My new classroom

A new district. New school. New classroom. I’m looking for as many creative storage and decorative ideas as possible, but I’m not going to just pull them from Pinterest. I want this year’s classroom theme to be a darling of Pinterest and be 100% original ideas and content.  I’m expecting others to pin me all over their blogs, social sites and the InterWeb. That’s saying a lot cause my Super Learners themed room still is the most popular view on this humble blog.H

If you are creative and want to throw your hat in on this challenge, please comment. I’d appreciate your insights. Here’s the pallet. Now I need to just be creative.

The door has to be the best door entry I've ever done. Ever.

The door has to be the best door entry I’ve ever done. Ever. It has to SCREAM that we’re all about reading in this room. 


This hallway/entrance has to be intense.

This hallway/entrance has to be intense. I’m at the end of the hall, but I want this to be THE destination. I want other kids to say to my students “THAT’S YOUR classroom?” with awe and wonder. 

The room comes with SUPPLIES!

The room comes with SUPPLIES! The room already has lots of good supplies and materials. I just need to organize them. 

I have a lot of ideas for this space. Please know that it won't look like this long.

I have a lot of ideas for this space. Please know that it won’t look like this long. I have a teacher’s desk. You already know how I feel about that. Yuck. 

I need a curtain idea. My theme is going to be "All the things we can read"

I need a curtain idea. My theme is going to be “All the things we can read”

Pretty good storage closet in class

Pretty good storage closet in class. It needs to be organized so Day 1 has a mission already. 


Nice size closet.

Nice size closet. My coats, shoes and aprons have a home. Going to keep some other ready to go classroom supplies in here as well. A wide angle shot of the place I'll be calling home in a month.

A wide angle shot of the place I’ll be calling home in a month. So much to do. Check out the blue carpet!

Another angle of the room. Lots can be done with this space.

Another angle of the room. Lots can be done with this space. Did I mention that I have a restroom IN my class? (No reading in there, please!)

So many ideas. So much space.

So many ideas. So much space. This is going to be so much fun. Even better than Super Learners. 

This could be the start of something special

It's entirely to early in the 1st quarter to call it a victory. It would be pretty silly to do so. However, this year could be a winning season for sure. All the pieces are in places. Now I have to make them work as a unit.


My procedures and routines have been on the money. The kiddos get it and most want to do right. The 7 habits have been fantastic! It's kid friendly and they like it. A lot of the new things in doing in class are going much better than I expected. I give it an overall 4 bow tie rating.

Now the tough part is getting these precious ones to care enough about the content. I have to make a significant change in their thinking about learning. It's all on me. I certainly take responsibility for my teaching. So far I give myself 3 bow ties. I have to keep the fire lit. 

I wish I had sent a letter home thru the mail before school started. I feel that would have started us on a good foot. No one said I can't send one next week to help solidify the rules and procedures. Bingo!


What do you do to communicate with your class outside of school? Post cards? Letters? What?


What a great week!

This week has been great. I really, truly have been blessed with a fantastic group of kiddos. They don't do a lot of things right, but wow are they open to correction and redirection. 

Now, if I could get the guy I shave with everyday to really understand this literacy block I'd be golden! There's just a lot of moving parts to this new Common Core and just when I think I have an idea of how one part works I find I was looking at it wrong. I will say that my teammies are on it so I'm learning the fine art of begging for help. In all seriousness I'm gaining better understanding and it's starting to make sense. I need to dig through more teacher blogs to find ideas and resources. 

Next post I'm going to talk about the things I quit doing and some things I started. This is one. I'm going to have a Super Learner of the Week. My kids are so fabulous that it's only right to celebrate them. So this Friday I'm going to roll out a new award with my classroom jobs. This is going to be my 1st SL of the Week. I have some VERY helpful kids and if I could I'd give this out to 4 or 5 of them. This little guy is the best because he's been overly helpful with new kids coming to the class. I know he understands the class procedures and he shows them to others like an all star. He's mindful of his work and always puts in the time to make sure he's doing everything right. He doesn't do everything right, but he's making an effort and will correct himself when directed. He's really the epitome of a Super Learner to me.  And besides he's a snazzy dresser for 7!  Nevermind, he was moved from my room today with no explaination. SMH



The new classroom theme is…

Super Learners! 



Look up in the sky it's a kid! No it's a child. No it's a SUPER LEARNER! We excitedly want to and seek to learn new information to help strengthen our future choices. 



This came out WAY cooler than I thought it would. The kids that have seen my room have all flipped out about this side of the room. 


Last minute homework poster that turned out perfect. We'll use this to keep track of our homework. Or course no one will want to be the Joker and not turn in his/her work. 


Not Superhero related, but I like this birthday chart. I'm going to clip each childs name and date under the respective month of their birth. Got my class list late Friday so I didn't have time to do this. But I'll do it this week for sure. 


Wanted some more Brown superheroes. I wasn't as pleased with the final product. My character was too tall and I had to cut her feet off. Certainly will revisit this one, SOON. 


Now, I'm very pleased with the end result of this bboard. I can't wait to put some of my star and developing work up on it. The kids are going to flip out for sure. 


This lamp in my book center is SO busy. It's over the top for sure. Everyone who's seen it agrees, it's so bright it doesn't matter that there isn't a light bulb in it. *I put a bulb in it already. 



I'm very pleased with how this came out. Supes flying with a book in his hand is BOSS. No one saw that coming. 


This was the least creative board I've ever done. Kind of make my room set up like a mullett. Conservative in the front and a party in the back. Honestly I put all my mental energy into the classroom that I forgot about this board. I do have some things planned as soon as the students get some quality work turned in. 


I'm really proud of my minimalist posters. Kind of wish I could have done more. Not 100% sure I won't roll out some more later on this school year. Since I'm going to change my word wall location (think UP, REALLY high up) I will have some room to show case more student work later. 


Not the best pic of these fantastic curtains. They certainly tie the theme in and keep the room looking creative. Very well done and they block just enough light. 


My Hulk poster is good. It's not as overwhelming as I planned. Trust me if this theme helps draw my students in I've already planned to go 3D for everything next year. 


This didn't "look" like I intended. I had this image in my head and this isn't it. I'm going to have to hone my Cricut skills cause I could do better. Anyway, this is a game to help keep my class abiding by the procedure of looking forward when in line. When we line up I'll call "passwordP and give them a task. Give me a word with  4 letters that thats with an A or A 3 letter word that begins with T. I'll pull a name at random and if that student has an answer they'll get a point/treat/kudos of some kind. 


Composition books sliced in half, covered with newspaper comics and given a child's name. Going to use these as name tags when the students come to class Monday. Under common core they're supposed to write a lot so guess what they'll be doing with their composition books? 


I really, really like this one. It was a last minute project and the wind was at my back. Another shout out to my 2 girls. I had to use up the space and it certainly was a good use. Kind of wish I had put this on the other storage closet closer to the front of the class.  20120730_152613

My only staple. The only thing I've kept my entire teaching career. 4 simple rules. This year I'm focusing on procedures. I'm drilling and practicing procedures so that later I can shift gears and really pour the coals on the fire. I can't wait! 


I'm so geared up for this school year. I feel like I have a plan and I feel the plan can work. I know my mental game is on point and I'm ready to push this class of children well past where they think they can go. 3…2….1… here we go!




Classroom procedures and updated class supply list

Here's my classroom procedures for this school year. I'm planning to do a snazzy video and prezi for the 1st week of school.  I also plan to post them on my classroom blog and send a copy home with my Welcome letter by the end of the week. *Can't believe the Summer's almost over. 

I also updated my supply list. I think it looks good. 


Entering the classroom:   Whenever entering the classroom, please remain standing at the door silently. Form a line as 2 or more students arrive. Each student should stand with one tile square between them and the student in front and the student behind. The line should be on the “second square” away from the wall. No student need lean on the wall or touch another student while in line. Enter the classroom once the teacher acknowledges you and invites you into the room. It is the student’s responsibility to greet the teacher upon arrival. “Good morning, Mr. Whitaker” is a proper and acceptable greeting. Greetings should be spoken and not shouted. 

Getting to work immediately:  In order to be able to maximize the learning day students are expected to have their learning tools at the start of class, this includes three sharpened pencils and any homework folders out of their book bags once they’ve arrived in class. Book bags, coats, sweaters, jackets and hat all have their place on the coat hook. These items are not welcome on chairs, tables or desks. A prepared students gets everything they need from their book bag and places that bag on a hook upon arrival to class.

When you are tardy:  Follow the arrival procedures. Student must have a tardy slip and will place the slip in the teachers basket on his desk. Student will promptly follow the “Getting to work immediately” procedure.

Preparing for dismissal: In order to have an orderly dismissal process, students will be called by tables/groups to get their book bags, coats, any hand outs that need to go home, homework folders.  After retrieving their items the students will return to their seat silently to be called for dismissal.

End of /school dismissal:  The Teacher will acknowledge the end of the class and dismiss students. The office calls and lets the class know what students are able to leave, but the teacher allows the students to leave. The Teacher will inform the class that Car Riders, Walkers, After School and Bus riders are ready for departure. Students will quietly stand and push in their chairs. Each respective group will form a line at the class door. The teacher will dismiss each group accordingly. 

Preparing for lunch  : Our class will line up for lunch by tables. Wait quietly at your table. When your table is called take everything with you. There will be no returning to the classroom after we leave for lunch.  Once in line follow the Hallway movement procedure.

Walking in the hall during class time:  Students are expected to line up with one floor tile between themselves and their peer in front and behind them. They are also expected to line up on the row of colored tiles also known as the “2nd square”. While moving through the halls the line must remain Single, Straight and Silent. The students must always follow behind the line leader or the teacher. The line leader must stop at every intersection of the halls. The line will move slightly to the left to pass by water fountains unless otherwise instructed. When the line comes to another class, the line will stop behind that line unless otherwise instructed. The line must always wait at the classroom door and not proceed into the room without directions from the teacher.

Responding to a fire drill:  When a fire or fire drill has been indicated, the students will cease what they’re doing and give their full attention to the teacher. The Teacher will call tables to line up at the door. The line leader will assume their position. The hallway line procedure is now in effect. The Teacher will take a brief survey of the classroom and give the line leader the all clear to walk out the door. The line will stop at the 1st intersection in the hall and once the teacher gives permission the line will precede out the emergency door. The line will follow behind any line before them and stop when that line stops after reaching a safe distance from the building. The teacher will take a head count and use the Red/Green/Yellow cards to indicate that all are present, all aren’t present, I’ve lost a student. The class will remain facing in the direction away from the building until the “All Clear” has been given. At this point the line leader will move the back of the line, the line will turn around and follow the leader back into the building.

Responding to a severe weather alert:  When a severe weather alert the students will cease what they’re doing and give their full attention to the teacher. The Teacher will call tables to line up at the door. The line leader will assume their position. The hallway line procedure is now in effect. The Teacher will take a brief survey of the classroom and give the line leader the all clear to walk out the door. The Teacher will indicate where the class is to face the wall, sit down on their bottoms, and assume the severe weather safe seating. The teacher will give the class the “all clear” sign. The students will stand up and turn to return to the classroom. The Hallway procedure is in effect now.

Responding to a code red/lockdown:  During a school wide lockdown or Code Red, the teacher will follow his procedures. The students will remain at their seats, with their heads down until told otherwise. All talking and noise will cease. 

Indicating whether you understand:  Students are expected to give their attention to the teacher or other classmates. The classroom sign for understanding is the “thumbs up”. Students will give a thumbs up to indicate that they understand what’s been shared or asked of them. If they don’t understand

Listening to/responding to questions:  The proper response is to start/end all responses with “sir” or “maam”. All other forms of responses or questions not in this format will not be responded to. 

Participating in class discussions: The correct way to participate in classroom discussion is to give full eye contact with the speaker.

Coming to attention:  Whenever the teacher needs the entire classes attention he will raise his hand signaling “Give me 5” Eyes on teacher, Hands on table tops or desk tops, Mouths closed, standing or seated quietly, ready for further instructions.

When you need paper/pencil:  Supplies will be available in each table’s


When you are absent: If a student is absent it is their responsibility to check their own “While I was out folder” for assignments from the previous day. They will have until Friday to turn in any missing work.

Working cooperatively:  Working as a team is essential to success in this class. Every student is expected to work with others in a productive manner. Everyone in this class is valuable and everyone will be shown respect and value, especially in groups. Groups may work at tables, on carpet squares, beanbag chairs or at the computer center. Successful groups a) respect at all times b) share  c) treat others as they’d like to be treated d) respect all classroom materials.

Changing groups:  When the timer goes off each student will rotate to the next center that is designated on their Centers Chart.  

Knowing the schedule for the day/class:  The daily schedule will be posted on the front board every morning. Along side this schedule is the morning’s “Sharpen your skills” assignment. This will be collected after the morning announcements.

Finding directions for each assignment:  All assignments will be posted next to the schedule for that day.

Passing in papers: Papers will be collected by the Table Hero. She/he will then place the completed work in the “to be graded” folder.    

Moving about the room and Getting materials without disrupting others:  It is the teacher’s expectation that students move around the class freely without being a or being distracted. Whenever moving around the class find the quickest route to your destination that will limit bothering others.

Heading of papers:  Place your full name (first and last name) on the right hand side of the paper along with the date.

When you finish early: It is the teacher’s expectation that students may finish class assignments before the entire class finishes. In the event the student should check over their work to ensure that they’ve completed and done what was asked of them. They then may place their completed work in the table caddy and read a book silently.

Returning to task after interruption: Interruptions will happen throughout the day, when these happen each student is still responsible for their work and should make it their point to quickly return to the work they were doing before the interruption happened.

When asking a question: Questions are expected in class. It is requested that the teacher be allowed to give instructions before questions about the assignment are asked. Successful students should first look at the class schedule/board to get answers before they ask their peers.

When a school-wide announcement is made:  During announcements all students will give their full attention, remain in their seats and remain quiet.

When visitors are in the classroom: Visitors come to our class to see the wonderful things that our class is doing. Therefore when visitors come to class the students should continue to do their work, work in groups, read silently, working in centers. Noise levels should remain “inside voice” level. As long as the teacher and the visitor are talking the students should treat this time as if the teacher is out of the room.

If the teacher is out of the classroom:  If the teacher has to leave the class for any reason, he will leave the class in the hands of the Classroom Hero. (Students will be allowed to remain in the groups/centers or activities while the teacher is out.)  He/she will monitor the class for those who are doing what was expected of them. The Classroom Hero will take names on the front board. Students seen doing what was expected of them will receive an extra point for good behavior.

Saying “Thank you”: The expectation is that everyone is respectful to everyone in Perkerson Elementary School. A way to show respect for everyone is to say “Thank you” whenever necessary. A successful student looks for times to say “Thank you” even to other students and peers. 

   Download Second Grade Supply List 2012