My classroom faces the busy courtyard, and I can never open my blinds.

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms.Jasztal, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I know this is kind of a silly post, but I feel like I can never open my blinds because my classroom faces the courtyard. Students ALWAYS (or at least 75% of the time walk past the classroom. To avoid them looking in or have mine looking out, I keep the blinds closed.

    (I use my real name on here- but this post would hit the nail on the head that this is me.) :lol:

    Kind of funny... but what I can use to still get sunlight in? I cannot put any paper on my windows, I believe. If I can, I may just put it on the bottom and let light shine through the top, but if I can't, do you have any suggestions? Or should we "suffer in darkness"? LOL. :whistle:
     
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  3. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    In my old apartment, I put up the pressure curtain rods about halfway up my window and had curtains covering the bottom half. I had my privacy AND my sunlight.
     
  5. kidsr#1

    kidsr#1 Companion

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    Contact paper?

    What about clear contact paper? I would think it would let light in still but be blurry enough to not see images clearly???? It might be cheaper than the Lowe's product.

    :dizzy: Just wondering?
     
  6. ekk5968

    ekk5968 Rookie

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    I had this same issue in my class. The kids could see out and were always distracted so I put up brown butcher paper. Problem solved. ;)
     
  7. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    At least you HAVE windows...... :)
     
  8. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Doesn't contact paper leave residue after long periods? I would think you would be better off trying to convince your school to let you use the Lowe's stuff :)

    We have some faculty who have windows that face the playground... don't know how they do it.
     
  9. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I like the curtain idea. I did the same thing with my closet (which had no doors)-so I didn't have to look at the coats and bookbags. The light will come in over the top too-I could not teach in the dark!
     
  10. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    You could use the window markers that Crayola has out. Decorate the window so that there's not a lot of space available to gawk through... circles, swirls, flowers, etc. The marker is still translucent enough for the sunshine to come in but opaque enough so that you can not look through the marker, per se.
     
  11. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Love that idea!!
     
  12. MissJill

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    How cool is that!

    I was watching Billy Madison the other day (I know LOL) and I was watching the scene where he is in Kindergarten and they had some cool window things up, I want to get them too. They just looked like they were colored cellophane or something. Looked pretty neat though.
     
  13. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    i tape butcher paper halfway up. it covers the distraction but lets light in at the top. was perfect...AND CHEAP! :)
     
  14. 2inspire

    2inspire Companion

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    I'm with you Miss Kirby! (she probably has 4 walls and a door too-somthing missing in my room :p )
     
  15. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I'd let the sunshine in, do you think your kids would just eventually tune them out? I was in a busy hall way next door to the computer lab and had windows the length of my room. The kids learned to just tune it all out.

    Natural light is healthy.
     
  16. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I saw an activity using contact paper on the Rachel Ray show last week. Here is the link http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/personalize-your-furniture/. I believe it is the last activity on the video. I'm planning on doing it in my class b/c my class will be beside the preschool playground.
     
  17. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I have my kids back to the windows, one side of my whole second grade room faced the playground. we all adjusted. I also hung things right on the windows, flowers in the spring for exmple, that were pretty large to block some of the view.
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I had the same issue last year, except we'd also get the morning sun, so I'd close the blinds to keep the sun out. I'd try to remember to open them later, but I didn't always remember. This last year it was more difficult, but I think it was because the courtyard wasn't used consistently so when there was activity it was more interesting. Other years when the activity in the courtyard was consistent it wasn't as much of a problem.

    We did enjoy watching the gutter fall down one winter though!
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I like the wallpaper for windows idea that people are suggesting (from Lowe's). I had it before for the back door at my previous house. It's classy. My door isn't as big as say a wall of windows though so it may not be as pretty on a bunch of windows.

    If you can put paper on the window, here's what we did....

    We put paper grass (green BB paper) on the bottom and then had flowers coming up from it. It was pretty and had the same design for both inside and outside. I considered doing some words but the design isn't the same from both views.
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Though I love curtains, we cannot have them.

    I also desire a cheap solution... the Lowe's paper sounds really nice, but I am not sure about the price.Perhaps I can put the adhesives on one of my windows; I will look, but it will all depend on how much I can purchase for my money. I have two huge windows that together almost run the length of the room. I need to ask my custodial staff what I can do tomorrow, but it was kind of torturous never opening my blinds to let sun in.

    And as for some students, they just cannot concentrate well if they know what's going on outside, and sometimes it can be a little loud out there. Not traumatically, but some classes are a lot louder than others and a lot take the walk to the courtyard (1st grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, ESE self-contained, Pre-K) because it goes to the hallway to the Art room from their hallways. Also, 3rd grade heads down from their hallway to go to Journalism at the end of our hallway. Also, younger kids without anyone watching them can be quite the JOY to watch (sarcasm intended here) as they try to race past my room and up the ramp where Art and 3rd grade are located. Kindergarten and 2nd grade are basically the only grades that do not walk past there. The courtyard is also in front of the cafeteria, and some days kids sit out there after lunch. There are benches that run straight across the area in front of our classroom. Though the courtyard is elevated, it is a VERY high-traffic area.
     
  21. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It sounds like there is no way the flight path can go in a different direction. Is the window coverings like what you see on city busses? You can see out but it's tough to see in.
     
  23. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I hope you cannot see either way through what is sold at Lowe's/Home Depot. A few give a stained glass look.
     
  24. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    One teacher has a shower curtain with an ocean theme. It lets a bit of light through but covers enough to keep out the distractions. I think it is an awesome idea!
     
  25. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    The Home Depot product works VERY well, but its really expensive! In my apartment we used it to cover over the bathroom window for more privacy and I think we used up 1 whole roll for 1 window (a smaller one). So I don't think that's really something a teacher is going to be able to afford---- what's nice is that you CAN remove it and put it back up and it can be cut up into any size you need.

    I would go for something like wax paper that is white, but not as thick that it won't let any light in.
     
  26. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I'll see what I can do. I wouldn't mind purchasing one of the nice cover-ups, but no more than one. :) Maybe I can try the shower curtain idea... I am one of maybe two or three teachers who faces the courtyard. Nice and convenient for going out to lunch and relaxing at the picnic tables, but not nice for the traffic at all.

    I REALLY have to ask custodians, though. Maybe the only option they accept is the Home Depot/Lowe's idea, for all I know.

    My three old rooms were parallel to other hallways. This room I have now is in the same hallway as the room from two years ago, though this hallway is longer than the third grade/Art hallway ours is parallel to. The classroom next door has one window that faces the courtyard, but not both... hmm, whatever.
     
  27. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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  28. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    What a great room!!!
     
  29. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Could you not just twist them just enough to where they would flow the light upward?
     
  30. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I don't know about turning them up just enough, but the thing is, too... three teachers were in the room before me over the course of the past 5 school years. I could always see the students, and I still remember more than once when kids were working near the window and were waving to everyone... and besides that, kids were waving to them, trying to get their attention. Now my kids are not "attention hogs" necessarily :), and they are well-trained to work their tails off, but they may be distracted if someone waves to them, ESPECIALLY a friend. Of course, fourth graders are very social.
     
  31. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    THAT is the recess monitor's duty to TRAIN kids to NEVER do that. We have that issue with the after school program vs. the kids waiting for their bus. We work at training them hard and early not to do that. Occasionally throughout the year there might be a violation but that is nipped in the bud QUICKLY.
     
  32. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    I have windows but they are covered by snuffers (Panels). I can't open them because it would either make my room super hot or super cold! You can put a can of pop behind the snuffers in the winter time and it would freeze and explode! Imagine how cold the classroom would be! YIKES! I envy all of you with windows you can see out of and use!
     
  33. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I purchased one of the stained glass clings... it's nice, but pretty small. I think it may go across 2/3-3/4 of the bottom left window. I'll see what else I can possibly do...

    At least it's not an unattractive, tacky cling. :) I should be elated for that fact...
     
  34. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I am worried about the kids on the outside, to be honest, not mine, because I didn't train the kids on the outside. I know that sounds anal, but it's true... I have control over other teachers' students to very small extents.
     
  35. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    At my school I would have the power to bring this up with the P and the P would bring it up in a staff meeting OR I would just bring it up myself in a staff meeting. The recess duty people should be doing something about it. It isn't a perfect science but an honest attempt should be made. You are smart though to realize you don't have complete control as to what goes on outside so you are doing what you can to control the environment inside.
     
  36. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I cannot cover up the emergency window and have to have my blinds raised a little. :( However, on the other side of that window, the part where the blinds are raised has the stained glass cling over it right now. It looks much more classy than I EVER expected. :) I like having the blinds raised a little, and hopefully the left side where nothing can be on the window won't distract my students.
     
  37. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Glad it looks great! I wasn't sure when you said that you wouldn't cover all the windows. I'm one of those people who has to have all or nothing (symmetrical). Sounds like it worked out though.

    Now you'll just have to move the desks where that window won't be the distracting view.
     
  38. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    I'm glad it worked out! I'd hate for you to buy something I suggested and then be like, "That heymiss takes an ugly ID photo AND recommends crappy products!"
     
  39. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    It's too bad your blinds aren't the kind mounted from the bottom going up! It does sound like you have a workable solution, though. Good luck - take and post pix!
     
  40. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    The only thing that DOESN'T make me happy is that I cannot cover the emergency window, but it's out of my control. I will just raise my blinds a little- in case anything happens, the kids can get out the emergency window fine. The only thing is... Why can't I put anything on my emergency window? It's a door and obviously doesn't look like a window, so if I covered it, they'd still know it was the emergency window.

    I cannot put ANYTHING in front of that window, either, and that seems to be the most trafficked area. Yikes. :rolleyes: Leave it to me.

    Okay, the cling cost almost $20.00, but I didn't mind putting it on one window. I cannot see through it at all. You'll like seeing it in the pictures when I post them! :)
     
  41. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Is there any way you could use window paint to make the emergency window look like stained glass that says EMERGENCY? I'm sure they wouldn't let you, but it looks awesome in my mind.
     

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