Explore Victoria Jasztal’s Classroom

By Victoria Jasztal on July 29, 2009
  • Grades: 3–5

I invite you to explore my world in room 202 at Moton Elementary School in Brooksville, Florida. My name is Victoria Jasztal, and I am the 2009-2010 grades 3-5 Scholastic teacher advisor. This year, you will read how I utilize technology, incorporate interactive bulletin boards, and how I have organized the books in my classroom library.

I invite you to explore my world in room 202 at Moton Elementary School in Brooksville, Florida. My name is Victoria Jasztal, and I am the 2009-2010 grades 3-5 Scholastic teacher advisor. This year, you will read how I utilize technology, incorporate interactive bulletin boards, and how I have organized the books in my classroom library. You will also read a little how I conduct my day-to-day reader’s and writer’s workshop as well as how I organize an area in my classroom for math and science.

This video was of my classroom for the 2008-2009 school year, so you will eventually see other videos and read other posts that show the changes I am making for this coming school year. I am going to make you aware of a few of the changes I will be making. The first is that I will be making my classroom a conducive learning environment for daily hands-on math instruction, as each group will have their own drawers for math manipulatives. Additionally, I will be organizing my books in bins by genre, category, and author. The classroom library and reader’s workshop area will be more open. 

This year, I am ecstatic to be embarking on an exciting journey with you. In the blog posts I will be making here on Scholastic, I will be discussing journaling across the curriculum, preparing students for standardized testing, developing successful mini-lessons, and integrating science and social studies in reading instruction. I will also discuss the importance of affirming your students and helping them to become successful learners. Last, please do not hesitate to visit my Web site at http://www.teachingvision.org. Let’s make this a sensational year!


you are the best teacher evar! i love how you always show me the right path lol!

Thank you, Jill! I have enjoyed reading your posts as well. This video was from last year, so I hope I can come up with more outstanding videos this year.


Hello Victoria~ Great job on your video. I am looking forward to reading your blogs throughout the school year! Have a great year. Jill

thank you so much for the help. my kids love the ideas i used this year

... Thanks, Linda; which ideas have you used that have worked for your students? - Victoria

Great information! You inspired my child last year and I hope to become a great teacher like you.

Thank you, Corrine! I will miss you a lot this year, but I am excited that I can possibly see you in two years with your youngest son! I hope to see you around school, and if you ever have any questions regarding education, please don't hesitate to stop by. -Victoria

Victoria, I just wanted to let you know that your classroom is an inspiration to many of us. I have loved all of your different uses of technology over the years. I will enjoy watching what you do this year as well. My goal for this year is to improve my conferring times with my students. We already do workshops for reading and writing. I'm happy with my mini-lessons and the progress that I've made with them. Next to be improved is conferring :) Good luck this year!!


Thank you. I will try to write a post about conferring times. Reading a book by Laura Robb about reading and writing conferences as well as a book by Franki Sibberson put things in perspective a little for me this summer (that particularly related to conferencing with students). I hope you have a tremendous year!


Thank you so much for your quick response back. As soon as I feel like I have mastered an area, I learn new techniques that can make it better. I will definitely be looking into that book you suggested! The job ahead of me is so important, it is well worth the time spent preparing and making it better each year!

Thanks, Nichole! The Cornerstone by Angela Powell is also a tremendous resource- I've only read some of it, though., Have a very good year, and I hope you find what you need over time. -Victoria

Ok, so after visiting scholastic's site, and discovering you, Mrs. J, I will be honest, I have spent hours and hours on end today digging into your website, which is amazing by the way. I have taught fourth grade and love it, but I was needed in 8th grade Reading this year, and decided to make the leap. You have given me so many great ideas so far, and I am sure will be responsible for many more.

My question is about time management. It seems to me that to be able to do what you do, comes with a price of donating a lot of time to the cause. How can I do that, with two young kids and a Cross Country team to coach? I need to learn how you divide your time out so to be the best you can be in all areas of life.

Dear Nichole,

I have to be honest up-front with my wonderful viewers at Scholastic- I need a life at times. (I want to focus on hobbies this year more than ever, and I will dedicate a few entries to improving life in this area, as well as lowering stress in the classroom.) This summer, I have read Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching, and I think that will be able to make a significant difference. He discusses time management quite a bit as well as classroom management, of course. How one spends time in the classroom makes a connection to home. Checking journal entries, for example, will be a better process this year because at least I'll have peers making sure they have the amount of entries they should for the week.

I believe you will enjoy this coming Wednesday's post about Reading Workshop. The post going to discuss all kinds of useful ideas and encourage viewers to submit ideas as well.

Thank You, Victoria

Victoria - What a great inspiration you are! I need to know any tips on how you were able to reach this point so early in your career. I am sure all of the children benefit from the ability you have to provide such a variety of organized interactive activities. Your room is not huge yet you have room for so many things. Great job. Any info on how you can afford the technology would be appreciated!

Nancy, Thank you so much for the inspiring words. They really brightened my day after setting up the classroom for this year all day today. One thing that has helped the same room this year is getting rid of two tables and the teacher's desk, opening up a huge area!

The technology is provided by the school. Otherwise, I could never afford it! Hopefully if you desire an Elmo or other technological device, though, you can write and receive a grant.

Regards, Victoria

Victoria, Great job on your classroom video. I am really looking forward to reading your blog this year. It is a pleasure to work with you! Megan Power

Thank you Heather, Linder and Krissy. I appreciate your friendships and words of encouragement. I am wondering from any of you- is there anything you would like me to write about this year in the blog?

I am currently setting up the classroom for this coming year- the most daunting task has been categorizing the books in bins.

I loved your video. Brilliant as always!

Hello Victoria - I want to come to Jazstalville and be a part of your class! Can't wait to learn more with you this year. Happy you are here! Linder

Your classroom is wonderful and I enjoyed the video! I'm looking forward to reading your blog throughout the school year! Best wishes for a great start!

Tiffany, I've read and loved your posts as well. Though this has little to do with this specific entry, I'll tell you something that works well- you can photocopy a math problem for your students to complete daily, and have them complete it in the morning. They glue the problem into their journal, and then they explain with words, numbers, and pictures how they solved the problem. If you type Marilyn Burns into Google, she has some articles that have helped me tremendously!

As for the writing program, what have you found interesting? I do a combination of Lucy Calkins, Melissa Forney, Write from the Beginning, Thinking Maps, and my own resources. I don't have a set program, specifically, but it works well.

And then the books... you never know what you can find at a thrift store or used bookstore! Recently I found all these DK science/history books in a used bookstore where I could load up a bag of books for $1.50. It takes a lot of looking at times to find tremendous deals, yet they are out there.


This year I've come up with a few goals for myself.

1. DO Math Journals weekly. I've wanted to do these for the past few years but never got there.

2. Convince my principal that we need a writing program and learn more about writers workshop.

3. Get a better selection of books for my classroom library, and figure out how is best to organize them.

I've read many many of your posts on AtoZ, and you've always got great ideas and I love your webpage.

Tiffany :)

Thank you, Tasha! I think all the grade level teachers have sensational videos, and I hope you can learn from all of us this year. I feel honored to be working with such a fantastic team.

Your room is amazing. I teach kindergarten, but I got some great ideas for next year. Keep up the great work.

Mrs. Hickman,

Thank you so much for your kind comment. What is a goal you have for reading and writing this year? I am thinking of what I want to write about this year- journaling across the curriculum, organizing the books in your classroom library, mini-lessons in both subjects, and ideas that make both subjects relevant to the students' learning. I hope to hear more from you this year!


Mrs. J,

Your room is awesome. I'm excited to learn more from you this year about how you run things! I'm really trying to be better about integrating writing and reading into all the subject. Enjoy the school year!

Mrs. H

Barb (Mrs. C), You are certainly an inspiration, too, no matter what. I am excited to blog about journaling across the curriculum this year. I attended a workshop this past month with a spectacular intermediate teacher from north Florida who incorporates math journaling in her class daily.

Jackie, I sincerely hope that you will be able to get into an excellent elementary education program in two years (or four if you attend community college). I will certainly help you as much as possible.

I appreciate both of your comments. Have both a relaxing and an engaging week!

Although I don't teach this age group, the topics you mentioned are areas I have particular interest in--most especially journalling across the curriculum and integrating reading instruction in the content subjects. Looking forward to reading your blog!

I loved the video. I hope to oneday, be a great teacher such as yourself. I am very proud of you and all of yor acomplishments.

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
RSS Subscribe ButtonSign up to get these great teaching ideas delivered automatically.Subscribe now >