What do you do first when setting up your room?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by LMichele, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 23, 2014

    My teacher friend taught me a nice trick-and we had permission from the school to do this, not everyone will be able to-we used the same bulletin board backgrounds to begin the year, as to end it. We just covered them with paper to keep the dust off and left them up.

    Also, I had an aversion to leaving things sitting out, so most of my stuff was put away all year anyway. It was a matter of organizing and putting away new supplies, uncovering the bulletin boards and neatening them, and arranging desks and tables. I always left the tables for last, because I would group them in the middle and use them for a big space to spread out my planning supplies.
     
  2. littlemiskinder

    littlemiskinder Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2014

    I am such a nerd and actually make up blueprints of my classroom on the last few days of school and draw up different options for how I set up for the new school year. I organize my furniture according to that. I usually take a few days to set up my room and get myself organized for open house.
     
  3. k80hardy

    k80hardy Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2014

    I can become so scatter-brained when it comes to setting up my room. I'll start doing one thing then leave that and start something else once I get an idea, and then I'll scrap that mad move onto something completely different...or stop to chat with my teaching partner. :)
     
  4. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2014

    What's nice for us is that if we leave a "map" of where we want our big furniture, our cleaning staff will place it for us.
     
  5. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2014

    I plan on doing what lots of people are saying here. I'm going to start by arranging my desks because I figure that will give me an idea of how much space we truly have in the classroom, and if I'll have 3 groups of 8 or 6 groups of 4. Then I'm going to put my my bulletin boards up and can't forget about the welcoming bulletin board in the hallway. I'm still debating weather or not I want ceiling decorations but that would be the last part of decorating I do.

    Next I will organize manipulatives...I just hope the previous teaching didn't leave it a mess. I am at a new school, but I've already been in my classroom because when I was offered the position, the principal took me to the new room while the former teacher and students were still there. It was super awkward.
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2014

    This may sound a bit much, but I made 2 checklists - one for the end-of-the-year stuff to do, and one for the beginning of the year. It includes EVERYTHING I can think of, no matter how small. I often do things on scattered days throughout the summer, so it helps me remember what I have done/bought and prevents me from duplicating or forgetting things.

    I have a lot of bulletin boards, so I try to do most of them in a way I don't have to change the paper or borders throughout the year. For example, one title says Introducing... on the top so at the beginning of the year it can be about the kids and later can be introducing various topics, art techniques, books, etc. The background paper is dark brown with dots on chocolate and other coordinating borders, so there is consistency throughout the room and it isn't so busy.

    I like doing bulletin boards so I save them as a treat after doing
    stuff I don't like to do to revive myself to do something else.
    One of my friends plans her boards at the beginning of the year and put them one on top of the other so she just has to pull them off.
     
  7. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2014

    Thank you everyone for your help! I still have quite some time until the beginning of the school year, but I am already getting some teacher anxiety over setting up!

    I think what I will do is just do a basic setup of the desks, because like a lot of people here said it can always be changed later. At least if I do an initial setup, it will feel somewhat accomplished and if I end up liking it then it can stay.

    The biggest part will be organizing what is in storage. I am moving from a reading teacher into the classroom, so I have things from my old room, things from the previous 3rd grade teacher, and then things from the teacher who retired whose room I will be in. It is A LOT. I think I stopped counting boxes at 50, and that is only the things in boxes. The bulk of it is books, so my library will probably take the longest.
     
  8. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2014

    I had a teacher when I was in high school who NEVER decorated ANYTHING whatsoever. Boring, right? RIGHT. She had the desks facing inwards, so students could not look out the window without turning around. She closed the door so we could not look out the hallway. She never had anything on her board, and stood at the podium, and taught. By literal process of elimination, she became the most interesting part of the room.

    Excellent way to get attention. That's what I've done for years, and I've never been yelled at for not decorating. It's just my way of keeping distractions down to a minimum.

    So to answer the question, it takes me a few hours on the day before school starts to set up the desks. I take the books out of the cabinet and distribute them on the first day. End of Story. Lazy, but effective! :)
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2014

    I generally started with bulletin boards because getting them up made the room feel more mine. Furniture typically was next but subject to changes. All "stuff" was put on shelves last once I had a feel for where I wanted things. Of course set up never went as smoothly as this.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2014

    I would start early if I were in your shoes. Don't feel you must have everything out and perfect on opening day (or night). You can always add things as needed or fill boards with student work. Get the necessities ready to go and worry about the rest as you have time.
     
  11. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2014

    I finally saw my new room and I don't even know where to start. It is currently under construction, getting new ceiling tiles and a carpet, and the previous teacher left it a complete mess. There are teacher and student books/folders scattered throughout the room, supplies shoved in random places, etc. I can't even go shopping because I have no idea what I already have and what I need.

    I'm thinking my first steps are going to be to dig through everything, tossing out junk and organizing things. I also want to bring in some bleach or something and disinfect all the toys and supplies. I fear it will take a long time to make the classroom presentable so I'll worry about setting up after.
     
  12. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2014

    That stinks! Hopefully once the construction is finished the task won't look so ominous.
     
  13. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jul 28, 2014

    Yes I am hoping to get in there very soon! I checked two weeks ago and the floors were being waxed, and when I checked last week there was no furniture in the rooms yet. A few rooms are being shuffled around, mine being one of them. My new room needs the current furniture to be moved out and different furniture from another room to be brought in. I'll ask again this week what the status is and hopefully start getting in next week.
     
  14. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jul 28, 2014

    In terms of furnishing your room, is it pretty much carte blanche, mix-&-match kind of stuff? Like, I've seen couches in rooms before. But beyond that, if you go by a garage sale and see a kid's recliner, or you see some bookcases you can have for cheap... is it as simple as bring whatever you feel you can use in the classroom? Or do you have to ask (i.e. custodian) for bookcases, tables, and the like.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jul 28, 2014

    You are so lucky! We have to box EVERY single thing in our room -- we have no closets or storage except for a single file cabinet, and even that has to be emptied and boxed. Every single box is removed from our room when they clean the floors, and then put back in the room. Then we have to set everything up from scratch, every single year. Even text books (all the book shelves must be emptied, our teacher desk must be emptied, our computers completely taken apart and taken out of the room.) It is a no fun at all!

    It takes days, and a lot of determination to get everything unpacked and into its place. I guess it is one of the downfalls of working in a temporary building with no real storage areas.
     

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