Monday, August 27, 2012

In the Middle of the Mess

Moving, unpacking, sorting, re-organizing...that is how the last few weeks have been.  Just plain crazy.  And this new school has an alarm system that I can't wrap my mind around yet so  I have only been there while the office staff is there--which of course never seems like enough time.

 But it's starting to look like a classroom.  with a cozy little reading area...
The 1st graders love these chairs. They are covered in that soft corduroy and they are big enough for two of them to sit together.  I found them last summer at Walmart for $10 each.  It has been well worth the money!

 A writing center with all the supplies at their fingertips...well they will be soon enough.
Notice my bulletin boards.  They are all covered with fabric.  I love it so much more than the rolls of paper. Even "fadeless" paper seems to fade.  But the fabric stays vibrant and I leave it up all year.  Plus it doesn't show the pushpin and staple holes like paper does.

Then there is the always favorite computer center.  I will have to get rid of these chairs.  They are like 6th grade sized and the three chairs don't fit together under the table...I see problems this could cause down the road.

You see the white tubs next to the computer center? That's my math.  I hate this math.  It takes up so much room for storing it.  But you will see more of these tubs around the room.  They are my hidden storage bins.  Most of them have a little fabric table cloth over the top to camouflage fancy them up.  I thought my last room was bad, but there is less storage in this room. 

This is my meeting's still in progress.  I don't like the way my math wall is coming together yet.  And I'm still missing my little table that goes up front.  My dear husband is sanding off all the old paint and layers of ugly contact paper and repainting it for me.

Here are my desks...I mourn the loss of my tables in my last school.  Perhaps if the levy passes I can get some again.  Desks are dirty (they shove all sorts of stuff in them), they are uneven and most of all they take away the feeling of being a group.  They are all individuals pushed together...not the feeling I try to instill in them.

Next problem....managing all my books.  After teaching for almost 20 years, I have gained quite a collection.  I don't fault myself for this, but I do have to work around this 'problem'.  I guess on the list of top problems--a first grade teacher having more books than her students could read in a year--isn't too bad. :-)

My  husband is also making me an extra shelf for that bookcase so I can put another row on it.  

The math center...still a dumping ground at this point...give me a few more days to tackle this corner.

More pretty fabric to brighten up the blah white walls...

Not the fanciest curtains I've ever made but they make a nice color splash over the backpack/coat hooks.  Behind it is a big shelf with tons more books (my monthly stash is hidden back there...I have to save a few 'new' books to share each month to keep my readers inspired.)  I also have more boxes of things stored up there as well.  Oh yeah, and the 5 sets of Anthologies that go with the Scott Foresman reading curriculum for our district.  They take up half the shelf all on their own!

More books...these come with the classroom.  I'm trying to figure out how to store them for easy use as well.  One of my problems with this classroom is the heating system.  It's baseboard heaters.  So we can't put anything that's not metal near them.  I am trying not to stress out our wonderful building custodian...but I'm also trying to stretch the limits a bit as well!

This is the one and only closet.  It's stuffed full in an organized way.  It should be better as the supplies get used up.  This school isn't one that instills hoarding.  In my last school we were taught to hoard our supplies in our classroom.  In this school, they have a supply room that is stocked and not locked!  So I may be able to clean out a few boxes soon.

"If the Levy passes"....that's how many sentences begin around here.  But if it does, this wall will become a whiteboard.  Then it will be the 'front' of my room because 'if the Levy passes' you will also see a projector hanging from the ceiling from in between those ugly  light fixtures.  Which would be a good thing because I have a document camera (Elmo) collecting dust until it does.

This is a good sign...empty baskets and boxes!

These are the bad signs....

My desk and my reading table are still full of piles!

Well soon I will be done...I have to be because the new group of 1st graders will be walking in the door in just over a week!