Saturday, May 11, 2013

Classroom Tour

Since I spend so many hours in my classroom, I like it to look nice.  Well, that and I'm type A, so it HAS to look perfect all of the time!  In past years, I used fabric to cover my walls and bulletin boards, but this year, when I moved classrooms, I decided to go with a black/white/red polka dot theme.  I really love that everything matches!

Here is my "desk" area.  I don't really use this desk, but I needed a spot to place my cute wooden storage boxes.  I had bigger plans for that ugly white brick wall in the beginning of the year.  The plan was to hang up my degree info, race bibs, and pictures, but quickly found out that the wall is nearly impossible to drill into!  So, I went to Walmart (yuck!) and bought fabric.  I lined them with ribbon and hung them up to add a little splash of color.

Here are the wooden storage boxes up close...

Long before I knew about digital scrapbook paper, I made the labels for each drawer using real scrapbook paper I purchased at Michael's craft store.

Because I teach wild seventh graders, I felt it was best to arrange the desks in rows, at least for the beginning of the year.  I do have my students work in partners and cooperative groups often, so they just push their desks together.  I also have my students use whiteboards everyday and I have tried several options for passing out materials, but I thought that just keeping them on the desks has worked out the best.  It can look a little messy, but I've just gotten used to it!

I am such a HUGE fan of quotes.  I have positive inspirational and motivational quotes all around my classroom and house.  At home, I have my favorite scriptures written on post-its and hang them on my bathroom mirror as a reminder :)  I like to have positive quotes for kids to look at when they get tied of looking at me.  Haha!

Here is my quote of the week (and mini flag).  I originally began the quote of the week for the elective class I teach called PAL (Peer Assistance and Leadership).  My math students love it so much and always talk to me about the meaning or make little comments...I may just keep it going even when I'm not teaching PAL :)  Oh, and why the mini flag??  Well, I do have a regular flag, but it was too massive, and hid the bulletin boards in the corner.

And now you see why I call myself Type A!!  Nearly every teacher that has opened this cabinet just laughs!  Even my students make comments when they open this and ask, "how can you be THIS organized?"  I love looking at this and love that everything has a home.  I don't have to think about where it goes, I just throw things in the appropriate bin.

I am so embarrassed to admit that until recently, this is the way I organized my colored paper and construction paper.  Super EEW!  Luckily, I found some way cool letter trays to organize this disaster! much better!

Now, on to more serious things.  Note-taking!  I have my students take Cornell-style notes.  I love it because guess's super organized!  Once they get the hang of setting up each page, it becomes easy for them to go back to review notes.  I made this huge poster of what notes are supposed to look like and keep it displayed all year long. {More info on Cornell notes to come}

 And finally.... content and language objectives!  This is basically my agenda, so I don't have to answer the question "What are we doing today?" a billion times each day! {more info on objective to come}

Where did I get my stuff??
1.  {wooden storage boxes} Unfortunately, these have been discontinued :(, but here's the info anyway in case you can hunt them down! From Ikea, called Fira wooden drawers.  Here are some ideas on how to decorate/paint these boxes  :)

2.  {student whiteboards, markers, erasers} I work at a Title I school; this is all paid for by the school

3.  {bulletin board paper & borders} I shop at Lakeshore for bulletin board paper and borders.  I only purchase fadeless bulletin board paper because it is thick and durable and the obvious...its fadeless (it really is!).  They are pricey, but worth it!

4.  {plastic storage boxes} I purchased these from none other than favorite store!  I have the 6 quart latching box.  I also have these decorative bins I purchased from Target (you can see them in the top of one of the pictures).  I store cleaning supplies in one and baggies/random stuff in the other.

5.  {stacking letter trays} I purchased a set of three stacking trays in black mesh from Amazon.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Birthday This Little Ladybug!

Today is such an exciting day for This Little Ladybug!  I have been stalking other blogs for quite some time now, and today, I finally get to publish my very own!!  I am so very excited to share a little bit about me and my classroom.  I am in the midst of finishing up my master's and my life has been pretty crazy.  All I have been able to think about lately is how much I want to write on here :)  Happy Birthday This Little Ladybug!