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Welcome to my blog! I use my blog as a way to reflect, share, organize, and re-conceptualize my views as an educator. Enjoy and feel free to comment, post, disagree, and share your opinion. The more perspectives, the better!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcome to OUR Classroom!

The kids are here and I am officially making the transition from "my classroom" to "our classroom." I worked really hard to make our classroom student friendly. The only place in our room that is off limits to my students is behind my desk. The front and side of my desk will be shared with my students. The front of my desk plays host to our classroom shout out board and the top of my desk hosts pencils, tape, staplers and hole punches.  I have a ton of storage space and I am planning on labeling all of my cabinets so that my students will have easy access to what they need. One of the things I am already loving about my third graders in their level of independence. It has been really easy to teach them procedures so far b/c they have so much more school experience than my first graders did.

Here is a quick tour of my classroom:
View from my door. I have decided to do tables this year to maximize opportunities to practice English for my students. The white tubs are temporary. I put some books in them for the first day because I have not yet taught library procedures. On that note, check out my BEAUTIFUL library. I added 8 new boxes for chapter books and an additional box of Social Studies books for this upcoming year!

Back of the room: You are looking at my lockers, student mailboxes, homework board, milk crate shelves (holding tracking binders), guided reading table, and community supplies. The back cabinets are dedicated to CAFE and will eventually have different reading strategies that I teach. 

Front of the classroom: classroom expectations board (we are creating graphic organizers on the different expectations tomorrow to add to the board), big goals, daily objectives, calendar/helpers/class promise board, and another view of my library. On the side wall by the TV (the one you can't see) I have FIVE, yes FIVE, student computers!

Side Wall: "Great Work" wall is up top using clothes pins, alphabet strip, word wall, new vocabulary words, student lockers and turn in spot (on the easel so work stays in number orders). 

Close up of desk: The red and white binders are for student tracking, the purple books are science and social studies workbooks, the front of my desk is for students to write shoutouts, and the cart is filled with supplies I need to introduce to my students (math journals, agenda books, etc.)
And finally, my first assignment. I gave my students a chance to write me a question, something they want to learn in third grade, or something they want to do in third grade. After my students wrote, we discussed all of their questions and comments. The assignment generated a lot of great discussions. We talked about college, the Olympics, doing research, the diversity of our classroom (language and nationality), TCAP, monkeys, fish, and recess. My favorite student response is below. This is paper is a great reminder of how important it is to build concrete experiences into my math lessons before moving to abstract formulas and word problems.

"I want to learn math is sometimes its hard for me so I try to figer it out. But I can't so I use blocks for my hands. But if I get it wrong I use my head but sometimes I take it to recess."

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