The summer fun continues! I am methodically working on necessary elements in my farm themed classroom. These areas of the room stay the same throughout the year, so once they are in place, I can focus on keeping center activities or daily routines running.
I have established specific routines over the past few years that do not change much from year to year. Here is a breakdown of what is in each area, and how I use it.
#1 Calendar Wall
The calendar wall in my classroom includes a giant grid for large sized calendar pieces, the months of the year, and a number date dry-erase card that goes at the top of the calendar beside the name of the month. I have four different number sets in order to show patterns on our calendar during the month. I usually begin with an A, B, A, B pattern that becomes part of our calendar math routine during the first few minutes of the day. As the months go by, my students are presented with more complex patterns. Our state has added calendar, time, and money back into the required standards for math, so our calendar wall will be very much like it was a few years before common core. Beginning in September, we start keeping a calendar journal. This is available in my store, but is not updated to reflect the 2016-2017 school year. More pictures and a post of how we do that is planned for the month of July.
Here is a photo of the calendar wall I used last year. It is large and easily accessible from most areas if the classroom. I make it a point to have students go up and point to the date or a specific number we may be talking about. Below the pic from last year is a pic of the set I will be using this coming year.
#2 Months of the Year
During writer’s workshop, we write the numeric date 6-8-16 on each piece of writing. Even though we sing a months of the year song each day, students continue to have difficulty associating the number of the month with the month’s name. So…I came up with a little chant that will lead us into our month song, then will go back and count them all while making note that then number is the number we will use when we write, then day’s number, and finally the year’s number. It seems like a very simple thing, but it’s a vital piece of the puzzle in helping students understand the concept of time in months.
#3 Number Line
I love using ten frames, and since calendar includes tallying how many days in school, we use the number line several times each day. It needs to be seen easily from any vantage point in our room, so it has a place above my smart board and alphabet wall. Here is a pic of our farm line for this coming year! Love the black/white gingham with red border. Numbers 0-10 have cow counters, and 11-20 have cows. This will help students to identify where the numbers from 11-20 begin.
#4 Our Literacy Center Tubs and Rotation Chart
As in the previous post, I will be labeling four rows of tubs with the little farm animal graphics that correlate to the flip card rotation system I’ll be using this year. In addition to the flip card rotation, I plan to have a pocket chart showing each day’s rotation to the guided groups table. This will let students know who reads 1st, next and last during reading/literacy tubs time. See previous post to learn about how this rotation will work.
This year, I am having a lot of fun with this planned area! I ordered a cute Outhouse Door covering from Birthday Direct. This will attach to my metal door that leads to the “en suite” children’s bathroom. Students will move their name card (with magnet on back) to the door when they are in the restroom. This will help me know who is out of the room when we are in transition or have a drill, etc.
What are you doing to change things up in your classroom? Leave a comment for a chance to win everything I have featured in this post (minus the outhouse door cover). 🙂 This set is new, and has not been placed in my store for sale yet! 🙂