Wednesday, August 17, 2011


After many weeks...many long hours of working this week (in-service week, no less...meetings from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm and then working on my classroom until 8:00 pm) classroom is *almost* completely ready. :o)  There are still a few things here and there that I need to work on, but it is *just fine* for tomorrow's Meet the Teacher night.  Hopefully our meetings tomorrow won't last until 4:00 since our Meet the Teacher starts at 4:30...I still need to put papers out on students' desks and sharpen a few pencils. :o)

Come on in and take a peek...

In the foyer outside my classroom (Room 1)--each grade level is in a separate building, and we all have a huge foyer among four classes.  It is *wonderful*!

Pop into First Grade!!

View of my classroom as you walk in the door...

To the right, just as you walk in, I have pails for "Runaway Crayons" and "Runaway Markers".  I can't claim this idea as my own...though I can claim it as "Man, why didn't I think of that"! :o)  I found this super cute idea at Flipping for First Grade.

View from my small group table.

Learner Profile bulletin board.  We are an International Baccalaureate school, so we have to have a lot of things on our walls.  This is one of them--students will share when they see someone showing an attribute of the Learner Profile and we'll write it on a little slip of paper and put it on their clothespin.  I'll either write their name or put a small picture of each student on a clothespin. :o)

 Close up of the board.  Hallie walked in the day I completed this and said, "Mommy!  I just LOVE your sunshine!" :o)  Now that I have her approval, I'm feeling pretty good. 

Reading Station
(I absolutely must remember to nail the back onto the little mailbox system!)

View from the math corner...

Problem Solving Strategy--I have used this visual since teaching for Northside ISD in San Antonio, TX.  It is an excellent way to get students to slow down.  I've tweaked it slightly, but overall, the process is the same.
*RR--Read the problem two times
Oops...I have them out of  The ? should be next.
*?--Underline the question
*Circled F--Circle the facts...we talk about circling information that will help us answer the question.
(In NISD, we also crossed out extra information...I don't put that visual b/c I learned that kids would just scribble on their word problems which drove me nuts!)
A key with + - x and division symbol--What is the key action?  What action will we use to solve our problem?
#S--Number sentence...write a number sentence that will solve the problem
Light Bulb--Think about it...Does your answer make sense?  Does it answer the question?
I know first graders won't totally understand this concept, but if I can get the vocabulary in their brains, then when they go to second and third grade, I hope problem solving will be much easier for them!

Calendar!  I am *so* excited about Calendar time!
*Dress for the Weather
*Weather graph
*What do you say, dear?--This will be like classroom news.  I'll choose two or three kids each day to share a sentence.  This will be a visual of writing a good sentence with puncuation (including quotation marks).  For example, Hallie said, "I was so excited about coming to first grade!"  My mom did this when she taught first grade, and her students loved it!

Calendar--I'm going to make little signs that say "last month, this month, next month" and talk about sequencing.  You can almost see it in an above picture--I have the same months in sequence above the calendar.

Our math calendar station.  I am not quite sure what I'm going to put on the rest of this board.  Suggestions?
We'll practice our Key Concepts, Money (in the pink pocket chart) correlating to the Number of the Day, Even and Odd, and place value.

Closet Doors--Key Concepts (part of IB) and my Helper chart.  I don't have my jobs listed yet.  I think I might talk with the students about what types of jobs would be helpful in our classroom.

Behavior Chart.  Students will begin on lime green (looks more yellow to me).  For exceptional behavior, they'll get to move up to pink.  After a warning, students will move to "This is my last warning"--orange.  Then to blue...a partial loss of privilege and a note home.  Yellow will result in a loss of privilege and/or an office visit. Students who stay on green will get a hole punch in their punch card.  If they move to pink, they'll get a hole punch and an immediate treat.  Any student who has 5 hole punches will get to go to the treasure box on Friday. :o)  Eek--just realized I haven't added my clips!  Oops!
**If you like this, you can get a free download HERE at Life in First Grade's blog.

Another view of my classroom.

Word Wall and Life Cycle posters.  I'm quite annoyed that the frog poster is lower than the others.  It fell down and I had to quickly put it up today.  And now I can't get it off b/c I put it up with hot glue (shh, don't tell).  The others are up with either Carpet Tape (amazing!) or Glue Dots (Zots--also amazing!).  I haven't decided how I'm hanging the Word Wall Words...probably on ribbons.

Right side of Word Wall with Scientific Process posters--one of our planners (part of our IB program) is on the scientific process.

The front of my classroom.  Can you see that *fabulous* media cart in the center of my room.  Can you just say LOVE IT?!  Well, I can...and I do love it!  It's from Lakeshore and absolutely, wonderfully, twelve kinds of perfect!

And there you have it.  My first grade classroom all ready for my very first group of Firsties!  One of the blogs I read calls her first graders "Firsties" and I've decided I'm going to adopt that phrase as my own.  I am NOT a fan of the term "kiddos".  I don't know why, but I detest it.  Hate the way it sounds.  Yes, I'm a teacher and recognize all on my own that it's weird.  I prefer students, kids, and now Firsties. :o)  There's going to be a whole lotta learning going on in this classroom!  I can't wait for my year to get started!  I meet some of my sweet Firsties tomorrow night!!


Kyetra said...

Everything looks AWESOME!

Stephanie said...

it looks so good kendra! i told you it would come together. i have suggestion for the math board, though it might be too "young" for firsties. have a greater than, less than area. have the greater than and less than symbols, and maybe a pocket of little things they could pin up to make it right. maybe laminiate magazine pictures of say three eggs and then five bananas, etc...just a random thought. love the room! and i'm sooo telling about the hot glue! ;o)

Nonna said...

Love, love, LOVE your room!!!! I knew it would get there. Everything looks great; just like a 1st grade room should look! :-) Makes me a "little" sad because I remember those days of getting my
1st grade room ready for my "Firsties". You notice, I said a "little" sad. LOL I know you are going to be a wonderful 1st grade teacher! I love you!!

Kendra said...

Thanks, y'all!

Stephanie, I'm going to put a greater than, less than "something" on the board. We don't have to teach the symbols, though I still will use them...but it's also going to be a part of their Daily Math Notebooks. :o)

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the pink pocket chart from?! I would love to have one!!

Mrs. Hamilton said...

Hi Kendra!

I was looking on pinterest for ideas for my IB classroom. I found you blog and found your key concept posters and keys. They are awesome!

Do you have a template for them?
BTW your classroom is awesome :)

Kendra said...

Anonymous...I'm SO sorry that I just saw your comment (and wonder if you'll ever even read this). The pink pocket chart was something someone was throwing away! I know, can you believe that? I love it. It's perfect for holding money, although now I have it folded in half. :o)

Ms. Mischuk--
I believe I got the Key Concept Posters from the OCC. If you want to vie me your address, I can e-mail them to you b/c I'm pretty sure I have them saved somewhere. If I don't, someone at my school will! :o)

Michelle Hannings said...

Do you have the type up for the learner profile saved? I'd love to have it.

@ACrucialWeek said...

Hi Kendra,

I happened upon this post when looking for IB display ideas. I really like the clothes line learner profile board that you created. I have taken this idea and one from another blog as inspiration for my own learner profile board. I have yet to post pictures on my blog (I start back on Monday). In the meantime, you've got a mention in this post so you might be interested to have a look.

Thanks for the inspiration!

I'm off to check out the rest of your blog!


A Crucial Week

Kendra said...

Thanks, Emer!! :o) So fun!

Kendra said...

Ms. Mischuk--I feel like at one point you gave me your e-mail address. I now have the Key Concepts, so I can e-mail them to you if you want! :o)

Unknown said...

Hi Kendra!

I love your blog! You have great ideas for your classroom! I started working at a PYP school this September. I love your idea for the learner profile! Could you please send me the face pictures or let me know where I can get them?
Thank you,