Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tour My Classroom

Tomorrow is the first day of school. The kids are coming! I took pictures of my classroom before it gets disturbed by the chaos of the school year.

This is the view standing in the doorway. The students always enter and sit around the edge of the carpets in a circle.

You can see most of my instrumentarium stays set up at all times and is readily available. The glockenspiels are kept on the short bookcase under the white board. When it is time to play, it only takes a few seconds to add the glocks to the front row. The red baskets actually flip over and become the tables for the glocks so the students aren't hitting their arms on their knees when trying to play.

To the right of the white board you can see my learning objectives. I'm ready for kids tomorrow!
This is the view of the left side of the room. You may have seen my storage cabinets in a previous post when I discussed "Organizing Instruments" or "Boomwhacker Storage". 
To the left of the storage cabinets you see a class set of 30 chairs. These chairs are rarely used in my classroom. I used them for beginning band about 6 years ago and kept them in case I ever started band again. But, due to scheduling conflicts, it is just impossible to have a successful beginning band. I wasn't seeing the kids often enough and they were really developing more bad habits. The students start band in 6th grade at the middle school and the band director has told me that my students excel even though they did not have beginning band in 5th grade. Instead of band, I have an Orff Ensemble which is open to 4th or 5th graders by audition.

On the music stand next to the congas, you can see my "Fake Instrument." If you missed the post on my "Orff Visual Aid" read the post to learn more about how I use the visual and how to make one for your classroom. 

On the left side of the white board you will see our classroom expectations and school-wide discipline clip chart. To learn more about these, please visit the post "Star Musicians Classroom Expectations."
This is the view of the left side of the room facing the door. 

You can see the music notes hanging from the ceiling. By the door, there is a treble clef to show where the line leader should stand. Be sure to check out the posts on  "Line Leader" or "Assessing Music With a Line-Up Song" if you missed them. 
Next to the door, you see a bulletin board that I use to record the stars at the end of each class.

Behind the door, I have posted our school-wide pledge of excellence (which is recited every morning after the pledge of allegiance), our school-wide voice levels, and our school-wide expectations using our school acronym CGES (Cedar Grove Elementary School).
The is the view of the right side of the room, my teacher corner. 

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these dance posters! They are posted above my filing cabinets because this is really the only space that I can put all 4 of them together. My students loves these posters too because they feature pictures of actual kids demonstrating the dance terms. They are awesome. For several years, I taught dance on a Monday rotation instead of music. Starting this year, I will teach visual art on Mondays, but will still incorporate dance and movement into my music lessons Tuesday-Friday. I purchased the posters from West Music several years ago but could not find them when searching online. This is a direct link to their manufacturer.

These are my resources. The top shelf features children's literature and poetry I use in lessons as well as some other binders (teacher handbook, core content binder, etc.) I have grouped several of my supplemental books and materials by categories (Dance, Multicultural, Games & Flashcards, Song Collections, Orff Volumes, Orff Arrangements). On the bottom shelf, you see several teacher manuals from text book series, but a rarely consult them for lessons. I usually pull stuff from my Orff Levels Binders or other supplemental books. You also see the KET Arts Toolkits which are some fabulous resources too, but I don't consult them as often as I should.

On the center shelf, you also see this organizer. This stores all my small items so that I can get to them easily. The top rows hold my recorder strings. You also see some office supplies, loose screws and bolts, etc. I stole this idea from another teacher that I observed during college visits. (Thank you, Lisa!)

To the right of my computer desk, I have 2 short file cabinets and 2 taller ones. (These are underneath the dance posters.) On top of the short cabinets, I have several file stackers. One stack has a slot for each grade level to keep papers seperate that need to be copied or returned and also any books or visual aids needed for that week's lesson. This is the cleanest you will ever see this area. I actually "LOL"ed when I took this picture thinking of how quickly it will fill up. The shorter stack on the left is where I keep papers for each of the student groups I am in charge of (Orff Ensemble, Choir, Academic Team, Future Problem Solving). With this many student groups, this is a necessity to keep rosters, parent letters, music, and other handouts separate.

I love peeking into other teachers' rooms. Whenever our academic team scrimmages at another school, I always sneak away to check out the music teacher's room. I also love Pinterest and blogging which allows me to see into music rooms across the country or across the world! 

Here are few links to check out some other teachers' rooms:

Mrs. King always takes some nice pics of her classroom each year.
Here is her most recent post, but be sure to check out her post from last year as well.

Miscellaneous Me overhauled her classroom in the spring and has some nice pictures as well.

Yourangelofmusic.com has several classroom photos in a gallery in the right column.

If you have pictures of your classroom, feel free to post the link in a comment below.


  1. I am working on a post for both my elementary music room and choir room. Hopefully I will have them done and posted at the end of the week. Love how much room you have in your music room! I love your learning objectives and have already added the treble clef to my room for lining up and am excited to try out Star Musicians in my elementary room this year.

  2. Question about your rug(s). I recognize the patterned rug but where did you get your solid blue rug? I am looking for a new rug in my room since the one I have now has seen better days.

  3. All rugs are hand-me downs as other classroom teachers purchased new rugs for thei classroom. The blue one is actually in very poor condition. It was cut into 2 pieces by the classroom teacher because she wanted one carpet by the board and one by the reading book. Most of the seamed edges have been ripped off by kids. As the sit in the floor sometimes try can't help pulling on stuff. I would always remind kids to keep their hands to themselves, but every time I had a sub it seemed a few more inches were ripped away. :(
    Ideally, I would love a huge solid circle or oval carpet as long as the circle was big enough for all my bigger students to sit comfortably around the edge. (It would have to be a pretty big carpet, so it will probably never happen)

  4. I absolutely LOVE your room. I am starting my 2nd year teaching. I am in a really small room, it used to be the old stage which was part of the gym (that part is the art room and a 2nd grade classroom. So I have little to no storage and very few instruments. But I am slowly adding. I wanted to ask about your learning objectives, are they just strips that are laminated so you can right on them and just on the board? Thank you so much. Your blog has given me lots of ideas :)

  5. It was actually one enormous poster that was enlarged with our poster maker. It was cold-laminated to make it dry-erase. Sometimes you have to scrub really hard to get the marker off, so I always take it off the wall (I think homeroom teachers who change their objectives daily don't have this problem. Mine stay the same throughout the entire week so I think the marker gets extra dried on there). Well, it was very hard and awkward to find table space to write on the enormous poster, so this year I cut each strip box apart, hole punched them, and now they hang on push pins instead of the push pins sticking through them. I hope it works out better. :) You could totally use sentence strips though. I have some dry erase sentence strips I may use if these don't wipe off easily.

  6. Thanks for the shout out! Thanks for taking us on a tour of your room too! Love it!

  7. So jealous of your room I could cry! :) Great ideas! Thanks!

  8. Love your room! Would you be so kind and email me the word document of where you record your stars each week? I would love to use this for my kiddies. My email is jessica_vitorino@hotmail.com

  9. The email has been sent. Let me know if you don't receive it.

  10. I am looking for ideas for rewarding good behavior. I really like your idea of selecting a star musician. Can you also send me a copy of your document? BTW, I love your classroom. My email address is nplank@brazosportisd.net

  11. Wonderful!!!can you give me the dance posters? I can’t find the picture .rose374o@163.com