Category Archives: Kindergarten Classroom Layout
I’ve had the craziest two weeks I can remember at the beginning of the school year! You’re all probably experiencing or about to experience the same thing. I can’t put my finger on what it was, but all of it together had tired me out! :)
I’m slowly introducing Literacy Work Stations in my classroom. We haven’t officially used any of them yet (except for the library work station), but I hope to get them going later this week. I still have 3-4 more to introduce and then we’ll be ready to go.
I did add/change a few things this year and some I can show you and some I cannot not (I want to not post the names of my students on my blog), but I can take pictures of things without names and explain them in detail.
You can search for LWS on my blog and see how I managed them in the past. I’m sticking with something similar, however this year, in the interest of KISS (keeping it simple silly!), I printed all the names on pre-purchased business cards. I don’t have to write all the names out and when a new student comes in, I just print out one new card at a time. I also copied the work station labels and chart labels right from the back of Debbie Diller’s book (Literacy Work Stations). This made everything for uniform and the labels all have the names of the stations in English and Spanish! :)
I would stop what you’re doing right now and go hit up your Target Dollar Spot for the fabulous re-usable bags they have for sale for a dollar each (I got lucky one day and got ten of them for .50 each!!). I am using them for everything this year! I’ve purchased all I can find. They have had them out since the holiday season last year (I used them for stockings for my extended family and Easter baskets). There are always new designs. The ones now are black and white and are near the gift giving items. Anyway, buy lots of those (haven’t ripped one yet) and use them in place of baskets and buckets to stow all your goodies in! I have them in my Word Work station, Listening Station, Pocket Chart Station, Drama Station, and somewhere else I can’t think of right now! :) I hang them on the wall with those 3M hooks that can be removed later and not take the paint off, but they stick almost anywhere (I haven’t ever had any fall off). You just buy refill packs of the sticky tabs when you need more. I thought I took pictures of them but I can’t find them on my camera, so I’ll take some tomorrow at school.
Overhead Work Station:
I’m introducing this one tomorrow and have been busy typing up parts of books that we have read (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) and printing them on transparency sheets.
I will use these on the overhead along with pictures of all my kids that I printed on transparency sheets. I printed them in black and white using iPhoto on my Mac. I will cut the pictures apart and the kids can put pictures of each other in the blank spots and read the words. I printed them using the “contact sheet” option, so there are 12 kids on a sheet.
Pocket Chart Station:
I wrote everyone’s name on a sentence strip and attached a color photo of them to the end of the strip (again using the “contact sheet” layout in iPhoto), and laminated them all. I showed the kids how to sort them by boy/girl (I wrote the boys on blue strips and the girls on pink strips) and how to sort them alphabetically.
I’ve added the props for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear (you can purchase them from Lakeshore) to the dollar spot bags I got at Target and hung them on the wall using those 3M hooks. You can see pictures a few posts down of my Drama area.
Also using the dollar spot bags (I promise to take pictures of them!!), I placed a copy of Brown Bear and Chicka Chicka 123 along with their CD read-alongs in the bags. My old tape player quit working last year and all our media specialist had was a CD player (which I’m excited about!!), so I’m switching everything over to CD!! :) This week, we will be reading Mouse Paint and I don’t have a CD for that, so I just made my own!! ;) I opened Garage Band (on the Mac) and read the book slowly into the mic. I left spaces for the “turn the page sound” and added those in later. I also added subtle background music in so it would help hide the fact that it sounds like I was reading inside of a tin can! :) I burned it to a CD and now we have Mouse Paint on CD for our listening station! :) I might be open to adding them to my Kristen’s Kindergarten store if there is enough interest (I’ll be doing this with lots of other stories!). It was easy to do and took me about 20 minutes from the time I read to burning the CD.
I’ll get some pictures taken this week of those things and get them posted. Hope this was enough to tide you over! ;) Today is my grandmas 91st birthday, so I’m off to bring her some birthday cheer! :) Grad school starts tomorrow (8/23)…nervous!!! :)
I was hard at work at school today arranging my classroom in a new, totally different way. After re-reading Literacy Work Stations, some changes were needed and the most important thing I did today was add a Science Work Station. Can you believe it?? Me, All things Science Girl, did NOT have a proper Science center! Done! I do now!!
Here are some before pictures, what I walked into today. They go from right to left around the room. I was standing in my door way when I took them:
Below is what I was able to get done today:
Here you see my mailboxes (far right) and the kids tables that I moved closer to the carpet. My drama station will be on the closed door next to the blue cabinets. I will hang the drama props in bags that I got from the dollar spot at target. I will put one or two books out with the props in the bags and hang them on the wall with hooks. I think that will help get the props back into the right spots and with the right books. I’ll take pictures once I get that more established. The table that you see will house my “Social Studies Work Station”–still in progress!
This is a better view of where the kids tables are. I have six of them, five rectangles and one circle. I moved my horseshoe table under the television so that I can use it for small groups. I’m starting my grad classes later in August and will need this table for many of my “projects”. My degree will be an M.A.E in Elementary Education with a Reading Focus.
Here is a long shot of the room. It looks so open here! And narrow too! I pushed the tables all over to the right side and saved the left side for our whole group area, writing, computer, science, library, and listening work stations.
In the very front of this picture you can see my sand table (piled high with big books because the tub I had them in busted into 12 pieces when I moved it off the table). You also see the back of a tall and short bookcase which serves as a wall to my library work station. It used to be back in the corner by the window you see.
Here is another look at part of the library. The books you see in magazine holders are my read aloud collection that I sorted out last year. I wrote a grant to get the bookshelf and the magazine holders in January.
This is another look at my new library work station.
And another view. I will be putting black baskets on a few of the shelves and after I label the books, they will go in the baskets. I’ll do that tomorrow.
This is a picture of the backside of the library work station. The back of the book shelf you see (smooth, brown) will have small pocket charts hanging from it for the Word Study Work Station. You can also see the blue, red, and green shelves that house my baggie book collection.
The table you see to the right is my new Writing Work Station. I used to have a writing desk there with cubbies, but decided I needed to create one to suit my needs. I’ll be making a table skirt for both of these tables and my science table with fabric I got at Wal-Mart (5 yards for 5 bucks). I spent $20 and got 20 yards of fabric that will be more than enough to cover all three tables.
Here is another look at the Writing Work Station.
This is a shelf that holds more materials for the Writing Work Station.
This is a picture of our large group space.
Calendar area–still unfinished! I can’t bring myself to put up August yet! ;)
This is my new Science area. Looking un-finished still, but I need to figure out what to put here first! I’m going to make a skirt for this table as well.
Here is my small group teaching area, covered in all the back to school goodness of paper work and binders!
Here is another view of the room from the opposite end of the door.
One last view. I’m going back in tomorrow to work on it some more, but this will be the basic layout this year.
Hope your summer vacations are all going well! I decided to re-read Debbie Diller’s Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work book, just to refresh my memory and I have a few updates I will share with you. Please also know that I am changing much of the way my classroom is set up as well as adding a few new Literacy Work Stations. I’ll post an updated layout soon. Each time I read this book, something new pops out at me…I’ve been wondering my kids have a difficult time keeping the library tidy–well DUH, it’s because I had too many books out at once! Maybe I’ve over thought them in the past, but it seems that some of those little details will finally stick if you re-read them enough! :) So you will see some of those AHA thoughts below.
I’m going to just type what I’ve written in my notebook and hope that it might spark some ideas for you! :)
Literacy Work Stations to-do: (general)
copy and laminate pages 212, 201, 199, 190, 188, 182, 172, 143-160
make a reduced copy of pgs. 143-160 for pocket chart x2
Library Work Station:
label shelves with fiction/non fiction
get new tubs (done)
label tubs with authors name, picture
open faced shelf must be moved here
put colored dots on book cover to match to tub
do not put out too many books in the beginning, cover them with a drape
assign a “Classroom Librarian” job
Our favorite books graph
maybe a new rug to anchor space
small table (from my son’s room) and chairs, or just a table and big pillows, with a small lamp
Big Book WS
place sticky notes with sight words written on them in the back covers of the big books, the children can then find them and match them to the sticky notes
chart of class names
ABC chart (for sounding out words in books)
new pointer bucket
move fly swatters with rectangles cut in them to BBWS
Writing WS (this station is getting a new home on a table rather than at the wood desk with cubbies)
use two display boards for backdrop
display color words, number words, alphabet, I can write about…( ideas of what to write about)
stacking paper trays
cups for pencils, markers, colored pencils, crayons (all labeled)
dry erase boards
classlist on display board
words related to science theme (in sheet protector)
handwriting strips on the table
sentence strips cut in 1/2 for the children’s use
building blocks posters clipped to display boards
popsicle sticks with childrens pictures on them
ABC/Word Study WS (this was two different stations–combining into one because there was lots of overlap)
ABC memory (match upper to lower case, sight words, etc.)
letter sort cards
wikki stick letters
magnetic word tiles
magnetic board sectioned off for sorts (for quarters each with a velcro dot at the top for labeling what is to be sorted)
small pocket chart for sorting names, words, etc
letter matching sheets (previously posted on my blog)
Poetry/Pocket Chart (I’ve never had Poetry station, but these two stations overlap so much, it seemed natural to put them together, especially in Kindergarten)
small pocket charts
poems written on sentence strips (small) for taking apart and putting back together
poems printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper that match those on sentence strips so children can match the words on sentence strips to those on the page
transparencies of poems used at poetry/pocket chart station
get rid of long computer table and 2 computers (they don’t work) and replace with 2 student desks-children can store the keyboard and head phones in the desk
use bucket meant for cleaning supplies to hold headphones and 3 books+tapes/CD
burn a copy of the CD’s before givng the children a copy
pillows or small table and chairs
Science WS (new this year)
will be in the area where my library was
bookshelf specifically for science books
items to look at, examine, talk/write about
store science journals under the table
experiments that we conduct will “live” here
posters (weather, birds, nutrition, animals, life cycles, etc)
small chairs/maybe a table
I’m not finished re-reading it yet, but I will update when I am with the rest of the list! ;)
Let me know if you have any questions–my list is kind of random!