What a week! The first week back is always hectic, right? At least I keep telling myself that’s why I have come home to exhausted to blog all week! Anyways, here is a quick look at my classroom – which still does not feel “done” to me.
This year, I am teaching Year 3 & Year 4 (which is 2nd and 3rd grade in the US system) for reading and homeroom. Then, I am teaching 2 groups of Math and Science. I will teach my homeroom class early in the day, and in the afternoon, I will teach the Year 5 & Year 6 students (which is 4th and 5th grade in the US system). My partner teacher will in turn be teaching Writing, Grammar and Social Studies to both groups of kids.
My math reference wall and Problem Solving Path Bulletin board. I spent yesterday’s math lesson reviewing my Problem Solving Path expectations, but my students won’t start their actual Problem Solving Path Journals until Monday.
My calendar area. Since I am teaching 4 different grade levels math this year, I have broken down the posters into sections. Each group of students will complete a different level in their Monthly Calendar Books – although they all have the same cover, so they aren’t very aware of that fact. Then, each grade level (My grade level groups are small – 6 or less, so this could be done by small groups in a larger classroom.) is responsible for doing a piece of the Calendar Posters. I have laminated the posters and put them in this pocket chart, for easy management. The students take out their pieces, answer the questions, and return the pieces on their own. We worked on this quite a bit over the last two days.
My clock. Time is still a challenging skill for my students, especially the younger ones. Plus, we use British terminology, as we are a British school. This terminology is often a bit different for my students, since they are not all British, so having the correct time wording on the clock promotes them and I to use it in our daily language. In addition to having the words around the clock, I placed our daily schedule, in order to help them remember – and to stop being asked “How much longer until …..?”
A view from the back of the room. Excuse the mess on the front table – we were still cleaning up from our collage self-portraits when I took this picture. I have 2 iMacs in my room this year. Last year, they were in a separate room, and we used them quite a bit. Having them in my room this year, I hope the kids will use them constantly. I am also lucky enough to have an iPad for my classroom, so between the two different technologies – we make a lot of movies, which is why I developed my Video Making Planning Page and Rubric.
My “organization” area. The white basket is the turn-in bin, with a small cup of highlighters next to it. Thanks to Pinterest, I developed the strategy last year of having students highlight or circle their names before turning in papers – such a time and stress saver! The blue bin has books for our first science unit – the Night Sky. The water bottle has a pump, and each child has a cup, so there are no messy water bottles on the desk. The cubbies on the right are for each child’s books and notebooks – no loose papers allowed, everything must be in a notebook or folder. The cubbies on the left are for organizing classroom supplies and math manipulatives. BTW – if you like my poster, you can download it free on my Free Resources page. It’s my class mantra and the way I help students understand the difference between thinking through a math problem and creating a good guess. (Oh, and check out the heat/ac unit! A big luxury in Morocco, and super exciting to have in the winter!)
Our classroom door, which is not nearly as cute as some of the others in my school – check them all out in yesterday’s ISM Spotlight post. However, it is a saying I love, and it goes well with our first unit on the Night Sky. I added the adorable self portrait collages, that my students made the last two days. They were totally a Pinterest inspired project! They were also the only big thing we accomplished in our two day week – except organizing our Interactive Math Notebooks, which I forgot to take pictures of – of course. I’ll take pictures on Monday, though, and be sure to share them with you!