17 September 2016

Classroom reveal (finally...)

I finally got around to taking pictures in my classroom. School's only been in session for almost a month... But hey, when you break your foot two weeks before school starts, nothing else goes right for weeks.

Without further ado, here are some pictures of my room. I know you're all going to be SO JEALOUS of my carpeted walls.

I love hanging student work out in the hall. There really isn't a good place for it in the classroom.
This year, we have WANDerful work coming up!

My kids love seeing the Fat Lady every day when they get to school.
They love seeing their owls even more and knowing that they have ownership in our room.

When you walk in, this is what you see. I don't like desks, so we use tables.
It seems to work out just fine! I also have some flexible seating options for our
independent work time. I don't have the funds to go full flexible seating, but my
kids seem to be just fine with what we have. I have pillows, crate seats, bean bags,
and some fun chairs for them, plus lowered/raised desks. They can also sit on the floor
if they choose.

Our 'taking care of business' area. This is where our cleaning supplies,
orphaned crayons/colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, sharp/dull bins, and
some art supplies live. Also, the portraits that are necessary to any Harry Potter
room. Our behavior chart fits in well here too.

Moving along, we store notebooks and folders here in the back. I love having
color-coded everything so that there's no guessing on where a kid's things go.
They also love having our 'pet' owls in the room. The white one is Hedwig, of course.
We're still working on the others.
I also have my math and science anchor areas here. I made an anchor chart for the 8
math practice standards, and made it our "We Will" area. I don't like "I Can" statements,
because there's no indication that you WILL. Just that you CAN. So we WILL do these things.
I use our math practice posters as our daily focus. We work on many areas in a day, but
focus mostly on just one.
I also have a character trait clip chart. Our goal is to clip over from the behavior chart to the
character chart. Any kid who does earns 25 House Points. They LOVE this.

Another fun feature is our magnetic dart board. Kids have the option of
either earning House Points for moving up the behavior clip chart, or
throwing darts. It's about 50/50. They also love reading the Harry Potter
quotations on the closet door.
The little table is Madame Pomfrey. I have my band-aids there, along with
mints. If they're not feeling well, they know to go check with Madame Pomfrey
first.
They keep their books in the cubbies, and our bean bags live behind it.

Lots of people were wondering about how I track our AR. I go by percentages
instead of points to track, and I use the number line here to do it. Each student
has a broomstick, and on Fridays, we move them to wherever they are
percentage-wise. I have little potion bottles up above with percentages
written on them, and change them out. This week, they needed to be to 10% of their
goal in order to reach it without having to struggle at the end. Next week, the next
cupboard over will have the 20% potion bottle. It's a GREAT way for them to manage
their own points.
This is also where we keep paper supplies, scratch paper, communal baskets, and
homework turn in baskets.

I love having a separate, color-coded basket for each House. My kids love it
too, because they never have to ask where they turn things in. It also makes it very
easy for me to tell who has turned it in and who hasn't.

These books are the ones that anyone can read, any time
we have free reading time. They're sorted according to genre,
and the bins and books are clearly labeled. This is the first
year that I've used this system, and I LOVE it. My kids are
so good at getting the books back where they go. They also really
like being able to look through a bin that interests them, rather
than having to go through shelf after shelf.

We also have a restricted section, where students have to
check books out. I will let any student try books in the restricted
section, regardless of their reading level. I figured that it would be
a good way to push them without seeming pushy about it. The kids
are pretty good at figuring out when a book is too hard or too easy,
so they go back and look for something else.
These books are all grade level 4.9 or higher, and they're all
labeled with AR information including point values, book level, and test number.
I also have my rock collection, which I inherited from my grandpa.
The kids really like looking at my rocks!

My favorite thing about this white board is the Fist to Five area. It's the
perfect way to do a quick formative assessment on student understanding.
I have the kids put their heads down, and then I ask them to give me their
fist to five. It's remarkable how honest they are when they know that only
I can see what they're putting up.
They also like knowing what's coming up in the week so that they feel
prepared. We have a voice level chart (which we're still working on, and
probably always will be), and we keep the week's vocabulary words up
so that we can go over them frequently.

On this side, meet Henry. The kids decided that he's all that's left of a kid
who didn't turn in his homework. Hah!
We also have a word wall, where we include the Word of the Week (which
always has a prefix/suffix, or a Latin/Greek root), and their Word Wizard
finds. The kids like coming up and looking through our words and using
them in their writing.
The parking lot is for questions that we just don't have enough time right then
to cover. Students are given a minute or so to write their questions in the parking
lot, and then when we have a free minute, we cover them. It's a fantastic way for
me to not forget!
We also have our Harry Potter Educational Decrees (all about turning in work, keeping
the room clean, and going to the bathroom at appropriate times), my favorite
class saying (Do it right or do it twice...your choice), and our points.
The kids love checking their House Points and the teacher vs. students scoreboard!

The kids also love tracking their points earned with the hourglasses.
Each gem is worth 10 points that they've earned throughout the week.
At the end of the month, we see which House has won the House Cup!
They also really like the flying keys, and from where they're at, they
can't see the fishing line that holds them up. They think I'm magical!

This is my area. I'm still in the process of getting some
things sorted out, but it's getting there. We used our
Sorting Hat for an actual sorting ceremony to put the kids
in their Houses. They LOVED wearing it!

No Harry Potter classroom is complete without a potions collection.
My students also bring me wands that they've made, and a friend
gave me Dumbledore's wand. I use them as pointers!

Closer view of my potions, and also the Tri-Wizard cup. A student brought
it to me last year from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Reading area, where we remind ourselves of our skill and strategy for the week,
and also our non-negotiable list. It's full of things like being grateful, pushing ourselves
to do better, trying more than once, etc.
We also have our House Elf Chores here. Each student has a job for the week.
The black and red box is our 'caught being good' box. Students can write notes
when they see someone doing something above and beyond, and then we read
them every few weeks. They like hearing all the good things they're doing!

As you leave our room, the last things you see are a few
more portraits (which change!), and our birthday area. The kids
really like having their birthdays listed for everyone to see! They made sure
I put mine on there too. :)

There you have it! I love my classroom, and my kiddos do too. They come up several times in the day to tell me something that they've seen in the room and are curious or excited about. I love that they're getting into Harry Potter! We're reading it aloud right now, and it's fun when they hear something that mirrors something that we have in the classroom.

I love being a teacher and getting to be so creative in my space!