Category Archives: 2011-2012 Classroom Pictures

iSpy bags

I’m hooked!  On Pinetrest that is!  I found this idea a few days ago and had the materials (mostly) laying around.

I found this great tutorial here and l decided that because I had most of the materials already laying around, I could make some of these.  I went to Jo-Ann’s and looked for things that were small: beads, rhinestones, buttons, etc., that would fit inside one of these bags.  I also purchased two 32 oz. bags of plastic pellets, used to fill up dolls/children’s toys.  I have made 13 so far (they are not all pictured).  I also purchased some bags of trinkets from a store on etsy. (LOVE etsy!)

The items you see laying on the white paper will eventually be printed off, laminated, and attached with grommets so that the children can use a dry erase marker to circle the items that they have found.

Wouldn’t these be great with magnetic items inside as well? 🙂  For the bag with the numbers, I was thinking it would be great addition and subtraction practice for the children to find a number, then roll a die to see if they would add or subtract the next number they find!  You could do all kinds of things with these!  Use them in Work Stations, make them easy or difficult…how about putting sight words in them and letting the children write them as they find them?  How about printing the words in tiny font and using a magnifying glass to read them and then say them out loud?  The alphabet bags could be used to spell words…the ideas are endless…do you have any other ideas?  Leave them in a comment here! 🙂

I am thinking of making some to sell.  I made mine so that they correlate to units or themes we are working on in our IB units.  So far, I’ve got one for ponds, letters, numbers, recycling, gingerbread men/women, animals, pets, and a few just for fun ones!

Let me know if you might be interested in purchasing one or two…I’m thinking $10 for each one, with laminated tag included and attached. 🙂

Kristen 🙂


all you have to do is ask!  I was running out of new ideas to put in my Magnet Work Station area and I told my kiddos this one day.  I told them I saw they were getting bored with what was there and I didn’t have any ideas as to what I could put there next.  They said, “We have an idea!”.  We are learning about community helpers so how about something to do with community helpers.  We would like pictures of community helpers with speech bubbles so that we can match them with each other.  I never would have come up with that and it has provided a much needed new activity and keeps them busy. 🙂  They are reading the words on the speech bubbles and are having so much fun matching them up with the community helpers.  I found some community helper clip art on the internet (through a google search) and printed them out and laminated them.  I then used the speech bubble clip art in Word and made enough for each helper.  I then laminated them and wrote “I am a _(insert community helper name here)___”.  I stuck magnets on the back of them and we started having fun!

Now, I will have to dream up something to go along with our Sharing the Planet unit…I should just ask the kids! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Living Things

I’ve just updated our front facing bookcase with books that go along with our new IB unit (Sharing the Planet).  We will be inquiring about living and nonliving things, their characteristics, and how people, plants and, animals interact with one another.  Here are some pictures showing how I store and share these books with my students. 🙂

Kristen 🙂

My New Bookcase!

Okay, so the bookcase itself isn’t new and neither are the books on it, but the way it is set up sure is!  My school is currently an IB (International Baccalaureate) candidate school, so we think in terms of the six IB themes instead of our old themes.  I used to have them filed by topic alphabetically, but decided in the interest of finding all the books I needed to pull, it would make more sense to organize them this way:

I labeled each shelf with the name of the IB theme and then put a colored sticky dot next to the label.  Then, each of the boxes that pertain to that unit were also labeled with the same colored sticky dot so they get put back quickly on the right shelf.  When I started this idea, I looked at each box that I currently had, decided if it was going to apply to a unit.  If it did, I labeled it with the appropriate sticker.  If it did not, some of the books went out for the children to use and some were filed in my filing cabinet that holds my “other assorted books” collection–in all four drawers! 🙂

Here is a closer look at the two bottom shelves.

Kristen 🙂

Moving things around…

I’ve recently moved some things around in my classroom to make room for new things on the walls.  I’ve moved my name wall and our anchor charts.  Here are some pictures showing what they look like now:

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I’m excited because I was able to free up some space on our front board so that I could write our Morning Message on it.  I used to use our Big Book easel and it was a pain to have to move all the books and easel pads off and on to write a message, now I can just leave everything where it is!

Kristen 🙂

Organizing Supplies

I had a question about what goes in the shelves that I keep at the end of each of the tables:

In the top part of the shelf, we store our paper baskets and crayon baskets.  The crayon basket sits inside the paper basket.

The second part of the shelf down, we store our binders.

On the bottom, we store our SSR baskets and starting this year, our clipboards.

On the very top of the shelf, we use buckets to store supplies we use on a regular basis.  Pencils will go in the longer, empty space and then glue and scissors go in the other two spaces.

I’ll take some pictures when they are “in use” later on.

Kristen 🙂

The House and the loft

I get asked a lot about the playhouse and loft in my classroom.  It was there when I moved in and through research, I’ve found out that it’s been there for about 30 years.  I took a bunch of pictures inside, outside, and up in the loft:

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I got a new lamp from IKEA to use inside the house.  I had a lamp in it a few years ago and the children accidentally knocked it on the floor and it broke, so I went with a plastic one this time (it was $4.00) with a bulb that stays inside the shade if it should fall and break.


More classroom pictures 2011-2012

I was in my room today working on hauling my new IKEA stuff around.  Here are a bunch of pictures that I took today and I’ll write below them what they are if needed. 🙂  I took these with my iPod Touch, so they might be a little blurry–left my camera at home! 🙂


The two new tables I got from IKEA ($20 for the table and two chairs; this is two sets).  The green rug below is also from IKEA for about $20.00.  The pillows came from Old Time Pottery and I wanted another color besides green, so I got these that have the same green in the centers of the flowers, but have some pinks and whites as well.  I really like how this all ended up! 🙂

This is a magnetic board I got on clearance for $9.99.  I think it’s going to serve as my Magnet Work Station.  I really like the try at the bottom for catching those sliding letters.  We hung it with some of those Command 3M picture hanging hooks that can hold up to 20 pounds.  It looks like a toboggan to me! 🙂

This is how my Writing Work Station looks right now…

My Computer Work Station.  I had these on a table last year and it just took up too much room, so I moved them to desks.  These butt up to the back of Writing Work Station.

This is my calendar area.

This is my new Author’s Chair that I got at IKEA.

How I store my pointers.  I got the star wands at Target in the Dollar Spot and the rest I’ve collected over the past few years.

This is my bookcase that I use to store things we use during calendar, morning message, my Magic Tree House books, CD’s and other pointers.

I don’t know if I’ve ever put an up-close picture of the bench I sit on when we are doing whole group activities, so here you go! 🙂

Here is our new and improved Science area.  I took out the large table that was here before because it took up too much room.  I used another table from IKEA here along with a few bookcases for easier organization of science materials.

Here is the bookcase in the Science Work Station.

The Window in the Science Work Station.  I bought two new window mount bird feeders that will hang outside the window so the children can watch the birds (hopefully) come to the window.


Where my Pocket Chart Work Station will go next year.  I moved it away from the computers to the bottom of these closet doors.

Right inside my doorway.

My lovely door!

Looking towards the library.  My doorway is just to the left of where I am standing.

These are the tubs that will hold my Math Work Stations.  I am going to number the ends of each of the tubs and assign the children to a number (that will change each day so they rotate through them).

This is my horseshoe table that I use to work with small groups.

These are the new stools for my horseshoe table.  I got them at Old Time Pottery and they were originally from Target and there were two in a box.  I got two stools for $10 and then they were %40 off! 🙂

My desk.

These will be our Science Notebooks…I’ll be blogging about that more this year!

My new magazine holders (5 for $1.99 @ IKEA!).  I’m going to work on creating individual book baskets for each child.

These are two finds from Marshall’s!  The Eric Carle shapes are Colorforms and I thought they would be cute to use when we read his many stories.  The On The Farm books has magnetic farm animals and it works on positional words.

This basket holds microphones that I got from Target and the glasses.  This will go in my Buddy Reading Station (as soon as I find a place for it!)

This is my Intervention Basket that I started for one of my grad classes last semester.  It has everything I need to work with small groups of children on specific literacy skills. Now…to create one for math!

Hope you enjoyed the new pictures!

2011-2012 Classroom Pictures (after)

Here are the “after” pictures.  This is what I was able to get done in 1 day.

This is my Library Work Station.  I’ve made the space a little bigger this year and have taken out the round table that used to be in here.  Tomorrow, on my IKEA run, I’m going to pick up a rug and some little tables and chairs for this space.

Another look (from the other side of the library)


A view of the room from inside the library!

A view looking down the long wall, towards our large group area and the science center!

Looking towards some student tables, the mailboxes, my storage closet, office, and sink.

The shelf right inside my door.  The kids put their red folders (take home folders) in the yellow bucket each morning and library books in the tub next to that.  Parent notes go in the green folder.  We store extra supplies on the bottom shelf and office supply type things on the top shelf (white tub).

Our large group area.

Listening Station

My calendar area (although, I completely took it down and rearranged it today, so when I go in next week, I’ll have to get a new picture).

The Science Cart with all most half of my science stuff on it! 🙂

New science area.  I’ve gotten rid of the big table in favor of a little one I’m buying at IKEA tomorrow.

The sand table’s new home in front of the house.  I’m going to try and get it open everyday.  Guess I need to get more sand!


I’ll have more pictures next week!

Kristen 🙂

2011-2012 Classroom Pictures

I’ve been in at school working all this week to get things set up in my classroom again.  Here are the before pictures.  Our housekeepers do an amazing job of cleaning everything during the summer for us, and I’m so happy that they leave me to put it back–I love walking into a blank canvas and figuring out how all the pieces will fit this year!  These are all the pictures I took as I stepped into the classroom for the first time in a month.  I’ll post the after (in progress) pictures in the next post!.

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