I totally missed chapter 2's link up, but I'm back for Chapter 3! I'm linking up with this week's hosts! Thanks again to Greg to setting this entire thing up!
A few points that I LOVED about this chapter
These are key points in a classroom that I think are really important to think out. Every teacher should just sit down and think out their room mentally. It saves so much energy and time.
This week's chapter was RIGHT up my alley. Our of my teammates had to move down the hall. She had to move pretty quickly so the other person could move in and so on... people were waiting on her to allow about two more people to make the move. Before she even moved out, we had to clean out the room that she was moving in. The last day of school, I went in with another teacher and packed away everything. It was A LOT! This chapter made me think back to that day. We sorted things according to what grade level it could have been and took it to those grades. We threw away things that were decades old. We kept things that we thought another person might value. It is mentally draining.
As my friend moved her things in (the janitors eventually moved EVERYTHING else we were holding off on moving) and now there is just STUFF everywhere. I went to school one day to help her sort through the stuff. We did pretty much the same thing. We started by trying to get the same things in the same area of the room. Books here, math materials over there, teacher supplies here and so on. As we worked, I thought about how the room would eventually come together. As we were sorting away and PURGING, she was painting as well. The entire goal was to make the classroom feel like home. She has couches and other optional seating, a loft, muted colors and tons of storage to stay organized. These are all the things that teachers have to thing through to prepare their classroom for a livable environment. After cleaning out two classrooms, I thought, what about my classroom? Again, it's time to organize and purge. As I was shopping in Michael's I saw this CLEARANCE staring at me in my face. So what did I do? I walked BACK to the front of the store, got a shopping cart, and LOADED up.
I started with under my sink. Everything has to be in a container. A tub. Some sort of storage. If it doesn't fit into something, I'm getting rid of it. I got all of my paint from two different cabinets and put them into two containers. Now, when I'm ready for paint, I know they are sitting nicely in a tub. Last night, I started on the rest of my cabinets. This is all a part of the process for setting up the RIGHT environment. I move my furniture around SO many times before school starts and I do the same during the school year. If it's not working for us, I move around. Change is good. I don't change every week or every month, but if something doesn't flow - I try to fix it.
The next thing I'm going to do after I finish cleaning out and organizing all of my cabinets (and my restroom) is making sure that my shelving is student friendly.
Most of my bookcases are black from me previously painting them. I got this one when I first started working here and it was a very light shade of blue and VERY dirty. It was time for a beautification moment. I LOVE what it looks like now! If you follow me on Instagram (enchantedk), you've seen these pictures. Now, the room will flow. All of my furniture is going to be black and the little pop of color here and there won't be too much seeing as though my LIME walls take most of the attention. The rest of my bookcases are entirely black. I'm thinking about sitting this one at the front of the room.
As Debbie says in the text, I think out my spaces. I think this is SO important. My eyes flow through the room as if I were a child. Where would they walk to get glue? What if five people are trying to get a journal? Where should lunch boxes go? I ask myself tons of questions and rearrange to a layout that I think is both inviting and doable for the kids and myself. I could go on and on about environment because setting my classroom for learning is one of the most important things in my opinion. I get excited setting it up every year.
Couldn't find my original picture so I swiped this one from my EE post.
The library is one of my major TO-DO's this year. I've already made new labels this last school year that I really like. I am going to make stickers with the pictures for each and place them on every single book in my library. Yeah. This is my major need to do. I want to get this done so my kids and pull books and be responsible for putting them back in the correct place.
OKAY... this was LONG, but can you tell I really love my classroom environment?