One of my students’ favorite places in our classroom is the Reading Teepee. My mom helped me make a teepee my first year of teaching out of PVC pipe, wooden balls, and some fabric. My mom definitely did the sewing of the teepee because I was not anywhere near comfortable enough with a sewing machine in those days to take on this task.
Everyday, I have a “Student of the Day”, and that student is allowed to read in the teepee during any independent reading time. I only allow one student to read there at a time because I find when more than one are in there, not a whole lot reading takes place. It works very well with one kiddo in there!
The pattern for the teepee can be found here.
Behind the teepee, you will notice some interlocking mats. Students are allowed to use those when sitting around the room reading during independent reading. I alternate boys and girls each day so everyone is not trying to use a mat or cramped up around the room. I have “Gentlemen’s Day Out” and “Ladies’ Day Out”. On Gentlemen’s Day, the boys sit around the room to read and the ladies read at their desks. The next day, ladies read around the room and boys sit at their desks.
We use Accelerated Reader at our school as a reading incentive program. Each child in my room has an incentive chart for AR. When they score an 80 or above on an AR test, they receive a sticker from me to place on their chart. When they fill up their chart, they visit the principal for a prize, and they also get some prizes from me. Above the charts, we chart AR points. My students “Climb the AR Mountain” throughout the year with a goal of 80 points. Please ignore the computer table in the picture. I am not quite finished setting up my technology because my computers are still in the media center…ugh.
My classroom library is divided into picture books and chapter books. I found large baskets at Dollar Tree for picture books, and small ones for chapter books. These baskets are organized by genre (I am currently working on new labels), and each book has its own label that matches the basket. This has really helped keep the library organized. I have also arranged it so students can access the books from different places to cut down on crowding around the books.
I will work with small groups for Guided Reading here:
Writing and Meeting Areas
The writing area in my classroom doubles as the meeting area. Writing materials are easily accessible for my students in this area.
As a class, we will meet for read alouds, mini-lessons, and class meetings here. This area works for me because the Promethean Board is at the front of the room, and when meeting here, the class can just shift to the right and be in front of the board for interactive lessons. This area will also be used to display student writing.
So…that’s what I am working with so far. Now I need to get to making those library labels!
Before I go…I brief technology tip! If you haven’t heard of Picnik, you must check it out. It is an awesome picture editing site that is free unless you purchase the premium membership. I haven’t found a need to do so. There are so many fun tools to make your pictures really stand out. You can add text, frames, stickers, and much more. You can also enhance your photos in many ways. Just head on over to www.picnik.com to give your pictures a new look!