I survived the first week of school, and boy am I exhausted! I put the final touches on my classroom late Tuesday. When the kids came back on Wednesday morning, the looks on their faces made all those hours spent cleaning, organizing and making it look pretty all worth it!
Last June, when I found out that I would have 29 students this year, a colleague suggested that I ask our principal if I could open up the temporary wall between my room and the one next door. My request was approved and I was ecstatic! Yes, I’d have a big group of kids, but I would also have the space for them!
I spent 4 days working on bulletin boards alone. Four days to put up paper and borders on my 9 cork boards, 2 chalkboards and the one door panel behind my desk. I stuck to black and lime green paper, and black, lime green, and magenta borders. I love this colour scheme. It's bright and happy!
I don't have anything up on my bulletin boards yet. I like to create those with my students as we go along. Did you notice the Stanley Cup on top of my bookshelf? I do a hockey pool in the Spring with my students. Winners get their names up on the cup. It was a huge hit last year!
This is my absolute favourite part of my room, our reading corner. Since I took this picture, I've added a cute carpet that our custodian found in storage, and 2 lime green footstools that another colleague brought from home. She also brought me a table lamp, but I haven't found the perfect spot for it yet.
All of our reading material is organized by series and by language. I teach in a francophone school, but I also teach English to my students. The green bins are for French books, and the white ones are for English ones.
Manda Panda, our classroom mascot, sits quietly in the reading corner an waits for kids to come to her for cuddles. Last year, I had twice as many boys as I had girls in my class, but this year, it's the other way around. Let me tell you, those little girls are loving Manda already. A lot of times, boys come and sit with her, but they don't hug and kiss her and pet her like the girls do. The boys like to pose her in different positions though. Friday, they put up her feet on one of those crate seats, and her arms were propped up behind her head. Manda was a very comfortable panda.
This picture is taken from the front, right corner of my room, as if you were to come in through the main door. I decided to keep all of my desks on this side of the room since I have my white boards and Smart board on this side. This is where I do whole-group teaching. You can see the two tables in the back of the room, that's where I can work with smaller groups, or where my Educational Assistant can work with individual students. I don't have chairs there yet, but they're coming (the custodian has ordered them!)
This picture was taken from the far, right corner in the back of my room. Right by Door #4. Yes, I have four doors in my room. I've set some pretty strict ground rules about the doors in our room already! We only use the two front ones, unless it's an emergency. So far, the kids are respecting that! In this picture, you can see one of the green stools I told you about earlier. Cute eh?
Did you notice the pompoms on hanging from the ceiling? I find they add so much to the room. This summer, my aunt and uncle celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and my cousin made tons of these in white, black and gold. At the end of the night, I snagged the white and black ones before anyone else could throw them out. There was another teacher in the room who had the same idea I had, but I was quicker than her! I have a few left over and I think I'll be able to share. ;)
This is my students board. It's at the front and on the right of the room. This is where students check in and out when they leave the room, where our daily schedule is posted, where I write down anything that needs to be written in the agenda. There's also a pocket chart called "While You Were Out" that I've since moved. It has 5 pockets, one for each day of the week. When students are absent, another student is in charge of putting all their worksheets in the proper pocket. When the absent student comes back to school, they get all of their missed work from there.
My wonderful hubby built me that book case that you see, but it only fits 20 bins. My plan was to have a bin for each student so that they can put their extra supplies in there instead of cluttering up their desks ( I hate clutter and messy desks). I almost have him convinced to come back and build me another one for that little space so that each student can have their own bin. I have mailboxes where I put anything that needs to be sent home. At the end of the day, students pick up their mail to put in their agendas.
Finally, this is my desk area. I decided to put my desk right in the middle of the room, in front of the wall panels. This way, the kids aren't tempted to touch the panels and play with them. They aren't locked into place or anything and they have to be accessible for when workers come in to work on the heating. They are an ugly brown, so I covered the front one with black paper and double borders. Bonus, they're magnetic!! This is where I keep all my important information that I need access to on a daily basis.