Today, was exciting though! I woke up, and I decided to check my work email. I saw that we were cleared to go in to work in our classrooms, so I showered, threw on some comfy clothes, put on a little make-up, packed up some school stuff, and drove to the school. I probably should have actually eaten something first, but I wasn't planning on being there long. Ha! Seriously! I do the same thing every single year. I kid myself into thinking that I will just stop in for an hour or two. Deep down, I realize I'm lying to myself. A few hours came and went. I ended up messing around in my classroom for five hours! Lesson learned. When I go in tomorrow, I will eat something first. :)
Okay, I am sure you could care less about my food consumption, soooooo moving on!
Let's take a looksie at my progress, shall we? There's nothing really special about the space YET, but considering it was a blank slate when I went in this morning, I am feeling pretty good about it. I think I can confidently call Day 1 a success! In somewhat related news, I was also super excited to get some laminating done today. I brought it home to cut from the comfort of my own home, but obviously I am putting it off, because I am blogging instead of cutting. I also managed to put some of the beach towels and mats into the washer and watered our plants, because LET'S FACE IT, it's just a lot more fun than cutting lamination! I'll get around to it eventually. :)
Please excuse my lack of focus! My brain is zipping in so many different directions right now. I am sure that you can all relate! Back to the classroom. I was a tad overly-obsessive today. I am in a bit of a frenzy, because my in-laws are coming up from Maryland on Wednesday. So, essentially I won't be doing ANY school work or projects until maybe next Monday. We will be going to a parade, boating, riding bikes, and watching the Saints play the Cardinals. (Love this time of year in my itty bitty city!) While I am super excited about having fun and spending time with my hubs and our families, I am also acutely aware of how soon school starts. If you know me in real life, you already know that I am 12 kinds of stressed out about it (as Abby would say). Maybe even 100 kinds of stressed out about it. I am NOT a "Que sera, sera" person. I'm as Type A as it gets! So, naturally, I tried to get as much done at school as I could today. Fortunately, I am pretty sure I morphed into a robot person. I don't think I have ever gotten so much done in one day in the history of my teaching career. True story.
Since I am flip-flopping on bulletin boards, and I have been flip-flopping on my classroom designing plan, I decided to get to work on something that I can't be wishy-washy about. My CABINETS. Seriously, once I pulled everything out of storage and started to put all of my classroom goodies back onto shelves, I realized that I needed to revamp some things. I did decorate a little, but I didn't touch a single bulletin board or create a single display... yet. That's my favorite thing to do, and I like to let it marinate. I think that decorating my classroom will be SO much easier now that I've laid the groundwork. Today was all about organization. Sure, it was painful, and there were times when I wanted to cram everything back into a cabinet in disarray... to forget about it and keep it behind closed doors. Ultimately, the neat freak in me won out though, and I painstakingly reorganized my supplies. In the end, I am glad I took the time to do it. Here's the run-down.
I organized my centers and activity cards into tubs by season/purpose. I need to make labels for the tubs, so that's on my ever-growing To-Do List. :) I bought the tubs at Walmart, and I am definitely going back to grab a few more of the larger tubs. They are the perfect size! I bought the smaller tubs two years ago, and I haven't been able to find them ever since. All of my centers are laminated and they are kept in gallon-sized baggies. I keep one copy of each recording sheet inside of the baggies as well for easy grab & go copying! Now that they are organized more efficiently, I'm hoping that utilizing my centers will be a SNAP!
I have a really large library, and I love giving my kiddos access to lots of books, but if you saw the amount of books that landed in my book hospital last year, you would understand why I keep some of my more precious read alouds in a safe place. I rotate them in and out throughout the year, and put them in my "Books in the Spotlight" center for kids to read. After a read aloud, I leave them out for about a week before returning them to this little book nook. This approach usually makes the read aloud an especially popular choice, but it minimizes wear and tear. :) Just the way I like it!
I took a few snapshots of my other storage spaces. I clearly have a thing for containers. :) I like to have containers that match my color scheme even if nobody ever sees them. It makes my heart happy!
The other area I spent some time tweaking was my small group area. Luckily, this was much easier to tweak, because most of the tubs were already organized from last year. Essentially, I like to keep everything close to our work area. I like to be able to grab a resource at the drop of a hat, so it's really important that all of my goodies are close to where I work with small groups or pull individual students.
I put some of my teaching props inside of numbered tubs. Each tub has a different "theme". This keeps me from spending too much time searching and digging around in each tub for supplies. If it's small enough to fit inside, and it also fits a theme, then it goes into a tub. Let's take a look inside. :)
|This tub is filled with lots of visualizing goodies!|
|This tub has Slinkies that we use to "flip the sound" and cars for some of my struggling kiddos to use Elkonian style. :)|
|This tub has a few metacognition resources tucked away inside. I use this with the metacognition tool kit in my TpT store.|
|I keep all of my comprehension inflatables in one tub for easy access.|
|I like to use these little touch lights for syllabication practice, but they can be used for phoneme segmentation too.|
|This tub contains resources that I like to use for determining importance. They were from Target's dollar bin last summer.|
|This tub holds my easy button from Staples, and buzzers from Learning Resources!|
|I hide other tools away behind the curtain. I haven't filled all of the tubs yet. Soon enough!|
|This photo shows how close the resources are to my small group area. I wouldn't have it any other way.|