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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Classroom Before and After Photos

My new classroom for the 2014-2015 school year had 4 ugly metal cabinets and that was about it!  But - that meant I had a lot of space to work with - RIGHT?  This is one of my favorite things in the classroom.   I wanted to get all the other cabinets done but school started and that was all she wrote. You know how that goes if you are a teacher.  

My kids use this as a word-work activity.  They can work with a partner.  They take turns spinning the spinner.  They write the word and when they are done they read the words.  I have a magnetic pocket at the bottom of the cabinet that have books in it with sight words.  If they finish early they read the books together.  My kids who can already read the words have to write sentences.  I used chalkboard paint to write the words in the circles and draw the lines for them to write on.  They use regular chalk which is stored in that little red magnetic plastic container you can see on the picture on the side.  

Before and After Pictures . . . 
My classroom is nothing fancy, far from perfect, and an ever changing place to fit the way the students use the classroom.

This year I had a few challenges and I will be updating the decor part of it for next year but it worked.  I know it can be sometimes overwhelming to look at all the wonderful picture perfect classroom places and spaces on Pinterest so here's to all who want to see ordinary and nothing that extraordinary.  I guarantee you though - our class is a lively place with children using every space throughout the day.  It has a lot to be desired but maybe next year . . . or the year after I'll be able to transform it into a more Reggio inspired environment that I love.  I had about a week to get my room together. I had no idea what my room would look like or what I had available to me and I was unfamiliar with this school's fire code expectations so prepping and preplanning was not in my favor with regard to classroom decor.

I only had time to put chalkboard paper on one cabinet before school started and once school starts - decorating is pretty much over for me.  If It isn't done before school starts - I know it will pretty much stay that way.  I will be doing all the metal cabinets like this for next year.  I will see about painting the colors on for the sight words you see.  That's how I differentiate.  Most can read all the words.  The colors are for the purpose of spelling and reading the words.  Yes - I assess all of them and it goes quite smoothly and it is easier than I thought it would be!

This is where my outlet is for the internet.  Mid-way through the year they decided to put the phones in a new location.   The office calls and when I have kids on the ipads - they often yell, "Mrs. Leslie" the phone!  Nightmare!  You can't really hear the phone.  We have been working on them not saying a word when the office uses the phone intercom to contact me.  That big massive bulletin board will be much smaller next year.  We use stmath at our school and that program is amazing!  I needed to cover that space and this motivated them.  They all want to get to 100%.

This is the front of the room and our main meeting area for language arts, stories, etc.  That green door in the picture on top is unsightly and still is!  That is the ugliest corner in the class.   Due to fire code, I can't really have anything over there but that corner by the door is number 1 on my list for next year.  I don't have a sink so they have a water dispenser in my room.  The other door takes you into the library which is not that great when your room is a portable and you have kinders.

This picture is from the back of the room.  Being that the room was "gutted" It looks large.  The before pictures are self-explanatory.

That whiteboard is not magnetic so I had to make-due. I had a magnetic board for the past 10 years so it was an adjustment.  You get creative when you have to.  I used lots of removable plastic hooks to hang things.  Due to fire code - we aren't aloud to have things hanging from the ceiling or have a lot of paper on the wall.

Next year I will be adding many plants and lamps to make it more cheery. That big brown card is awkward too.  I really didn't have a place for it and it stores my office supplies, charts, and posterboards.  This wall was an awkward space.  I will be rethinking it for next year.

There is so much going on in this area.  I needed room for charts for children to reference when we worked on a specific them but I was out of wall space.  I hung twine across the windows.  Daily 5 word work activities are all housed on that little table and pegboard.  I use beanie babies and have for the past 10 years to teach decoding and comprehension strategies so those are on the wall too.  Yes - my sharpener is on the ground.  I have no other place for it. I'll have to work on that for next year.

We are a No Excuses University school (in the process of becoming one actually) which is pretty awesome.  Each class has their own college and we have a wall to represent that college.  We kids have a cute chant to.  We have a matching college flag outside our room.   I so want to hang curtain on that rod but don't think I am allowed to.  Believe me - I would have curtains on my windows but I think everyone had to remove curtains : (

I do love using the metal bookcases against the tables.  They separate the back of the room and creates a separate space.  I can change words out on the mini-pocket charts to thematic vocabulary, ABC's, number words, etc.  The shelves have been so helpful in serving as a resource for the children.  The baskets on top are also great because they house papers, student work, or supplies for the day. Keeps me organized and the desks cleaned up.

I'll add more later with how the children and I use the space. Thanks for looking and I hope I was able to give you some ideas in case you get in a bind like me. 

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