GOING TO PORTABLE -HELP!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissV, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    Jul 27, 2008

    I am nauseous and beside myself. I'm going to a 23x28 portable/modular classroom. I teach 3rd grade. I have an average of 22 kids each year and the desks they are providing are HUGE. I feel claustrophobic even when I stand in the empty room, I have SO much stuff in my old room; I don't even want to think about moving; much less all of the things I'm going to be forced to leave behind. It makes me sick.

    Anyone have any suggestions for portable life?
     
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  3. JBteach

    JBteach Companion

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    Are the portables temporary or permanent? I actually was in a portable when I taught third grade. It feels definitely different from a regular classroom. The portable was smaller, but it had air conditioning which was highly desired by everyone. All the other classes would sit outside our classroom and in the hallway so they could be in air conditioning.I honestly didn't mind it. Once you are there and decorate the room and maybe downsize just a bit with your teaching supplies you will make it your own.
     
  4. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    WEll, I'm in one this year, but it isn't as bad for me, cause I'm new and don't have much stuff. Go to Mandy Gregory's site. She has some pictures, and suggestions.
    http://www.mandygregory.com/Trailer Organization.htm

    I've invested in some of the rubbermaid boxes with lids, cause the look good and organized, even if there is just a pile of stuff in them. Also, maybe you could do tables instead of the desks that are so big.

    I'm trying to focus on the positives--I can open the doors and have a nice breeze, I can go outside for lessons and still hear the intercom, I can be loud and play music without worrying about disrupting others, I don't have as much room to make a mess. :)

    Big hugs!!
     
  5. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    I feel your pain. I was in a portable for two of the three years I taught 2nd grade. It was a definite adjustment. The first year I had 25 second graders and all the stuff that went with a Reading First classroom. The positive points were: I controlled my own air conditioning, I was required to get rid of things I never used for safety concerns, I revamped my centers to do more "take it to your seat" centers which I still use in 3rd grade, I never got bothered unless they really needed something. The 2nd year I had 20 kids and it was so much better, just getting rid of 5 desks made a world of difference. I was the envy of others with being able to staple things directly to the wall and not worrying about them falling off. It is possible to survive in a portable. I ended up being in one two years and I am starting my 2nd year back in the building (moved to 3rd grade).
     
  6. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I had a portable last year. The best seating arrangement was when I had two straight lines witht he kids facing each other.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    At least yours sounds pretty square (most of our trailers are so narrow the biggest problem is arranging the desks so they all can see the board!)

    There are some big upsides to being in a trailer. No one can hear you if you are being noisy. You can staple things right into the wall. Gossiping teachers rarely bother you.
     
  8. Stacey23

    Stacey23 Rookie

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    First of all, take a deep breath! I promise you it is going to be okay. I was in a portable this past year and I survived! We found out we are being moved back inside because all third grade classrooms in our county are getting smart boards. And now, they are having to move the first graders out to the portables. It honestly isn't as bad as it seems. Just like everyone has said it has its advantages. I think the biggest was being able to be loud. Our was set up so it seemed like our own little village out back. We barely saw anyone, which is a plus when it comes to gossip (and we know all schools gossip!)

    One of the first grade teachers who is having to move out to a portable has 25 years of stuff that she is going to have to minimize. I highly suggest going through your stuff and sorting out what you need and putting aside what you would like to have. You might end up realizing this is great because you will simplify your classroom!

    Listen, as someone who has been there, I promise you, it's not as bad as it seems. Yes, it takes some getting use to, but once you do, you might love it like I did!!! Good luck!!!!!
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I must be weird, I wanted a portable, and I got a classroom. I was also going to recommend Many Gregory's site. She has some great ideas!
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    The ladies here have some wonderful suggestions--- I hope you'll get through the year in your portable and that it's actually enjoyable for you.
     
  11. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    I think one of the scariest things for me is having all of the 3rd grade in the portables at once. There's no soundproofing between the walls, and there is only one thin wall between each classroom. There is also a door between every group of two rooms. (there are 8 put together, 4 on one side, 4 on the other) They were originally going to put 5th grade into the portables, but the 5th grade teachers bought desks that were too big to stick 25 out there; so they've decided to put 22 3rd graders out there in the SAME DESKS because "3rd graders take up less desk space..."

    When really 3rd graders probably use *more* instructional space because they aren't quite as sedentary as our 5th graders. We also are being given zero storage. And the bathrooms are TINY and we have 120 kids in 3rd. There's no way I can fit in even a little center table, because "we have to use the desks that were purchased"
     
  12. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Maybe you could store some of your things in a bookroom or storage room in the building. Get some Rubbermaid containers and label, label, label so they don't get mistaken for things up for grabs.
     
  13. Mr. D.

    Mr. D. Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2008

    I'm heading to one this year as well. We've elected to go with tables instead of desks. I think (hope) it will save some room. I'm actually starting to look forward to it.
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I was in a portable for the first 2 years that I taught. The rooms were actually bigger than what those inside the school building had. No sinks or bathrooms, but we did have the outside of our room to use. It was nice because we could go outside and do a lot of movement activities with math and science. It was also nice because not very many classes came by our room, just the class that we shared the building with.

    Storage is always a problem, but they bought us a small storage closet. You couldn't keep much in it, but it worked. I also used the extra cubbies to store items. Those cubbies were nice because they were low enough to put things on like baskets of books or turn-in bins and such. Plastic tubs were my friends.

    Can you use the extra desks as your reading table or center tables? I wonder if they can add shelves to the walls. We weren't allowed to since we were leasing the buildings, but it might be a possiblility. I'll see if I can find any pictures later, and post them.
     
  15. animalclass

    animalclass Companion

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    Jul 29, 2008

    if any body had a chance i would love to see any and all pictures of any of your portable lifes
     
  16. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Wow! Mandy's portable is so much bigger than my actual non-portable classroom. I knew mind was small but I guess i didn't know how small.
     
  17. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Here are the pictures I could find. Hopefully they'll give you some kind of an idea.
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    I wish I had taken more pictures on a digital camera, but didn't. I know I have lots of other pictures from disposable cameras.
    I only had one bulletin board, so I made them on the back of cubbies or put up fabric to make it look like a board.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  18. animalclass

    animalclass Companion

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    it looks really nice, and thats a big portable
     
  19. TeachMe3

    TeachMe3 Rookie

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    Wow those pictures look really nice. That portable is alot bigger than the portables at our school. I have never taught in a portable, but the teachers at my school love them. They say that they can be more of themselves in the portable. They say the principal never visits unless he really needs to.
     
  20. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    That's true! Our building was out front and out of the way of everything else. No one came out there unless they really had to. The noise wasn't bad either. The only time I could hear my neighbor was when my kids weren't in the room.
     
  21. MissAinCA

    MissAinCA Rookie

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    First, try not to stress about it. I'm a first-year K teacher and will have an average of 23 students. I subbed all of last school year in the same portable I will have this year. I coped by having the district install a few tall storage cabinets which helped with storage for my supplies as well as all my puzzles, games etc... Also, I used tables and used a couple of small rolling units with drawers for quick, easy access to needed supplies and then after use could be rolled away and stored out of the way. Another suggestion that doesn't work with all classrooms but I was able to make it work with kindergartners is to have baskets for each table where they can reach immediate supplies like crayons,paper, and pencils. Thes baskets can also be used to turn in assignments. All this helps to eliminate 20+ bodies walking around trying get or turn in something. If anything this experience has helped me to get more organized, reduce my clutter, and helped me to teach my students how important it is to walk in the classroom, be patient with one another, and respect each other.
    If you haven't done so already, you can also consider hanging a "clothesline" across the room to hang up work. Just try to think "up" and utilize all the wall space you possibly can.
     
  22. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 29, 2008

    I spent my first three years in what I think must be the countyw crappiest portable. It was very very small. I wont bore you situ the gory details. But one thing I learned was to utilize every nook and cranny. Milk crates are great because you can configure them for many purposes and spaces. Most teachers do not use all the drawers in thier file cabinets....so use the extra space to store extra stuff. The gap between the wall and the cabinets is perfect for storing charts. When I did an astronomy unit and didn't have a bulletin board I made a milky way galaxy with glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. When we studied plants we went outside and used what was available. Since the trailer was so narrow everyone couldnt see the board so I hung a sheet from the ceiling and used the overhead. I know its a crummy situation, but look at it as a challenge.
     
  23. snoangel

    snoangel Rookie

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    does anyone have any other PICS of a portable set up? to the OP, i feel your pain. i'm moving from a huge classroom into a portable because i'm switching grades. both times i've been in there i've cried...i'm pretty disappointed, although everyone who's been in one says they like it. i'm going to miss my beautiful old room!
     

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