Thursday, 4 September 2014

A New Year in Room 122!

Welcome to our new students and a welcome back to all our returning students! 

We are excited for a new year. It has been wonderful to get to know our students over the course of our first few days together.

Allow me to give you a tour of our classroom and a little explanation about why we have chosen to set it up this way. We have worked to create a space that is inviting and challenging. We hope it inspires the students to ask questions, take chances, collaborate, think critically and explore the world around them.

This is our building and construction centre. We provide many open-ended materials to encourage students to be creative in their structures. Using open-ended materials allows students to 'think outside the box' and change their creations everyday, it doesn't limit or prescribe what they can do with the materials. 

This is our drama centre. Right now it is set up as a house, which is something familiar for all students. Throughout the year, this area will change depending on what the students want. We look forward to seeing what this will turn into! Not only do students get to use their imaginations in this area, but they get to work on social skills as well, such as sharing, taking turns, and collaboration.

This is our writing and creative arts area. While writing happens in all areas in the classroom, this table will be dedicated to encouraging our students to become writers. There are many different supplies to allow their creativity to flourish! We have letter rings, word rings and sentence starters available. I was excited to find '101 First Word' books at Chapters to encourage students to write independently. Students will have the opportunity to write in a variety of authentic ways including making lists, writing books, sending letters, writing cards and documenting what they observe in the world around them.

We have organized all of our supplies by colour to encourage students to make choices when writing and drawing. This also encourages our students to work on their sorting skills (by colour and type).

This is our math area. We have put out a variety of manipulatives to allow our students to explore counting and patterning. We have math tools (5 frames, 10 frames)  that will be out to encourage students to explore numbers.

A 'provocation' (an invitation for learning) set up to allow the students to explore numbers.

This is our science/discovery table. Right now it is set up with our light pad and some natural materials. There are a variety of materials to allow us an opportunity to learn what the students are interested in. This table will usually be a provocation that is related to our classroom inquiry.

This is our snack table. Students are able to go to eat their snack when they are hungry. We track who has eaten (the students clip their name on the sign to show they have eaten).

Here you can see our cubbies and another table for writing. This shelf houses our inquiry binders from last year and books at varying levels for our students. We have clip boards, white boards and magnet letters available to encourage writing throughout the classroom.

As our students work to become familiar with the letters and their sounds as well as, words and stories, we have created a few provocations relating to the alphabet. Above we have letter rocks and below we have a sensory bin with letters and objects that start with each letter. It has been great to see how our students know their letters!

 We can't wait to see how the classroom will transform as the students begin to add their own touch to the walls and space.