Seeing that I haven't posted, oh, in like 2 years, I thought tonight would be a good night to post since I am free from grad school for the first time starting the school year and actually have time to breathe. **Sigh of relief** Tonight was my school's Open House. There is A LOT of prep that goes into this single night-- flip books full of information, goodie bags for your students, wish list items, parent presentation etc.
To welcome the second graders, I created a quick and easy "bulletin board" welcome board that says "Welcome to the Team." It is Olympics inspired. :) I still need to add four Gold Medals with the names of the second grade teachers and it will be what I consider complete. It is simple and does the trick.
Let's begin with the classroom reveal. I have 23 friends this year, 16 of them being BOYS. Oh yes, it is going to be a fun year ;).
I prefer the "U" shape because it allows me to walk around and monitor students quickly. I am also trying flexible seating this year beginning with heightened desks. Every student will begin with a desk at regular or raised height. After a couple of weeks, I will introduce lowered desks. You can see that I have crate seating around my lowered table for group work right now. Eventually, I will lower 4-6 desks. I will also introduce yoga ball seating after my class adjusts and knows the rules of crate seating. I purchased the pillows in the white bench from 5 and Below for $5. A lot of the kids raved about them tonight. My chair was purchased from Wayfair and my mother sewed an additional cushion with pockets for me to store dry erase markers and my read aloud book I read at the end of the day to my kids. Don't judge my bookshelf, I took this the night before Open House. I promise the classy white board was removed before the parents came and the shelf was filled with beginning of the year books.
My school is big into AR in the second grade. To motivate students, my grade level team brainstormed this AR board where each student is represented by a jersey with their class number on it. As they take quizzes and earn points they are able to make their way around the bases. Each base earns them a different "prize." At the end of the year awards ceremony, students who have 25 points get a trophy with a bronze medal. 50 points earns them a trophy and silver medal, and 75+ points earns them a gold medal and trophy. Anyone who reaches 100 points gets the "grand prize" a.k.a. Pokemon cards paired with a book or prizes that can be purchased with scholastic points. :)
My library has transformed since my first year of teaching. I started with NOTHING. ZILCH. NADA. So I began at Goodwill. Then I branched out to Craigslist looking for teacher yard sales. I got lucky and found a teacher who was retiring and I purchased half of her library that was available. It didn't look like much but it was something. Craigslist, Scholastic, and library bag sales have been my main source of where I got my books. The tubs themselves are an investment. I started cheap with the dollar store bins, but they were too small to hold most of my books. So I advanced to bigger dollar store tubs and they seemed too flimsy. I purchased the white bins from Walmart and they hold ALOT of books and are very sturdy. The white bins are dedicated to my AR collection while the pink and green bins from Meijers serve as my genre bins. That lovely rotating wire bookshelf in the corner is my newest addition which was found on Craigslist as well. :)
This is my lowered table for crate seating. The cushions were purchased from Walmart for $1.50 a piece. STEAL! They will eventually be tied on with ribbon but I haven't had time to sew them on yet. This is my wish list table for Open House. The sign says "Thanks for Pitching in!"
This is my student desk display. As a grade level we purchase Parent Communicator folders and in the front I have this sheet with all the passwords needed for the year. I also tell how parents can contact me. It works GREAT for families who are divorced and always have their child's go to information all on the front of the folder. On the back I include my calendar with important dates for the month. It is easy to see what is coming up for the month and how their child has behaved that day if they don't have access to Class Dojo. The flip book came from Learning in Wonderland. :) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how I can just fold and staple. Simple and quick!
This is a game changer! I LOVE this checklist booklet from Ladybug's Teacher Files. This woman is pure genius and I love her color coded organization. **heart eyes emoji** Go, don't think another second. Purchase this product now. You will thank me later. :)