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August 15, 2017

Kindergarten Classroom Setup and Reveal

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    I love a good classroom theme, but they are not for everyone; they can be quite time-consuming and expensive. While themes can be very specific (I’m sure you’ve noticed, I LOVE rainbows and bright colors), they can also be as simple as a consistent color scheme. Your classroom should be a special placeyour happy place! Anyone who knows and loves a teacher, knows just how much time they spend in their home away from home.

    Welcome to My Classroom!

    I want my students and their families to feel welcome from the first moment they walk through my classroom door — that’s very important to me. Here’s what my students and their parents see as they walk down the hallway when coming into our classroom. Kindness in the classroom is imperative in kindergarten and is something that my kinders and I will focus on throughout the entire school year — kind classrooms are the BEST!

    Come On In!

    As you take a tour of my room, you will see a few of the items that my students and I just can’t live without. I hope that you are able to use some of the tips and ideas as you begin to set up your own classroom.

    Personalizing Your Space

    Things that make me smile!

    Just as we decorate our homes, adding personal touches to your classroom will help make the room feel more inviting. Here are a few things I have added to my classroom that put a big smile on my face!

    • Teacher Desk

    I love my teacher space! I have all my supplies neatly organized in a caddy on my desk and each are in a rainbow color pail. I have a little area to hang pictures of my family, class, and staff. The giant "Mrs. Carter" banner comes in very handy for my littles when they are trying to write letters to me (melt.my.heart). Right next to my desk, is a little set of drawers where I keep everything I need for each day of the week. It is an organizational dreamland!

    • Bulletin Boards

    My classroom always looks a little boring until after the kids come to school. “Our Brightest Work” bulletin board will come to life once my kinders get busy creating their projects. I have name tags for each child that I hang up (in alphabetical order), which makes it super easy to switch out the student work I want to display.

    Tip: I love using fabric to back my bulletin boards because it doesn't fade like paper does, and there are so many vibrant colors to choose from!

    Birthdays are a blast in kindergarten! Here's my birthday board (again, looking a little plain as I wait for the first day of school). I will group my students by birth month and have them hold a sign with the month they were born in. I then quickly snap a picture and put it up on our festive birthday board! Voila!

    The first day of school for kindergarteners is a big, big deal! We take pictures to remember just how little they are at the beginning of the school year. I’ve taught a lot of different grade levels, and I have to say that these little kinders change and grow more than any other grade. At the end of the year, I will take another snapshot of each child — it is so much fun looking at the beginning and ending pictures of these growing little people!

     

    Kindergarten Teaching Tools

    • Classroom Easel

    In kindergarten, the classroom easel is a must-have! I can’t even imagine teaching my littles without one — we use our easel all. the. time! It holds our big books and pocket chart poems for shared reading. I keep the books on the little ledge for easy access as I read aloud throughout the day. It even has a magnetic dry erase board and shelves and bins on the bottom that I use to store our math journals and poetry folders. This is the easel I have in my classroom. It — and the table below — are my big ticket items, but they are also big multi-taskers. You can certainly find a servicable easel for far less money.

    • Teacher Table

    To meet the varying needs of kindergarteners, I have to differentiate with small group instruction. It’s critical to have a high-functioning space to meet the needs of my diversified little learners. I have a new dry erase kidney shaped table table this year. I am so, so excited for my kiddos to do their word work right on top of the table! This is where lots of learning will take place throughout the year. Additionally, I like to keep all the materials I will need within arm’s reach, so that I don’t have to create distractions by having to get up to go looking for the items I need to teach my groups. If you are looking for sturdy book bins, I use these bins to hold and organize student books at my teacher table.

    • Word Wall

    A word wall is a must in a kindergarten classroom. The word wall serves as an anchor for the sight words students learn throughout the year. In my classroom, I introduce two or three words a week. We do lots of activities with our new words and practice reading and writing them all week long. At the end of the week, we “graduate” these sight words to our word wall where they will remain for the students to access them for the rest of the year. We go back to, and read and review our word wall words often. It looks a little bare right now, but it won't for long. We begin to add words to the word wall during the second week of school. I like to have my students’ names up at the beginning of the year when we are all trying to get to know on another.

    Books, Books, Books

    What would a day in school be like without books?

    • Book Display

    I love using this book stand to display all our favorite books. In kindergarten, we teach a lot of different themes and I love putting up new books each time we change the theme we are learning about. My kids (and I) always get very excited when the books change because they know they are getting ready to learn about something new!

    • Storing Read-Alouds

    One of my summer goals was to reorganize my read-aloud books. I couldn’t be more excited about how it turned out. This is going to be a giant timesaver for me this year. No more searching my closet shelves for books. Now they are organized by theme, season, holiday, and author — and, in the order of events! I smile every time I open my closet door now! Let’s just hope I can keep it this clean and organized throughout the school year!

    • Leveled Library

    Every classroom needs a good library! I use the Fountas & Pinnell guided reading leveled system, so my books are organized into different levels using the letters of the alphabet. To learn more about guided reading, I highly recommend reading, The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading.

    The Book Wizard is the best way to level your library — and now, Book Wizard has gone mobile! I love the ease and convenience the mobile app provides. It’s one of my favorite apps and I use it all the time!

    It has taken many years to build up the library I have today. A cost effective and quick way to build your library would be to regularly offer Scholastic Book Club to your students and their families. Scholastic offers a huge variety of books, and the prices can’t be beat! Each time a book order is placed, you receive bonus points that can, in turn, be used to build your own classroom library. The majority of all the books I own, I have acquired with bonus points!

    • Book Boxes for Leveled Reading

     “The best way to grow as a reader is by reading text that’s not too hard and not too easy, or what teachers call the “independent” reading level. To learn more, Biblionasium has good information about how and why to level books.

    Each student gets their own book box at the beginning of the year. Inside each box, students will find three to four books at their own reading level, and charts to help practice letter names, sounds, digraphs, and vowel teams. My students love reading their leveled books and they enjoy going book shopping for new ones too. It adds that element of choice to reading, which of course, they LOVE!

    Organizing Student Supplies

    • Supply Caddies

    This is how I organize my students' supplies. There is a caddy on each table and the kids share all the supplies inside. I put out markers, scissors, glue, and pencils for the kids to use. Each table also has two little containers that are filled with crayons. Managing supplies is very important. Make sure to take time to establish routines for taking care of and using class supplies. In the long run, it will be time well spent!

    Keeping Track of Your Little Ones

    Establishing routines in kindergarten takes time. You have to remember that for many of these little people, this is the very first time they are “doing” school. They have to learn how to walk in a line and where all the important places in the school are. I love my new hall passes, not only because they are super cute, but because they're labeled with where the student is going. Having my name on the pass also helps when they get lost or can’t find their way back to class. The kids simply put the lanyard around their neck and then head off to (hopefully) find their destination. They say it takes a village, and let me tell you, my little sweeties get helped all the time. Hall passes really are lifesavers!

    I could go on and on forever with the ways I organize my classroom, but I know you need to get back to teaching or finish setting up your classroom! Remember that each one of your students, and this school year, is a “Rainbow of Possibilities!”

    That’s it for now. If you are still on summer break, enjoy. If you are back to school already, best of luck with your year.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog!

    xo-Shari

     

    I love a good classroom theme, but they are not for everyone; they can be quite time-consuming and expensive. While themes can be very specific (I’m sure you’ve noticed, I LOVE rainbows and bright colors), they can also be as simple as a consistent color scheme. Your classroom should be a special placeyour happy place! Anyone who knows and loves a teacher, knows just how much time they spend in their home away from home.

    Welcome to My Classroom!

    I want my students and their families to feel welcome from the first moment they walk through my classroom door — that’s very important to me. Here’s what my students and their parents see as they walk down the hallway when coming into our classroom. Kindness in the classroom is imperative in kindergarten and is something that my kinders and I will focus on throughout the entire school year — kind classrooms are the BEST!

    Come On In!

    As you take a tour of my room, you will see a few of the items that my students and I just can’t live without. I hope that you are able to use some of the tips and ideas as you begin to set up your own classroom.

    Personalizing Your Space

    Things that make me smile!

    Just as we decorate our homes, adding personal touches to your classroom will help make the room feel more inviting. Here are a few things I have added to my classroom that put a big smile on my face!

    • Teacher Desk

    I love my teacher space! I have all my supplies neatly organized in a caddy on my desk and each are in a rainbow color pail. I have a little area to hang pictures of my family, class, and staff. The giant "Mrs. Carter" banner comes in very handy for my littles when they are trying to write letters to me (melt.my.heart). Right next to my desk, is a little set of drawers where I keep everything I need for each day of the week. It is an organizational dreamland!

    • Bulletin Boards

    My classroom always looks a little boring until after the kids come to school. “Our Brightest Work” bulletin board will come to life once my kinders get busy creating their projects. I have name tags for each child that I hang up (in alphabetical order), which makes it super easy to switch out the student work I want to display.

    Tip: I love using fabric to back my bulletin boards because it doesn't fade like paper does, and there are so many vibrant colors to choose from!

    Birthdays are a blast in kindergarten! Here's my birthday board (again, looking a little plain as I wait for the first day of school). I will group my students by birth month and have them hold a sign with the month they were born in. I then quickly snap a picture and put it up on our festive birthday board! Voila!

    The first day of school for kindergarteners is a big, big deal! We take pictures to remember just how little they are at the beginning of the school year. I’ve taught a lot of different grade levels, and I have to say that these little kinders change and grow more than any other grade. At the end of the year, I will take another snapshot of each child — it is so much fun looking at the beginning and ending pictures of these growing little people!

     

    Kindergarten Teaching Tools

    • Classroom Easel

    In kindergarten, the classroom easel is a must-have! I can’t even imagine teaching my littles without one — we use our easel all. the. time! It holds our big books and pocket chart poems for shared reading. I keep the books on the little ledge for easy access as I read aloud throughout the day. It even has a magnetic dry erase board and shelves and bins on the bottom that I use to store our math journals and poetry folders. This is the easel I have in my classroom. It — and the table below — are my big ticket items, but they are also big multi-taskers. You can certainly find a servicable easel for far less money.

    • Teacher Table

    To meet the varying needs of kindergarteners, I have to differentiate with small group instruction. It’s critical to have a high-functioning space to meet the needs of my diversified little learners. I have a new dry erase kidney shaped table table this year. I am so, so excited for my kiddos to do their word work right on top of the table! This is where lots of learning will take place throughout the year. Additionally, I like to keep all the materials I will need within arm’s reach, so that I don’t have to create distractions by having to get up to go looking for the items I need to teach my groups. If you are looking for sturdy book bins, I use these bins to hold and organize student books at my teacher table.

    • Word Wall

    A word wall is a must in a kindergarten classroom. The word wall serves as an anchor for the sight words students learn throughout the year. In my classroom, I introduce two or three words a week. We do lots of activities with our new words and practice reading and writing them all week long. At the end of the week, we “graduate” these sight words to our word wall where they will remain for the students to access them for the rest of the year. We go back to, and read and review our word wall words often. It looks a little bare right now, but it won't for long. We begin to add words to the word wall during the second week of school. I like to have my students’ names up at the beginning of the year when we are all trying to get to know on another.

    Books, Books, Books

    What would a day in school be like without books?

    • Book Display

    I love using this book stand to display all our favorite books. In kindergarten, we teach a lot of different themes and I love putting up new books each time we change the theme we are learning about. My kids (and I) always get very excited when the books change because they know they are getting ready to learn about something new!

    • Storing Read-Alouds

    One of my summer goals was to reorganize my read-aloud books. I couldn’t be more excited about how it turned out. This is going to be a giant timesaver for me this year. No more searching my closet shelves for books. Now they are organized by theme, season, holiday, and author — and, in the order of events! I smile every time I open my closet door now! Let’s just hope I can keep it this clean and organized throughout the school year!

    • Leveled Library

    Every classroom needs a good library! I use the Fountas & Pinnell guided reading leveled system, so my books are organized into different levels using the letters of the alphabet. To learn more about guided reading, I highly recommend reading, The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading.

    The Book Wizard is the best way to level your library — and now, Book Wizard has gone mobile! I love the ease and convenience the mobile app provides. It’s one of my favorite apps and I use it all the time!

    It has taken many years to build up the library I have today. A cost effective and quick way to build your library would be to regularly offer Scholastic Book Club to your students and their families. Scholastic offers a huge variety of books, and the prices can’t be beat! Each time a book order is placed, you receive bonus points that can, in turn, be used to build your own classroom library. The majority of all the books I own, I have acquired with bonus points!

    • Book Boxes for Leveled Reading

     “The best way to grow as a reader is by reading text that’s not too hard and not too easy, or what teachers call the “independent” reading level. To learn more, Biblionasium has good information about how and why to level books.

    Each student gets their own book box at the beginning of the year. Inside each box, students will find three to four books at their own reading level, and charts to help practice letter names, sounds, digraphs, and vowel teams. My students love reading their leveled books and they enjoy going book shopping for new ones too. It adds that element of choice to reading, which of course, they LOVE!

    Organizing Student Supplies

    • Supply Caddies

    This is how I organize my students' supplies. There is a caddy on each table and the kids share all the supplies inside. I put out markers, scissors, glue, and pencils for the kids to use. Each table also has two little containers that are filled with crayons. Managing supplies is very important. Make sure to take time to establish routines for taking care of and using class supplies. In the long run, it will be time well spent!

    Keeping Track of Your Little Ones

    Establishing routines in kindergarten takes time. You have to remember that for many of these little people, this is the very first time they are “doing” school. They have to learn how to walk in a line and where all the important places in the school are. I love my new hall passes, not only because they are super cute, but because they're labeled with where the student is going. Having my name on the pass also helps when they get lost or can’t find their way back to class. The kids simply put the lanyard around their neck and then head off to (hopefully) find their destination. They say it takes a village, and let me tell you, my little sweeties get helped all the time. Hall passes really are lifesavers!

    I could go on and on forever with the ways I organize my classroom, but I know you need to get back to teaching or finish setting up your classroom! Remember that each one of your students, and this school year, is a “Rainbow of Possibilities!”

    That’s it for now. If you are still on summer break, enjoy. If you are back to school already, best of luck with your year.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog!

    xo-Shari

     

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