Color-Coding the Classroom

March 9, 2014

Color-Coding the Classroom

March 9, 2014
Happy Weekend!! Today I am joining tons of my blog friends in sharing some bright ideas…from our classroom to yours!

The bright idea I would like to share is definitely bright…as in bright colors!

So, I’ve been decorating my room with black and bright for three years now. I love the happy colors and my students do too (we always laugh when the neon clothes they wear match the bins in the room!).
But in the back of my mind, I was always a bit worried about the amount of color in the room. If you’ve read my blog since the beginning, you know I used to be pretty one or two-toned when it came to color schemes. 
Was it too much color?
 
Was it distracting to my students?

I want my room to be vibrant and energizing, yet remain calming overall. So this summer I reworked my scheme to be more purposeful in its use of hues:
Suddenly all the colors had a purpose. Now the room looked more cohesive, less scattered.

And I could keep all of my decor, I just had to rearrange it a bit so all colors were together to represent a particular subject.

Each subject in our class has the same basic elements to keep it color-coded and organized. Here’s a peek at our color-coding for Writer’s Workshop:

1. Bins: Students pass in any assignments during the day in these bright buckets.


2. Charts: I use large pieces of bright chart paper that I’ve laminated to create our anchor charts (I am NOT the best chart-maker…working on that one!). We create the large ones together on these laminated sheets, then I type them up onto smaller sheets to refer to later.

3. Markers: We use coordinating chalk markers to mark the following on each bulletin board:
  • essential question
  • key vocabulary
  • our strategies

I’m honestly not sure if I will use these markers in the same way next year or not. They are pricey, but they do pop nicely across the room. It’s been a great visual for my students this year.

4. Notebooks: This was such a lucky find this summer!! Walmart happened to have all the colors I needed to coordinate my notebooks to each subject area! The best part? I didn’t have to make any labels for any of our notebooks…it’s so clear which notebook is needed for which subject just by glancing at it!
It’s amazing what this color-coding has done for our classroom! I’ve been able to keep all of our color, yet make the room much calmer and more cohesive.

And the best part?

It has been so much easier for my newest English Language Learners to find the resources and materials they need for each lesson…and that has been wonderful to see.

I know my room evolves a bit each year, but I also know that I will stick with color-coding by subject in the future.

The next stop in the hop is Tech with Jen! Jen has a post all about Keyboarding Skills for your students and you can click on the button below to read all about it. I will see you there because that’s where I’m headed first!


You can also hop around any of our blogs here:

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  • Two of my dear friends and colleagues retired today. I worked on teams with both over the years (one in 4th and one in 5th) and they’ve both been my next door (classroom door) neighbors. They’ve taught a combined total of 74 years!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀We had an outdoor luncheon on our school patio to celebrate their years of dedication to our school. The theme was beachy/nautical and it was so fun to set up...I found most of the decor at the Dollar Tree! We had tons of candles, shells, flowers, and a fishnet with class photos from over the years. (Don’t mind the masking tape on the table in that last photo, it was a bit windy 😂). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀It was a happy and sad kind of day 💕 #retiringfriends #cantimagineschoolwithoutthem #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
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  • Have you seen the new outline feature in google docs?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀If you click on the outline icon on the left hand side of your doc (picture two) you will see an outline of all the headings you’ve created.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀When you click on a heading in the outline, it will bring you right to that section...even on different pages! It’s like inserting jump links just by typing out headings!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Have you tried this new feature yet?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#lovegoogledrive #googledrive #googledocs #iteachfourth #iteach4th #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Yesterday I shared how I’ve been trying to not just get organized, but STAY organized.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀One of the best things I’ve done to stay organized this year is to presort and store all of the math manipulatives we use often into individual containers.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀So instead of keeping everything in big bins like I had in the past, I started to use individual boxes with the manipulatives already sorted out, enough for each student. (The storage boxes are Iris 4 x 6 Photo Cases...I’ve found them on Amazon in a 10 pack and on some great sales at Michaels).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This saves SO much time in distributing materials during math, which is the main reason I started organizing like this in the first place.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀But there was an unexpected bonus of extra organization! Since the manipulatives are sorted for individuals, my students manage their setup and cleanup!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Like in the first picture there are the tiles we use a ton during the year (for area, perimeter, arrays, factors, etc.) Each box holds 48 tiles, four rows of six and two layers deep to fill the box. So when we are done using the tiles, my students arrange them back into the boxes and store them in our math area.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Keeping my math manipulatives like this has helped me stay much more organized this year...everything has its place and my students manage it all!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀How do you like to keep your math manipulatives organized? I loved reading your ideas yesterday...we would love to learn what works best for you!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#classroomorganization #classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram

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