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Teacher Week - Classroom Tour!

Hey Blog Hoppers! I'm Erin Eberhart Lynch from Eberhart's Explorers and I'm so excited to give you a glimpse into my classroom. 
I'm a newlywed who just relocated to North Carolina and this year, I have chosen to leave the classroom. {GASP!!!} I have gladly accepted a position as an Elementary Instructional Coach and am loving it so far! It was a tough decision, but I'm anxious to share ideas with teachers and help them bring evidence based practices into their teaching. Any tips?? I'm certainly missing the classroom and my own class of kiddos though. :(  Allow me to reminisce...
Here was my classroom from the far back corner. The classroom door was located under the American flag, on your right. Let's walk through each space together...

This was my word wall and birthday board. My sweet Dad helped me measure off the grid and attach the ribbon, so every space was juuuuuustttt right. I'm OCD like that! ha The alphabet picture cards can be found {here}. I added high frequency words, word families, and vocabulary to the wall as they were taught throughout the year. I also invited parents to save environmental print and send it in, as well!
I used suggestions from Debbie Diller when putting together my word wall. Debbie says...
1) Make a border or a grid for the letters and words to go in. This is based on brain research she is reading about and how the brain sees in borders.
2) Make the vowels one color and the consonants another color (I added star di-cuts next to my vowels instead - not pictured).
3) Add a picture for the beginning sound of the letter. This applies to lower grades.
4) Make the words on the word wall in black and white. The words are easier to see this way and it is a  common color for words in print. I decided to put a border around the individual words based on the brain seeing in borders idea.

Next to my word wall was my classroom library. My most favorite spot!! I wanted this space to attract students and was pleased with the over all feel. 
I added some lamps, bean bags, and a rug to make this space warm and inviting! On top of the book shelf was a basket of stuffed animals. These were my students' book buddies and they were allowed to read to an animal during their "Read to Self" time. 
Here's an up close view at my book tubs. All of my bins were labeled with Reagan Tunstall's bin labels and stickers (unfortunately, this unit is no longer available). This was super time consuming, but probably the best thing I ever did in terms of organizing. My students were SO good about matching the sticker to the label on the tub. I very rarely had a book out of place! I must warn you though, take stock in Avery labels....this project used a TON. For something similar, check out Katie Mense's Library Labels {here}. They're awesome!

On the other side was my computer center. No explanation needed. ha
Now to the back of the room. I  had 2 large closets with LOTS of storage!! I was one of the only 3 people in the school who had closets, so I considered myself lucky. On the right hand side was my teacher desk and small group table. BUT - I have zero pictures to share with you. Blogger fail. :( If you squint hard can see the corner of my desk - nothing fancy.
In the left hand corner, was my writing center. I wanted to have a defined writing space for my students and a place where they could go to a record their thoughts or stories (other than their seats). Here's an up close view. 
The fabulous writing posters came from Cara Carroll and the pencil poster is from the Teacher Wife. Each month, I would change out the words in my blue pocket chart with word cards from Miss Kindergarten. This helped my students SO much with their writing and they were great to incorporate the words in their work.
Next to my writing table was a shelf that housed some center materials. Students chose from this shelf after they finished their "have to" Literacy Station. They'd also visit this shelf during indoor recess. Two summers ago, I made it my goal to organize EVERYTHING. While this was mega time consuming and a semi nightmare (ha ha) it was worth it! No more buying things I already have.
On around my closets and teacher desk (that I don't have a picture of) was the last space. My student mailboxes and home living center. I was so fortunate that my school system still allowed us to have this center, because I know so many had to phase it out. Remember.....Albert Einstein said, "Play is the highest form of research."
This was one of my students' favorite places to visit! As the year went along, I would add writing materials so students could make a grocery list, recipe card, or cookbook. I tried to incorporate writing everywhere I could. Also, each nine weeks, I would change this station so students wouldn't get bored. It was also a Vet Center, Restaurant, and Post Office. My "Eberhart's Explorer" bulletin board was the focal point of my room. I couldn't find an image that I liked so I drew and colored the explorer myself. :) I'm glad the picture is semi far away so you can't see how bad he really looks. ha 
On my student tables, were table caddies. These things were a life saver! Seriously, don't deal with crayon boxes and student supplies - we shared everything! Even in kindergarten and it was GREAT! In this picture, my caddy wasn't quite full yet...but you get the picture. In 1 cup, I had scissors and in the other, pencils. And on the side with markers, I added crayons. These are dorm room shower caddies and you can order them {here}.

Well - - there ya have it! Hope you enjoyed my tour and thank you for letting me take a walk down memory lane. :( Make sure you link up your blog post that displays your awesome classroom style. Don't forget to link your actual blog post, and not just your blog. We will see you back, tomorrow, for SANITY SAVERS. Happy Wednesday!!

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