Category Archives: 2010-2011 Classroom Pictures

Classroom now…

Last week or so, I posted pictures of my classroom at the “height” of the school year.  Check out these photos from after the school year has ended.  Kind of depressing…it’s all so still and quiet–I don’t like that! 🙂  It won’t be too much longer though until it’s filled with noise again!  Don’t get me wrong, I love summer vacation as much as the next teacher, but I can’t stand a classroom that’s empty! 🙂

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Also this week, I found two great places to find used children’s books: Goodwill (they were .69 each) and my son’s bedroom!!  I found books I had brought home for him a few years ago and thought that I’d lost!  I saw several books that I knew I already had in my listening center, but I only had one copy and was able to find about 20 more titles that now have partners!  This picture shows me organizing them:


I also have had a few questions about how I store all my books.  I wrote a grant several years ago and got this nice bookshelf and the magazine holders to put the books in.  I’ve organized them generally by topic and some overlap, but at least I can find most of the books when I need them!  Here is a picture of the bookcase (one picture has the curtain down and the other with it up):



The last picture is of my books on tape/CD.  I store them much the same way I do my books, but on the bookshelf right next to the one with all my books:



Kristen 🙂

Literacy Work Station closet

I thought I might give you a before and after look at my Literacy Work Station closet.  For some reason (I think I was possessed that day) the Friday before Spring Break I decided it would be a great time to clean out my Literacy Work Stations closet.  I got rid of a few things and organized the rest.

If you’ve read Debbie Diller’s Spaces & Places book or Math Work Stations she suggests organizing your materials before setting up your work stations so you know what you have to work with and can easily find it.  She also tells you NOT to go out and purchase any new containers–you won’t need them!!  I used the baskets and things I already had in my room before organizing this closest and actually ended up with more baskets than I started with.

Here is the before shot:

I found things I had totally forgotten about.

Now, (drumroll please…) here is the after shot:

Now most of the baskets have labels (still working on a few).  The bottom shelf is mainly Puzzles and Games Work Station and ABC Work Station.  I could also use some things for a Sound Station I am thinking about for next year.

The middle shelf is all of my Word Work Station stuff.  It also holds a basket of things for Magnet Work Station and a few games for Pocket Chart Station.

The top shelf holds all my blue Name Work Station boxes and some binders I had no other place for.  It also holds my Cut up Sentence necklaces and a few other random drama station props (like Jack be Nimble’s Candle).

It’s a work in progress.  I’ve decided as I put things back, I would like to start an inventory of sorts of what I have to help with my work on a particular skill.  In one of my grad classes I’m creating a scope and sequence of what skills to teach when (which is open to all sorts of interpretations as far as each class being ready for different skills at different times each year) and would like to list the materials I have to back up my teaching.  I can use them to teach a small group and then put them out into the stations for everyone to use.

The only problem with grad classes is the seem to create more work for me than just the class work itself…one idea ALWAYS leads my brain to another! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

More Work Stations (2010)

Here are some more pictures of Literacy Work Stations in action.

This is the Magnet Work Station.  I have one large magnetic dry erase board and two bags (from the Target Dollar Spot).  In each of the bags, there are a box of magnetic letters, a set of everyone’s names (laminated), and some sorting sheets and alphabet matching sheets.

Here’s a look inside.

Here it is in use…

This is what’s currently in the Games and Puzzles Work Station.  I showed this one last year and you can get the Find It tubes at Target now.  I made this sheet in Word and laminated it (actually I made two of them because I have two tubes like this one) and the children circle the letters as they find them and then just wipe it all off when they are done.

This is the ABC/Word Work Station (see last post for a description).

Using pointers to read Big Books.  In all my other Big Books (except the Alphabet ones), I put post it notes or laminated task cards with words for the children to find.

This our new Pocket Chart poem for the week.  I found it in the Interactive Charts book that goes along with the Building Blocks framework.

Here are a few closeups:

They are numbered so that the children can match a word with a number two to the second sentence, and a word with a number three to the third sentence, and so on.

This is one part of the transparency that I made for Cookie’s Week.

This is the other half.  I imported a picture from of the front of the book so that the children would know book this sheet goes with.  I then thought up some things that the children might have done (those are on the transparency above) and then drew little pictures in (for those who cannot read the words yet) on the ends of the strips.  The children use their pictures (that I printed on transparencies also using iPhoto’s Contact Sheet setting, grayscale).  Then they use the strips (that I’ve number as well) and fill in the sentences.

Here is a look at two of my students using the Pocket Chart Station, sorting the names by “Boys and Girls”.

Here is the Library Work Station, just the seating area.

Here are Hermit Crabs (they reside next to the meal worms).  Their names are Red and Flip Flop.

Here is an updated picture of our meal worms.

These are our plants.  Spidey is hanging from the ceiling (he’s a spider plant).  The other two are Fred and Flossie.  They are Philodendrons (sp?).  We’ve practiced being really nice to them and saying nice things to them so they will grow big and strong.

That’s all for now!  I’ll be posting more about our Bulldog Buck Store in just a minute! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

2010-2011 LWS Progress

Hello Everyone!

I’ve had the craziest two weeks I can remember at the beginning of the school year!  You’re all probably experiencing or about to experience the same thing.  I can’t put my finger on what it was, but all of it together had tired me out! 🙂

I’m slowly introducing Literacy Work Stations in my classroom.  We haven’t officially used any of them yet (except for the library work station), but I hope to get them going later this week.  I still have 3-4 more to introduce and then we’ll be ready to go.

I did add/change a few things this year and some I can show you and some I cannot not (I want to not post the names of my students on my blog), but I can take pictures of things without names and explain them in detail.


You can search for LWS on my blog and see how I managed them in the past.  I’m sticking with something similar, however this year, in the interest of KISS (keeping it simple silly!), I printed all the names on pre-purchased business cards.  I don’t have to write all the names out and when a new student comes in, I just print out one new card at a time.  I also copied the work station labels and chart labels right from the back of Debbie Diller’s book (Literacy Work Stations).  This made everything for uniform and the labels all have the names of the stations in English and Spanish! 🙂


I would stop what you’re doing right now and go hit up your Target Dollar Spot for the fabulous re-usable bags they have for sale for a dollar each (I got lucky one day and got ten of them for .50 each!!).  I am using them for everything this year!  I’ve purchased all I can find.  They have had them out since the holiday season last year (I used them for stockings for my extended family and Easter baskets).  There are always new designs.  The ones now are black and white and are near the gift giving items.  Anyway, buy lots of those (haven’t ripped one yet) and use them in place of baskets and buckets to stow all your goodies in!  I have them in my Word Work station, Listening Station, Pocket Chart Station, Drama Station, and somewhere else I can’t think of right now! 🙂  I hang them on the wall with those 3M hooks that can be removed later and not take the paint off, but they stick almost anywhere (I haven’t ever had any fall off).  You just buy refill packs of the sticky tabs when you need more. I thought I took pictures of them but I can’t find them on my camera, so I’ll take some tomorrow at school.

Overhead Work Station:

I’m introducing this one tomorrow and have been busy typing up parts of books that we have read (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) and printing them on transparency sheets.



I will use these on the overhead along with pictures of all my kids that I printed on transparency sheets.  I printed them in black and white using iPhoto on my Mac.  I will cut the pictures apart and the kids can put pictures of each other in the blank spots and read the words.  I printed them using the “contact sheet” option, so there are 12 kids on a sheet.

Pocket Chart Station:

I wrote everyone’s name on a sentence strip and attached a color photo of them to the end of the strip (again using the “contact sheet” layout in iPhoto), and laminated them all.  I showed the kids how to sort them by boy/girl (I wrote the boys on blue strips and the girls on pink strips) and how to sort them alphabetically.

Drama Station:

I’ve added the props for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear (you can purchase them from Lakeshore) to the dollar spot bags I got at Target and hung them on the wall using those 3M hooks.  You can see pictures a few posts down of my Drama area.

Listening Station:

Also using the dollar spot bags (I promise to take pictures of them!!), I placed a copy of Brown Bear and Chicka Chicka 123 along with their CD read-alongs in the bags.  My old tape player quit working last year and all our media specialist had was a CD player (which I’m excited about!!), so I’m switching everything over to CD!! 🙂  This week, we will be reading Mouse Paint and I don’t have a CD for that, so I just made my own!! 😉  I opened Garage Band (on the Mac) and read the book slowly into the mic.  I left spaces for the “turn the page sound” and added those in later.  I also added subtle background music in so it would help hide the fact that it sounds like I was reading inside of a tin can! 🙂  I burned it to a CD and now we have Mouse Paint on CD for our listening station! 🙂  I might be open to adding them to my Kristen’s Kindergarten store if there is enough interest (I’ll be doing this with lots of other stories!).  It was easy to do and took me about 20 minutes from the time I read to burning the CD.

I’ll get some pictures taken this week of those things and get them posted.  Hope this was enough to tide you over! 😉  Today is my grandmas 91st birthday, so I’m off to bring her some birthday cheer! 🙂  Grad school starts tomorrow (8/23)…nervous!!! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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