Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our classroom

Setting up my classroom typically consists of tweaking things from the previous year.  I spend maybe two half-days on it.  Not this year!!! This summer all of the classrooms in the main building were tiled.  (We did have carpet.)  We had to pack up our entire classroom for this project.  It ran a little way over schedule, so we were not able to get into our classrooms until mid-August.  I am normally DONE with my classroom by that time!!  Panic set in!  I called in a few former students to help me.  When I walked in, this is what I had.

Things Piled in random places. (And writing still on my white board!)

More things in random places.  Hello heavy (and full) filing cabinet!

I have no words for this!  Some of this stuff didn't even belong in my room!

I wish I had taken a close picture of all the boxes piled in the back.  The mountain is in the backpack nook behind all the furniture.   Honestly, I was terrified of it!

After several hours of hard work by me and my helpers, it began taking shape.  Here are a few pictures of the end of Day 1:

I did spend a few more days working before I was satisfied.  I have only taught science and social studies for the last few years, so I had to do some changing to turn my classroom back into a traditional one.  I THOUGHT I was done with my classroom, but I had a few ideas over the weekend.  So I will be changing a couple of things.  But here is the (almost) finished project:

The computer area still needed a little work.  Mrs. Ungerer and I fixed it up after this picture was taken.

I put these polka dots around the backpack nook.  I found them at Dollar Tree and three packages did the trick!  They are hiding peeled off paint!

Alright.  Enough of the general classroom pictures.  Here are a few specific things in our classroom that we will be using this year.

This is our book check out system for our classroom library.  I somehow got a bit crooked and my OCD is going nuts over it.  Anyway, the kids will write the title of the book they are borrowing on their card.  I am trying this for the first time this year.  I have 'lost' an average of 50 books a year in the past, so I am trying to prevent that!  
This is our Boggle board.  I will be changing the letters out every other week or so.  It is a great literacy activity for students to do when they finish their work early.  Notice that my squares are MUCH straighter on this bulletin board than the book check out one?  Well, I was stapling instead of gluing.  Plus, I had an INGENIOUS epiphany while trying to figure out how to keep the squares straight without help from anyone.
I tacked a yard stick to the bulletin board! This kept them straight and evenly spaced!  I have no idea why it took me 6 years to figure this out!
I measured from the top of the bulletin board, pushed in a tack, measured the other side, pushed in another tack, and hung up the yard stick.  SOOOO easy!!!
Poker chips with numbers on them....  I thought about having y'all guess what these are for.  However, I don't think I have enough people reading the blog yet to actually get the answer in a timely manner ;)  They are bathroom chips!  Every day each student will receive two bathroom chips.  They can use the bathroom at any time that I am not teaching the entire class.  This ensures me that kids aren't spending too much time in the bathroom (and missing instructional time as a result).  I have used this method before, and I finally got smart realized that if I put clear fingernail polish over the numbers, they won't wear off mid year!

Check back soon to see our classroom in action.  And all that blank space on the back wall?  We will be working on filling it up on Monday!  Oh, and sorry for the semi-blurry iPhone pictures.  I was too impatient to wait for it to focus....
See you soon!


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