Original items on this page are Copyright 2006-2011 Diane Trudnowski.
Returning from summer vacation, Aug. 2006!
This is what our classroom looked like in early August, 2006. What a mess! All classroom
carpets in the building had been replaced with brand new carpet (as part of our major ongoing
remodel project). The furniture from all of the other classrooms was moved into the C-2 area
(minus desks and chairs, which were replaced with brand new desks and chairs shortly after this
photo was taken).
A few weeks later, the Maple staff was finally allowed to return to the building to get
everything put back where it belonged. My classroom alone had 66 boxes that needed
unpacking. Fortunately, my husband, Mr. T., came along to help. It took us 6 days to get
everything unboxed and set up.
Next, Mr. T. got the student's desk drawers ready. Each child gets two brand new pencils, a
box of crayons in a ziplock baggie, a new bookmark, and a reading log slip for their drawer.
Setting up the table baskets for each cooperative table group...items in the baskets include
rulers, erasers, glue sticks, liquid glue, number lines, and calculators.
These are the student's Taxonomy Binders that I am getting ready. We will use these when
we do a writing project. Inside these binders are soft-cover Quick Word spelling dictionaries,
blank taxonomy sheets for creating alphabetical word lists on, alphabetized tabs to keep the
taxonomy sheets in order, and a laminated card with words that second graders use most often
in their writing.
Click here if you would like to download a copy of the blank
taxonomy sheet that we use (MS Word format).
If you are interested in purchasing the Quick Word dictionaries, please click below on the
image of the Quick Words for more information. When I place my order with the school office
for the school supplies that I will need for the start of a new school year, I order the dictionaries
(fortunately, my school pays for them). My second graders use the yellow version, Quick Word
Handbook for Everyday Writers.
Getting the Family Journal notebooks prepared...every Tuesday the students write a letter to
their parents in their Family Journal. We write about things that have been happening at school.
On Tuesday nights the parents get to write back to their children in the Family Journal.
Due to having the new carpet installed, all of our classroom computers got moved out.
These iMac/Macintosh computers had previously been at the back of C Pod. Mr. T. put them on
new tables and wired them for us, and now they sit at the back of our classroom. (At the back of
C Pod there are now 15 PC computers.)
WELCOME TO OUR CLASSROOM!!
Our classroom theme is BASEBALL, and we are called "The Second
There are four table groups, and each group has a baseball name -
Group 1 is called "First Base", Group 2 is called "Second Base", Group 3 is
called "Third Base", and Group 4 is called "Home Plate". Each table group
has a name sign hanging above their group. We call our class meeting
area (which is a large space with a blue carpet piece in one corner of our
classroom) "The All-Stars Dugout". There are baseball tablecloths at the
tables where some of our classroom library book baskets are located.
There are other baseball decorations hanging around the classroom as
My students and I feel that our classroom is always a work in
progress - we are always adding things to it, changing things
around, etc. Often times we will jokingly say that our classroom is
"booby-trapped" - we have so much stuff in our room that first-
time visitors can bump into things when they least expect it!
Hooray! I am finally ready for the first day of school! On the front
board are two chants that the students will learn on the first day of school.
On the desks are "Welcome to Second Grade" packets.
View as you approach the back of our classroom
This is the first thing that you see as you enter the back
of the Second Grade Pod, Pod C. Our classroom, C-2, is located
in the middle of the second grade area. Our school's design is
"Open Concept", so there are no actual physical walls in between
the three second grade classrooms.
View looking towards the back of C Pod
From here you can see directly to the back of C Pod.
This is a common area that is used by all of the students.
On the table with the tablecloth are seasonal books
that I change each month (along with the tablecloth).
At the back of C Pod are 15 internet-connected
PC computers that are shared by all of the second grade
students. We use these computers to do research
on the internet, to visit our class website and other
child-friendly websites, and to also use a reading fluency
program called Read Naturally.
View as you walk into our classroom, left hand side
This is the view that you see as you walk into our
classroom on the left hand side. There are pillows on the
shelves for the students to use during storytime and for
quiet reading or playing games while sitting on the floor.
On the table are more seasonal books that I rotate each
month. Also on the table is the Book of the Week book, which
is a book that I put on display on Monday. This book stays
in a special book stand all week, and on Friday is added to the
Book of the Week box (also on this table), where all of our
Books of the Week for the school year are kept.
On the bookshelf are boxes of Ziploc baggies that
the students have donated. These baggies get used
throughout the school year for various projects
(such as holding the pieces for math games).
Next to the table is our Survey Question of the Day
board. When the students come into the classroom in the
morning, this is the first place that they visit. They
vote on the day's survey question. Later on in the
afternoon, after storytime, we analyze the survey's
results and come up with math problems based on
There are 6 donated Macintosh computers on
this side of our classroom. Students are exposed to
both types of technology (Macintosh and PC) on a
View of our storytime/class meeting area
The blue carpeted area is where the students meet for storytime
and class meetings. We call this space The All-Stars Dugout.
The beach balls hanging from the lights are
Comprehension Beach Balls, which I use when
teaching reading. I bought these at Lakeshore
Learning (they are also available through mail
order). The students love to toss the Comprehension
Beach Balls when we have finished reading a
story, and the lights are a convenient place to
Recent photographs that I have taken of the
students are on display on the freestanding
bulletin board. To make pocketsto hold our
pictures, I took leftover strips of laminating film
(about 3 feet in length by 2 inches tall) and stapled
them along the sides and bottom to the board.
View of the front of the classroom
This is the front of our classroom, as seen from
the blue carpeted area. We are fortunate to have two
large white boards (rather than chalkboards). These
boards are magnetic, which I love - posters and
other items can be put on the boards for all to see.
On the floor underneath the white boards is our
collection of various dictionaries and our collection
of poetry books. Hanging from pushpins directly
under the board are mini-books that the students
Hanging from the ceiling lights are butterfly
clips attached to yarn. Because we do not have walls,
hanging student work from the ceiling is the practical
way to go!
Our multi-media workstation is located next to
the white board on the right-hand side. Every classroom
has one of these workstations (we got them in early 2006).
At each workstation is an internet connected PC, a DVD/
VCR player, a document camera (the document cameras
replaced our old overhead projectors), an LCD projector
(hanging from the ceiling), a wireless keyboard and mouse,
and the receiver that controls our classroom speaker
/microphone system. I have also added a donated Macintosh
computer to my workstation, so that I can switch from
PC to Macintosh depending on which computer I want
my students to learn a lesson from (as there are both PC
and Macintosh computers in our classroom).
View of the middle and back of our classroom (as seen from the blue rug)
Student desks are in four groups of six or seven
at each group. One of my goals for the students is
for them to learn how to become very organized.
Inside the top section of each student's desk is a
plastic "drawer" (available at most Dollar Stores) which
the students keep their pencils, crayons, and other
smaller items in. These things don't get lost at
the back of the desk anymore, because the drawer
keeps them organized. (You can see my husband
getting the drawers ready in the photo above.)
The students each have a binder with pockets
inside to help keep their papers organized. Pockets
are labeled Math, Writing, etc.
At each table group are blue plastic baskets
full of supplies for the students to use, such as
rulers, erasers, and number lines.
At the back of the classroom are 7 blue iMac
computers. These iMacs are connected to the
internet. On the left hand side of the classroom
are 7 donated Macintosh computers.
View of classroom from the teacher's desk (right side of room)
The small plastic tables (you can see a
green table in this photo) hold baskets of books.
These tables also come in handy when playing math
games - the book baskets get put on the floor and
the students can sit on pillows around the tables to
play the games. (I found these tables at a JoAnn Fabrics
Store a few years ago, marked down as part of a
clearance sale of summer items. There are also red,
yellow, and blue tables in our classroom.)
View from the back of the classroom across to the teacher's desk
You can see more boxes and baskets of books
on the tables to the right of the teacher's desk.
The boxes covered with the blue checkerboard
patterned contact paper are the Birthday Books
and Donated Books boxes. When students have
their birthday, they are invited to donate a new
or gently used book to our classroom library in
honor of their special day. Also, when bookshelves
at student's homes become too full they are welcome
to donate books to our classroom library.
View of the back lefthand side of the classroom
View of the teacher's desk and bulletin board that we post our work on
Welcome graphic courtesy of
Original Country ClipArt By Lisa .