Monday, August 25, 2014

My Classroom Pics

We officially start teacher workshop days tomorrow. I was able to get into my room all summer, as we had summer school sessions for kindergarten in my room. This gave me some time to rethink a few things and make some changes. The layout is ready and I am looking forward to seeing the children next week. Here is a look at what I have been up to:

Whole Room
This is the view looking into my classroom from the doorway. It is a long and skinny room, but it has a lot of windows (fabulous).  That means I have very little wall space, but I don't like to fill that anyways so it works well. The four round tables are spread out and the children do not have assigned seats. They like to work any and everywhere; tables, floors, shelves (yes, actually sitting in the shelves). The only things we hang on our walls are the students work and educational tools that are required by our school (oh, and a giant leaf that I got as a gift from a friend). I have found that children are distracted by too much hanging in the classroom, so I use organized walls and greens/blues (found to be calming colors) to keep our environment somewhat calm. 

Writing Center

This is our writing area. We have a bulletin board and white board for our anchor charts and word wall. The chalk table has already been put to good use by my own children.  I try to keep it full of fun writing items. The children tend to use the chalk table or small chalk boards more than whiteboards or paper when given the choice.

Reading Center

This is our reading area. We post our vocabulary words on the tree leaves each week. It has taken me all ten years plus I have been teaching to fill the reading center with books. I am finally starting to feel that it is strong enough to handle an entire class. The rocking chair is for the kids, as we usually have story with all of us on the larger carpet. The reading bins are for reading games for during word work times.

Science Tools

This is the science and building area. This also shows the children's iPad/notebook/folder storage area. We are a 1-to-1 iPad school, which has been a fabulous addition to our inquiry units and reading/math blocks. Our blocks and science tools are stored on the shelves. We bring these out as needed during our inquiry units. The children also take these things out each day during playtime.

Math Center

This is the math area. We have bins for during math workshop and plenty of bins for during choices and playtime. Our yearly calendars are posted on the cupboard. I have really liked how calendar discussions have become much more functional by keeping all twelve months posted. 

Dramatic Play

This is the big hit during playtime; the kids simply refer to it as the kitchen. I converted an old entertainment center into a kitchen, as the plastic one I had before didn't seem to draw the children to the center. I found the table and chairs at a rummage sale, as I didn't have room for a big table. Love all my windows! 

Whole Group Area

Our Smartboard is used often, but we always keep paper nearby just in case. I purchased two, cheap whiteboards to post our goals and the blue chart is for our schedule. My husband built the Smartboard step for me and I covered it in fabric to prevent splinter mishaps. We all sit on the carpet together during whole group times. 

Science Part 2

I do not have a sand/water table because honestly, I haven't found one I liked and could afford. So, I keep a shelf near the sink with bins and we fill the bins with different things throughout the year: sand, water, noodles, rocks, etc. The children can simply take the bins down and bring them to the rug to use (well, they are quite heavy so I carry them). I also have to have our refrigerator and recycling bins for snack. The school also requires us to have our school-wide behavior program (Above the Line, Below the Line) posted on our walls. It fits well with guidance (learning from our mistakes in a healthy way rather than use punishment) so I appreciate how it fits with my own feelings towards behavior charts and treasure boxes (these have no place in my classroom). 

My 'Desk'

This is my 'desk' area. I got rid of my desk a few years ago as it took up too much room. My computer and bins are on the counter as well as my group supplies down below.  I love how this created more room in the classroom for the items the children use. 

That's it! I am ready for the children to come decorate the cupboards and explore the room. If you have any questions/comments/ideas for me, please share. I have enjoyed looking at posts online as they have helped shape my room.