New Classroom 2015/16

New Classroom, New Year, New Things

It is a new year and I have revamped my first grade classroom.  I made better use of the space, and created more engaging areas for the students. I am also trying to implement a bunch of new strategies and habits.
Here is the look of the new classroom.
Things I have added and changed are:

Two separate carpet areas
Easy to use classroom library
Area for calming down
Changed my desk to face the students
Added computer area
Separated free centers from math and language centers
Message board on cupboard
Counting up to day 100
Class store

Classroom Library

This is the classroom library. The books are separated according to authors in the green and blue bins. On the shelf I am trying something new, I separated an assortment of books into fiction and nonfiction shelves. I also am putting on display the feature books of the week. Once a week I am asking a student to be the classroom librarian. Their job is to organize the books for me, and it is a great way for them to show me their understanding of fiction and nonfiction.

Math Area and Centers

My math and math centers area is very similar to last year's set up. I am counting down to 100 this year, or should I say popping corn to 100. :)
I have been modelling these centers with the students since the first day of school. They have been shown how to use each center for math purposes and play. They keep surprising me with ways to use these manipulatives to solve good math questions. 

Go Green !

This is where we celebrate our part in taking care of the earth. Throughout the year, I take photographs of students doing their part in taking care of the earth. 

Classroom Message

Each month I plan on putting a message for the classroom. 

Classroom Store

Over the summer, I spoke with an incredible teacher from the Ottawa board and she told me about her classroom store. I was so inspired , I wanted to give it a go. 
During independent reading the students can earn 5 cents.  Over the course of the week they put the money they earn in their piggy boxes. On Friday of each week, I open the store and the students can purchase items or save their money for the more expensive items in the store. I only use 5 cent coins with the students and they have to trade the nickels in when I run out for higher value coins. What a great way to understand the value of money without actually teaching money. 

These are their money boxes. 

Free Centers

This is the free center area. These are for use during free center time. They are still grade one's and still need time to play and interact with their peers. These centers consist of playdough, kinetic sand, Shrek scrabble, memory, lego picture tasks, big floor puzzles, 

Daily visual schedule

Birthday Bags

I am trying something new this year, each bag is filled with something different. I have not put names and birthdays on these bags. The students choose a bag on their birthday and it is more of a surprise. 

Calming Area

This year I have created a calming area. A place for a student to go to when they become frustrated, upset, emotional, or when they are unable to make good choices in the classroom.  

My Space

I have my desk facing the students with nothing much on it this year.  I am working hard to only use the top of it for my day book and for the work the students finish in a day. My new goal is to have my day book ready for the next day before I leave each day. I also try not to leave the school without going through student's work and placing it where it belongs. It is only the third week of school, and I have been able to keep up with my new goals. I did have to make some changes to my daily routine. I arrive 20 minutes earlier each day and leave 30 minutes to an hour later each night. I won't lie, the changes feels good even when I am exhausted, and want to leave. I always walk in, feeling prepared for the day and very glad I stayed and finished the night before. 

Have a great week!

Happy First Day of Fall Tomorrow