Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#kinderblog Week 3 Classroom Set-Up

Find this week's blogging challenge at Kinderchat123.  
There are two options for the topic and I chose...

Option 1: What is the process you follow for setting up your classroom? 

What are your priorities, your values, your beliefs, about classroom setup, decor, and organization? 
(Feel free to share photos! We love photos!)

My list of kindergarten hopes is at the end of this post!

Our school was built in 1921.  Air conditioning was installed just a few years ago.  The aesthetics are beautiful-  marble staircases, brass railings, stained glass windows, solid oak casings, built-in glass cabinets.  There's even a fireplace in one of the kindergarten classrooms! 

No matter what size my room may be, or what school I'm in, the spaces I design will always have these things:  a cozy nook/dedicated area for sprawling out in comfort with a good book, a writing table that will accommodate at least four children, a student work display, a photograph wall, and a way to play music. 

The first three pictures, taken on check-out day in June, show the bare bones of my classroom 
(In two weeks, I'll have new pics of a ready-to-go room!)
In this photo, I'm standing in front of the guided reading reading table, 
looking at the SmartBoard. 
To the left and right, both walls are made of windows and glass.
The classroom door is in the middle of the left wall, 
which complicates desk placement.
In our district, we are strongly advised that 
no child should be facing away from instruction 
student desks should be arranged in groups for cooperative learning.
Not an easy feat with 25 desks and a narrow room width;
fortunately, kindergartners like being together!

 I took this picture from the doorway. 
The "chalkboard wall" is also an accordion closet.
The doors open all together…and can be slammed shut.
No one has lost a finger. Halleluiah!
There are hooks inside of the closet, 
but coats and backpacks fall to the ground on a regular basis.
I'm still trying to come up with a solution for this challenge!
And, this may sound old-fashioned, but 
I love the chalkboard wall!!
(See the owl? The "Be Brave" banner will be hung there!)

This is the inside wall of windows. 
At one time or another, I've covered sets of 3-6 panes with colored card stock
to block the sun.  A clothesline also hung across the wall, to hold anchor charts.
Last week, I ripped down the torn shade and removed the leftover papers.
My plan is to velcro white poster board to the highest window sets,
hang dry erase foam boards from two of the lowest sets, and
continue to display anchor charts in the center.

 As the class size grew larger, I assigned color spots on the rug.
This may sound harsh to some of you, but
I did this with everyone's best interest at heart!
The children were also able to easily do "turn and talk
with peanut butter and jelly partnerships.

 The Word Wall fit nicely on the closet doors.
Not sure it's going to stay there, 
as word cards could easily 'disappear' into backpacks.
Birthdays and reading strategy mini-posters were displayed above the wall.
The guided reading table is in front of the closet, so this was a good place to 
hang posters when not in use.

 Our very-most-absolute-favorite book 
was the photo album that we created as the year progressed!

Class in motion, jumping hurdles on GoNoodle!

Buidling together with a variety of supplies.

As I looked through the 1000+ photos that were taken in my classroom last year,
these words came to mind, to describe my hopes~dreams~goals for kindergarten:
~I think this list promotes college and career readiness. What do you think? ;-)~

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made It- Teacher Planner!

Link up with Tara!
I've never had to turn in digital plans each week to the principal
…until last year.
 The process wasn't difficult but it was WAY too time consuming!
And I missed having a written record.
One in which I could scratch through plans, add notes, etc.

I am so excited about my customized planner!
The cover was created with a page from A Modern Teacher's Owl Binder

The next section might be my favorite part!
I want to do more reflecting this year. 
These pages from A Modern Teacher include a goal-setting organizer
and a reflection recap for each month.

I added the Kindergarten Common Core Standards,
before my planning pages,
With this set, you can record the dates that you teach the standards
and jot notes for mastery!

I was able to set my subject blocks and tweak the font for the planning pages.

Including a grading section in the book was important to me.
The quarter sections, grade graphs, and other pages for anecdotal notes
were created by Surfin' Through Second.

At the back of my planner, I added pages for passwords and birthdays.

After selecting the pages, customizing some, and printing in color 
(thank you, husband, for the use of your printer),
I took the stack to Fed Ex for binding.
I chose the sturdiest option and was surprised that it was less than $6!

Although I'm not ready to reset the alarm
or visit the bathroom just once each day,
I am ready to dive into my first personalized planner!
Now I need to get to work on a customized planner for Guided Reading.

Applause for the teacher authors who created the bones of this project.

Monday, July 7, 2014

NOT in Vegas?! Linky Fun!

If you are sniffling through the 
wonderful photos being posted from Vegas,
you are not alone!

But, we can't just sit here with our electronics 
and allow a cloud of blue to descend.
Let's set a few goals!
1. Personal-Self
2. Home &/or Family
3. Professional
Grab the graphic, write your post, 
then hop back here and add your link!
Remember to leave some comment love
on participating blogs.

Here goes….
1.  I'm not ready to set the alarm clock for 5:30am, but it's time for me to get out of bed and greet the day before 9:00!  I made someone a promise that I would exercise more than a few times each week.

2.  Plus, there is housework to be done.  
And room painting.  
And landscape weeding.
And prepping another child to leave the nest for college. 

3.  One wall of my classroom contains a window set that is more than five yards across and three yards in height.  At one time, five dark green blinds covered these windows.  Now, only one blind remains, with another blind ripped away from the anchoring.  My room receives directly sunlight all morning, so I'm on a hunt to cover these windows in a cost effective way.  Hurray for Pinterest!  

Now it's your turn!
(I'm sorry the text is so small in the linky;
it can't be enlarged, but the links DO work!)