Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Classroom, New Possibilities

Today I finally caved in and decided to go check out Michael's and Staples to see if I could find some deals and knick-knacks for the new classroom. What a great decision! I've always been interested in setting up a classroom that doesn't look like a typical kindergarten classroom, and the things I found today (and the things I wanted but didn't buy, yet :) align perfectly with my vision! Here are some things I envision/imagine/think about when setting up a classroom:

Neutral tones like greens, blues, creams

Natural lighting if at all possible

"Real" materials

Beautiful things

Ease of use and practicality

So today I bought some things that I think align with those things fairly well. Our new table caddies are wicker baskets:

Taken in the trunk of my car, not the best photo!

Our art supply caddy will have labels for each supply written on them with chalk. It will be a non-painted "soda crate":

And my own organization of graphic organizers (found in my TpT store here), mini-unit master copies (also found here), or daily warm ups (oh yeah, found here!) will be kept in these if I can fit everything:

I absolutely cannot wait to get into my new room and explore the possibilities for the space. It won't look extremely impressive until the kids get in there and start making their own marks on the space (post on all that coming later!). In the meantime, I'll try to avoid all garage sales and thrift stores within driving distance and will just twiddle my thumbs until the school opens next week!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This whole blogging thing...

This is very new to me, but something I've wanted to do for the children in my class and their families ever since I started teaching! I take way too many pictures of my students doing all kinds of things in our classroom, and even though the pictures make for a great scrapbook at the end of the year, I hate waiting that long! So I think I'll be posting pictures (with permission from families) of my students learning, exploring, researching, and playing! I'll also post things I create, resources I use, and other teacher musings that are probably only interesting to those of us who spend our days conversing with 6 year olds :)

I will be able to enter and work in my NEW classroom next week and I am so excited! I think I'm taking over a classroom that was once occupied by a teacher who had her fair share of years/experiences/resources/things so I'm looking forward to seeing what she left behind! I've accumulated my own things over the past four years, so now comes the time for condensing and choosing.

BUT I've also been creating and making things for my classroom because....that's just what we do? Here are some things from my summer of creating:

A scrapbook paper garland! I've loved this idea since I saw a garland made with glittery paper (cute for decorating a birthday party, but not so much for a classroom?), so I found some very pretty patterned green paper and used some brown yarn and there ya go. Easy peasy.

A sign for my writing wall or art wall or ??? Not sure where I'll hang it. I went on to create three more that say "explore", "imagine", and "dream". I'll just hang them everywhere!

My first unit on TpT! I love starting the year with a unit about how the children are alike and different, it helps to get to know each other and point out how our differences make us so unique and special! It's available here if anyone wants it :)

Oh and just trying to set up a new apartment, get new driver's licenses/car registrations, buy furniture, explore our neighborhood, entertaining family in town, and look for a teaching job has also kept me busy and frazzled! We are (almost) settled, but what I know for sure is that I think I was made to live in California. I'm in love!

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