Welcome to our classroom for the 2013-2014 school year! I know it's a little late, but things are always changing so I'm finally ready to start posting! :)
This is my front corner of the classroom. File cabinets and shelving for storage, pillows for reading, learning targets posted on the board daily next to our schedule.
Here is our classroom library. We are starting the year with it blocked off and students will be earning the classroom library privileges as the year goes on after they learn how it's organized and how to manage the materials.
Our book boxes are to the left where students can store their books for reading. The yellow section is our math wall, followed by the purple section for writing anchor charts.
Our classroom is fortunate to have tables so each table has a cubby for their notebooks and a supply caddy for their pens, pencils, glue sticks, etc. At the start of the year the students have "look boxes" with a variety of books at different levels. We start off the year building our reading stamina and giving students a variety of choices helps make sure that everyone has a book at their "just right level" before our initial assessments are finished.
As students come in in the morning they check in by moving their name card from the "at home" section to the "school lunch" or "lunch box" section depending on how they are eating lunch.
We have our birthday signs up so that we can see when our classroom birthdays are.
Classroom jobs are posted right by the door, marked with clothespins to keep track of who has that job. We change jobs each week so everyone has a turn to do each job over the year.
Here is our back of the classroom. I have a round table for meeting with small groups and the small baskets are for our leveled library, which will be filled as the year goes on.
Here is another view of my small group table, our student computers, and student desk groups.
Students decorated name signs that are hung throughout the room to celebrate our class and build community.
Each student decorated their hand print to hang on the wall. Students will be making monthly goals that will be hung here. Additionally, students will complete exit tickets several times per week for me to check on their understanding during reading. For students who earn a 4 on their exit ticket (perfect answer in a complete sentence) their exit tickets will be hung on the wall, the goal being that students will end up with a ring full of responses as the year progresses to show their understanding.
In my classroom I have challenged the fourth graders to read 40 books this year. This idea comes from one of my favorite books, The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. This challenge helps students read a variety of genres over the year to help diversify reading abilities and types.
As students read a book for the 40 Book Challenge, they are required to write a summary and review (more on this to come). After conferencing with me about their books, they receive a sticker for every 50 pages that they read. After filling this chart, they have read 1,000 pages. We keep track of how many pages are read and there are different rewards as students reach different levels. At the end of the year we have page club celebrations based on how many pages are read. Students LOVE getting stickers for their chart and accomplishing more and more reading.