Classroom Update

What does my classroom look like now?

If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you would know that I have made a move from the Junior end of the school (Year 2) to a new classroom. Here's what my Year 2 room looked like at the start of the year and what it looked like when I had to rearrange my furniture.

I am now a Year 4 teacher after many years in the Junior school. Here's a peek at my class at the very start of the year, when I was still moving my things in. As you can see, I am a messy mover!

Now that I am moved in and settled, here are some photos of my classroom as it is. It has a 'lived in' feeling, as I didn't tidy up before taking the photos.

Without further ado:

View of the classroom from my desk

From here, we can see the back corner of the classroom, the general clutter on my desk and the decorations I bought at the start of the year. I also have my star curtain, which I bought many years ago in Chinatown in Sydney.

Our Science Wall - Plants in Action

Our Science unit this term is a Primary Connections unit called Plants in Action. You may be able to read some of our questions or wonderings from the start of the unit, as well as some of our vocabulary words.

Looking from the back wall to the whiteboard and Smartboard

In this photo you can see the whiteboard and Smartboard area. This is where we sit for whole class instruction, games and activities. 

View of mini whiteboard and floor space with my desk tucked in behind.

Here are the tables my students sit at with their table labels hanging down from above, plus some of the decorations I bought at the beginning of the year. I also re-used my "Mrs Hadfield" sign as students often find my name difficult to spell. 

View from the door to the back of the classroom

On the back wall you can see a wide expanse of display space that hasn't yet got any work. We are currently working on 2 artworks and a reading activity that will be hung there soon. Stay tuned for that! Above the display, there are some Matisse inspired collage name artworks. These artworks are also at the front of the class above the whiteboard.

View from back corner towards the door

From this angle we can see the door to the corridor, the science display and the bookshelf (that is stuck to the wall). Moving out into the corridor we have this display:

Our poetry display in the corridor

The ruffled border on this display took a little patience and time, but it is very eye catching as you walk up or down the corridor! Well worth the time I invested. The other end of this display has student photos, so I won't post pictures. 

Where to now?

I still have a few displays to put up in the classroom and some boxes full of things left in my spare room at home to bring in to school. I need to organise my filing cabinet (which is almost too full to close) and develop a system for dealing with the clutter that covers my desk on a daily basis. I think I may have to come in during the school holidays to sort out some of these things, as I am focussing on teaching and learning as a priority now.

Thanks again for visiting and having a virtual tour of my classroom as it is now. 

Treasure Island Maths

Whoops! Have you ever thought that you've done a job and ticked it off your to-do list only to find that it was never done?
Sadly, I have.

Last year, with my lovely Year 2s, I did a coordinates and mapping activity in Mathematics. I got them to draw a treasure island which had to include the following things:

  • Treasure (either a treasure chest or an 'x' marks the spot)
  • 5 palm trees
  • a pond/lake
  • a volcano and 
  • 2 animals (any type)

Once they had draw their map with the features, they then had to guide the pirates to the treasure. Their instructions had to be clear and concise, using either directions (N, E, S, W) or the coordinates. I also stipulated that each square was equal to 10 steps. I had some really creative results and some interesting directions.

Treasure Island BLM

For Year 2 the Australian Curriculum outcome is: ACMMG044 Interpret simple maps of familiar locations and identify the relative positions of key features. This is an extension of that outcome, with the students not only   interpreting and identifying, but creating as well.

My students loved it so much that they wanted to do a second one! Here are their completed examples:

What I loved about this activity was the way it showed my student's creativity and understanding of mapping and coordinates. Some were very basic, but some were incredibly detailed and showed a great understanding of directions.

If you would like to try out this lesson, I have the BLM on my Freebies page. I have edited it to have both the Australian Curriculum outcome and without. This version doesn't have pictures, but you could always add your own pirates if you wish. 

Now that I have posted this activity, I can finally tick it off my list as done!
Thanks for stopping by!


We're going to have a BRIGHT year!

I can hardly believe that we've been at school for 6 weeks now! It seems like I wrote about the start of the school year only yesterday.

As I'm playing a bit of catch-up, I'll share a little gift I gave my students during the first week of school. (I'm sure I'll catch up all the other posts I had planned later...)

I popped on to the computer to check out Pinterest, as I always do when I'm looking for cool ideas and found this:

Back to school gifts with glow sticks - "We're going to have a bright year!"

and this:

Back to school :)

As I absolutely love stars, I fell in love with both ideas at once. I chose to go with the second version, as it seemed the simpler idea (but still effective!)

I quickly opened up Microsoft Word and found a star shape. After adding the appropriate text, and playing with the font I ended up with this:

We're going to have a BRIGHT year in 4H!

I got a packet of 50 glow sticks from The Reject Shop for $2 and printed off the stars. It took a little while to cut all the stars out, and I was glad I only have 23 students this year! After putting two holes into the star with my hole punch, the glow sticks just slid right in! I was so happy with the results, and my students seemed to love them too!

I have edited the template to be suitable for any class, grade or year level and have left a space for you to sign your name. You can get the template here.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you are as inspired by Pinterest as I am!