Hey y’all! I am excited to give y’all a peek into my classroom this year. The above pics are what you will see from the hallway when walking into my classroom. I work at an early childhood center where each class is has a symbol (either an object or animal) that the students can easily identify with. I chose to be the dolphins as that was my favorite animal growing up! I was pretty glad no one snatched that animal up when I got hired.
This is my third year teaching. Although I still feel somewhat like a newbie, I am also starting to feel much more comfortable in my position. This was the first school year where I felt properly prepared before my students entered the classroom on the first day.
First, I will show you the full views you will see when you enter my classroom.
As you can see, my classroom is set up for young learners. Lots of bright colors, tiny furniture and centers!
When my students choose a center to go play in, they will get their tiny picture off of a velcro dot under the letter their name begins with. Here is the letter wall (on the bathroom door) where the pictures will be…
There are no photos yet, as my students had not arrived yet. I take their photos on the first day and velcro them under the letter they belong. Each center has 2 to 4 velcro spots (depending on how many students can fit in that center at a time). Those are where the students will place their pictures. This allows the kids to get a visual if the center is full. The kiddos are taught early on to always move their picture when they change centers (it takes TONS of reminders ALL year long…lots of “where is your picture?”).
Here are some of my centers…
Students get to pick out supplies from the shelf then take them to the table to work. We try to switch out the supplies throughout the year. this center has lots of teacher involvement as I want them to focus on more than just coloring.
Dramatic Play Center
As i’m sure you can guess, this is currently the home center. I change this up by unit. It is always the home center at the beginning of the year. Some other dramatic play centers I have throughout the year include a flower shop, gingerbread bakery, veterinarian clinic, pizzeria, etc.
As you can see, there are lots of labels. My students are 3 and 4 years old and need the visuals to help them clean up and build routines.
The block center is the whole shelved in area in the top photo. The students may bring the blocks and the toys to the carpet (and they must stay on the carpet). When they are finished with the blocks, they can match the shape outline to clean up. I took these photos at the end of the first day when I only had a few students and also had a substitue. As you can see in the bottom pic, the kiddos were not really taught how to clean up correctly. Oh the struggle of having students DURING inservice week (I teach in a program that includes children of other teachers in the district…these few kiddos get to come to school the week of inservice)!
This center is fun because it can be changed so much. I like to have students build a zoo during the animal unit and make ramps during our movement unit. It is also fun to see what the students create using their imagination.
This sensory table changes by unit. During unit 2, I have fall leaves, pinecones and other fall items in it for them to explore. In the winter I add fake snow. My plan is to use this center much more this year. I only allow 2 kiddos at a time as it is such a small space.
As you can guess, this is the center where the students can read independently. Even though they don’t know how to read yet, it is important for them to work with the concepts of print and pretend to read.
The book selections changes each unit. This unit is all about “back to school”, making friends, making good choices, etc.
Here, the students get to each pick bucket (filled with items they can explore) and bring it to the table to play or work with. This center includes buckets with magnets, magnifying glasses, giant pipe cleaners, plastic animals, a balance beam, etc…
I have a few more centers including play dough, puzzle, iPads and computers.
Now on to where I teach the students lessons as a large group.
Large Group Space
The students each sit on a colored circle. As you can see, there is also a Smartboard in my classroom. Best thing ever. The pocket chart holds the info and vocabulary for the books I read to the class.
The yellow pocket chart is where I put student small groups. Each row has a group of students. I rotate the colored buttons at the end of each day, that way each group gets to go to every small group activity. We try to do Small Groups Monday-Thursday, giving us a free day on Friday. Obviously I have no pics (not that I would post those here) as I have not started small groups yet.
I am the red group at the large kidney table (notice red dolphin hanging from ceiling) and my paraprofessionals each have a table. The yellow group is “independent”, where students either do a floor puzzle or work on iPads. The colored buckets are where small group supplies go (if they fit).
A few other spaces.
view of my desk, displayed work and my big storage closet.
Obviously I had to have a space to put all my pug stuff seeing as that is my other favorite animal. This is my pug door!
Hope y’all enjoyed getting a look into the dolphin classroom. I am VERY happy with how it turned out and thankful for all the help I received getting it together. I believe my classroom is a great space for my littles. Looking forward to seeing my students learn and grow in this rooms.
Now to tackle the second full day of school tomorrow! Woohoo!