Classroom Tour: 2018-2019 School Year

Welcome to Writing Lab 615


After a much-needed break from blogging and working on Writing Mindset, I am so ready to be back and sharing my classroom with the world. Below you will see a sneak peek of my classroom-all setup and ready to go. Before you check out the different areas of my classroom, I wanted to share some of the thinking behind the setup. 

First, things first: I changed the name of my classroom to "writing lab" last year because I wanted students to be able to experiment with their writing. This term "writing lab" is now everywhere. The more I say it, the more it sticks. 

Theme: Rainbow with Chalkboard

Table Setup: Groups of 6

Back Wall:

The back wall contains part of my classroom library. I added these awesome genre posters from The Hungry Teacher this year, and I think it really makes your eyes carry up the wall! I have my G-R-O-W by my clock and my T-H-I-N-K banner from the ceiling as decorations. Continuing on the back wall, I have an extra desk for anyone who observes or a side desk for students wanting to work independently. I also have my student workstation along the back wall. My student workstation includes:

  • Pencil sharpener

  • Hand pencil sharpeners

  • Erasers

  • Lined paper

  • Turn-in station

  • Tissue/hand sanitizer

  • Hole-punch for portfolios

  • To-pass back work bins

  • Stapler

  • Clipboards for independent work-time

The last part of this back wall includes the Assignment of the Week station. I am changing my idea of homework this year from the standard Article of the Week to the Assignment of the Week. I am going to start to rotate articles and short stories as weekly homework assignments. 

Window Wall:

I have magnetic poetry on my back air-conditioning unit. Kids love this. I think I am going to have them use Storybird to do a magnetic poetry activity as their introduction to narrative poetry after the back-to-school/take your pre-test hustle and bustle. I have a little reminder about the writing process back here, and also a poster showing how to set up your paper. Along the windows, I have a string with clips for no-name papers. The last part of this wall is the start of my desk area. 

Front Wall:

My desk area is in the far corner. I have made it smaller and smaller each year with a single bookshelf behind it for my reading books, and my summer books are always on my desk to start the school year. I love looking at what I read this summer as a reminder of all of the energy and good work I put into the positive devotion I have to my job. The agenda is posted on the front wall with the date, reminders, and a guide as to how students should enter the class. I also have a space for our mentor sentence work (More on that to come!) On the other side of the projection screen area, I have my CHAMPS posters with movable magnets. The tables in the front of the room contain space for me to lay out lesson materials, and it also has the crates that contain writing notebooks for warm-ups each day. Students also do all of their free-writing in these notebooks. The last part of this wall is my 6 Traits of Writing bulletin board. 

Bookshelf Wall:

The last wall contains the rest of the physical materials needed for each hour. Each student keeps a binder for a portfolio of their work for class. These binders stay in the writing lab. I also have baskets under each shelf for work that needs to be completed for each area. The more organized I keep their work, the better model it sets for them regarding how to maintain their own work areas. 

Writing MIndset Reflection: What MUST you include in your classroom setup? What has worked for you from year-to-year?