Friday, August 17, 2012

Classroom Setup

Today I finished setting up my classroom! I'd say it was a success! It's not quite perfect, but all the major stuff is ready in case the teacher work days are full of meetings and lacking in prep time. I did a pretty good job of hiding out in my room and not talking to people so I'd have time to finish it all today. With the exception of course, of my adorable teacher friend who is in her second year teaching. I've been helping her with ideas and sharing classrooom setup materials with her. I was soo excited about finishing my classroom that I called her over to check it out. Here are the before and after pics if you'd like to check them out. Notice that the one horseshoe table takes up almost the whole main area of the room, and endless pipes run along the walls and ceiling. The odd arrangement is the best I can do with the space. It was meant to be the living room of a house a hundred years ago, not a classroom. I'm pretty excited that I've been able to make it look pretty much like a normal classroom.

To make things even better, I was able to finish before lunch and go to the San Francisco Zoo with my friend! I saw lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!! Living in the Bay Area has it's advantages!

BEFORE:

View from the front door

View from my kitchen, yes, I have one in my classroom!



View from the whiteboard facing the front door (new curriculum!) I forgot to take an "after" for this one! Oops!

AFTER:
View from the front door

LOVE the chair pockets I made!!
I made a "Star Work!" bulletin board to display kids' work. I put their names on stars next to a small binder clip for easy swapping when I put up new work. The colored chart is our school behavior system. I should take a close up of that area and post it next week so you can see the "Star Rewards"  section underneath. The kids can earn reward coupons and store them on the wall until they are ready to redeem them. The empty pocket chart will be for centers activities (sorting, spelling, etc.). My schedule is to the left of the whiteboard with little clocks next to each activity.
 The calendar section is on the bulletin board to the left. It's a disgrace by most kindergarten standards, but I can't put it any lower. Besides, I teach 3 grade levels, calendar time is hard to do in a way that benefits all of my kids. Instead I teach calendar-time concepts during other times of day like centers and morning meeting.
My front wall

Centers area
 This is my newly created centers area. The kids can stand on either side of the table to participate in hands-on learning activities. I sewed the fabric last night to hide the materials and curriculum hiding under the tables.
Another view of the centers area
 I placed the anchor charts where the kids can easily refer to them during centers time. This way they can problem solve while I am working with another group at the horseshoe table.
 
The Lower El Cottage: I have a tower! How cool is that?!


We are All Special!
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