Welcome to my classroom! 

 I currently teach fourth grade, and I have previously taught kinder and first.  I've worked at public and charter schools, but I now teach at a private school.  As you will see, I only have 10 students this year.  That is a dream compared to the 37 kinder-kids I once had!  My classroom is set up to allow for the limited amount of time we spend at our desks and the large amount of time that we spend spread individually, in pairs, or in small groups, around the room.



This is my second year in fourth, so I'm just beginning to make my room my own.  You will see that we only have one small cabinet for closed storage.

This is my desk.  I was lucky enough to get to select it prior to the placing of the order, and I purposely chose the smallest desk possible.  This is for 2 reasons: I spend little time at it during the day, I wanted to have a small space in order to encourage neatness.  I keep only flowers and everyday essentials in and on my desk.  The stacked file unit ontop of the cabinet holds my M-F needs, as well as a place for me to put things I plan to take home for Saturday browsing. The chapter books leaning against that were pulled from my classroom library because I read them aloud during the year.

Come on in...

I have both an interior and an exterior door.  This was taken from the interior door.
We are at our desks for some math lessons, and a few other things, from time to time.  An extra desk is located by the tall cabinet in the back in case a student wants a private work space at any time. 
Welcome to the land of private schools...where you end up with lots of handmedown furniture.  Luckily, I convinced the maintenance staff to paint my shelves this summer so they'd at least be the same color.
Top shelf: Reader-Writer Notebooks/portfolios (Atwell-Caulkins blend), wating to be decorated; 2 bins of magazines for reading and one bin for cutting
Shelf 2: Reference materials and classroom writing binders (think whole class writing notebooks/journals)
shelf 3: I ran out of space and had to keep my future curriculum-based read alouds on this shelf.  These will rotate out the library with the quarter.
Another view, showing a rug for group work.
Hanging on the back of the door in this space
Top area: record keeping for progress with times tables
second area: conference requests for writing workshop
third area: lunch tickets
Wall above butterfly rug: genre wall.
This is where students hang a special tag for each book they read so we can graph our genre completion.
This board opens the year as a "What's your story" lesson springboard for writing workshop (idea from Deborah Wiles).  It can be equated with Atwell's heart map.  The other section is reserved for a Question/concept board. 
The small table is used for conferencing or working alone/in pairs.  Early in the year, I fill it with my childhood writing for the kids to see.  This is a popular spot! It has that "gathering around the dining room table" feel for the kids.
Moving down the wall...
The private study area initially holds "graduate picks" to help the new students in their early book selection.
The cabinet serves as my magnetic job board.
Upper cubbies hold extra textbooks, recess games, group supply buckets, class sets of novels, my personal resource books, and a few supplies/
Lower Cubbies: 1 per student- dictionary, money tub for math, a few textbooks, clipboard, writing workshop bins (not pictured), and lunch boxes
Group work bins to save time

Rounding the corner....

The rail along the window is where I have them hang their backpacks.
Cheap S hooks do a great job!
This area with a large 5x8 rug also serves as our mini-lesson area for Reading and Writing Workshops.  We call it the library even though the library extends to the other side of the room as well.  All of the bins and pillows came from BigLots. 
These pictures were taken before the bins were marked for the year.  They have tags now so the kids know what topic/genre/author is in each.
The top of one shelf is reserved for the mail slots.  Tihs is where I put the mail for their Tuesday Packets.  (everything goes home in a clear packet on Tuesdays)
I'd love it if these were long low shelves, but they aren't.  Beggers can't be choosers!
The back of the shelf picture above is a peg board (which I convinced the maintenance man I needed).  It is used for checking out books (the green pockets are now marked with student names) and for writing thick questions about our daily read alouds (not fully present in picture...sorry...i took these early)  The check-out slots also serve as a place for students to place book recommendations tailored to particular people in the class.

Stepping Back...

Behind the other shelf is our word wall (velcro!) and the computers we use for typing our writing.  I did not connect these to the internet for many reasons.  They have net access in the lab, and I let them use my computer, too. The PC towers were mine, and I got keyboards/screens from our technology provider. They were going to throw them out!
The end of the adjoining shelf holds their thumb drives and the printer.

Looking back before moving on.....

This is the view from my desk.

Classroom Office (within reach of my desk)

Left file slots: 1 slot per subject for homework, top tray- tests, bottom tray- completed work
Gray mail unit: oops notes, paper, things I file or pass out
Black basket: Workbook turn-in spot
Black file tray: top-written work for me to read; bottom- completed written works
File unit on right: my essentials (scholastic, things to file, things to copy, etc)
also- sharpener (only used upon arrival, stapler, rent-a-pencil cup, date stamp, class photos)

Moving On....

The SMARTboard (if you don't have one, beg and plead until you do), the white board and map, a rug for SMARTboard lessons, and a round table for group work, supplies, etc.

One wall left.....

another white board
I begged to keep this when they put in my SMARTboard b/c it's magnetic.  Now that I got new shelves this summer, I'm the only person who can really reach it, but it serves as a homework/schedule/notes posting area.  It's full of books.  bins-chapter books; bottom shelf- picture books...and books on top for display
Also on top: three hole punch, stapler, morning pencil sharpener, markers, tape, book review box
Writing Resource Center
These are filled with everything the kids need for writing workshop.  The bin on the right (floor) holds personal white boards/markers.
stepping back.....

Thanks for visiting!  As the years go on, our walls become a living resource, with all of our class-created charts, notes, and written works.  We turn the wall of windows into our personal work gallery for passers-by.