Haley's Classroom Reveal-Why not?

I'm just finishing my first three days of school. We have a five day weekend, so I won't see my students again for awhile. I'm going to spend my time rethinking a couple of organizational processes!

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Why

My classroom is decidedly not Pinterest-worthy. It's just not in my repertoire. I am, however, insanely jealous of all my colleagues and friends who do have aesthetically pleasing rooms.

I've been in 8 different classrooms in 13 years of teaching, so when I had to move classrooms yet again this summer, I took it in stride. In fact, I was semi-grateful because this was a summer of WHY. And I took this opportunity to rethink how my classroom was set-up. Why I had flexible seating options. Why I organized my classroom library the way I did. Why I asked students to bring in Post-it notes. With each picture, I'll talk about my Why.

Classroom Library

My new classroom is a former artroom, so I have a lot of nooks and crannies. Which means, I had to spread out my classroom library. My books are classified by genre, then authors last name. I do have a separate section for graphic novels, even though it's a format because I've found it's what works best for my students. In this picture you see realistic fiction and fantasy. On the opposite wall are science fiction, poetry, and mystery.

Mentor Texts

I have an office in my classroom that I use as my home base. While I use all sorts of books as mentor texts, these are the ones I use most often. Some, like Nine, Ten and The Honest Truth have been read alouds, while others, like the Book of Awesome and My Ideal Bookshelf, help me get to know the students better via writing. 

Back Office

This is my main work room. I have all of my professional books, important paperwork, my supplies, and some picture books. The picture books in this room are ones that I have on deck-ones that I plan on using in the next few weeks. Becuase I have this space, I don't have a traditional desk. 

Back Library

This is another back room that is currently housing the following genres: adventure, historical fiction, informational text, biography, autobiography. Adventure is a widely read genre, so I put it in the back room because I know it'll get a lot of traffic. After taking this picture I moved those two bean bag chairs into the main classroom. Because, well, bean bag chairs in a back room with middle schoolers. Probably not a good idea!

Book Recommendations

Throughout my classroom library, I have markers placed in books that I'm trying to promote. These are usually books that are going to be at the Scholastic book fair or ones that won't get picked up unless it's displayed. 
I wrote a DonorsChoose grant to get this front-facing bookshelf for student/teacher recommendations. It's nothing fancy-I just keep laminated cards next to the bin, and when students return books, they can place the card in the book!

Supply Bins

 The first three days in my room consist of stations and Breakout EDU. I don't want to spend valuable time collecting supplies or organizing materials.  I simply have the kids place them in the correct spot and then sort everything during my planning period. 

I hope you all have had an easy and fun beginning of the school year! 

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