Please join me on a guided tour of the classroom!
As a teacher, I wanted to have a "theme classroom" for students to enjoy. Coming up with a theme was a more challenging decision. I wanted the classroom theme to be based on academics and an inspiring learning environment. LAK Airways was decided upon, based on my love of travel and hope for students to be able to see the 'bigger picture' and discover the world around them. Please come in to see LAK Airways,
"Where Learning Takes Flight!"
As you walk in the door to LAK Airways, you are greeted with a sign and many globes, each one with a child in my classroom's name on a license plate and showing a welcoming picture. This shows children they are valued every day as they enter the classroom.
Upon entering the classroom, you see straight ahead a beautiful rug of the world, with labels of all the continents and oceans. This rug is used as a gathering area for lessons taught on the Document Camera, and through the use of PowerPoint or other computer lessons. Math lessons are also taught in circle format on the world rug.
The students are set up in groups that change every four weeks throughout the school year. Each group has a basket that is labeled with the name of a continent. Students sit at five different continents in my classroom: North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Australia and Antarctica are sit alone tables for time spent away from a group. All supplies in my classroom are community supplies, so every student has what they need to succeed on a daily basis. The supplies in the bin include: pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, and a special box of Multicultural Crayons. Students get to sit with different children and at different table continents. Only independent work and tests are done at seats, all lessons are taught at one of the three gathering areas around the classroom.
Student behavior is kept track of on a daily basis. Each day ALL students start in Green, and are expected to remain on this color or move up to Blue or Purple throughout the school day. A child on Green has made good choices for the majority of the day, but might have had a reminder to follow directions or stay quiet. If a child is behaving perfectly, they can move up to Blue. This is considered an excellent day. If a student is not following classroom rules, two warnings are given, and then a change of color to Yellow is necessary. If a student continues to have a problem, they move their picture to Orange or Red. That student is sent to "Antarctica" our Chill Zone where a child can cool off before rejoining the group. Children are given opportunities to work their way back to Green. If a student does something exceptional in the day, they can earn a Stingray Salute and move up to Purple. This is a special schoolwide award.
Students have jobs at LAK Airways. These jobs last for one week, and there are the same amount of jobs as students. Each job has an airline theme. Students get paid for each job from LAKBANK on Friday afternoon. Students know that if they do not complete the job they have for the week, they may be fired, and not get paid. I believe jobs teach students responsibility. Jobs also help the classroom run a lot smoother.
Jobs at LAK Airways
Pilot: Line Leader
Co-Pilots: Door Holders
Flight Attendant: Lunch Helper
Security Officer: Caboose
Currency Exchanger: Banker
Tour Guides: Messengers
Flight Services: Paper Passer
Airline Mechanic: Sharpens Pencils
Airline Custodian: Wipes down desks
Skycap: Collects compliments/Sign changer
Emergency Services: Missed Work Folder
Baggage Clerk: Collects name tags
Ticket Agent: Marks Colors in Agendas
Substitutes: Fill in for absent students
Operations Agent: Collects trash and recycle bin
*First Class Globe Trotter: Star Student of the Week
LAKBANK is open every afternoon right before the end of the day. One student is the Currency Exchanger and it is that students job to pay each student good behavior money on a daily basis, depending on their color. Students also get paid for their jobs once a week on Friday afternoon.
The table when you walk in the room includes a place for name tags, homework and turned in papers, give one/get one pencils along with information about classroom expectations. It includes our Class Mission Statement, Our Class Rules, Consequences for breaking rules, Conversation Levels, and information on the students job and teachers job in the classroom (Your Job/My Job).
This table has a license plate for each child's name. This is where name tags stay when children are not wearing them. Every day I can take attendance by seeing whose name tag is still on the table.
Each table group is labeled with a continent name and corresponding map location on a basket of shared supplies.
Another gathering area in the classroom is our class library. This is the area most often used to meet with students and do read alouds or other discussions. Students sit on the purple rug. All the books in this area belong to our school and are leveled and labeled. Our Beanie Babies Reading Strategies are clearly labeled and used often during Reading Instruction. Students book shop for 5 new books to keep in their desk, once a week on their book shopping day. They have learned to use the 5 finger rule to find a "just right" book.
The Writing Center in my classroom contains all the necessary supplies my students will need during writing. This doubles as the Writing Center during center time in my classroom. Students head to this area to remind them of strategies using my Writing Camp Creatures. They can find specialty writing paper, writing beanies, along with special writing pens, scissors, books, and other supplies.
Another area of the classroom includes the third gathering area, a red rug in front of Calendar Math. Students meet on this rug every afternoon for our Every Day Counts Calendar Math Lesson. Math supplies can be found in the labeled bins next to the calendar area. Above that you will find maps of the United States and World in our Social Studies area. A Science Word wall is in the far right corner. Below, is our First Class Globe Trotter board, which a new student gets to decorate for the week, bringing in pictures, a favorite book, and some special items from home.
The Language Arts Word Wall includes high frequency words we learn each week, students names, and any words that children often misspell in their writing. The word wall is constantly undated. Students meet for Small Group Lessons at the kidney table. Supplies that I need are next behind the table and are easily accessible for me.
The Science Bulletin Board consists of our teaching point and reminders of all science vocabulary that we are currently studying in the classroom.
Our First Class Globetrotter is our Star Student of the Week. The Friday before each students special week, the child carries our First Class Globetrotter suitcase home to fill with special pictures and items to bring on Monday morning. This child gets to bring in pictures to have up in the classroom for a week, along with a few special items. I create a magazine cover with each childs picture in our First Class Globetrotter Magazine. On Friday, we read aloud the child's special book, and he/she gets to call all children to come visit their board and share the pictures and items. Then the students fill out a special letter of what they loved, with the magazine as the cover.
The back table of my classroom has two uses. It is both the Math, Social Studies, and Science Center which students can visit when they finish their independent work. We have a daily centers routine which children visit a different center each day of the week. These include: Word Work Center, Writing Center, Math/Scienc Center, Book Shopping and Read Around the World, and Computers.
Our Postcard Project with tacks and strings from the location to the postcard. We have both a United States and world map, and collect postcard throughout the year.
Genre posters are found in the back corner of the classroom by our sink. Also, book bins with my own personal books can be found in this area. A container full of magazines is seen next to the sink and can be used when classwork is competed.
The Writing area includes description of the writing process, along with each child's' writing binder, and drawers full of special paper all themed in each drawer. Students may pick two pieces of paper each time they finish typing a story
First Class Writing is full of student work. Any time students go through the Writing Process, they "Publish" a piece of writing. One copy goes in their writing binder and another copy is hung in this area. Students get to choose the special paper they will print the story on. They get to share the story with the whole class also.
Do You Recommend This Book? is an independent activity all students are asked to complete. A new story is put up every two weeks. It is the students job to critically read the story and then take a paper from the "Go" section to complete. Activities include work we are doing in reading. They have to decide if they would or would not recommend this book. Once they have do so, they move their picture to yes or no and put their paper in the "Stop" section
Since my table groups are represented through continents, I have five continents that students sit at all the time. These groups include: North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. I also have the other two continents represented as desks where students can go if they need to "take a breather" from their table, Australia or "chill out" from being in trouble, Antarctica. These are set up around the room
There are 5 special seats in my classroom. Everyday the clothespin is moved down to a new student. When the clothespin is on a student name, he or she may sit in the chair during any independent work time. Or when we are meeting in the appropriate gathering area. No other students may sit in that seat for the day. Students get a different seat every 4 days.
The Book Nook is a special place where two students can come to work on a daily basis. It is a relaxing and comfortable place that has a homey feel to it. When a clothespin is on a students picture, they may be in the chair for that day.
A view of the classroom looking at the window. This is the area where I keep all my personal books for Miss Lak's Library section. Students may pick these stories as well. They are also labeled and leveled, and their labels are different in order to easily keep track. Bins of folders are also found on the ledge to the windows. Students self portraits hang down to show our community of learners.
Our school has recently adopted the Bucket Filling philosophy. When one child notices another child doing something nice or helpful, they can fill someones bucket. This is done by filling out a card and putting a pom-pom in both the bucket of the student that did something good and themselves. We often discuss how to be a good person by "filling others buckets."
A Suitcase Full of Compliments is where we gather the compliments we receive outside of the classroom, and once we get 25 compliments (each represented by an article of clothes), we get to have our "Compliment Vacation." Students vote each time on what that vacation will be.
When it is a students' birthday, they get to wear the special badge, and keep the Happy Birthday poem and special stars on his/her seat.The genre section is in the Reading gathering area and includes all the genres we study during the school year. Each day when we read a story, we add a small picture of the book to the appropriate genre. Students may go up and remind themselves of the different genres we have read, when trying to figure out the genre of the book they are reading.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of LAK Airways, please stop by again soon!