I had planned on posting more classroom pictures and activities tonight, but left my parent permission slips at school. I'll try again tomorrow! But for now...
I bought this mailbox this year. I was so excited to finally bite the bullet and buy the one I wanted. My first year I just used an old one my school had. Then I bought a cheap one at Staples, that basically fell apart last year. I am in LOVE with this one. It is made entirely of wood. Sturdy, and a nice blue color. It shipped to my house and I attempted to put it together. I figured it couldn't be that difficult...
Boy was I wrong! I got to Step 2, and then gave up. :)
I took it to my school the next day and my wonderful custodian* assembled it for me.
And since you can almost see my desk area anyway, I figured I would post a picture of that, now that it is clean and organized.
I use the blue basket for the class to put their homework and class work in. I was so excited to find this basket at Porter's. It matched the mailboxes perfectly! The brown basket on my desk is for notes from parents, lunch money, picture money, etc. I don't always look through the blue basket, so I need to have a place for important papers. Sometimes notes would get buried in the basket... especially if it was a crazy, hectic week.
I use the black hanging file organizer for sub info and my materials/copies for the week.
The larger stuffed frog is used for decoration, and for my most favorite game to play with the class. I call it "Frog Ball". It is a simple and wonderful game. Everyone sits on top of their desk. They pass the ball around. If they talk, miss when I think they could have caught the ball, or throw a bad throw, they are out. It is amazing how well they play this game. Back when we had more time in the day/year, we used to play it for birthdays. Now I'm saving it for those days where I feel myself losing my patience. They children love it, and it gives me a few minutes of silence. :)
The time-out desk is beside mine. When a child gets to red, they get a piece of paper and a pencil and start writing the saying that is there. This gives them something to do until I am able to come talk to them about the problem.
Under my desk is the "Busy Buck Store". I use Busy Bucks as my reward system. I pass them out to children I see following the rules. I also give them a Busy Buck for any work finished during Workshop (our independent work time - more info to come). They turn in papers, and if they are correct, nice, neat, and have a name, they get a Busy Buck. They also have to give me one Busy Buck in order to go to the bathroom and if they burp (or any other bodily noises done on purpose). When we have extra time in Math, I let them count their Busy Bucks. We have a Busy Buck Store once a month. I have all kinds of items for sale - toys, candy, books, stickers, etc. When they choose an item, I have them count out the amount for me. It ends up being a fun and educational behavior management system. My favorite so far!
*A word of advice to all you teachers out there - Get on your custodians good side! I always try and clean as much of my room as possible before he comes in. I give him thank you treats throughout the year, my class knows his name and writes him thank you letters at the end of the year.