Classroom Sneak Peek and Desk Plates to Share

August 26, 2014

Classroom Sneak Peek and Desk Plates to Share

August 26, 2014

I know so many of you are already back to school and I have been admiring your gorgeous classrooms! We don’t head back until after Labor Day, so I’m still working away on my room. I did want to share a little sneak peek of what’s going on though.
I am keeping the black with brights theme I’ve had for a couple of years now. There is nothing I love more than fine-tuning a classroom scheme and evolving it a bit each year…plus my students love those colors so I am committed for another year (or more??).

Here are a few things I’ve been tweaking so far…

New Contact Paper
If  you’ve followed the blog for awhile, you will know I love to cover my mismatched tables with contact paper. Last year, I went with black paper and it looked really sleek and modern…but in the end it was a lot of black along with my bulletin boards and I knew I would change it up a bit in the future. Here’s a picture of last year’s tables in black:

The tables in our classroom have about five different wood grains, so I decided to choose the…well…for lack of a better word, prettiest one to use this year! Three of our round tables are a warm, maple color. So I found some contact paper that matched really well at a local hardware store and have been covering all those mismatching tables with a new shade this year. 
Here’s a darker table being transformed with new maple contact paper:
New Carpet
I found a new carpet back in June at Target for a nice sale price and I actually purchased two because they are my students’ favorite alternative seating (besides our little couch, more to come on that later!). This is a messy-work-in-progress shot that shows the carpet design:
New Library Labels
The carpets actually led to a new library label inspiration. I knew since the spring I wanted a black and white label with an icon look this year… and I tried out a different shape as well. These labels are from my Simply Iconic Library Labels set and they have a regular rectangle shape as well (plus a white with black option):

New Dry Erase Features
I’ve also been having a lot of fun using dry erase shapes to tie in with that icon-looking layout for my morning meeting area. 
I used my circle cutter to make this calendar, so my 5th graders can write the date each day:
I realize it is still slightly askew (it’s that Thursday column!!) but it was about 9,000% humidity the other day and we don’t have AC at school…I will fix it next time.
And then I tried to this one look notebook paper-ish…

I have a couple of others I’m working on as well–they’ve been a lot of fun to make and they really stand out on the black contact-papered boards!

New Desk Plates
I’ve also reworked our desk plates since last year, after careful observation of how my students (especially the ones who really need these references) use them each day. 
I’ve always made my multiplication charts alternate colors in columns like this…it really helps students track the numbers with their finger and not get confused. I enlarged the charts as much as possible for the best readability and left a small space to write the name…since it’s 5th grade and the name is more for substitute teachers.
I have a copy of the desk plate to share below…please click on the image if you would like to download:
http://bit.ly/1tRgt6Y
I have tons more to share but I don’t think I’ll have a full classroom tour until a couple of weeks into September…I hope you’ll have a chance to visit the tour then, I feel so behind everyone else!
Are you still setting up your classroom? Or have you been back to school already? Thanks so much for stopping by!

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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
  • A little progress with packing up.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I am really trying to get rid of anything we haven’t used in years and pack up everything in its place. We’ll see if I shove things randomly away when I run out of time next week 😂!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Are you packing up next week?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#classroomorganization #classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Do you ever feel like you make MORE of a mess as you clean out your classroom?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Today was our students’ last day and I stayed for a bit to get things cleaned out and packed but I got so overwhelmed I finally just left. It can wait, right?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#classroomorganization #notpicturedhere #ineed50daystocleanmyroom #wegetone #iteachfourth #iteach4th #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Anyone still in school? Our students’ last day is tomorrow and I’m feeling all the emotions right now!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I got this sweet framed gift from one of my students today 😍😭 Getting myself ready for tomorrow’s whirlwind of emotions!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀If you are wrapping up school soon, best wishes! And if you are already on break, happy summer!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#almostsummerbreak #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • 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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