Here is a four-corner view from my classroom once it was set up prior to when I began teaching in it. I was at first reluctant to take the round tables, but they have ended up being my favorite thing about my classroom. It took some extra time teaching norms and expectations, but it freed up a ton of space and my classroom and has students collaborating with each other in a way I have not seen yet in my teaching.
Right next to the door, I have a sign-out area where students check out if they leave class for any reason. They must wear the appropriate lanyard in the hallway once they check out.
Here is my check-out system for our classroom library this year. Students simply write the title of the book they're checking out on their designated card and cross it out once they've returned the book.
I have two new designated areas in my classroom that I have never tried before: "Work it Out with a Partner" and "Ask the Expert." These are options available to students during independent reading/writing time when I am working with small groups of students during guided reading/guided writing. I do not allow any talking unless they are in a designated area asking focused questions about that day's minilesson application. This has been one of my favorite things I have implemented. I will blog more about it later.
I created an Exit Slip bulletin board to use for formative assessment at the end of a minilesson on some days where it is appropriate. Each of my students has a designated number where they fill out the notecard underneath their number. The focus questions guide possible responses.
Right next to the Smartboard in the front of the room I have included a learning target area. Daily, I discuss with students what our learning target is, how they can apply the target as a reader/writer, and how they can practice it further. I have found these conversations to be very beneficial between my students and I, and having this has also helped me check to make sure that I have a clearly defined focus on a daily basis.
Here is a view of our Word Study bulletin board before and after vocabulary words, rules about words, suffixes, prefixes, and Greek/Latin roots were added. I am amazed at how often students refer to this and use it to help build word knowledge.
Here is my guided reading/literature study/guided writing area this year.
There is a bulletin board designated to students writing.
This is the first thing students see when walking into my classroom outside of the door. I am diligent about filling it out daily so that students know what is expected for them to have out when class starts.
Well there you have it! My classroom in a nutshell. I can't wait to share more with you about the amazing things that have been happening with my students this school year. I have a list of ideas to blog about, so I hope to catch up over Thanksgiving break.
If you love the signs, labels, and bulletin board ideas and want to re-create this look in your classroom, swing on by my TpT store and check-out my newest product Signs, Labels, and Bulletin Boards for a Balanced Literacy Classroom.