Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011-12 Classroom

Here are some photos of my classroom at the beginning of the school year.  Many things have changed in the last semester, but here's a glimpse!

 A few of the front door and our community supply center.  I've struggled this year with supplies disappearing though, so there are not so many supplies out now.

 Classroom jobs chart, paper, and portfolios are stored here.  This has been shifted because an outside tutoring group uses my classroom after school and needed a filing cabinet for storage.
 Our whole group and classroom library area.  My dad built that easel for me this summer and the black cubes are storage ottomans.  They made a perfect bench for me to sit on.  The library is covered because of the dust and leaves from the tree right outside.  The carpet was a Donors Choose project last year when I taught kindergarten.

We have these behavior posters posted around the school.   The green and yellow board is my word wall.

My behavior ladder.  I use wood cutouts/popsicle sticks with the bottoms cut off on magnets.

I love the double whiteboard at the front of the room!  It provides enough space to keep things up throughout the day and I use the left side as a projection screen as well.  I recently got an interactive whiteboard that is installed with magnetic strips, so although that takes up the left side, I can still write on it as well.

My "office" area is also where I do my small group instruction.  I bought a stability ball on a wheeled base to be my desk chair (the gray one is now at my bean table for the part-time teacher's group).

Our calendar and schedule area.  That big blank space on my board has filled up with random things I need.

Our class pets, a fish tank with some water plants in a separate vase in the tank.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I revamped the aquarium so that it is now more of an aquaponics setup where the water circulates through the vase and the tank.

I have group cubbies this year instead of for individual students.  The groups have 2 cubbies each to store textbooks and workbooks.  It's made their desks neater.

 A view of the room from the back door.

 A view of the room from the door that connects our room to another second grade class.  This door has come in handy for teacher bathroom breaks midday and for team teaching 40-45 students for special activities.

My part-time teacher's small group area.  He's only with me for reading block, so I also use this for math stations.

Our required posted work wall.  A school requirement is that every classroom displays weekly prompts.  I have a rope that goes across the room above this wall below a row of windows to display art work.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse at my room from back in August.  I'll try to get an updated look soon!

Where did the semester go?

Wow!  My last blog post was in JULY!  Sorry to my few followers!  I started this blog with the intent of posting new things I developed as I started a new position, but my new position has taken a lot out of me.  I feel more drained than I thought I would feel this school year.  One of my personal and professional goals in 2012 is to maintain this blog and a personal posterous blog that I started in 2011 with more regularity.  There have been so many things that I wanted to blog about, from starting up my classroom in an amazing space (except for the dust and pollen, lack of natural light, and pest problem), working with a very eclectic new team, and the creative things I have had to come up with to make second grade work for me.

So where have I been this semester?  I've been learning a new set of standards, new curriculum, training for the 2011 Honolulu Marathon, nursing tendinitis, helping to plan/organize/execute a good friend's wedding, and stomaching the results of last year's National Board Certification re-try entries.  I've gotten a hold on the standards and curriculum, I finished the marathon despite the tendinitis (shaved 40 minutes off my 2006 time), the wedding was amazing, and I've accepted the fact that I will have to try again to prove that I should be a board certified teacher.  I'm trying for the Early Childhood Generalist certification and am on my last chance for retakes, so I'll be doing the portfolio entries on Building a Classroom Community, Integrating Mathematics and Science, and Documented Accomplishments again as well as taking the Assessment Center tests for Science and Social Studies.  I haven't started any of it yet and the support group I worked with in the past is not being hosted this year, so I'll be having at it on my own.  I'll probably being using this blog to vent about the process and mark milestones.

Okay, enough with the words!  I've got a bunch of errands that need to be done and meeting up with a friend for lunch.