Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle!

I was up at school today for our first day of Jump Start.  It's a three-hour block of intense small-group instruction for our littles who need an extra boost before the official start of school.  While I was there, I snapped some pictures of my classroom!  The bulk of the work is done, however, there is still lots of organizational tasks that still need to be done.  It feels really good to have everything up and almost ready to go!

Here is the view from my classroom door.  This is my whole group instruction area with my smartboard, academic vocabulary boards, and easel.  This is my first year to have a smartboard so I am really excited to begin incorporating that into lessons!

My academic vocabulary walls are situated on each side of my smartboard.  These word walls are separate from my high-frequency word wall.  I wanted them close to my whole group instruction area so they can be easily referenced during the lesson.  The idea came from Kim Adsit.  She has both a math and a literacy vocabulary packet in her store on TPT.  If you are looking to enhance the way you teach academic vocabulary I encourage you to check them out.  You can read about it in her post here.

Both my word wall and my No More Letter of the Week wall run along the back of my room.  The word wall is magnetic so the students are able to interact with the words as needed.  The letter wall is two separate bulletin boards (half cork board and half magnetic chalkboard).  So we papered off the whole thing but as you can see the bottom of the boards are not the same height which gave me some trouble at the end.  Please forgive the uneven spacing at the bottom!  I promise it's not as noticeable in person!  The extra boxes are for th, sh, ch, and wh.

Our district adopted Conscious Discipline as our primary behavior management tool several years ago.  I love CD because it's all about developing and maintaining positive relationships with your students.  I have not set up my Friends and Family Board or my Safe Place yet but I will share pictures of both when they are finished.  I saw this adorable idea in a blog post Deanna Jump did on Pre-K and K Sharing.

On the left are "I Can Be a Good Listener" posters.  These were made by Christie at First Grade Fever. They are super cute and FREE!  Click here to check them out!  On the right are my class rules posters adapted from Whole Brain Teaching.  They are not quite finished.  I'll be adding a "Class Rules" sign at the top but you get the idea.  I did a previous post on whole brain teaching.  You can read about it by clicking here.

I absolutely love this clip chart!  I have used Rick Morris' New Management system color chart in my class for the past four years.  I really like his system and have found it extremely successful (post on this is coming soon).  When I stumbled on this jungle-themed clip chart I thought it was too cute and so appropriate for my kinders that I decided to give it a try!  You can read Kim and Megan's post here.  They have included a parent explanation letter, clip art, and a weekly recording sheet for you!  If you are doing a jungle theme this year then this chart is definitely worth a look!

When I taught first grade I used a pocket chart system to manage Daily 5 choices.  It worked really well for them but when I moved to kinder I needed to make a change.  I switched to a clip chart and love it!  I have some jungle-themed choice cards posted in my TPT store.  You can check those out by clicking here.

Well that is most of my classroom.  My reading area is still under construction while I wait for another shelf from Ikea.  There are a few other spaces that need some last minute touches but the majority of the work is done!

I hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks/days of summer break!


  1. Your classroom looks so inviting & cute!! Your students will love it! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. I love your classroom. Thank you so much for those rule charts. They are perfect. I am doing the jungle theme also and I was going to adapt the jungle clip chart also. Have a great year!!