And the story begins....

Holy pickles!  I made it through the first week of school.  Ok, maybe not week... only 3 days... but it certainly FELT like a week... or longer...

Now that I have napped and gotten my sense of school back, I thought I'd take you through my classroom.  I know, everybody else has already been in school and has great pictures of what they did the first week... honestly bloggy people - how do you remember to take pictures?  Three days of school gone by and I never took a single picture.  Trust me though, we had fun.  I have a great group of second graders and I have TONS of ideas for this year.

Ready for the tour?    (Disclaimer - this post is really heavy on pictures.  I may not remember to take them all the time, but when I do, I go a little overboard.  I had to be selective here.  And I made them big... I like to really SEE what's in a picture.)
Here we go!
This is the bulletin board outside my room.  My students made it last spring and they were sooo excited to know it would be up at the beginning of this year.  I've already had kiddos stop by and say they loved seeing their work out.  That's a nice side benefit - the best part for me was I didn't even have to think about what to put up there for the first day!  (This came from Hope King's end of the year writing bundle, which you can see HERE.)
Here's the door to my room.  (Blurry picture... not sure why...)  I have to warn you now - all the wood in my room is old and covered with scotch tape marks, etc.... every year I think about actually fixing it up, but I never do.  It's just easier to cover it :-)  I found this door idea on Pinterest and loved it.  I actually read the statements to my kiddos as we go out the door.  I really think it helps build a sense of community and belonging, and I refer to the door during the day.  That way the kids see they're not just words. 
Time to go inside!  This is the view from the door.  I have 3 main tables for kids to sit at (only 18 kiddos this year!)  You can see the rug area to the left and the new curtains I made to cover the fact that the new blinds they installed show too much wood.  I sprayed them with fire retardant spray so the fire marshal will be happy.  He's very picky, which is why you don't see any cute pom-poms or signs hanging from the ceiling. 
You can't really see them, but I have Hope King's subway art posters hanging on the window frame.  I put the rules on the window, and the inspirational quotes will go on the wall next to he window.  We focus on one quote each month.  You can see those HERE.
This is taken from the front of the room by the word wall.
Here's the view from the window side across the room.  I have all my leveled and themed books on shelves behind the curtains.  Confession - the curtains are just a big piece of material folder over a spring rod and STAPLED.  I do not sew.  They have worked fine for years.  I was going to make my nice yellow window curtains the same way but when my mother found out she insisted I bring them home and she would sew them properly.  Maybe she'll fix the black and white ones, too?  (You can get the clock numbers for free HERE.)
On my closet door (I LOOOOOVE the fact that I have a big double closet in my room AND a small single one.  Because my room is a corner room I get the closets.  I plan on taking my last teaching breaths here in this room.) - on the door is my clip chart (you can get the clip chart as part of my Clip Chart bundle HERE)
and my "check chart" for when students come in the room.  I used to have just a poster kind of thing that listed what students needed to do.  This summer I had a brainstorm to make it cuter.  What can I say - it takes me a while to think of this stuff.  (Due to the TOU of the clip art I used, I can't share this file with you.)
Now you are looking at my word wall.  We'll add words throughout the year.  I start with high frequency words they should know how to spell from first grade, then we'll move to second grade words and skills in a couple of weeks.  The word wall is just a piece of fabric attached to the board with really amazingly sticky double sided outdoor tape that I got at Home Depot.  It is the ONLY thing I have been able to find that will keep the fabric on the wall when it gets humid.  Three days of school and so far, so good.  Ask me at the end of the year if it stayed up.
That picture also shows what right now is my science center.  When we go back on Tuesday I'll have monarch caterpillars in the tank so we can watch them change into butterflies.  It is the most amazing thing.  Every year I think about how lucky I am to be able to see a caterpillar ~ LIVE ~ making a chrysalis, or a butterfly emerging.  Nature is incredible.
Around October this will morph into our listening center.  We do Daily 5, so I'm waiting until I introduce "Listening to Reading" before I put everything out.  The tape player (yes, I still use one!), CD players and books will go on the table and the headphones will hang on hooks.  The stools were old gray metal ones that used to be in our art room.  I spray painted them black.  Now I'm looking for cushions that are cheap and will fit on them so my kiddos don't come away with a black bottom.
Ok, on to the rug area.  You can see my calendar (we do most of our calendar activities on the Smartboard), schedule chart and  - *NEW* - mini chart for holding the "I Can" statements for the day.  (You can see those HERE.) My principal wants us to post the objective or statements in the room so that's my way of doing it.  We're on the rug for most of the day so that's the perfect spot.  (The black and white bins used to be white and blue, but I spray pained those, too.  I love spray paint.)
Speaking of spray paint - did you know it works on file cabinets, too??  Oh happy day!  This picture is really bad - the cabinets look MUCH better than this.  I modge-podged scrapbook paper to the top half and hot glued ribbon on.  Who knew my cabinet drawers were two different sizes?
Ok, here is what I am most proud of doing this summer.  This is my teacher desk.  I do still have one, but it is pretty small - which I like.  It is also REALLY old.... which I also like.  Here's what it looked like before.... (ok, after some stripping and sanding..... I apparently didn't take a picture of the desk immediately before....)
And.... drum roll, please......
Does that not look beautiful?  I considered just putting it in the middle of the room for everyone to admire and NOT TOUCH, but that didn't seem to practical, so I had to move it.  I do make sure to stand by it and glance in that direction when someone new comes in the room so they will notice....
And finally, just a random picture of my birthday balloons for my kiddos.  I have a straw, sticker badge, certificate and pencil for each of them - all set and ready to go.  That makes it so much easier to remember when it's birthday time!
Whew!  I'm tired just looking at all this again!  I really am excited to be back in school and to spend the days with my second graders.  Hmmm... what cute name do you call kiddos in second grade?  First graders are firsties.... kindergarteners are "K"s.... any thoughts?

1 comment

  1. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers on my desktop.


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