About this blog:

This is a place to find resources, ideas, and links for a variety of first grade topics. Any document that is posted here is either my original work, or is linked directly to the source. Any resource created by me and posted to this blog is offered FREE of charge! Please link back to this blog as appropriate and properly credit work.

In my district we use the "Treasures" reading program (2011 National Edition) and the "Growing With Math" curriculum. Most (not all) of the resources posted here will be tied to those two programs.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting started...

I spent many hours in my classroom this past week, starting the sorting and organizing process for a NEW school year! I left things in a bit of a mess at the end of last year, plus the custodians did a LOT of moving and shifting as they cleaned this summer. I also had several areas that I wanted to rearrange, so my work was cut out for me! Here are a few photos of the BEGINNING of the process:

I started with chaos - tables up-ended and piled with stuff, book display case on its side, rug rolled up after cleaning, etc.

The rug is in postion (at the front of the room, under the SMART Board), with one easel in place, along with my little "at the rug supply cart" and teacher chair. My teacher chair is a folding camp chair I got at Costco several years ago. I love it! It's comfy and not super-low to the ground, so it doesn't kill my knees as I get up from it a million times a day. The easel has one side that is a magnetic whiteboard, one side that holds additional whiteboards on hooks (lined, and large for drawing) or a pocket chart, and there are storage bins that fit into the bottom.  In the bins I keep Treasures and Growing With Math supplies, along with flashcards and card games of ALL SORTS.  After this picture was taken I added a second easel with a pocket chart facing the rug for words sorts, etc. The magnetic whiteboard side is facing the Book Nook and will be used for Daily 5 activities by the kids.

Close-up of the stroytime lamp by the rug. Those are planets on the clear disk under the shade!  This is a different lamp than I've had before, and I was worried that the base would be too big to fit on the top the my supply cart, but it was perfect - yay! My chair is out of view to the left, one easel is to the right, and the Book Nook is behind. The kids looooooove being gathered at the rug for a read aloud, with the overhead lights off and the story lamp ON. So fun and cozy!

 Tables cleared off and in postion. I ended up turning the back table of the middle section to that it is perpendicular to the front table (in a T shape).  I have 6 tables that can accommodate 24 kids, though with the one in the middle turned 22 spots would be more reasonable. Right now there are 20 on my list and I don't expect to have more than 22.  

To the left is a table against the wall - this is the "check-in table" which I'll explain and show more of in another post. The kidney table is my small-group instruction area, and has had many things added since this photo. Up above on the wall (which is covered in carpet-like stuff that velcro sticks to - so awesome!) you can see the Treasures sound-spelling cards.

 This is the beautiful board that my colleague Kelsey made for me for our bucket fillers program. SOOOOO EXCITED to implement this! The board is waiting to be laminated. I'll then add the kids' names with clear labels (which can be peeled off and replaced for next year!). A box cutter works great to slit open the library pockets after lamination. Kelsey made one of these for everyone on our team, according to each classroom's theme, and they are ALL gorgeous!

I spent a looooooooong time on my hallway bulletin board (which is right outside the door to my classroom). Last year's just wasn't quite perfect, and I was determined that THIS year I would be happier with it!  The border is the "dots on black" from CTP, and the letters are super-cute stripes and dots called "alpha beads" from Trend.  The kids' names will be added to the stars with clear labels. The stars are attached to clothespins with mounting squares. SOOOOO easy to clip up kids' work, and I NEVER have to change out the background again!

I got everything cleared out of the deeeeeeeeep shelves in the big closet. I've since refilled it in an ORGANIZED fashion with supplies, tools, etc.

I took all the Treasures guided reading books out of the cardboard organizer they came in (and in which they lived for all of last year). I rubber-banded them and organized them by unit and week, and amazingly, they all fit on ONE shelf in a cupboard. I'm really happy about this, because in their cardboard organizer they took up a huge chunk of counter space last year, which can be better utilized for stuff the kids need to get to themselves.  On the top shelf are the sets of decodable books from Treasures, and I've since added some other small-group reading books and materials.

Got my banner from Vistaprint hung up on the wall between my door and the "Super Star Learning" bulletin board (yay for Command picture hanging "stuff"). If you have not jumped on the Vistaprint bandwagon, do it now! There is AWESOMENESS to be had for free and super-cheap!

I've made a lot of progress since these pictures were taken, so there will be more to come SOON!


  1. Your room is looking good! I can't wait to get into my room next week and start organizing my room & arranging my furniture!

  2. That's awesome. Love everything

  3. Your room looks AWESOME! I moved classrooms and was just trying to figure out placement of things and this has helped me so much. I also teach first, use Treasures and Daily 5 and want to start using Math Workstations :) If you want help with Daily 5 we have a great yahoo group groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Daily_Five