Friday, August 28, 2015

Classroom Reveal - LOTS of Photos!


I really should not be blogging right now as I still have SO.MUCH.TO.DO. to prepare for my kiddos on Tuesday (mostly on the academic side of things).  But this is always my most favorite blog post of the year, so I'm doing it now (or it may not get done at all)!  Feel free to ask questions if you are wondering about anything in our classroom.  Here we go!

Let's start with the "big picture."  That blue pocket chart in the bottom-left corner is how we will remember (at least initially) which student is assigned to which number.

Time Capsule and "1st Day in 1st" Frame

These greeting cut-outs are attached to the floor with clear contact paper.  As my students enter the classroom, they stand on the "5" if they want a high five, they stand on the heart if they want a hug, they stand on the hand if they want a handshake, or they stand on the face if they just want a smile from me.

I will be trying out this indoor recess system this school year.  I only allow two students at each activity, so after two kids pick an activity the photo card comes down.

My students will stick Post-It notes with their names on them under the reading goal that they want to focus on during Readers Workshop.

Same concept here for the Writing Goals.

The stars on the ceiling have my students' high-frequency words from Kindergarten written on them.  As we learn our 1st grade HFWs, more stars will be added to the ceiling.  If we ever have a few minutes to kill before recess or specialists or whatever, I bring out flashlights (one for each table), turn off the lights, announce a HFW, and the students take turns flipping on their flashlights and shining them on the correct HFW star.  They love it!

Character Education wall - Those classroom rules were written by my students last year, so I will take them out and replace them with the rules that my firsties write this year.

Classroom Library

Book Browsing Sticks

This is the other end of the classroom library.

Word Wall

Take-Home Books and Book Check-Out System

There is a lot going on here!  Tattling Turtle, Boo Boo Basket, Calming Caddy, Take a Break Binder, Lost and Found, Seasonal Words, "I'm Not Afraid of My Words!" Poster, Writing Process Clip Chart, Conflict Carpet, etc.

And under that table are more Take-Home Books, our R.E.D. (Read Every Day) Folders, Love Notes Binder, Anchor Charts Binder, Birthday Binder, and our Calming Corner Mat.

The left side will host our Writers Workshop anchor charts that we co-create and the right side now has our Writing Goals.

Writing Resources

These area hosts all the supplies students need for Writers Workshop.

The green basket is where students will place their books when they believe it is ready for publication.

My students have two options for filling someone else's bucket:  1) placing a "warm fuzzy" (craft pom pom ball) in a bucket or 2) writing a note and placing it in a bucket.  I will attach the students' photos to the buckets using those clothespins.

Super Improvers Display - I hung felt frames because any student that makes it to the "Living Legend" level will have their photo displayed in a frame.

Super Improvers Cards

Book Boxes for Readers Workshop

Here is a side view of our back counter.

Voice Level Chart

I'm keeping all the "fun stuff" for guided reading out, so it is "in my face" this year (otherwise I forget about it all).

I will take my students' pictures on the first day of school, print those out, laminate, attach Velcro, and stick them to these plates to show my guided reading groups.  As we all know, these groups change, so this is a quick way for me to make the changes.

I teach my students a hand gesture to say "me too," so they're not interrupting someone else when they get excited and blurt out because they are in agreement or have shared a similar experience.

This is how I ended up setting up my teacher Mac, speakers, document camera, etc.

This area hosts our self-assessment mini posters (students how up a number of fingers according to the posters) as well as our Scoreboard, which is a Whole Brain Teaching thing.  I'm giving it a try this school year.

I had no clue how I was going to hang our oh-so-important anchor chart paper (no stand, fabric walls, limited space...agh!), but my clever hubby came up with this idea using cute ribbon.

I quick whipped up this mini poster because I want my students to remember to give the "why" when they answer questions.  My plan is to just point to the word "because..." when a student needs a reminder.

Our "I Can" statements will be displayed here.

When I give multi-step directions, I use visual cue cards.  This past summer, I found these in the Dollar Spot at Target and decided this will be where I hang the visual cue cards (previously, I just rested the cards on our whiteboard ledge, but sometimes they would fall).

Here is an overall view of our whole group area wall.

I use a rolling clothes rack (without the extension poles) to hang our pocket chart.  This one is empty for now because it will be used for instructional purposes.

Daily Schedule - which totally is not updated for the first day of school yet.

Dismissal Clip Chart

If my students having 100% attendance, we put a letter up in the word "ATTENDANCE."  If they have 100% attendance for 10 days in a row and spell the whole word, we celebrate!  I'm going to keep it simple this year...everyone will get a star on their Super Improvers Card and maybe they'll get an extra GoNoodle brain break.

Main Classroom Door Display

Lunch Card Pocket Chart

Student Work Hallway Display

Location Display and Attendance Mini Poster

This is my Teacher Mission Statement (displayed in the hallway).

At my previous school, we were required to display certain artifacts in the hallway, including our teaching licenses and certificates, so I just stuck 'em up there again because I had them framed already.

It is hard to see, but our window says "today is awesome."

Not gonna lie, it quite bothers me when our learning is interrupted so I try to encourage people to write me a note and stick it on our window, if the question, comment, or concern can wait.

Say it! Slap it! Step in the room!  I'm starting with a review of my students' HFWs from Kindergarten.  My plan is to change the card daily.

Cold Lunch Basket

Collar Clips for dismissal - I teach my students to check in with my at the end of the day, so I know who they are leaving with, so one way I reinforce this is by having them give me back their clip, which gets clipped to their collar, backpack, or whatever.

Notes to the Nurse, Announcement Helpers Cards (which get rotated), and inspirational mini posters.

I made that sign to hold up on the first day of school so my kiddos know where to find me, especially since I am a new teacher.

I got this idea from Aly at Just a Primary Girl and she provided the cute printable for free!  All of our outdoor recess equipment go in this sturdy laundry basket that has a handle and wheels.

Exit Slips and Hall Passes

Morning Routine Reminder Cards, Dismissal Changes, Lunch Menu

School library books will be returned to this bin.

Ketchup and Pickle Signs and Closing Circle Cards

Whole Group Area (SitSpots) Seating Chart

On this table, I set out highlighters.  I plan to teach my students to highlight their name on their homework before turning it in.  We have a "Turn It In Bin" for permission slips and that type of paperwork.  The two baskets with the stars are now labeled "Homework."  The last baskets holds papers that I need to send home.

Under that table are sponge activities, just in case students finish early and need something to do to "sponge up" the last few minutes.

Rise and Shine Binders

This is our Bathroom Check-Out.  The purpose is to make sure students are not "going to the bathroom" more than they need to actually go (which was a huge problem for my last school year at my previous school).  Do you see those colored popsicle sticks in the blue basket on the right?  There is one color for each day of the week and they are also labeled with the day of the week.  Every time a student needs to use the bathroom, they put a popsicle stick in their numbered pocket.  At the end of the week, if the student has a crazy amount of popsicle sticks, I talk to the student and the parent, if needed - as sometimes there are medical concerns that arise (and this has happened in the past).

Math Workshop Wall

Students who choose to be the Bathroom Helpers as their weekly job use those gloves in the yellow basket to pick up paper towel that was dropped in the bathroom.  I also have a Gardener who waters our plants.

Math ABC Mini Posters and Photo Timeline (which has no photos yet).

Homework Club

Class Pets (dwarf frogs), Jelly Bean Machine, and Scentsy Warmer

Birthday Board - I will eventually hang my students' photos.

We are getting 15 brand new Android tablets for our classroom, which is super exciting!  I am not exactly sure yet how we will organize all that, but I am hoping this pocket chart helps us know whose turn it is and when.

Classroom Jobs

Scientific Method display and "Who Lost a Tooth?" poster

Emergency Folder

This is one of the beautiful seat sacks that our wonderful principal bought for all first grade classes!  I love them!

Here is another overview picture from a different angle.

And finally, this is me feeling pretty content that I am ALMOST ready for students!  :)

Thanks for checking out our first grade classroom!  Feel free to leave any questions and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


  1. You can tell you spent all summer working on that room! Nice job! I love your attendance incentive!

  2. Your room looks awesome! Where did you find the laundry basket with wheels and a handle?

    1. Thanks Ophelia! :) After checking Meijers and Wal-Mart without any success, my husband found it on Target online and it was only like $14. I was able to pick it up in the store that same day, so I think it was already in stock.


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