Monthly Archives: July 2010

Some more new pictures

Here are pictures from my second day putting my classroom back together.

This is my desk area–notice how it’s still clean!

My small group table covered in things I need to do/use before school starts!

The beginnings of my Science Work Station/Science Center.

This is an outside look at my playhouse area.  This was already in my classroom when I got there.  I’m doing a 50th year book for our school’s 50th year and have determined that it arrived some time in the early to mid 70’s.  It was just the front of the house and one side at that time.  See the white baseboards on the house?  That was an extension that was added in the 80’s to make it taller.  In the 90’s a loft was added to the top.  It’s been pretty neat to see the progression of this house since it was built.

A look inside.  There are no lights inside other than the light from the 3 windows.  I used to have a lamp it here on top of the fridge, but the kids kept dropping the light on the floor and breaking the bulb–so no more light!

Here is another look.

These are the table skirts I made for my writing work station and computer work stations.  I just used Velcro and stapled it to the fabric and then stuck the other part to the underside of the table.  I really wanted to avoid sewing them if possible. 🙂

I’ve been working most of the day today on my Library Work Station.  I sorted all the books out (Debbie Diller says not to put too many out at the beginning of the year and to introduce more tubs as you learn about a particular author, topic, etc.) and put dots on them to help get them back to their homes.  The next couple of pictures show some books up close and some of the dots and their cards.

What to do when you run out of plain colored dots and you still have more books? See below:

Here is the skirt I made for the book case I don’t want to have open just yet.

A peek underneath…

My Drama Work Station

These bags will each hold one book and the drama props that go with it.  I thought this would be an easier way to get everything put back in the right places.  The kids can see which bag is empty or not off the wall and know where to put the items back in.  I was also thinking of getting some self-adhesive pockets to put on the outside of each bag so that I could label each bag with the title of the book inside.  Then, when I changed the book, I could just change the card as well.

Here is my new Word Work Station.  The children will be using different poems here as well as doing activities with their names.

I also added two more pocket charts directly behind the other two (you can see that in the next picture), so that two children can work independently of each other if they would like to.

My new Overhead Work Station.  Last year I had it sitting on the table which took away a spot for a child.  This year it will sit on this cart.  It now sits directly across from the screen, we can store things in the drawers to be used at this station, and it’s on wheels so we can move it if we need to.

Today, I moved the color words from underneath the shape words (on the right side of this picture) to the left of my clock.  I wanted to create more room for my Kit Inventory Wall and a Science Word Wall.  I plan on putting up some white paper and a Science-y border in the blue space that you see.

My front board–starting to come “back to life”!

Enjoy and I hope these give you some ideas!

Kristen 🙂

Lesson Plan Book

I’ve updated my Lesson Plan Grid for this year:


It prints out on two pages, one for my morning and one for the afternoon portion of the day.

Let me know if you find it useful! 😉

Kristen 🙂

2010-2011 Classroom Layout

Here is a floor plan of my classroom layout:


Click to open.

Kristen 🙂

2010-2011 Classroom Pictures

Hello Everyone!

I was hard at work at school today arranging my classroom in a new, totally different way.  After re-reading Literacy Work Stations, some changes were needed and the most important thing I did today was add a Science Work Station.  Can you believe it?? Me, All things Science Girl, did NOT have a proper Science center!  Done!  I do now!!

Here are some before pictures, what I walked into today.  They go from right to left around the room.  I was standing in my door way when I took them:

Below is what I was able to get done today:

Here you see my mailboxes (far right) and the kids tables that I moved closer to the carpet. My drama station will be on the closed door next to the blue cabinets.  I will hang the drama props in bags that I got from the dollar spot at target.  I will put one or two books out with the props in the bags and hang them on the wall with hooks.  I think that will help get the props back into the right spots and with the right books.  I’ll take pictures once I get that more established.   The table that you see will house my “Social Studies Work Station”–still in progress!

This is a better view of where the kids tables are.  I have six of them, five rectangles and one circle.  I moved my horseshoe table under the television so that I can use it for small groups.  I’m starting my grad classes later in August and will need this table for many of my “projects”.  My degree will be an M.A.E in Elementary Education with a Reading Focus.

Here is a long shot of the room.  It looks so open here!  And narrow too!  I pushed the tables all over to the right side and saved the left side for our whole group area, writing, computer, science, library, and listening work stations.

In the very front of this picture you can see my sand table (piled high with big books because the tub I had them in busted into 12 pieces when I moved it off the table).  You also see the back of a tall and short bookcase which serves as a wall to my library work station.  It used to be back in the corner by the window you see.

Here is another look at part of the library.  The books you see in magazine holders are my read aloud collection that I sorted out last year.  I wrote a grant to get the bookshelf and the magazine holders in January.

This is another look at my new library work station.

And another view.  I will be putting black baskets on a few of the shelves and after I label the books, they will go in the baskets. I’ll do that tomorrow.

This is a picture of the backside of the library work station.  The back of the book shelf you see (smooth, brown) will have small pocket charts hanging from it for the Word Study Work Station.  You can also see the blue, red, and green shelves that house my baggie book collection.

The table you see to the right is my new Writing Work Station.  I used to have a writing desk there with cubbies, but decided I needed to create one to suit my needs.  I’ll be making a table skirt for both of these tables and my science table with fabric I got at Wal-Mart (5 yards for 5 bucks).  I spent $20 and got 20 yards of fabric that will be more than enough to cover all three tables.

Here is another look at the Writing Work Station.

This is a shelf that holds more materials for the Writing Work Station.

This is a picture of our large group space.

Calendar area–still unfinished!  I can’t bring myself to put up August yet! 😉

This is my new Science area.  Looking un-finished still, but I need to figure out what to put here first! I’m going to make a skirt for this table as well.

Here is my small group teaching area, covered in all the back to school goodness of paper work and binders!

Here is another view of the room from the opposite end of the door.

One last view.  I’m going back in tomorrow to work on it some more, but this will be the basic layout this year.

Kristen 🙂

Updated Literacy Work Stations

Hi All!

Hope your summer vacations are all going well!  I decided to re-read Debbie Diller’s Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work book, just to refresh my memory and I have a few updates I will share with you.  Please also know that I am changing much of the way my classroom is set up as well as adding a few new Literacy Work Stations.  I’ll post an updated layout soon. Each time I read this book, something new pops out at me…I’ve been wondering my kids have a difficult time keeping the library tidy–well DUH, it’s because I had too many books out at once!  Maybe I’ve over thought them in the past, but it seems that some of those little details will finally stick if you re-read them enough! 🙂  So you will see some of those AHA thoughts below.

I’m going to just type what I’ve written in my notebook and hope that it might spark some ideas for you! 🙂

Literacy Work Stations to-do: (general)

copy and laminate pages 212, 201, 199, 190, 188, 182, 172, 143-160

make a reduced copy of pgs. 143-160 for pocket chart x2

Library Work Station:

label shelves with fiction/non fiction

get new tubs (done)

label tubs with authors name, picture

add plants

open faced shelf must be moved here

put colored dots on book cover to match to tub

do not put out too many books in the beginning, cover them with a drape

assign a “Classroom Librarian” job

Our favorite books graph

maybe a new rug to anchor space

small table (from my son’s room) and chairs, or just a table and big pillows, with a small lamp

Big Book WS

place sticky notes with sight words written on them in the back covers of the big books, the children can then find them and match them to the sticky notes

chart of class names

ABC chart (for sounding out words in books)


new pointer bucket

move fly swatters with rectangles cut in them to BBWS

Writing WS (this station is getting a new home on a table rather than at the wood desk with cubbies)

use two display boards for backdrop

display color words, number words, alphabet, I can write about…( ideas of what to write about)

stacking paper trays

cups for pencils, markers, colored pencils, crayons (all labeled)



dry erase boards

classlist on display board

words related to science theme (in sheet protector)

word books

handwriting strips on the table

sentence strips cut in 1/2 for the children’s use

building blocks posters clipped to display boards

Drama WS

flannel board

drama props


popsicle sticks with childrens pictures on them

ABC/Word Study WS (this was two different stations–combining into one because there was lots of overlap)

word wall

ABC memory (match upper to lower case, sight words, etc.)

letter sort cards

playdough letters

wikki stick letters

ABC puzzles

ABC books

magnetic word tiles

magnetic board sectioned off for sorts (for quarters each with a velcro dot at the top for labeling what is to be sorted)

small pocket chart for sorting names, words, etc

letter matching sheets (previously posted on my blog)

Poetry/Pocket Chart (I’ve never had Poetry station, but these two stations overlap so much, it seemed natural to put them together, especially in Kindergarten)

small pocket charts

poems written on sentence strips (small) for taking apart and putting back together

poems printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper that match those on sentence strips so children can match the words on sentence strips to those on the page


transparencies of poems used at poetry/pocket chart station


get rid of long computer table and 2 computers (they don’t work) and replace with 2 student desks-children can store the keyboard and head phones in the desk

Listening WS

use bucket meant for cleaning supplies to hold headphones and 3 books+tapes/CD

burn a copy of the CD’s before givng the children a copy

2 headsets

pillows or small table and chairs

Science WS (new this year)

will be in the area where my library was

bookshelf specifically for science books

items to look at, examine, talk/write about

store science journals under the table

experiments that we conduct will “live” here

posters (weather, birds, nutrition, animals, life cycles, etc)

small chairs/maybe a table

I’m not finished re-reading it yet, but I will update when I am with the rest of the list! 😉

Let me know if you have any questions–my list is kind of random!

Kristen 🙂

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