Ideas for a neat classroom

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by jaszmyn, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Jul 4, 2005

    Hello Everyone!!!! First year teacher here!! Kindergarten is the only way to go for me. But I have one million questions. One of my concerns is with the set up and functioning of the early childhood classroom. I have noticed during my student teaching and other experiences that pre K kindergarten teachers have alot going on in their rooms and many times it's seems....well....junky and CLUTERED!!! Even the neatest of classroom seems very junky towards the end of the week. During my interview with my principle she mentioned keeping a neat classroom as something she looks for in all of her teachers. So needless to say my mind is boggled with how and what I am to do with this complex classroom with four/five simutaneuos centers and bulletin boards, pocket charts and keep the area open and neat.

    How do you do it? I have some storage boxes- like clear boxes and crates that I think can be usefull. And the classrooms are new so they have alot of built in storage and shelves and built in cubbies for students.

    Arrangement of student tables? Use of floor space? meeting area? word walls?
    Should their be furniture in the reading area? I heard this make it look cluttered?
     
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  3. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jul 4, 2005

    It is important you set it up so it works for you! After all, YOU are the one who is taking ownership of the room. It works best if you can set up different areas for particular uses. Example, the housekeeping area, a quiet book area, calendar/carpet area with a large wall space(this area usually takes up the most room for me.......we use this area a lot!), an art and easel area. I put a beanbag and a comfy rug in my reading area and I also keep my puppets there too. My word wall goes across my cupboards. I like to use the clear plastic shoe box sized tubs with lids to store items. I label them and they all stack nicely and I place these up high above my cupboards. I also have a little sized table with two chairs in a corner that I use for my listening center. I have three round tables and one kidney shaped table that are all in the front area of my room, right near the entrance. The kidney shaped table is in the front of my room and really replaces a desk for me. I use this table to meet with guided reading groups, to set up science activities, and to meet individually with kids, etc, etc. I love that table! I found a great website that showed pictures of how a k room was set up, from beginning to end. I am not sure what it is right now, but will check and post the site for you. It was very helpful to me. And finally, don't worry about the prek teacher. She was new once too! Use her as an ally, perhaps ask her for suggestions.........I am sure she would be glad you thought enough of her to ask....but not knowing her, you will have to decide about that. As I stated earlier......take ownership of that room, make it work for you, and remember, if it doesn't work, you can always change it. Good luck!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 5, 2005

    (She even made a comment about one teacher in particular who has a messy room and how that affects her performance). That was a little unprofessional on the principal's part- don't you think??

    Anyway- keep up with the clean up on a daily basis. Lots of colorful bins/baskets/containers labeled are great. Get the kids to help clean up centers to teach responsibility. Think about movement of kids and materials through room- Keep things near where they are to be used. If you stay on top of it on a daily basis you won't get out of control.
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 5, 2005

    Label everything possible with pictures and words, so that the kids can be trained to put things back where they belong. Follow through with that, too...if you see a kid just dumping his crayons in a tub marked scissors, make him go back and fix that. If you get parent volunteers, make some jobs the volunteers' responsiblility. Things that they can do: Take papers from the drying rack and put them in the kids' backpacks, test markers and throw away old ones, replacing them (and crayons) with good ones, Picking up paper scraps and playdough bits, wiping down the easels and playdough area...

    Early childhood classrooms ARE cluttered. One of the best things I ever did was find a way to hide that clutter. I made curtains that cover my shelves (they are on a tension rod), I have paper box lids, covered in contact paper and color coded, that go in a cabinet to hold 1. papers I've already copied, things I've already cut in preparation for the next weeks' lessons, 2. notes to go home, 3. papers to file, 4. letters from parents.

    And you can never have too many bins! Even a bin of tape looks better than a bunch of rolls of tape laying on a shelf. Around here, the dollar stores usually have a bunch of bins in good, various sizes.
    Kim
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 5, 2005

    One of the teacher's I worked with in K had a clear storage bin for each letter & holiday. Made it real easy to get the work needed.

    I had file trays on my desk labeled each day of the week. Each was a different color. I put the work in it for the day in each bin...if we didn't get to something I could move it to another bin.

    Good luck & don't be afraid to ask teachers once you get there & look around other classrooms!!!!
     
  7. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Jul 5, 2005

    I had a spot for everything in the classroom. The kids were able to clean up from centers and knew where things went. They would get upset if they saw someone putting something away in the wrong spot!
    I always told the kids I am not their maid or housekeeper and they have to help clean up. One of our rules was to remember clean up your mess! I have baskets for crayons, pencils, extra glue sticks, a basket where they put their finished work, a basket with drawing paper. I teach them in the beginning of the year where everything goes.

    I have a 3 drawer storage thing where I keep all the papers I have photcopied for the week so that helps to me organized.

    I also had a file folder for every theme, letter, and holiday. So I would pull out which folder I needed and leave it out. When I was finished I put it away.
     
  8. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Jul 6, 2005

    Thank you guys for all of your suggestions. I will surely create a classroom housekeeper job for students and also run to the dollar store for some of those handy bins. One question though? with the labels did you just use sentence strips or store bought labels? What is the easiest and most creative way to make labels for the classroom? I also loved the idea about the curtain. THANKS A BILLION!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. lilkidteach

    lilkidteach Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2005

    Labels

    I make lables on the computer. I go to a catologs website, or toysrus and get the pictures of the acctual items, and then type the words. I use contact paper to attach them to bins. This way you can make them as big or small as you want.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 7, 2005

    I like drawers and doors rather than curtains. Our janitor would make simple doors for shelves if we ask him. The drawers on wheels work great, because you roll the supplies to the spot where students are working. When students leave their desk, they always push their chairs under their desk. If they don't, they must go back and put the chair under their desk. If the class leaves the room they pick up the floor first. --recess, lunch, music, PE and etc. It is a constant reminder. "We will go to lunch when you pick up the floor around your desk and put your chair under your desk" These two things by themselves make your room look organized.
     
  11. Julie

    Julie Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2005

    pictues of room set up

    I found a great K website that actually shows how she set up her room from beginning to end. The website is www.kinderkorner.com . Good luck! I taught K for 5 years, one thing I learned early on is to label everything, for you and the kids. If the kids are going to use it, add a picture to the word. Have a container, basket, shelf for everything!
     
  12. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jul 7, 2005

    Julie Oakley,
    Thanks for the website.....kinderkorner.com. That is the one I mentioned in my previous post, but couldn't remember it. It is a great site! What you said about labeling is soooo true! I also wanted to mention to keep copies of your class list on a grid type sheet. These come in so handy when you need to mark off for permission slips returned or money paid, etc. etc. I use those sheets all of the time, and it is nice to have many on hand for each quarter. And another timesaver for me is to make a master template of lesson plans that you can copy without having to write in the same thing every week.... like specials etc. I make blocks and title each block with the subject or activity.....I put my plans in a three ring binder. I don't like the manufactured lesson plan books. This way it is geared just for you and saves you so much precious time!
     
  13. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2005

    Thanks for all the great advice
     
  14. leo7

    leo7 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2005

    Wow! What a great site. Thanks.
     

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