Classroom Tour & reveal Part 2

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In my last post I shared some of the new and the old ... I have even more to share! It has a lot to do with rainbow duct tape and a few other things.

I have been obsessed lately, as you could probably tell from previous posts! I have put this tape anywhere I could, and surprisingly it has pulled the classroom together nicely (HAHA - get it) Tape ... pulls/sticks things together. :)

These book shelves drive me PLAIN crazy! Everything about them scream institution furniture and I can't stand the cream color. I have used duct tape on my library shelves to dress them up a little, but I didn't think I would go this far. Some teachers at my school started using contact paper to cover the tops and then boarded them with duct tape, so since I bought rolls and rolls, I had to do the same. I took black contact paper and lined the perimeter with the tape. I think they came out nicely!

Boring Black Digital Picture Frame = Funky Colorful Frame

This frame idea is something I have seen on Pinterest for a year or so. I wanted to create one for my class and just didn't want to spend a lot. And of course, once I found the duct tape with allthe colors, it all came together. I used picture frame boarder, duct tape, and stickers. I have END taped to the back so at the end of the year I can peel off START and place END there instead.


As you can see the students have access to many of the supplies they may need throughout the day. Surprisingly, many kids are shocked I let them use these materials as they need. The only rule is don't misuse them. I have yet to have a problem and the kids love the "mature" responsibility of having the "teacher desk" supplies.

These are the students mailbox. This is where forms, student work and communication sheets are stored until they go home with the student. My school sends home a communication folder that is signed bi-weekly in my classroom. A student (mail carrier job) puts all the papers in the folder for each student an on the day the folders go home the mail carrier puts all the papers in the folders. I don't have enough space for the large shelf boxes this method is way cheaper. 

This digital frame is something I decided to put out for meet the teacher night. I know  many past students will be coming back to visit so I loaded over 300 hundred pictures from the last 3 years on it. I know they will love to see old pictures.  I am going to try to leave it out all year and put pictures from the current classroom on it. So by the end of the year we should have hundreds of memories scrolling through the day. ***Also, framed in rainbow colored duct tape! The other three bins are to collect late and tardy passes (which my school recycles) and Box Tops.

These are the class pictures from all my years teaching! The students LOVE being about to look at them. During the first few weeks of school students find other friends or family members in the pictures and I think it helps build trust being me and the students. This is also a place students go when they need time to "cool down," it gets their mind off the situation by looking at the pictures.

These are pictures of my family and friends, which the students love. Here you also see my collection/obsession with elephants. My students bring my anything that relates an elephant and it collects on this shelf. I LOVE IT! 

Monday-Friday bin ... DUH, I know. It took me three years of teaching to realize this is a MUST for me to stay organized!

Desks are labeled A, B, C, D and have students names from both classes. 

Classroom Library

My LONG counter (great for science displays) and endless cabinet space!

Classroom Library - Organization with Matching Pictures on Bins and Books

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I FINALLY got my classroom library organized this year - Yes, I’m aware that we are in the 12th week of school, but this was a BIG project that I never finished during pre-planning - everyone has one.  I've had basket labels for a few years that I have used, but I had new labels to create, tag to place on the new books, and bins to find that didn’t cost a fortune! THANK YOU Dollar Tree for the Christmas bins you just put on the shelves! Also, a BIG thanks to the parents volunteers who helped with some of the organizing.

I have a variety of bins that I have collected 
through the years, but the eclectic mix makes it more 
interesting (I think), and the different sizes holds 
some books better.

They are mostly non-fiction because I teach math and science. 
These are some of the basket labels I use to organize my books in the bins. 
In case you’re wondering, my books aren’t leveled, well, for many reasons. ***This may offend -WARNING*** I HATE how every book in a school is labeled with a reading level. I HATE when a student says “I can’t check that out because it’s not my level,” even when it is a topic that are interested in. Students need/want to read about topics they want to learn about, and if the book is a level or two away from "their level,” ... breathe ... IT WILL BE OKAY, especially if it is a non-fiction book! End rant... :)
These are the book labels that match the book bin tags. This makes it easier for EVERYONE to return and organize the book. I now have a folder that holds extra book labels. This prevents the problem of getting new books (bought or donated) and not putting them out until they get a label (at my pace this could take week... let’s be honest, months). Always having labels, puts the book the she shelf ASAP! I print them on sticky mailing labels that are 2 5/8" x 1" with 30 labels on a page.

These are the ones I bought from the
Dollar Tree and spray painted them white.
The books on display are actually on plate displayers (I think that’s what they are called) from the Dollar Tree.  I switch the books about once a week to spark interest in a variety of books and topics.
These are the sticky mailing labels I put on every book. 
The labels I have on TPT don’t have a name like the ones in the picture, but you can place your name on them if you want. I have labels that are both editable, and fixed in a PDF document.  The font I used for the bin / basket category is called Flower Child and can be downloaded from It can be downloaded for free if you want to make changes and keep the same font. 

Here are a few more pictures of my classroom library ...

Click on any of the pictures and it will take you to my TPT store to look at the basket and book labels more closely. 

Accountable Math Talk Poster - Aligned with Common Core SMPs

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I made these talking stem last year as extensions in my manipulatives bins. Since the bins were always on the groups' tables, students always had them.
However, I had many teachers requesting them as posters... Well, I finally got around to making the posters! I have updated some of the pictures, but other than that, they match the cards. I plan on hanging the posters in my class so the students can use them in science too.

I'll start with a few stems by only hanging the ones I want students to master first. Once they learn how to use those stems, I will add additional posters. The posters will print on an 8" x 11" piece of of paper.  If you want to view more of these posters, click on the poster.

Classroom Tour with Bright and Happy Colors!!! - Part 1

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Rainbow frame - More on how I made it later!

I have to say "I'm very proud of my room this year!" Not only have I finished my room during pre-planning with time to actually start planning for the first and second week, but I also have finished some project I have been wanting to do for years!!!!! Including this rainbow frame that will be used for all kinds of photo opportunities!!

I'm really loving my room's bright colors and how they actually match! Some of you work hard and make that happen every year, but I'm just getting the hang of it. LOL

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to blog about Tips and Tricks. I'm including several things in this post so look for the tips and tricks!

So, drum roll please ...

front of the room
view form where the classroom connects to my partner
math and science wall

Shared Area Between Classrooms
This area between the classrooms were usually mismatched and not used for anything. This year I decided to put a birthday chart in the middle. My teaching partner teaches the Language Arts and I teach Math and Science so we see both see the kids. Having it between the classrooms will hopefully help us remember ALL the kiddos bdays... Well, at least that is the plan!

 The first week of school I'm going to give the students small stars with their name's written on them. They will then write the day number of their birthday and tape it under their month. I thought this would be a different way for the kids to connect with each other and find things they have in common.
 I wanted to include some little humor at the mirror for when the kids "check themselves out" when claiming to get a drink of water. The girl's side of the mirror says beautiful and the boy's side says handsome.
This is where we will ahng student's work. At the start of the year teachers put baby pictures and facts on a poster and the students have to figure out who is who. The kids LOVE this!!

 Learning Targets and Management
I have few different ways the students and I manage the classroom.

This shows the interactive / "changable" number line I will be attempting this year. 

These are called summary statements. At the end of the day the students must pick one statement and finish it as a complete sentence in their agends. When the parents sign the agenda they then have some idea of what their child is learning.

 This is where the weekly schedule is written. On Monday mornings the students copy what's on the schedule for the week in their agendas. The students LOVE having an idea of what is happening that week. As the year progresses I can usually pick a student to help manage the calendar and write things.

 I hate hearing students ask can I get a drink of water, or tissue, or bathroom! They can use these signs and show me what they want or need when I am teaching whole or small group. This cuts down on interruptions.

 This is where I use page protectors to hang my learning goals or targets. It's very easy for me to type a quick goal or target in Power Point, print it and slide it in the pocket! Huge time saver for me! In this picture you can also see the BehaviorLog Codes. We use these codes for behavior violations and they write them in their agenda. They correspond with our report cards.

This is it for today! I am one tired teacher from a week of pre-planning. Part 2 will be written hopefully Sunday.