Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Trading Spaces (Blog Edition)

My friends over at A Year of Reading are encouraging teachers to share pictures of their classrooms. What a fantastic way to get more ideas and to learn from other teachers! So here are some pics of my ESL world in Whitehall City Schools.

This is part of my classroom library surrounded by a couple of "reading buddies" that are waiting to be read to.

This is another corner with more books. In this area, books are organized by grade levels (I work with all ELLs students in grades K-5). With proper training and reminders throughout the year, they are able to put the books away in their corresponding grade level tub.

Nothing says "I belong in this room" as pictures of the students displayed all around the room. Since I am lucky enough to work with most of my students year after year, I post their pictures up on our world map and place it depending on what country they are from. Since ELLs population is growing rapidly, so are the numbers of students enrolling in our district. I literally don't have any more space in my big world map so I have created large posters of our different continents so I will be placing pictures of our new students on those posters.
And here is the fun part, I don't bring any pictures down. Even if students move out of our district, the picture stays. Even if my students are growing up, changing and growing older, their first picture stays up. I love how my fourth grade students look at their kindergarten picture up on my wall and say, " Wow, Ms. Villalba, you still have that picture, I was so little then!". That's the reaction I am going  for. :)

For the writing station, I like to have things at children's reach. I want them to be independent workers in my classroom, and when the materials are available at hand, they are able to successfully work by themselves. I use a large chart with transparent pockets to display different materials for the writing station such as multiple copies of our ABC chart, consonant cluster charts, sticky notes, small pencil sharpeners, rubber bands (to stretch out words), popsicle sticks (to leave spaces) and of course, choices of papers. 

Listening station: I can't stress enough the importance of this station for ELLs regarding of their age. ELLs benefit of having the opportunities to listen to the same story over and over. It provides a wonderful role model for intonation, pronunciation, and the chance to listen to the same words over and over.

Ahhh..this was fun. I could go on and on. But how about I share a bit more throughout the year? After all, the school year has just started. I would make changes and more re-arranging as we learn and grow more independently.


Mary Lee said...

Wonderful bright colors!

Love your map with all the kids' pictures! What a great way to build community. I keep a notebook with all the class pictures for every year I've taught in Dublin. When students come back to visit (or, in one case to be a third grade teacher in my building this year -- GASP!!!) we always go to the notebook and find them as a 4th or 5th grader and remember who was in their class at that time. They will always be "my students."

katied said...

I too love the map with pictures and the community feel your room has to it. I also loved your words about hearing text again and again. I hear you there and agree!!

Anonymous said...

Now THAT'S a functional writing center!!!