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As I close out my 14th year, I've just learned that I'm heading back down to first grade.  I taught first for ten years, and I loved every almost every minute of it.  But when my school received a $100,000 technology grant, and I was chosen (offered) to move up to middle school to help with the implementation of the grant, I figured I might as well try something new.  I first taught technology and 8th ELA, then technology and 6th ELA, then 6th ELA and this year I was 7th ELA all year and taught 8th half a year.  Needless to say, with all the changes every year, I found it difficult to jump back and forth.  I've been dying to get back into first, and was finally granted my wish after four years in middle school.

Don't get me wrong, I actually LOVED my middle school students and loved the challenge of technology and Language Arts.  I will post my ELA classroom just because most of the bloggers who display their classrooms are the "little" people.  I absolutely loved my middle school classroom and loved my classroom library, but I'm getting SOOOOO excited about decorating and making my classroom CUTE again.  My middle school classroom was relaxing and peaceful, but I'm ready for AdOrAbLe!!

This is my classroom from the back.  With my biggest class being 32 students this year, I had to have eight tables.  But, even with the extra tables, the classroom seemed spacious... until the kiddos came in. :-)))

I am a BOOKAHOLIC, and I admit it.  In my school district, we cannot
use classroom funds for books (all items must be consumable), so when
I moved up to middle school, that was a huge problem for me.  I
went into middle school with about twenty books for my students, and honestly
they weren't even the highly read books.  So, I started canvasing Good Will and 
second hand shops.  I also decided to write a few grants, and then
I asked my principal if I could use the money I raised taking group pics to 
buy books... the rest is HISTORY!  

Most of the posters you see, I've created myself using Adobe Elements.  This
was BY FAR the best program I have ever purchased.  All of my posters
are color coordinated (I know... I have issues), and fit exactly
what I want them to say.  No more teacher store for me!!!

I have four sections of ELA, and to keep kids "on their toes", we have a 
friendly competition with our Accelerated Reading program.  I created
four posters, and each poster says the section, how many students, how
many points they have earned so far, how many fiction/nonfiction books they've
read, and number of students who have met their goal.  If I were to teach middle school next year, I would DEFINITELY do this again. 

The first three years that I was in middle school, I actually "lived" in the
lab.  This year I was moved to a regular classroom, and even though
I only have two student computers, I absolutely love my room.
FYI - I'm right across from the lab - the best of both

My desk and my meeting area.  The posters behind my desk
are ones I bought... I will not do that again!

I love my reading center, and I think my students do as well.  It's
a cozy place to do their AR reading (25 minutes a day).  

I have several different ways I have organized my books.  Some are
by series, some are by author, and some by genre.
Each bin also has a number attached.  I put a sticky dot on the back
of each book, so that the students don't get confused on where the
book belongs.  Just to keep things interesting, I mix up my bins every
so often.  I'm always amazed that just moving bins around, peeks new interests.

I have decided that I am bringing my bins with me down to first.  Too many hours (as in every dollar store in town every weekend, and Hobby Lobby too many times to count) and obviously too much money has been spent to leave them for my replacement.  I feel bad, but I just can't seem to part with them.  I will add pink, purple, and hopefully black to the color scheme for my first grade classroom.  

Stay tuned, as soon as I can, I will start decorating and posting pics!

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Thank you for leaving a message - let me know if you have a classroom that I can check out as well:-)