Teaching Examples

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hello and Happy Summer!!

Ok....I've been a super blog slacker these days.  It definitely wasn't the plan, but being a mom has kept me busier than I initially thought.  For the past week I've been in a potty training nightmare experience.  Our daughter is definitely ready for the potty training, but nobody told me how challenging, exhausting, frustrating, or time consuming tricky it would be.  I guess they forgot that part. :)  We are doing good with it, but it's a constant work in progress.  The "naked weekend" everybody raves about didn't work.  After several conversations with the pediatrician, mom blog stalking, and my own experiences we've developed a system that's working for us.  The long and short of it is that she will be fully potty trained sooner than later; how many 20 year olds can you think of that aren't potty trained??! Below is a picture of us going on a wagon ride with the practice potty!  That's my life currently, but I'm loving every minute!
Can you see her enthusiasm with me and my expectation the practice potty will be with us everywhere

Anyway, now that I've explained myself and my slacking ways... on to teaching "stuff".  

I love looking at pictures of classrooms.  It's so fun addicting  for me to see other people's creativity and to imagine how fun school must be for the children who are in these amazing classrooms!  Before I left for summer break I took a few pictures of things in my classroom.  Obviously it's not the complete picture because I had to get my room ready for summer cleaning; however, I hope you can get a few ideas to bring back to your classrooms in August.  When I go back a few days early and set up my classroom in it's entirety, I will post the most current pictures for anyone interested.  

This is my word wall.  Yes, I have a word wall in 5th grade!  I think it's important for children to have a common area for vocabulary resources.  During the school year, it has yellow popcorn shaped papers on rings hanging below each letter.  Here we put vocabulary words from our weekly stories with the definitions on the back side.  It's a portable word wall.  This year I will be adding our weekly vocabulary words from the Wordly Wise Program as well.  I'm thinking I may laminate these since it will be used year to year.  If you are interested in the template, just leave a comment and I can send them your way.  The table in front of the word wall is my writing table center.  This entire area of my classroom is a writing nook.  I will post pics of the anchor charts and resources when I hang them back up in August. :)

This is a picture of my classroom library minus the carpet on the floor and the pillow rests.  The cinder block bench is additional seating for my kiddos!  They LOVE sitting on the bench!!  I actually have two benches in my classroom. It was super inexpensive to make and it's my answer to the crate seats trending in K-2!  Crate seats don''t work well with the bigger kids.  All you need is large piece of wood, two cinder blocks for each bench, and your choice of spray paint color.  In this pic the bench is purple; however, I repainted them for this school year in teal blue to better match my theme.  I think I have a total of $12 in both benches.   The other bench is next to my large carpeted area in front of my SMART board.  Pics to follow when I take all of the pictures after summer cleaning is finished.  

Here is where my student work will hang in the classroom.  Last year I only had 18 students, but I'm prepared for 24 next year just in case.  I simply laminated construction paper and hot glued clothes pins with the Cat in the Hat cut outs from LakeShore to the clothes pin.  It's a super easy display that my students can quickly change out every few weeks.  I like it because it adds color to my classroom.  My theme is Dr. Seuss with a technology integration.  

The Twitter bulletin board is an interactive exit slip board for students.  I use it weekly when going over story theme or point of view.  It's an easy and fun way for me to assess student understanding.  Theme and point of view was very challenging for me to assess student understanding until I found this idea on Pinterest.  I create exit slips each week and students "tweet" them on the board.  The pinterest post had students write responses on laminated card stock.  I played with that idea at first and then felt making exit slips with what I'm asking of students would provide good feedback to parents.  There are 4 exit slips on a page so it's not very many copies each week.  They enjoy it and it's an easy way for me to assess and reflect on my teaching as well.

This is where my yarn hangs.  I don't use yarn as much in 5th grade, but it's an easy way to keep it organized and untangled.  This is behind my classroom door when the door is opened.  I had parents several years ago send in washed 2 liter soda bottles.  I used an exacto knife to cut the bottom off.  I pulled the center string of the yarn down the pour spout.  I hole punched the sides of the bottle and tied some string to it to hang from the wall.  I get a ton of compliments on my yarn display.

I also utilize the daily 5 (aka Weekly 5) and will be implementing a version of CAFE this fall.  Here is the display freebie I found on Pinterest.  I think it came from Kristen at I Teach 1:1.  I reference our Weekly 5 stations daily as a reminder of student choice.  See, I LOVE Dr. Seuss AND Technology, so I have dual theme in my room.

Finally, this is my newest completed project!  This is the same trapezoid table seen in the word wall picture above.  I was inspired by a paint guy at Lowes and purchased chalk board paint.  I painted the table top with 4 coats of the chalk board paint using a roller.  I plan to use my newly created chalk board table as a math station for students to work out practice problems.  I will still have the table set up as a writing station in the writing nook during our reading workshop as well.  I just thought having a chalk board table station would be a fun way for students to practice math problems (which isn't very fun).  I can't wait to unveil it to my new group of kiddos!

That's all I have right now!  Have a fantastic Sunday and I hope you all are enjoying your summer as well!  Oh, and don't forget to sign up for Bloglovin'.  This site will allow you to link all of the blogs your follow from Google Reader for free so you can keep up to date with your favorite blogs.  I've enjoyed my experiences with it so far! :)))


~Amanda :))))


  1. Love all your cute classroom pictures! I am your newest follower - come stop by if you get a chance :)

    The Sweetest Thing
    Follow me on Bloglovin'!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I'm your newest follower as well. What do I need to do to have a chance at your giveaway? I've enjoyed checking out all of your fabulous products! :)))

  2. I love all of your pictures! I never noticed the benches in your room...I may have to borrow that idea :) Guess what? I nominated you for the Liebster award! Go check out my blog post for the details: http://thepoolepages.blogspot.com/2013/07/wahoo.html

    1. Thanks for he nomination! Your blog is super cute and has really taken off! :))). If you need specifics with the benches let me know. :)


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