I just can't believe how fast the time flies. We have already headed back to school and my classroom is ready to be revealed! I wasn't required to be back in my classroom until August 16th, but of course I was in there by August 1st.
Typically, I may go in a day or two before teacher workdays start, but this year I just couldn't stay away. I thought long and hard all summer about changes I wanted to make in order to have a more purposeful and student-centered learning environment. And of course... all the pineapples ;) Because of all the changes, I spent just about every day in my classroom since the start of August and lots of time at Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, and our local Teacher Store. #teacherproblems
Here are a few spaces in my classroom and how I've made them purposeful for my little leaders:
FROM CUBBIES TO BINS
This year I switched out my cubbies for teal drawer bins from Walmart. I love that there will be less student traffic to one area of the room when it's time to get supplies. Since I'm the most indecisive person I know, I used the Square Adhesive Pockets from the Target Dollar Spot to label the drawers and tops of the bins. Now if/when I change my mind about what goes in them, I can easily switch out the labels.
Drawer Bins - Walmart (not an affiliate link)
Pineapple Table Caddy Labels - Teaching Little Leaders (part of Pineapple Decor Pack)
Drawer Bin Labels - Teaching Little Leaders - These are not currently available in my store. If you'd like to see them in my store, please let me know.
A PURPOSEFUL WHITEBOARD DISPLAY
Last year I was writing objectives on the board that were not purposeful for my little kindergarteners.This year, I wanted to make sure that I was displaying learning objectives that made sense to them and easier to manage for me. The picture clues are perfect and the hack for displaying the objectives with command hooks and binder rings will make keeping up with the display simple for this busy teacher!
The Left/Right visual pictured below will serve as a constant reminder of the difference between the two.
If you don't use hand signals, I highly recommend starting. Game-changer. Lessons no longer have to stop for raised hands asking to use the bathroom, get a tissue, etc.
Focus Wall Display - A Smiling Teacher
Hand Signals - Longwing Montessori
Pineapple Calendar - Teaching Little Leaders
Teal Schedule Cards - Teaching Little Leaders
Left/Right Sign - Easy Peasy Primary Resources
Days In School Display - Wild About Firsties
MATH ON THEIR LEVEL
I keep saying this math spot is my favorite space in my classroom. The reason isn't just that everything is labeled - teachers love labeling ;) - Actually, I just love this spot because I know I get to teach Math every day this year, now that I've switched from teaching 2 half day classes to 1 full day K class, YAY! Everything here is labeled for students to independently find the manipulatives or center activity they need :)
MATH Center Bins - Teaching Little Leaders (labels not in my store.. yet)
Math Bin Labels - Reagan Tunstall
STEM Bins - Teach Outside the Box
Chevron & Pineapple Borders - Teacher Created Resources (not an affiliate link)
Math Banner - Teaching Little Leaders
If you ask me, play and social skills are just as important to teach kids as academic standards are. This space in my classroom was created so that students would have an open area where they could select from a variety of things to play and learn with. Some of their choices include: Lincoln Logs, building blocks, academic puzzles, nursery rhyme puzzles, play dough, dinosaurs and other animals, books, Legos, literacy games, and oversized math manipulatives.
I also just picked up a play kitchen (not pictured) that was donated by a family in our community and am so excited to add it to this space! I can't wait to watch my little leaders explore and learn through play this year.
Play, Learn, Grow letters - Teaching Little Leaders using Amy Groesbeck's beautiful fonts
Teal Carpet - Amazon (not an affiliate link)
JUST RIGHT SPOTS FOR EVERY LEARNER
In our classroom, we refer to flexible seating options as "just right spots." These are spaces in the room where students can do their best learning in a spot that's "just right" for them. This year I created a low table with 2 trapezoid tables. I pulled out the metal adjustable legs so that it would be low enough for my kindergarteners to sit on pillows.
Pillows - Five Below (not an affiliate link)
We were also very fortunate this year to have a family donate 6 scoop chairs to our classroom that will be perfect for independent reading.
Other flexible seating options that are not pictured:
Lap Desks from Target Dollar Spot
Laundry Baskets (another great independent reading spot for little ones)
STUDENT-LED LITERACY CENTERS
Helping students become independent learners is a goal of every teacher. If we want our students to be leaders, we need to create an environment where they can do so successfully. This space in my classroom fosters student choice with the writing materials and options. It's also organized so that students can independently find, set up, and clean up their independent center activities.
I hope this classroom reveal has given you some ideas that you can take back to your classroom! If you have ways you make your classroom student-led and purposeful, please share them in the comments! Let's all help each other help our students :)