever you hang student work in the hallway!  It allows parents, your principal, and others to see the connection between the curriculum and the fun activity your kids completed.  You can see I have done so in this photo (in the middle).

Welcome to Room 105!  You can see to the very right, we have a small table in the hallway for pulling students for one-on-one interventions and assessments.  On that table, we display "Room 105's Hot Read," which are class books that we wrote and illustrated.  We do these books at least once a month.

Okay, so here is a better photo of our hallway table.

We also have a bulletin board in the hallway to display student work.  The letter "Qq" was the last letter we formally learned in Kindergarten.  Here you can see we created a quilt of sorts, using Q-tips and quilt (fabric) pieces.

Well, I guess that is it.  I hope you enjoyed this final tour of Room 105!  If you have any questions or comments, send them my way.  As always, thank you for stopping by.  :)

Now I am off to walk, walk, walk and try to work this baby out!!


  1. Congrats!! I know you must be overly excited to meet your bundle of joy!! Loved the pics!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog

  2. I've been in your position before-- not knowing what's coming next year and things transitioning all the time. Hang in there! You are very obviously a compassionate, caring, and wonderful teacher! Look at teaching Title 1 Math as a new experience to learn new things from-- you'll be back to your own classroom again in no time! In the meantime, enjoy your newest addition (once he arrives!)

  3. Congratulations and best of luck with everything!! I really enjoyed seeing your classroom pictures, you had everything set up so nicely.

  4. What a Classroom! From your pics we can all see that you are a dedicated teacher and love teaching. This change will give you more time at give to the baby, and time for you. Three months at home won't seem that long once the baby is here. God's blessings to you and your family.

  5. Wow! Thank you for your sweet comments, ladies! I so appreciate the positive feedback. Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning. :)

  6. How exciting! I might be possibly hired for a title 1 position as well, after 6 years as a classroom teacher. I'll will bookmark your blog, and maybe we can talk :) math 3-5

  7. Hi Mrs. S! That sounds awesome! I would love to collaborate with you via blog and/or e-mail. How wonderful...I look forward to hearing from you!

  8. I'm a new follower!! Just found your blog YAY!!!! I hope you'll check out my blog sometime:)

    1...2...3...Teach With Me

  9. Guess what?! I did get the job :) how exciting! I am now trying to see what other math coach blogs I can find. It is so good to have found this one :)

    I forgot to tell you mine:

  10. I am just reading your blog now. I am sure you have had your baby by now. I just want to say that I think you will love the new position. It will give you more time to focus on your baby. Being Kindergarten teacher is great, but so life consuming. I had to go back to work after my little one was 3. I struggled to balance it all. this new position may just be a blessing in disguise. Take Care

  11. Hi Nicole! Thank you for your sweet words and encouragement. The more time that passes, the more I agree with what you have said - especially now that my little man is here, I want to spend all the time I can with him. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  12. Congrats Amber on your new baby boy! And I agree with Nicole that this new position just might be a blessing in disguise. I worked five years in kindergarten as a TA, and I loved every moment! I am a first year teacher and will teach third grade in September. I'm both excited and nervous about finally having my own classroom. My new hobby is searching for teacher blogs in an effort to gain more ideas. I've also gained an addiction to Pinterest. I recently created a blog and would love for you to visit and join. I'm a newbie and still learning.....

    Enjoy this time with your baby boy and I wish you all the best in your new position.

  13. Hi Jennifer! Thank you - we are very much enjoying our baby. :) Best wishes for an awesome first year in your new Third Grade classroom! The fact that you're searching for ideas via blogs and Pinterest shows your dedication already. I will certainly check out and follow your blog!


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