A Classroom Peak, A Funny Story, & Testing Advice Needed...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A Classroom Peak:

I decided to link up with Ms. Fultz's Corner to show you guys a few pictures of my classroom. Since I started in November, I had to do some quick decorating, but I really spent a lot of time over Christmas trying to make it my own. I can't wait to get in there some this summer, but I am pleased with my quick mid-year decorating job for now. =)

This is my back board. I don't use it for much except to tell students which center to go to. I made these charts and laminated them and I can change each groups' task whenever I need to. I have two aides during reading time, so it can get a little confusing to figure out where everyone is going. I also love this because I can quickly look at it and see where everyone is supposed to be. 
*I downloaded the SUPER CUTE posters that hang above my board off of pinterest. SO cute!

The favorite part of my classroom is the library. This is the area I spent the most time on over Christmas break. My students LOVE this area and seem to enjoy reading all of the books  I have purchased. I LOVE going to garage sales, so I had a large collection of books before I even got a job. 

I stole this bulletin board theme from a pinterest pin, but I LOVE it. I love what it reminds my students and it is so colorful. Students hang their book bags on the hooks under the bulletin board each morning.

I have a classroom with very little built in storage so I have these great rolling storage cabinets. They take up a ton of room, but they are very needed. I decided to turn them into bulletin boards so that I didn't have too much wasted wall space. The left cabinet contains all of our vocabulary words for the last five units we have been working on. If students use or read a vocabulary word they initial the word. I love this because it keeps students looking for and using their vocabulary words even after we have stopped focusing on them. The cabinet on the right contains our class rules and behavior chart. The rules (like all of my other stuff) were downloaded from a pin on pinterest. 

Area shot of my room. I have a mini-desk at the front of my room and a normal size desk in the back corner. The front desk contains the ELMO and other items I need during the day. We are in lines right now because my students love to talk to each other so groupings don't seem to work. 

A Funny Story:

Today we had a someone from Scotland come visit us! One of the student's in my class had a family friend visiting from Scotland and they came to each lunch with the student. They asked if they could come see the classroom. Of course I said yes, and I mentioned that he could talk to the class about Scotland. He was great and the kids LOVED it (and his accent) and had some great (and not so great) questions for him. My favorite question was: "Do people read newspapers on the toilet over there?" HAHAHA. Where do kids come up with these things?

Testing Advice NEEDED:

Standardized testing starts next week! AHHH. I have no clue what to expect so it is super hard to tell my kids what to expect. I sent a note home Monday asking parents to write their student a note of encouragement. I have had a GREAT deal of response. I was so excited. I have asked other teachers to write a short note for the few kids that didn't get a note from parents so everyone gets something. ANYWAYS, do you have any tips for me OR for me to give my kiddos? Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated! =)


  1. I always told my third graders (years ago) that the pencils I gave them to use were "magic pencils"...they were good for helping them think! =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. Your classroom looks like a fun place!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. I asked my parents to write little good luck notes to my class also! I think its a great idea. We have 3rd grade tests in a week. (yikes)
    I'm planning on giving my students some treats with some cute poems I wrote a post about it last week...come by teachingfashionista.blogspot.com and check it out! I'm your newest follower, love your blog!

  4. I love your classroom pictures.

    I always give mine brain juice and smart pills!

    And some big hugs! =)

    Heather's Heart

  5. I agree with the little treats and lucky pencils. I also give my kids peppermints. They're supposed to help with memory, but even if they don't they make the kids FEEL smarter, which is all that matters to me. We also make little bracelets with LEARN on them, which are acronyms for test taking strategies (like leaving the hard ones for last).

    You've done a great job on your classroom so far. I also took over mid-year when I started and know how hard that can be.
    Christi ツ
    Ms. Fultz’s Corner

  6. Great Blog! I am your newest follower!

    Unless Teaching

  7. Your room is beautiful! I can tell you worked hard on it this year.
    As for testing advice I encourage you to take care of yourself. Make sure you are rested and eating well. Students sense when you are stressed and it affects the atmosphere in the room.
    Best of luck!
    Artistry of Education

  8. Thank you so much for stopping by my Titanic blog post. I hope your kiddos will enjoy the unit!

    I'm so glad I found your cute blog! Your classroom is adorable! I've come into a classroom with very little notice before, so I know how challenging it is. You've done an awesome job! By the way, I love the vocabulary idea! I just might have to borrow it! :-)

    Anyway, about testing, everyone above has left some great ideas, especially for students. Here's my advice for you...I remember my first year of testing. I had no idea what to expect. Regardless of how "well" your kiddos do, don't stress about it or let it eat you up. It's your first year, and no matter what, you've done the best you can do this year. Don't compare yourself to other teachers and their scores. Be proud of your accomplishment and your students' accomplishments whatever they may be. Don't let anyone get you down about it! Good luck!!!

  9. Testing Ms Malarkey is a great book that puts a humorous slant on standardised testing.


    I find it useful to make the whole process as explicit as possible. In Australia we are also looking at ways to make this time as less stressful as possible for all involved. I liked your suggestion about getting the parents to write an encouraging note to their child.
    Good luck