Thursday, August 23, 2012

1 How to set up your classroom to support the Common Core Standards

       I've been pretty busy last week and this week preparing for the first day of school and setting up my classroom. I've actually NEVER had my own classroom so this is all new to me. I've never had to deal with organizing, putting up posters, setting up different areas of the classroom, etc. I feel like I want to have everything perfect and set up before the first day but I know it's not going to happen. I have found a lot of great ideas on Pinterest, and I know I will find more as the year progresses. I just always had an idea in my mind that I would be so organized and have everything set in stone about how my classroom will run and what it will look like, but it's not the reality. You try things...then it turns out it didn't work. You can't just have everything set and expect it to work. 

    This year I am focusing on setting up my classroom to help students adjust to the new Common Core National Standards. All the teachers I know are going into major stress mode about these new standards! A couple of important things I've noticed about the shifts for literacy are the emphasis on text-based questions and answers, close reading and non-fiction. So my students will be enjoying a very non-fiction heavy year :)

 I found (then made) this poster on Pinterest to emphasize students to pull evidence from the text to support their answers:


I also designed this poster myself to highlight key words to help students with analysis, summarizing and reading strategies:

I've also been using the sticky note strategy for a couple of years now. The first year I did it I had a poster with sticky note starters and students used it frequently when stuck. That poster got ruined in the many classroom moves I've had to do over the years, so I wanted to design a new format for this display. I ordered the poster in the middle from Really Good Stuff, then I created the sticky note starters and cut them out in 'think' bubbles.

Another new thing I am really excited about in my classroom is my 'missing work' pocket folder. I have NEVER had my own classroom as mentioned before and therefore was in many different classrooms so couldn't really have a 'hub' for students to grab work if they were absent. I can FINALLY have a station for students to self-advocate and get missing work when they are absent. I ordered the pocket chart from Really Good Stuff and labeled it with the days of the week. I always have piles of extra copies after doing a lesson so I am planning on just putting the copies in the corresponding folders and students can grab what they need and then ask me after school for clarification on certain things. Let's just hope that A. students use it and B. I can keep up with adding things!

I took the picture before I added the days of the week

I hope to continue to find new things that support the common core in my classroom! Until then I am anxiously awaiting the first day of school. Only a week and a half left!!


  1. My "Missing Work" folder was AMAZING last year. I LOVED teaching all my classes in one room. I guess it won't be that way this year...I'm so sad b/c it was one of the best and most effective strategies I've ever used. My students were responsible for their own stuff. I didn't need to constantly chase them with work. It was there with their names on it and it was up to them to complete/ask questions/etc.

    (Judy P.)



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