The summer after my first year of teaching I took my entire classroom home to organize. I bought container after container. The Walmart ladies would always ask me, are you moving? Sometimes I thought I was! I put everything I owned into containers. I labeled everything. Then teaching's road took a turn and I landed a new grade level. The grade level change happened last year, and my 2nd grade team members are wonderful. They have helped me and provided me with so many resources. I could not have made the change without them!
Here is a look at my 3rd grade classroom and organization system in my old classroom:
Art Cart - Our Classroom Supplies
Pink Lids = Teacher Only (or with teacher permission)
Green Font = Math, Blue Font = Reading, & Red Font = General Supplies
Each unit I taught in 3rd grade had a container. Math, reading, and science (no social studies)! Please notice the blue and white walls in the background. Those are what is known as MagnaMagic. Two of the walls are dry erase and two are chalkboard. Both are magnetic, but only with a special kind of magnet. I was thrilled that my principal let me test these out for our school district! These were very expensive. I LOVED how my room looked after the MagnaMagic, and I loved that I could use the walls to display what the students were learning. I adore the concept of keeping your room as a blank slate at the beginning of the year, and filling it as the year progresses. At the end of the year the students can look at the room and see all they have learned.
rd Grade Science and Social Studies Note: In 3rd grade we did something really awesome, we team taught. There were four of us, so we each specialized in an area of science or social studies. For instance I taught the Human Body and Ecology, Teacher B - Simple Machines and Plants, Teacher C - Native Americans, and Teacher D - Carlisle History and Map Skills. We rotated classes every marking period. That way we didn't have to be responsible for mastering all that content knowledge. The benefit to team-teaching is you can become an expert in your field because you teach it four times a year. Your team members can give you materials they find on your content and you can give them material you find on their content. It really can be a great benefit!
Puppet Stage - now in the 1st grade room...
Where I displayed my vocabulary "word of the day." Our 3rd-5th grade decided to have a PSSA focus word every Wednesday. The teachers would all have the word written on a die-cut with examples of the vocabulary word (either math or reading). For example: Simile would be in the middle of the card. It would have five different similes on it. All teachers grades 3-5 would wear the simile necklaces all day. Teachers would read them to their classes. A lot of times 3rd graders wanted to wear them.
It's time to Set Sail with Second Grade! The summer before I started second grade, I decided I wanted to do a fun theme. At the time, I thought that second grade studied world cultures. I found out otherwise. We only study Mexico and Canada. Students will still set sail on an adventure of learning in second grade. They also learn the continents and oceans when we work on map skills. Here's my attempt at a classroom theme:
Part 1 -
The Continents and Oceans (big enough for the whole class to sit on)
(My dad thinks it's hilarious that this took me weeks to sketch, paint, and cover with varnish.)
Part 2 -
Mom makes the sails!