I’ve shared so much of my life here at Lindsay Living, but while blog brainstorming the other day, I realized how little I’ve shared about one of the biggest passions of my life: education. So… hello. I’m your friendly neighborhood public school teacher. 😉
There’s so much miscommunication out there about what teacher’s do these days, and I’d like nothing more than to share a little of what it’s really like. Teachers are incredible people. And I’m not simply saying that because I am one. I am lucky enough to spend my days with some of the coolest kids in the world, but beyond that, I have had the pleasure of getting to know some other very fantastic human beings, teachers, the people fighting tooth and nail for the betterment of each individual child. It’s the toughest and the most rewarding thing I may ever do. It’s also the joy of my life, challenges me everyday, and is always there for me. On my best days, I hope I’ve made a difference in someone’s life in some small way, but in reality, it’s been my students’ and colleagues’ many gifts that have helped me to learn so much more about myself and become better everyday. I would not be who I am today without teaching.
In a new series of posts, I’ll be sharing more about my Teacher Life. First up, I’m kicking things off by giving you a little tour around my classroom. I’ve worked on it so hard over the years, and am so thrilled with how it turned out this year. Fair warning this post is very picture heavy, but pretty fairly documents the state of my classroom most days. I took these shots last week between parent-teacher-student conferences. In future posts I plan to share more of the details, so please let me know if anything in particular was of interest. For now, have fun walking around in my home away from home.
For a little background I teach a class of 24 wonderfully hilarious and diverse second graders in a suburb of Seattle. I love my class this year… but then again I say that every year. Truly though, my current group is such fun! They are inquisitive and interesting and we are having so much fun together.
The Dr. Seuss quote was a great idea from my neighbor across the hall. I put it over our reading bulletin board. On the left is our science and VIP Student of the Week bulletin board. Students use the rocking chair during Readers’ Workshop.
The baskets on students’ desks are their individual book baskets. I found them for $1 each at the Dollar Tree. That’s also where I got the supply baskets at the center of each table group. I went with a black and brights theme overall, which is super simple to keep feeling fresh and tidy. The beautiful rocking chair was a freebie from a co-worker, cushions from IKEA. The antique school desk was a gift from my mama and students sit there during Readers’ Workshop.
I have a huge wall of closets that I turned into a Word Wall, more ideas that came from my amazing coworkers. I also use it for our birthday display, behavior chart, and class expectations.
This year I became obsessed with finding new places to add bulletin boards, and this one above my whiteboard has to be my favorite. It totally changed the focus of the classroom. I’m thinking about better organizing the postings in the top row, but for now it works. The big TODAY arrow was an idea taken from Reagan Tunstall’s classroom, which as you can see heavily influenced the style of my room.
I created a lot of labels around the classroom and also used a ton from Ladybug’s Teacher Files on Teachers Pay Teachers. I love her style!
Close-up of a student’s book basket with the number labels I made for them. I have number labeled everything for the first time this year and I love it. It has made me so much more efficient and the kids love it, too!
If you haven’t picked this up yet, I’m crazy for anchor charts. I got the idea to hang them from the window frame from a friend, which has been so wonderful for keeping them organized and visible this year without feeling too cluttery. I display seasonal book selections on the counter and to the far left you can see a couple students’ diorama art projects inspired by our current read aloud The Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes.
I made a display of my “learning trophies” in a new bulletin board above my door and inside windows. It includes diplomas from preschool, high school, undergrad, and grad school, pennants, my middle school letter, graduation tassels, and awards from middle and high school. I love this board so much.
Organization above my student closets. The VIP arrow sign below signifies who is the lucky student of the week.
This little organizer under my presentation station has been a lifesaver this year! I also stowe a basket of labeled remotes, DVDs, whiteboard markers, and index cards for exit tickets.
Much in the way that I organize my studio apartment, I try to use every nook and cranny in my classroom. It’s not always perfectly pretty, but I can find everything I need. Plus, I use my old relic of a tube TV to display student artwork. The cabinet houses our set of bean bags for reading around the room.
This year my school officially went to Fountas & Pinnell BAS and book leveling. I worked on this project last spring and summer and I absolutely love it. Pink bins are below second grade level, yellow bins are on and above second grade level, blue bins are genres without levels, and green bins are series books.
I found this organizer at a thrift store this summer and so far am using it for math tools. I really want to overhaul this later in the year when I have more time. (haha, time…)
Well, there you have it, the current state of my second grade classroom. I hope you enjoyed your little tour! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything. I would be happy to answer, and your questions may inspire a future Teacher Life post.