Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Ready for the New School Year

I have updated a few things in my classroom:

Firstly I rearranged the home corner, writing table, and reading corner. This way the rather noisy home corner is further away from our mat area.

Near the reading corner are these tables with the children's book boxes on them. Each child in the class has their own repurposed ice-cream container to use as a book box. After we read a book together during our guided reading session each child takes a copy of the book home to read and when they bring it back to school it goes into their book box. Every day after morning tea we have 10 minutes to loudly read silently, and they do this with their book box books. Each reading book is read several times, this builds confidence, reading mileage, and fluency.

Now my favourite part of these book boxes are my dinosaur labels. Last year I used coloured stars as labels for each box, by the end of the year they were very tatty. So I made up these labels and attached them to each ice-cream container with my little hole-punch and pipe-cleaners. Each child is in a reading group named after a colour, and during silent reading time they take their book box to the table that matches the colour of their group - so red group with the red dinosaur labels sit at the red table, and green group with the green dinosaur labels sit at the green table.

I use a vivid to write each child's name on the book box, it makes it super easy to move children to a new reading group as they progress.

It seems like a lot of extra organising to establish these routines with the class but it makes things much easier as the term goes on. And luckily children who join my class during the year settle quickly into our silent reading routine.

I also put up these signs in our wet area (close to the cloakroom where the children's bags go). I'm going to encourage the children to put their lunchboxes under the 'lunchboxes' sign and drink bottles in the tray. Hopefully this will keep our cloakroom tidier too.

Click here to see further photos of my classroom taken last year, and here to read more about my reading program.