Just when I thought it wasn't possible...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by newkteacherfl, May 17, 2011.

  1. newkteacherfl

    newkteacherfl Companion

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    May 17, 2011

    My classroom is going to be SMALLER next year! My classroom right now is about 450 square feet, and we are already squished. Next year, my classroom will be 400 square feet (16x25). This year I have a hallway where the students can store their backpacks and I can keep instructional supplies. Next year everything will have to be stored in the classroom. I have 1 metal supply cabinet.

    This year I have managed to have 3 student table (6 kids per table), and a small carpet area for whole group lessons. I use a small trapezoid table as my desk/small-group spot, and I have a small filing cabinet. I also have a dinosaur computer that I am not allowed to remove from the classroom ("every classroom has to have technology"). I was not able to figure out how to fit in a classroom library.

    Next year, I will have the same tables. I will have 18 kids in class. I want to include a classroom library and a carpet area. Does anyone have any organizational strategies or ideas to make it work in this tiny room? I will be working in my classroom on and off over the summer (we are switching buildings) and want to make sure I am completely organized before school starts. I'm not sure how to store backpacks, classroom materials, student supplies, etc.

    :help:
     
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  3. mb_teacher

    mb_teacher Companion

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    May 17, 2011

    When I student taught, the first grades had smaller classrooms, but they had bathrooms in them.
    The teachers all had rolling, hanging storage carts. The children would put their coats and backpacks on a hanger and hang them up. The teacher would roll hte cart into the bathroom. There was still room for the kids to go in there, but it kept the stuff out of the way. Maybe you could do something similar?

    Debbie Diller's Spaces and Places has wonderful storage ideas. Check it out. :)
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 17, 2011

    Every year I taught kinder, I was in the teeniest, tiniest rooms. Thinking vertical and using wall spaces creatively really helped. For backpacks, you can maybe have kids place them in a line outside the classroom. Or, you can have two large bins, one for girls and one for boys, and have them place their backpacks in there.

    For a library, I had to use a small bookshelf and just rotate out the books.

    I always made sure I had a caret area, so my tables were usually pretty close together in order to get it all to fit in. You'll just have to play around with room arrangement until it works. I had a partner kinder teacher for two years and we had to do a lot of playing around with furniture to get it all to fit right.
     
  5. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    May 17, 2011

    I keep an entire section of my basement for school storage. I constantly lug stuff back and forth, but there is no way everything can stay in my classroom. I try....key word here is "try"....to label and keep things in organized bins, bags, boxes, files, shelves, etc.

    In the classroom, I have a double row of hooks on one wall. Backpacks go on the bottom hook, coats on the top hook. It works pretty well and keeps everything tidy and out of the way.
    Each child does have a "mailbox" which helps on clutter and sending notices home. Digging through backpacks wasn't working in my room.

    The classroom library doesn't have to be too big. Also, see if they can install some cabinets or shelves up high. Definitely make good use of that space.
     
  6. newkteacherfl

    newkteacherfl Companion

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    May 18, 2011

    Thanks for the advice! I was talking to some more experienced teacher friends (next year will only be my 3rd year), and they mentioned having the kids do most of their written work on clipboards so they can spread out instead of shoving 6 of them at a table. They suggested using the tables for center activities and spending most of the day working in small-group format or whole-group on the carpet. When they tried it, the kids didn't necessarily have assigned seats (although there were enough chairs for everyone throughout the room). Has anyone tried this before? If so, has it worked? I can see advantages and disadvantages, but I like the idea of the kids being able to spread out... 6 at a table gets crowded very quickly.
    :anyone:
     
  7. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    May 18, 2011

    Is that a fire hazard?
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 18, 2011

    I had plenty of tables for my class but when the team teacher's class came in and we were both doing guided reading and trying to do centers at the same time, there was never enough tables. The kids LOVE floor spaces. Don't be afraid to use them for all kinds of things. It's truly okay. :)

    When kids do assessments, I spread them out all over the room on the floor. It's more fun that way.
     
  9. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    May 29, 2011

    I'm struggling with space and storage too, I also have no closet but at least a slightly larger room and backpacks go outside!

    I'm thinking that as part of your beginning-of-the-year, getting-to-know-the-school unit, you invite some of the admin in for "interviews" with the kids: I usually take my kids on tour to meet the principal, superintendent, secretary etc, but if you invite them in to see the classroom with real, live bodies crammed in, you may get someone in admin on your side.

    My principal came in my classroom late this year-- it was her first year as principal, she had been a teacher-- and looked around and said, it kind of looks like junk no one else wanted in here. I said, because that's exactly what it is. I'm getting some new furniture over the summer. :D There is hope!
     
  10. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    May 30, 2011

    Can you get these for their backpacks? They sit flush to the wall and hold a lot! My students can hang their backpacks, snowpants, and a jacket on them with no problem.http://http://www.hangsafehooks.com/

    They could have their backpacks in the room then, but up off of the floor.
    If you purchased a few extras you could buy some large hanging storage bags(ziploc?) and put some of your things on them.
     

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