This is the view from the teacher's desk/ small group table. Notice the non-traditional seating. We have two floor tables that the children can choose to sit at.They can also choose sitting tables (or to stand at their tables). We do not have assigned seats. Though a few children have restrictions (ex: can't sit with certain people or need to sit at a certain kind of table) we do not have a problem. By this point in the year, the children have become comfortable in their spots, but occasionally we have them mix it up. An interesting note, prior to coming to Fairview (an academically excellent school with a ton of parent support), my mentor teacher taught at a very urban school. She had similar seating options for her children and found it eliminated a lot of problems (they even had a few other options like bean bags and reclining chairs).
In the cubbies. Each child has a mailbox (on top). The mailbox is emptied every day and we put their work and stuff to go home in it. The children also store their lunch money and small personal items in it (hair ties, headbands, silly bands---all of the important things). The bottom cubbies are shared between two students. In each cubbie is 2 clipboards (which the children can use at pretty much any time for alternate seating), 2 small white boards, their Rosey Reader bags, and they store their classroom bags overnight.
We store coats, back packs, and lunches outside of the room.
This is the view from the door. I want to point out the community buckets on each table. The children share all of their basic supplies (crayons, scissors, glue, pencils, erasers) that are on the table. Each child has his or her own personalized folder and notebook, but everything else is shared. We have a second community basket that comes out for writer's workshop. It has pens, highlighters, and writing paper for the children to use. Additionally, we have marker baskets that the children can use for specific activities or with special permission.
This is from the back of the room. You can also see our puzzle center, and math manipulative which are open to the children. The picnic table is also a favorite spot to buddy read and play our favorite math games!
This is our card system for behavior. The students get 4 cards for the week. If they misbehave (and have been redirected) we ask them to pull a card. Children who pull no cards get to pick from the treasure chest on Fridays. Each card pulled is equivalent to five minutes off of fun Friday. The card system works well, especially to stop a behavior immediately. It is also non-obtrusive and does not make it obvious which children are behaving and misbehaving.
These are our GFB's or Good Fit Books. We have 4 levels separated by color. We give the children their color and each week they can pick a GFB for the week. More info about GFB will come when I get around to posting about CAFE.
"Math I'm Done Center": These are hanging bags that have individual math activities for the children to work on after they have finished their work in math. We have a "Reading I'm Done Center" equivalent for language arts time over by the GFBs.
Big Books: Any time the children finish working early they can get a big book and take it to read anywhere in the room. (fun tip: the children LOVE big books. My mentor teacher takes the kit/formula program social studies and science unit books to add to her big book collection for more books. It is a great way to grow your collection and exposes the kids to non-fiction books that they might not have tried)
Our classroom library: Every morning the children can pick 2 books out of the classroom library to pick for the day (they can keep them more than one day if they would like to...the point is to have 2 library books in their desk bags at all times). The children can read their library books during any free time in the day. The books are categorized by type or author (for big names like Dr. Suess). Each category has a sticker. Each book in the category has the same sticker on the front, top right corner so children can put them back appropriately (and for the most part they do a really good job). Some of the boxes are switched out during the year.
Book Beach: This is our reading center. The children LOVE it. There is only three people allowed in Book Beach and they are the only ones who are allowed to read the books on the shelf. This might seem unfair, but it makes the center (and thus reading) something special for the children. The bookshelf has books we have read in class and our current and past author of the month.