September 2015 - Down River Resources | Your Elementary Math Guide
Howdy, friends.
It has been a busy month, as I am sure it has been for you too! Without further ado, let's take a peek at my classroom! You may notice an apparent theme... BIG NEWS AWAITS YOU THROUGHOUT!
Any guesses to the theme of the classroom yet? You guessed it! My Jedi-inspired classroom is the first of its kind. I have been dreaming of this day for about eight months. My first project towards my classroom was the action figure box photo backdrop! It is a vintage-inspired creation. My sweet mother made a Jedi rode for us to wear for our "First Day of School" pictures. The pool noodle lightsabers added a fun touch too!
Our "Back to School" bulletin board featured movie tickets with the names of the students enrolled. Many people thought I had a "Hollywood" theme going until they walked into the my Jedi-inspired room. 
Our school is in a low socio-economic area and most of our students are "at-risk." For several years, the administration has been very focused on raising student achievement in this student group and have been very successful. One thing, we do as a grade level is plan our unit really looking at our standards. Since I am teaching in the Great State of Texas, we use the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS.) This focus board will be the home of the documents we create to make sure we are hitting the necessary specificity and rigor of each standard.
The whole group area is designed for read-alouds and mini-lessons. Each morning after breakfast, the students join me on the rug as we go through our Fundations (Wilson Language Program) lesson. The beautiful posters on the right side of the whiteboard are for reading comprehension strategies. They were created by the talented Mrs. Melissa Dailey and can be found HERE.
Anchor charts will soon fill the red lightsaber bulletin board. Did you notice those lightsabers? I created them from plain borders and Scotch Expressions tape. It was so much fun creating them! The math word wall is for content-specific vocabulary that my students will need to know. As we learn new words, they will be posted on this board. The beautiful Ombre look for the word wall is created with scrapbooking paper from Hobby Lobby.
You can never have enough details! My handsome husband came up with adding lightsabers to the edges of these shelves. They will store supplies towards the back so they will show nicely. The book boxes are from the Target Dollar Spot (purchased four years ago.) They are always my most complimented storage boxes! They are sturdy and bright!
The focal point of the room, is the leader of the Galactic Empire, Darth Vader. The mask was a Goodwill find and the cape was created from tablecloths from the Dollar Tree. Krista Wallden's colorful speech bubble adds the perfect quote..." I am your Word Wall."
This shows you the transformation of the classroom and how the black butcher paper backgrounds really help the details POP! You will notice many similar details to keep the theme consistent (lightsaber borders, Ombre science word wall, etc.)
For the last two years, I have used the birthday straws as a special way to honor each student on their birthday. This year, they match the theme of the classroom wishing that the FORCE may be with the student on their birthday and always.
This most shocking detail to this reveal is that this year I am a....
I had the opportunity to work in second grade with a handful of the students I taught in kindergarten! I am looking forward to the new year and being reunited with some of my former kiddos. Since I am an early elementary teacher, I hope you will continue to stay tuned to the classroom far, far away, in Down River, Texas.
May your new school year be fruitful and the force be with you today and always.
Happy Teaching!

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