Classroom Tour!

You know that bone tired feeling when you want to go to sleep, but you are too wound up to even try?  Well, I just got home from Back-to-School Night and that is where I am at right now.  So I figured that if I can't sleep, then I should blog:).  Pictures, very few words for this post...I might be able to finish before I fall asleep.

View From the Door

Sign In Table
I worked at a flower shop in college, and have never gotten over having fresh flowers for special events.  They really brighten up the classroom - $5 @ Vons - well worth it.  One clipboard is for 6th grade and the other for my 7th graders in my intervention period.

Table Baskets
From left to right: In Progress work folder, point clipboard, book bags, Math Notebooks (just started), and the table No HW Notebook.  The little envelope is for their points, and in the basket are a set of crayons and colored pencils.  It seems like a lot, but the Math Notebook and book bag will be going home with them after we establish that their lives will be forfeit if they lose either one:).

Book Bag
I had seen pin on Pinterest with duct tape on the sides...I hate using duct tape.  So, I used heavy duty plastic bags, hole punched them and put the hole reinforcer thingies on both sides of the holes.  Name tag in the middle.  It seems super strong, but we will see.

My Refuge
Not exactly spectacular, but it works.  I had grand plans to spray paint the file cabinet, and then realized that it was a lot of work.  The little board will be the Word Count board for Reading Counts, but for now it holds my syllabus and master schedule.  The other board holds the map, and the 5 WBT rules (I think they were a freebie by Rachel @ The Tattooed Teacher, so tired).

White and Chalkboards
I have shared close ups of most of this before, except my book envelopes...
Each student in my 6th grade class has one, and will be placing the old fashioned library book cards in them.  This is not necessarily a way of keeping track of the books, but rather a quick check for me to see what they are reading.  The envelopes have magnets, of course!  The kids are intrigued, and I think that I can live with the fact that they will never all be straight.

"Front" of the Room
This is my 20 minutes a Day bulletin board, and it was a huge conversation starter with the parents!  It really got them asking questions.
On the other side of the Smartboard, is my Academic Language board.  These pocket charts will hold their sentence frames and vocabulary for Read 180.  Currently they hold sentence frames for how-to-work-together-in-a-group-and-disagree-without-getting-into-a-brawl.  There might have been an issue in another class and I might have gotten a phone call.  Way over in the corner are my Divisibility Rules that I made before my current students were born - lamination works!

This board usually holds my current charts and other content notes, but we did a little art project.  My kids "get" Read 180 as their "elective."  So, this year while they were SRI(ing) and taking turns learning how to log on to the computer, we did a version of this pin.


You can find the instructions and more detailed pictures at Oodles of Art.  I didn't have the right size paper, so they traced their hands and feet on a separate paper and cut them out.  They turned out pretty cute, and the kids were happy.  One of the conversations that I overheard my 7th grade boys having about who could legitimately draw a mustache on themselves is sure to be on my Top Ten List of Things I Overheard My Students Say for years to come.

Future's So Bright
This turned out so awesome!  Even my bad-boy 7th graders were good sports and posed for pictures.  They loved showing their parents this board and telling them all about posing for the pictures.  I wish I could share it "unblurred" but I am super protective of my boo-boos.

View from the Real Front
This is the view from the real front of the room.  My table with the projector, document camera, and laptop are in the middle.  Three tables run in to it, which means I can do a small group from four different angles - front, left, right, and on the floor in front of the Smartboard.  You can see the library shelves at the back (more on those next week or so).  This shot gives you an idea of the seating arrangement. 

Conference Sign Ups
Finally, at the back table (where one of the listening centers is usually), I put my giant sign up sheet for Goal Conferences.  I like to meet with my parents within the first month of school to go over scores and expectations.  It helps establish an early partnership, and really helps with behavior.  Since my kids have typically had a rough school career, it helps put the parents at ease about transition to middle school.  Are they mandatory for me?  No, but the extra effort makes the year go smoother.

Well, that is about it, and I am done.  Really done, as in I think I might be able to go to sleep.  This is the first full week of school, and of course I have duty!  Off to bed:).


  1. I loved the room tour! It's all so organized... No surprise on that one! I pinned the academic language sentence frames... I have a feeling I am going to need those...
    Happy first week back (Sorry you have duty!)

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. Looks great! I love the Why Read 20 Minutes at Home? board and also the academic sentence frames. Thanks for sharing, Heather

  3. Amazing! Love every bit of it and am coveting your creative borders!!!! And the sun is FABULOUS!!!!!

    Have a great year!!!!

    Fluent in Fourth

  4. Looks lovely! Thanks for sharing with us.