Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Third Grade is OCEANS of fun!

So our school theme this year is all things "oceany" and I am super excited about how the theme worked into my neon/bright room and especially how it turned out! :) 

I only teach ELA and Social Studies so you won't see any math or science gracing these walls but you will get your fair share of reading, writing and word study! I do teach two classes, one the blue class and one the green class and everything is color coded. I will post later how I manage 2 classes and 1 room! 

This is our library, or the "Reading Resort" (yes, I know the sign in the frame says Reading Cabana, but my husband nicely pointed out that all my other spots have alliteration and both words should start with the same letter) and I am over the moon with how it turned out. It is to the left of the door and begins the reading part of my room. The door with the netting is where I will hang up our "Daily Five" choices. The buckets will hold different daily five activities. I will post more about this when I am finished! 

Here is our "Behavior Bay" with our Whammie (a wonderful term I stole borrowed from my AMAZING mentor teacher while I was student teaching) Menu and our Behavior Strip. Look for my post about management to read more about this! 

Here is our "Reader's Reef" bulletin board which houses AR signup and will also host our "Story Elements" bulletin board set. I like to hang that up bit by bit as we discuss each element.  :) 

My white board is a central part of my classroom with a lot of information for the students. It also separates the Reading corner of my room from the writing corner. My white board is really just a wash board that has seen better days. To cover up the old yucky expo that won't come off, I put up contact paper and sectioned off my board into: 
Schedule, What Do I Do?, Table Points, and Genres. 

The four frames will be where I write our schedule for that day. I also stole borrowed this wonderful idea from a fellow teacher friend! Next to it, under the yellow sign, I hang up that week's assignments that are for grades and need to be turned in as a visual reminder. My classroom is very fast paced since I only get a little over 2 hours with both classes each day. They don't get much time during instruction (my time) to work on assignments. I usually give them around 5 minutes just to get started and make sure they understand the directions. Then they put it in their I/C folder and work on it during workshop (their time). Displaying the work keeps them from interrupting my small group instruction. 

This is the "What Do I Do?" chart. We use this throughout the day but especially during workshop time. Workshop time is about an hour long at the start of the year, but gets longer as the year progresses. I display here exactly what they need to do, in the correct order, and their options for when they  have finished everything. I write all the possibilities on  sentence strips so it is easy to change them out or rearrange the order. On the bottom I can flip the card to turn AR Testing On or Off and open or close our library. This seriously helps the kids and me during workshop time. No one comes up to me to ask any questions or what they should turn in or if they can do a certain activity. The chart gives them all the directions they need! 

My have 6 tables, each a Continent so I use the world poster to keep track of my table points. I started this at the end of last year and it helped some much during our Continent unit. We all know how students obsess over table points (or at least mine!) so I figured with as much as they look up to count their table points they can also get an eyeful as to where the continents are! My reading table is Antarctica because it also has my "cooling off" bucket for students who need to just chill! 
Below my table points is where I display the genres we are focusing on. Under "reading" is the genre of the story we are reading and under "writing" is the genre of the paper that we are currently taking through the writing process. 

To the right of the white board is our "Writer's Wharf" and begins our writing corner of our room. Here I display our colorful word of the week and also where I display my example of the writing paper we are currently taking through the writing process. 

Here hangs our writing process. I use this to keep track of where each of my 44 students are in their writing. 

 I keep their writing portfolios here. Inside the spine of the binders will be a blue (my class) or green (partner class) strip with their names on it. In their portfolios they keep all the pieces they have taken through the process including the piece they are currently working on. We use tabs to separate our fiction and nonfiction writing along with having tabs for the writing process and helpful hints to use while writing. 
They use the revising and editing pens while, well, revising and editing! :) They use the colorful pens during publishing to write any colorful words they used. 
(I'm sure all of you have seen that on pinterest. It is amazing. Kids love it!) 

Next to their portfolio shelf is the writing table, or "Imagination Island" which I will cricut out, frame and put on top of the white tubs. The white tub keeps paper, construction paper, foam shapes and other craft items for them to use while they are writing. Here they can write and create anything. This is one of the Daily Five choices. 

Two pinterest inspired items on my back cabinets are our "Boggle Board" and our "Classroom Rules", decked out in bright colors and sea animals!

This is my reading/small group table and our word wall. A lot of my organizational tools and planning items are here since this is also where we (the ELA teachers) meet to plan! The rulers are stapled up for when the Fire Marshall shows up! 

Next to my reading table is our "Computer Coast" and our "AR Points" bulletin board where I keep a bar graph of how many points each student has. The two classes compete against each other each 9 weeks and the class with the most points gets a prize.  

This is the front of my classroom and where we meet for floor time. 

Underneath the whiteboard is our "Buddy Beach" where students read to someone during the daily 5 and afterwards discuss what they have read by filling our a story map.  (JUST noticed that it says Beach Buddy instead of Buddy Beach... grrrrrrrrrrrr......) 

Underneath my Elmo is our "Listening Lagoon" where the students listen to reading during the daily five. 

This is my teacher area. I love using curtains to hid all the books and binders on open shelves. 
See my next post to read about my blurt chart and how I handle management and having 2 classes! 

Which brings us full circle to our bulletin boards where I post the posters that relate to the topics we are currently learning about. Above it is prefix/root word/suffix information because that is something we really stress all year long! 

 I'm DONE! So excited about this upcoming school year!! :) 

Happy Teaching Friends! 


  1. Diana, I have a beach themed room, so I love your Daily 5 ideas! How many minutes do the kids do each station? I am new to the Daily 5, so I'm trying to see how I can do this in my room.

    1. Jackie,
      My daily five, or workshop time, is around 1 hour long. The students have several things they have to do before they can go to their station, like any unfinished work, journal, writing their paper... ect. They go their station when finished, so they are going at different times. See my "Daily Five" post for more info! :) Glad you like my blog!! Thanks so much for visiting!!!

  2. I was searching things for third grade on pinterest and found this awesome blog... It wasn't until I saw the video at the end that I thought wow this looks familiar?? Mrs. TEAL?! My wonderful mentor teacher:)) It's a small world!! lol Your classroom looks AMAZING! I will be stealing some of this:)
    -Loren Chenault (Ms. Perez)

    1. YAY! So glad you found me! I see you got married! Are you teaching third grade??

  3. Yes! I was teaching second grade math and science last year and I did not have a fun time. lol I asked to be moved to ELA and they had a third grade opening. I will be teaching third grade ELA and social studies. I'm very excited about this year! I'll look you up on facebook so we can keep in touch!

  4. When do you give test or do whole group time?

  5. I really like many of your ideas and organization! I am going to use some next school year! Thanks