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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Setting up Whole Brain Teaching Cottage Day 3 & 4

Well it has been a crazy week as we continue on our adventure of setting up a Whole Brain Teaching First Grade Cottage!  So here is an update with pictures.


So I decided to cover most of my books this year with curtains.  Why...well I'm glad you asked ;)  Last year I really had a hard time with kids leaving books alone while I am teaching.  I know that Whole Brain Teaching will help but I'm thinking out of sight out of mind.  So, when they are allowed to change books I'll have it open.  When the curtain is closed the library is closed.  Plus I like how it looks.

Here is the front of my room. I moved the computers and the guided reading table again.  But I think I'll keep it this way...for now.

As you can see, tennis balls are in session.  I also covered the shelf with math manipulatives.  This way they don't play with things I don't want them to.

Here is my pinterest find.  Dry erase dots!  I'm SUPER excited about this!  I found them on Amazon.  I can't wait to use them with my math and reading groups.

And here is the mess that is left after Day # 3.


Well I needed a break before school starts so I went to Carowinds with my girls and my best friend.  Love spending time with my girls!


DAY 4 I'm not going back until Monday!!!!!

So after day 3 I went back today to finish up or at least get to a point where I feel like I can handle it next week.  I have my list of things to make this weekend and things I need to print off.   So here are the pictures from the end of today.

Here are the numbers with words I made last year.  My wonderful assistant who now has a classroom of her own this year helped me by putting the tens and ones cubes for point of reference. 
I really went back and forth with whether to put the shapes up or not since they will be on their name tags and space is an issue but I decided it was important to have for reference.  I thought it fit nicely above the door.

Here is one of my curtains my Mom made me and I put my owl colors above it. 

I needed a place to put student work so I used the doors of my storage cabinets for their OWL-STANDING work!

Here is an update of my reading area.  I am starting CAFE this year so I have my CAFE board ready to go.  On the other half I plan to either put Writing Goals OR Anchor Charts.

I have my Power Pix wall up and ready to go!   This will be my first year using power pix very excited about it!

This is a picture standing from the back of the room looking to the front.   It is really impossible to see but I have my WBT scoreboard on the whiteboard next to the number words.  I think I will be making it a little bigger.  I added a curtain for the table in the front to hide things I have under the table.  I am thinking of putting the overhead projector under the table until I need it.  I'm not used to using an over head projector since I've been spoiled with a Smartboard but I am hoping to get an LCD projector that I will be using mostly HOPEFULLY!!


And here is a closer picture of my board.  I have my calendar and my Genius Ladder I made.  I also have my rules above the board.  The calendar area is one I am working on.  This weekend I'm making new signs for Calendar and Number of the Day.  I am also making signs to post my objectives that I am teaching.  I have cool frames from Michaels that are magnetic that hold my papers for genius ladder and will hold my calendar papers.  It is hard to see but I will make better pictures next week. 
Well that's where I am in my room.  I still do not have my word wall or super improver wall up.  I will be working on this next week.  HOPEFULLY I have room for everything!  I am taking tomorrow off to spend the last Friday before our official first day.   Thanks for taking this adventure with me.  More to come...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Setting up the Cottage

Last week I got into my cottage, saw the space, and started arranging.  As I was arranging my room I couldn't help but think where everything would go.  I found  where my Power Pix wall and word wall will be going.  I think that I have a place to put my CAFE board.  My Super Improver Wall will be on my storage doors and my Practice Cards will be in the front of the room on the board I am going to do our Morning Meeting.   I went in the first day and with help moved the furniture around to examine space.   Last year my father in law made me the best tables to put between desk.  They take up a lot of room, especially in a cottage, however, it was so nice to have just an extra place for pencils, crayons, etc.  So they have to stay.  I'll show you my progress.

Here is Day 1...Getting to know the space.  

First we started with the big furniture finding it's home.


We had to figure out my space.  I considered getting rid of my teachers desk this year but decided I would need it for space.

I then found a meeting space and started placing a few baskets on the shelves just to get a feel

As you see I have 2 nice size bulletin boards! 

Day 2 setting the stage

 So after I went home and thought about the room a little more I decided I needed to change a few things.  I needed to move my meeting area because it really limits the space and I felt it was to close to the desks.   In moving the meeting area I had to move my small group area.  On Day 2 I took my books from home and started setting up my library.  I placed the books on shelves to just see how many books had a home. 

SO I moved my meeting space to the back of the room next to where my word wall and CAFE board will be.  This will work well when doing my mini lessons.  I haven't decided 100% whether to put my word wall on this board or my Power Pix.  I  am open to suggestions :) 

So in moving my meeting area my small group table is now in the front of the room next to the computers.  I like this set up though it is tight with 24 desk.  I am hoping not to have 24 students this year but I am prepared just in case.  The board you see in this picture will probably be my power pix wall.  The reason for this is because I will be meeting with Math and Reading group and I thought this would be a good reference.

 As you can see I still have a lot of work to do, and you wouldn't believe how much I still have to bring from home.  It really amazes me what you collect after 7 years of teaching.   I'll have more classroom pictures next week hopefully I will show you my boards and things set up.

Home Project:

So after I basically set up my classroom space, I had to go home and organize my files, stations, etc.  My garage was 1/2 full of things from my classroom so needless to say there was an abundant amount of organizing needed.  So I first took and separated Math and Reading into piles so that I could see what I had.  Here is where we started...
A mess right?   So after separating into math/reading piles I then started with math.  I had to think about how I would find things.  I thought about Common CORE Standards but let's be honest if I put 1.0A on a box I'm not 100% sure if I would know what was in there.  SO I went with Addition/Subtraction, Number Sense, Geometry and Measurement, and Holidays.  That seemed to work.    Here is where we stand right now with math...
I labeled each Crate so I would know what was inside when I am planning stations this year.
Now onto reading.  I have a lot more Math stations that reading I find, so I separated into word study, fluency, writing, and comprehension.  It's still a work in progress, but here is where I am right now.  I plan on moving items from my mailbox bin to crates, but I just ran out of crates.   This is my Saturday project :)
Oh and one last thing.   I have tile floor in my cottage and I know the movement of the chairs will bother me.  So I called a local tennis coach and he hooked me up with 2 bags off tennis balls.  I may not have 100% but it is a really good start.  SO here is a tip.  If you need tennis balls for your chairs, call coaches, teams, or tennis clubs.  They have old balls and will be happy to donate them.

So here is the start of my room adventure.  More to come next week.  Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It has been a very busy summer.   I have decided to blog getting ready for the school year.  This year I will be at a new school, in a trailer, and doing Whole Brain teaching in everything I do.  I have not moved into my classroom yet, everything is still in my garage.  However, I have started getting my whole brain teaching signs ready.   The great Farrah Shipley started blogging how to get your classroom ready for Whole Brain Teaching.  I'm going to piggy back off of her blogs and tell you how I am applying them.

Since I can't get in my classroom yet I have started making things. She suggested start by downloading power pics and picture cards.  Last night I started making my practice cards.  I took my rules and reduced them in size to fit on a 3X5 Index Card.   I needed White, Purple and Green practice cards.  The white cards were very easy.  I got creative with my purple and green cards.  I took a white index card and purple and green marker and went around the cards.  I have Purple 3x5 cards and Green 5X8 cards.   I was thinking I would make the green cards a little bigger to make room for tally marks. 

I got my signs off of teachers pay teachers from First Grade Fever by Christie.  I used her rules and her call back poster because they go with the colors I use in my classroom.  My colors will be turquoise, brown, and lime with pink and blue mixed in.  I have an owl theme but  I went with the polka dot signs because I loved her pictures that went along with rules.   I have printed the rules and I'm hoping to find my construction paper to glue them on.  I have several things that will need laminating, so pictures of our laminating party may be coming!

I have started looking at my reading and writing workshop calendars to match what power pics to match my power pics with the topics I will be covering.  I will also be making my signs for my Power Pics Wall.  As soon as I get them finished I will post them. 

Well that is a recap of my latest projects, more to come!