Today, I finished setting up my classroom for the coming school year. Yes, there are still a million little things I could do but for the most part, I'm done. We don't even "officially" report back until next week but I wanted to be done with my room before we returned and were promptly buried under things like lesson plans and in-services (the fifth grade team is presenting one of these trainings, because of our all-expenses paid trip to Orlando earlier this summer). I spent a solid 6 hours in my room today (in addition to the 20+ hours I'd already put in throughout the week) and FINALLY, I went from "hot mess" to "yeah, I'm ready."
Here are a few pictures I took today. Mind you, I was still under construction at the time, but the major components were all in place. (I also apologize for the blurriness. Just squint and imagine.)
This is what you see as you face the front of my room. For the first time, I have a "theme" in my room--Under the Sea--and under the white board, I have this whole coral reef/ seaweed thing going on, complete with little fishies and dolphins swimming around. You only see one little section here between the rows of desks (and, if you look very carefully, some leaping dolphins right under the metal bar at the halfway point of the whiteboard), but it continues along the entire length of the board. It actually looks pretty cool. Across the top of the white board are my class rules and the alphabet in cursive (which can still be tricky in 5th grade).
This is one of the boards in the back of my room, near the door. This is where I'm posting student work (our company is very big on posting student work, and it's a key thing they look for during our site visits). In keeping with my theme, it says " 'Sea' our great work" across the top. To the right of it, you see a wall-mounted book shelf; to the left is a self-made "board" for posting information, events, upcoming dates, etc.
Also in the back of my room, on the other side of the book shelf you saw in the previous photo, is this bulletin board. I love this one. You have the octopus, and it says "Vocabulary is in our grasp." (Get it? Eight arms? Under the sea?) This will be my word wall (another thing that corporate is VERY big on--so both of my bulletin boards will be winning me some major points). The wall to the right of this picture are my windows, which look out onto the lake and palm trees (and the parking lot, but I ignore that part).
And this is my teacher area. It looks better in person, but you have my "traditional" teacher desk right in front, and off to the right I have a table on which I'm keeping my computer, printer and stuff like that. That allows me to free up space on my actual desk for working, grading, etc. To the right of my table is an additional library area with crates of books, a rug, etc. To the left are my teacher cabinets and cupboards.