I hope everyone has had a great Friday!

Today in class students were able to begin reading workshop. They made inferences in their Interactive Student Notebook (ISN) based on their greek mythology book that they chose to read. I was able to walk around the classroom and check their thinking and how they were doing with this strategy.

A few students noted that the book they were reading was too hard or too easy for them because they knew all the vocabulary words or were struggling with a lot of words. We then were able to pick out a better book for them. I am so proud of them for feeling comfortable enough to share this with me!

I had the students also jot down on stick notes connections they made as they read, vocabulary words they did not know, questions they had, etc. so that we can discuss this together when they meet with me in small groups next week.

It was quite comical to see them find their independent reading spot in class. Some stayed in their seats but propped their feet up in a chair. A few sat on the floor and a couple even put a few chairs together and read on their stomach with the book on the floor. I also have a large reading area that is carpeted and has a futon. I am rotating the students that want to read in this area. I have also purchased a few cozy chairs that we are rotating. They look like this:

waffle chair bungee chair


I have one of the “waffle” chairs and two of the “spider/bungee” pink/black chairs. They are super comfortable and the kids love sitting in them!


I have meant to update our classroom picture page but have not had a chance to snap pictures yet. Here are some from August before school started:

Classroom Door

This is our classroom door.


This is the bulletin board at the back of the room (near the door). The little desk and large table are no longer there.

ISN Crates

This is the area right next to the door. I have since moved this table and crates underneath the bulletin board pictured above. Inside of the crates are the student’s composition notebooks that they get at the beginning of class.


This is the large whiteboard next to the Interactive Student Notebook (ISN) crates. This is where I write the agenda every day, homework, etc. I ask the students to always write this down in their own agenda daily.

Teacher's Area

Just past the whiteboard pictured above is where the teacher’s area begins. The gray cabinet is where I am able to store classroom items and my personal belongings.

Teacher's Area

This is more of my desk area. Next to my desk you can start to see the student’s writing crates. This is a writing folder on every student that begins in kindergarten. I also keep our ISN tape, highlighters, glue, etc. in supply caddies so when we need to put something in our notebooks we have everything we need.


It is a little messy still in this picture because, as I mentioned above, this was before school started so I was still putting posters up on the walls. This is the front of the classroom. I have since moved the large crate storage area to the back of the room and moved the smaller table up against my desk for the document camera.


The carpet is one of my favorite new things I bought this summer! I wanted very soft and plush carpet for the kids so that they could get comfortable in this reading area. The bookshelves are also filled with books for them to browse and check-out through my binder.

Reading Area

This is what our library area mostly looks like now. The futon has a cover over it (the tan one that is sitting on top of it in the picture). I wanted to be able to take it off and wash it every week to keep it clean. The table in the corner now has a stand that also holds magazines for the students to browse.

Window and Bulletin Board

This is the back of the room. We have 10 computers that we can use to work on our writing pieces throughout the school year. I also created a second bulletin board for my 6th hour exploratory class. We are reading the book Warriors Don’t Cry which is a memoir about the Little Rock Nine.  I wanted the students to be able to refer to pictures of the people mentioned throughout the book as they read. I will teach this book 3 more times as well.

That is our Language Arts room for the school year! As I mentioned, there have been some changes since these photos were taken but it gives you an idea of what our classroom looks like. My overall goal is just to create a space that we can enjoy and find relaxing as we read in class.


All classes: Read 20 minutes each night over the weekend. Remember, reading every day for at least 20 minutes will continue to improve our vocabulary and help make us better readers. You have to practice reading just like you practice a sport to continue to improve.

~Mrs. Finley