This chapter is all about the classroom environment from the book Teaching With Intention. This book study is brought to us by Kindergarten Smorgasboard. Thanks, Greg!
The first thing that is discussed in the book is about a new teacher who is overwhelmed in her classroom with stuff that has been left there for her. Who hear has ever felt that way? I know I sure did my first year of teaching. I was just like Katy. I took over a classroom from a teacher who retired and left everything for me. Some of the things were great and some of the things were so old. I'm talking about the purple ink ditto machine copies. Who remembers those? Yup, I was so overwhelmed! I ended up getting help from other teachers and tossing so much. Well after reading this chapter, it began to dawn on me that I'm starting to see the same thing happen to me again. Yup, I have become that teacher! You know the one who saves things because of the "what if I need it someday" mentality. Raise your hand if that is you? Come on, I know you are out there. Well, ya'll! It's time for me to "Clear the decks!" I will be going into my classroom and taking charge like a pirate. I will be "swabbing" my classroom clean. I'm going into my 10th year of teaching. I have taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade. I have been carting around things that I haven't used in years. I need to get rid of those things. What better time than now! Especially, since I am moving rooms.
The next thing that Debbie Miller wants us to think about is...
I have been thinking about this a lot during the last few weeks. Yes, I know summer has just started but I can't turn off my teacher brain. My husband who is also a teacher says I'm driving him crazy. LOL! Oh well!
In my classroom, I need a classroom meeting area, library, cubbies, small group area, word wall, and data wall (that is mandatory school wide). Here are a few pictures from my classroom this past year. Remember, I don't have access to many right now.
This year, I want to have 2 meeting areas. One will be in front of my Calendar Math and Morning Meeting Board with my easel, while the other will be in front of my Interactive Board. This one will be new to me and I'm not sure if I will have enough room. I'm going to try my best to make it fit. I will also me moving my small group area to a different part of my room. My classroom library needs to be revamped and easier for my students to access and put materials away better. There is so much to think about. My brain is on overload.
Next up, is how will I set up my tables. Yes, I have tables in my Kindergarten classroom. I have 4 circle tables and 3 rectangular tables. I have been racking my brain on where I will be placing them. With the new meeting area, I'm not sure yet where the tables will fit. I want them to be in an area where they can easily see the board yet be together to work with each other. I am also toying around with the idea of having personal work mats for with they are at their learning stations and /or working independently. I love Greg's use of the bath mats. Check it out here!
Organization is key in any classroom. This is definitely one of my downfalls. There are so many ways for teachers to have their students keep their items. I have community supplies on each table. I just simply replace the items that are running low into their tubs. I also have a little scrap bin for them to place their paper scraps in instead of getting up and throwing things away repeatedly while working. I have areas for all of my students items, but I need to organize myself better. I am one of THOSE people who has everything ready for a lesson and then BAM! Something is missing! It was right there a minute ago and now I am looking around everywhere for it. This even goes for those papers needed by admin or even ESE. Yup, I'm one of those. I have been scouring Pinterest looking for ideas on getting myself better organized. Any suggestions, please share! I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on these topics.