Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Attention to Details

Do you ever come up with a new idea for your classroom, and wonder why it took you so many years?  Today I am going to continue the walk through of my classroom by zooming in on different details throughout the room.  Most of what I'm showing you is common sense and is most likely already in place in your own room, but visuals always spark new ideas!  

I have a fantastic Lakeshore Communication Center that is meant to house book boxes on the bottom and serve as student mailboxes on top.  I purchased it because I was eager to switch from book baggies to book boxes, and I loved that transition.  Since I don't have desks in my room, I prefer to use the mailboxes to store student books by table.  I am a labeling queen, and I struggled with how to label the mailboxes without damaging the shelves.

I started with a simple binder clip:    and printed my labels on regular mailing labels, but changed the text direction so I could use the labels vertically.  It ended up being a very easy task!

How to label shelves or mailboxes using binder clips
Each column is labeled by text book.  Each row is labeled by table name.

Below are some additional close-ups of my room.  For those of you who aren't yet addicted to Pinterest, I highly recommend you check it out!  Pinterest has given me many ideas for ways to upgrade my classroom environment. 

An updated photo of my writing center
Writing tools, accessible to students for more independence during Writer's Workshop
Ikea buckets and velcro make perfect pencil holders!
Important phone numbers posted for substitutes
Classroom Rules
(Free from mrsriccaskindergarten.blogspot.com)

I like to seat my students heterogeneously, but during writing it's easier to conference with small groups if they are seated homogeneously.  When students return to their "writing seats," the table leader grabs his group's bin from below.  Each group is named after a favorite author.  The bins hold their personal word walls, writing folders, and any other resources that group needs during writer's workshop.  The sign above the bins will have the students' names to show which group they are in.  This will change throughout the year.
Writing Groups
Another Pinterest find!

What little tricks have you learned this year that you don't know how you lived without?


  1. I love your binder clip idea! So glad I stumbled upon your blog (thanks to the Open House linky!

    Feel free to check out my blog @ http://wiseowlteacher.blogspot.com

    Looking forward to more of your posts!

  2. I love your blog. I have found some great ideas to use with my class. Im your newest follower.
    Flying Into First Grade

  3. Thanks for your comments and for following my blog! LaToya, I look forwarded to reading more of your posts as well!

  4. Your blog is so awesome! Your classroom looks wonderful! I am your newest follower.
    Crazy About First Grade

  5. Stephanie- Thanks for following! I look forward to reading more about the adventures you and your husband have at the new school! Best wishes!