Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Classroom Tour 2015


I found some photos on my both my phone and iPad of my classroom and thought I would share these with you all :) I do not have photos of everything, and some photos might be a bit dodgy, but this will give you a basic idea of just how my room is set up :)

Teaching Spaces

I really only have 2 teaching spaces in my room - the carpet and desks. We pretty much use the carpet for most everything in Prep. I am lucky to have 2 small whiteboards in my teaching space. One I purchased myself last year, and the other was provided by the school. The smaller board I now use mainly for anchor charts and pocket chart activities. I display our focus text on chart paper there and we refer to it throughout the term. The trolley there houses all my own teaching materials - letter and sound cards, pointers, paper, small teaching charts and posters, beanbags etc. Markers are stored in the whiteboard drawer, and texts are stored under the whiteboard.

Focus Wall

This is our focus wall where I display whatever we are learning at one time. It houses our calendar, daily schedule and our letters or sounds and sight words of the week. I also have the focus text displayed along with focus vocabulary words from the text and our maths focus. The number posters are from Term 1 when we were learning all about ways to show different numbers. The boats are part of our long vowel spelling pattern sorts from Term 2, and the text displayed is our focus letter from this term.

Phonics Displays

These posters are my absolute FAVOURITE things in my classroom. They took me months to create and I am so happy to finally have them on display! Each letter shows sound picture and action from our school phonics program, while the tricky vowel sound show the different spelling patterns for each. Like I said - they took forever to make, but I LOVE THEM!

Learning Displays

These are our 3 learning displays in my room. The first is a personal learning goal chart. A few year ago our school adopted this part of ASOT and now each classroom as its own display. The students are given a goal each and we track how they are travelling throughout the term. When they have achieved their goal, each child receives a badge to wear for the week, visits the office to show off their achievement, and receive an award on parade. This has been great for the school community :)

Next is our reading tree. Every Prep classroom has one. Each day a child brings back their reading folder, they fill in a leaf with their name and book title and it is added to the tree. This has been amazing to see grow throughout the year.

Lastly, this is my writing goal display. Each child has a goal to work on which we revisit before writing each day. This is relatively new to my room but my students love them and are keen to work on their own goal.

Classroom Library

Yes, I have a thing for coloured baskets... No it is not a problem - I totally have a handle on it!

In that white basket live our cute reading buddies. Each time the kids go to the carpet to read, they can choose a reading buddy to read to :) Next year I am hoping to be able to add in some whisper phones to that basket too.

Classroom Resources

Onto our classroom resources...

On the left you can see my game and resource shelf. On the top shelf are board games, Mr. Potato Head, and other games for my kids during free play (or Social-Skill time). Below that are whole group math-manipulatives. This is the home of 3D shapes, attribute blocks, unifix-cubes and the likes. This shelf is right beside my whiteboard and makes it very easy to pull out what I need during maths lessons. Below this are dice, cards and other small game items, and on the bottom shelf are dominoes, puzzles, and my bowling pins (which are pulled out for maths occasionally).

Next over is my Literacy Resources storage area. On the left are the shelves where my word work options are stored (letter tiles, Wiki Stix, sand trays, play dough letters and the likes. Next to that are my whiteboards and markers, Kinetic Sand, large sand trays, magnet letters and a basket of small literacy games.

Finally, this is my craft trolley. I know it looks very drab. If I am in Prep next year and have the same room, it will be given a paint make over (I may need to recruit my darling husband to help me out!)

Group Activities

In my room, I have 5 different sets of group baskets - This might seem alot, but it has been great for organisation, and to allow my kiddies to work to the best of their ability.

First, the green baskets house my literacy rotation activities. I have one basket each for writing, handwriting, technology (tablets), sight words, spelling, and letter recognition. Below these are my math rotation baskets (the yellow set). In the baskets are activities for counting, number recognition and formation, number knowledge, visual discrimination, fine motor activities and technology (tablets again).

Both my literacy and math rotations are new this term but my kids love them and they have worked brilliantly. These currently get swapped out weekly.

Below them are my Guided Math baskets. Twice a week I have extra helpers in my room when I run my guided math. These baskets hold a variety of manipulatives and various activities to build number sense. (I will be writing up a post all about some games and activities I like to use with my groups at some point). This guided math time is completely hands on and the students play with numbers.

On the bottom shelf I have a set of coloured magazine holders. One holds our writing books, one has rotation activities, another extra math and literacy activities. This helps me to keep all the materials together and helps my keep organised :)

Next over I have my Guided Reading set up. Again, I am very luck to have helper 4 times a week which enables me to run 5 groups for 30 minutes every day. This has been wonderful and now my kids actually get upset if they miss their reading time! In each box are readers, magic wand we use to track with, fluency sentence strips, whiteboards and markers, counters, bingo and various fun phonics and sight word games.

In the buckets below these are my extra guided reading activities.

The last basket there is full of math manipulatives and is used during whole class activities. When we are all at our tables and working on number sense, these baskets come out. I have made up 5 different baskets, one for each table.

Student Resources

This year I trialed placing student resources together and making my students responsible for them and it has worked brilliantly!

Each set of drawers holds books and materials for one group. The trays hold materials students will need each day (worksheets, craft supplies, sentence strips etc.). The basket themselves hold trays of scissors, crayons, pencils, glue sicks and lead pencils. Having everything in separate baskets means that when the kiddies are colouring, or completing a worksheet, they will only have what they need. The scissors will only come out as needed, as will the glue. This has also been good for students to develop responsibility for themselves, and takes away a little bit of prep work from me. When students are about to start an activity, I can send them to their tables and ask one or two students to grab their trays and whatever supplies they will need.

Anyway, that is my classroom. I hope I may have given you a few ideas :) I will make sure to do a detailed post in January of my new room!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Nerida, Thanks for sharing your room with us. It looks like a fun and inviting place for kids to enjoy. I am loving your alphabet posters they look fantastic. I love the phonics action that you have included with them, did you create those images or did you purchase them from a website like teachers pay teachers?

    Again thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Karen. Thank you for you lovely kind words :) My school follows the Melinda Cassells phonics program which uses the little images you can see on the posters. I created the clipart to marry in with this program, and it has helped SO MUCH! And they look pretty :) haha, I enjoy the simple things :)

  2. Hi again Nerida,i love pretty as well!

    I was wondering if you would be able to enlighten me with some information about the Melinda Cassells phonics program. I am keen to know more but can not find anything on the program.

    1. No worries, I will do my best :) basically it is very very similar to jolly phonics - just without the songs. We introduce sounds at first and discuss the letters which can make that sound (so for example, when we introduce the /k/ sound we touch on k, c, q and x, same as when we talk about /j/ we look at both j and g but focus on the letter j as it is most common). Each sound has both an action (which I created pictures for) and a little picture prompt. Her program covers all sounds, blending, segmenting, syllabification, and has separate resources for each. I have found it a very useful program in the 3 years I have used it (my whole teaching career so far!). Like every school we have a program to follow which is based off this program for the sequence in Which we teach our sounds. From what I hear, quite a few Queensland schools are adopting it :)

      I hope this helps :)

  3. Hi Nerida,
    I love your alphabet posters!! I'm actually starting at a school in 2017 that use this program. Have you got the posters for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers?
    Thank you!!

  4. Hey Nerida,
    No recent posts? I hope you're still teaching, inspiring little people with your engaging learning experiences! Have you got resources on Teachers Pay Teachers? I like your clip art picture on the phonics displays. Where did you get them/do you sell them? Thanks :)

  5. Hi there! Yes I am definitely still teaching :) I have just found it a little difficult to keep up with everything as well as family life. I have created a group on Facebook where I am sharing ideas and resources under the same name, which I would love for you to join!
    I do indeed have resources on tpt under the store ‘Apples and Antics’. The images on the posters I do not have available though. These were hand drawn by myself to match our phonics program :)
    Thanks for checking in!

    1. Great to hear! Awesome, thanks I'll check it out. Of course the images were hand drawn! Good on you. Happy world teacher's day :)