contributed by Members of the Teachers.Net Community
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Sandy Preston (Sandy/PA/2) Brockway Elementary, Brockway, PA
This one is just an overview of Room 210 from the doorway. It features the pride and joy of my room this year -- my new round tables painted red, blue, yellow and green and seat bags in matching colors made by a parent volunteer.
This photograph is our classroom library seen from the "outside." Two cozy bean bag chairs and a couple of crates and laundry baskets of books made a nice spot to read. Along the other edge are all of our reading anthologies in dishpans for easy access. "Inside" the library is a cozy little spot just big enough for my whole class of second-graders to sit on the floor for a story. There's a wooden rocker and a lamp for soft lighting. We also hold our morning meeting here, so the CD player is in the corner for our music. The bulletin board behind the library will be decorated by the children on the first day.
This is our math/science and writing area. The shelving unit holds our math, science, and health textbooks. We get them when we need them. It eliminates desk clutter and gives us an opportunity to get up and move a little when we need to. Also on the shelves are "math boxes" stocked with manipulatives we will need for lessons. I change the stock as needed -- counters, unifix cubes, base ten blocks, coins, dice, chips, etc.
The overhead projector is ready to pull out and project onto the "screen" (a shower curtain liner) for math or for our writing mini-lesson. We gather at the easel for the opening review each day for math and often for reading/language lessons, too.
Hidden under the easel is my mechanic's stool, which comes in handy to scoot around the room at the children's level for conferencing.
This is our publishing center with a big person chair and a little person chair! Here is where we decide what the works we create during writing block will look like in their finished form. The yellow organizer will hold all sorts of different papers. The trays on top are for pages waiting to be laminated and bound together into book form.
Behind the publishing table are picture frames painted to match our tables and waiting for smiling faces to fill them up. The children will each bring a picture from home that they want to display in the room.
The window is waiting for someone who knows how to sew (not me!) to make a pretty curtain for it. Last year's curtain doesn't match the new color scheme.
This picture shows a better view of the inside of the classroom library with the rocker and "Henry," our reading bear. He goes home with a different student each night to hear a story.
This photo shows my desk (where I never get to sit!) and the shelf where I keep my most often used resource books. The stoplight indicates talking allowed (green) or no talking (red). My brother-in-law made it from some old dock lights that were tossed out at the factory where he worked. To the right of the stoplight are our classroom mailboxes, where I return papers to the students and pass out any important information from me or from the office.
This picture shows our classroom computer center. We might view a "Website of the Week," type stories, or use our favorite software here.
Above the computers will be hooks where we keep track of who the room helper is, who the table captains are, and which color group gets to read in the library each day. I will have nametags hole-punched that I simply rotate on the hooks each morning.
I have a lot of blank wall space, but that's because we will be creating charts, posters, etc. together once school starts and I need to have room for them! I don't hang up many things that I make or buy.
And finally, this is a little display outside my classroom door that says "The New Room 210 Line-Up." All of our second-grade teachers have the previous year's students cut out and decorate t-shirts for the next fall's class. We hang them up as a welcome to the new students. Some year's I have put sky and clouds behind them, but no time this year! I will recycle these shirts by turning them over and having each child glue on a digital picture of something they are doing in school and write a few sentences about it. We will hang them on the board at open house and title it "We're Hangin' Out in Second Grade!"
June Stanley, 4th Grade, Blum Elementary, Texas
This is my Reading Corner. The kids get to travel through a magical doorway into the world of fantasy. The doorway is decorated with swirlly yellow wrapping paper covering the door. Around the frame is orange and yellow "flaming bursts" like a magical burst. The kids names are written on stars and scattered around the flames.
Inside the room straight in from the doorway you can see the "Harry Potter" reading corner.
On the wall we used a roll of Harry Potter wrapping paper to add color and also a cheap way to include the theme. I looked at a small trading card to find the Hogwart's House Shields (Mascots) and I made the 4 shields for Griffendor, Slitherin, Hufflepuff and Ravensclaw. I laminated these so they will last longer.
I "borrowed" a teddy bear and T-shirt with Harry Potter on it, dressed up the bear and put him in the reading corner to add a little more of the theme and also he makes a good reading partner.
The 4 Potter books were displayed on the top shelf along with the other 2 less known H. Potter Text Books.
I have a roll around bulletin board that I decorated with the signs Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 & 3/4. I also used some photos out of a big calendar as posters. These were placed around the "Time Line" of his first year at Hogwarts which is a poster that is included in a teacher workbook of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. A few small snitches (the golden ball from the game Quidditch they play at Hogwarts) and the theme is set!
I will include this Fantasy book in other topics by sharing magic tricks and how to do them with the class. Part of their reading project will be to take home a different trick each night, read it, practice it, learn it, and do it for the class the next day.
We read and compaired the book and movie of Jumanji. This shows the game boards the students made in their groups. We passed them around the room, changing every 8-10 minutes. They loved it! Wished you could have seen them jumping up and calling, "Jumanji!"
Sharon Elder, first grade, Lakewood Elementary School, Phenix City, Alabama
Lakewood Elementary is a new science magnet school.
This photo is of my reading tub, a place where my first graders snuggle down to read.
Here you see our calendar/read-aloud area (notice the rain gutter book shelves).