Pictures of my classroom *advice welcomed!*

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by DrivingPigeon, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 31, 2008

    I was at school most of the day today and was able to do some cleaning and arrange the room how I think I want it to be. Everything I own for teaching is in the room, but it's still so empty. :( I need toys and math manipulatives badly! But I still have my $250 to spend. Here's what I have so far:

    View when walking in

    Another view

    The other corner of the room I'm planning on having just pencils out on the tables, and using the cubbies to store their pencil boxes, which will contain markers, crayons, scissors, and glue sticks. The mailboxes under that bulletin board will be for gym shoes, projects, take-home folders, etc.

    Looking the other way

    The writing/art area Obviously, I have to add a lot of materials still! I'm going to hang that white board up where it is sitting on the floor, and I have alphabet magnets and markers to go with it.

    My completely empty housekeeping area

    Group/circle time area The shelf is going to contain blocks, Knex, and other toys that they can play with at the carpet. The shelf is on wheels, so I'm going to turn in around until free time.

    My soon-to-be library I'm waiting on getting a book display to put on the left side to make it more of an enclosed space. I'm also going to have pillows, bean bags, etc.

    Suggestions welcomed!
     
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  3. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Jul 31, 2008

    Very nice! I like the arrangement you used! I think my room is about 1/4 that size.
     
  4. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    It looks good so far. The only thing I would change is scooting some of the play center things closer to the green chalkbord. It will give them some more room I can't get over how much storage you have!!

    Have you thought about a color scheme or theme yet?
     
  5. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    It looks like you have a really great set-up!

    Did you not get a class set of math manipulatives? If not, definitely purchase some pattern blocks and geoboards (I bought a set of 7 for $15 from Amazon). Make some counters by using beans or noodles that have either been dyed or spray painted.
     
  6. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    It does look good! I know $250 doesn't go very far. Don't forget about garage sales and flea markets. Also if you put the word out with your family and friends, they may be able to donate a few unused items to you. One thing we do for Christmas and Teacher Appreciation is a gift tree for teachers. Teachers list items they would like for the classroom.

    If it's okay with your school, you might be able to make a wish tree (maybe near your door). You can put stars or leaves with items you need for the classroom. Parents can just take a star or leaf (depending on which you do) with them if they would like. They don't have to, but it's a way they can help out the classroom.
     
  7. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Jul 31, 2008

    I am so jealous of how much storage you have! And your room looks so spacious! And the furniture is all so nice!!!

    Believe me, you WILL accumulate things. I started out really, really bare my first year. I'm staring my 9th year and my room is positively overflowing. I have no idea where it comes from!

    And once the room is full of children, it will feel so different.

    I doubt you'll have to turn the game shelf around. They'll be fine!

    I keep crayons on the tables along with pencils just because they use them so, so often.

    Don't forget thrift stores. And garage sale every weekend that you can! You'll find stuff.

    Can you spread your tables out a little more? Will they all be sitting at those rectangular tables (which I LOVE)? They look like they'll be kind of clumped up. But maybe it's just the camera showing it that way.
     
  8. tcherjen

    tcherjen Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2008

    I love looking at everyone's classrooms. I can't wait to have my own..:)
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jul 31, 2008

    Make sure you can see all areas of the classroom from where ever you are standing. Move around the room to make sure.

    Also, think about if you want writing and library next to house keeping. A lot of my student choose to read or write during free play time.
     
  10. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    For your kitchen area-start saving things from home-boxes, containers, etc... You would be amazed at how much the kids like these things, because they know what they are. I have seen a lot of plastic fruit, dishes, etc at garage sales and at goodwill, etc.
    Learningresources.com is having a great clearance sale on manipulatives-you can get 30% off the clearance price. Lakeshorelearning.com has some sale items things. You just have to shop around for the cheapest things that you want!
    Does your $250 have to also cover construction paper, etc or can you use it for anything you want?
     
  11. TeacherMJ

    TeacherMJ Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2008

    I love your room - it looks so big and clean! :) I think after adding some bulletin boards and the small things you mentioned will create an even more inviting atmosphere.
     
  12. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    Jul 31, 2008

    What a nice big room!

    If you don't mind putting in the work, you can make some manipulatives. This site has alot of free ideas.

    www.makinglearningfun.com

    Check Target for clearances toys, I heard they had some on clearance for 75% off. Ross and Marshalls also have toys. AmVet, Goodwill and your local thrift stores as well.

    Check Walmart for clearance picnic plates, etc. They usually have lots of plastic cups, plates etc that you could use for the kitchen area.
     
  13. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2008

    I teach first grade and kindergartners are foreign to me. I don't think I would last as a kindergarten teacher. I love kindergarten teachers more than any other teachers! They make my job 100% easier!

    I know my kids can be sneaky. If I am sitting I am usually at my small group table. I have to make sure there is absolutely nothing blocking my view from any inch of the room from that angle. I have some partial inclosed places but I make sure that I can see right into the opening. Would you be able to see into the kitchen area? Your room is so big that I had trouble connecting the spaces. (You are very lucky!)

    Also I do most of my teaching from the carpet. I love your setup by the giant whiteboard and easel. Great idea! My only question is if you think you would ever plan on using an overhead or using the board while the kids are at their desk. If you do, it looks like their desks would be too far away to see the board. I guess this completely depends on your style of teaching. I know that I use an overhead a lot. Sometimes my kids are sitting on the carpet with their clip boards and other times they are sitting at their desks.

    Then again, I don't teach kindergarten. :) They are so grown up when they come to me. Thanks to all of you!!!!:haha:

    Overall, I love your GIANT room, great furniture and setup. :)

    I know I have a lot of extra toys/ supplies stored in my room that I don't want. Maybe you can write a note in the teacher's workroom asking for any donations of unused items.

    Congrats and good luck!
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Wow, thanks for all of the advice, everyone!

    Have you thought about a color scheme or theme yet?
    I haven't really thought about that. I decided against using a theme, and I've already purchased my calendar, weather, etc. and they don't really tie into a specific color scheme or theme. I'm still pondering that one...

    Did you not get a class set of math manipulatives?
    I didn't! My room was completely bare, except for furniture and the housekeeping things. Thanks for the amazon advice-I'll have to check it out.

    Can you spread your tables out a little more? Will they all be sitting at those rectangular tables (which I LOVE)? They look like they'll be kind of clumped up. But maybe it's just the camera showing it that way.
    They are kind of close together, but I pulled the chairs out and it seems like they should have plenty of room (hopefully!).

    Also, think about if you want writing and library next to house keeping. A lot of my student choose to read or write during free play time.
    I was concerned about that, too, but I was really running out of room for centers. I can't move their tables, because I want them to be in front of the word wall, I can't move the group time area, because I want it to be near a big bulletin board, and I can't move my desk because the computer has to be in that corner. So I was really limited on center space. :(

    Does your $250 have to also cover construction paper, etc or can you use it for anything you want?

    I was told that we can take art supplies, such as paper, from the art room whenever we want. And from what I understand I can use my $250 for whatever I want.

    Thanks again for all of the great ideas! And, yes, I do feel really lucky to have the nice furniture and storage. I don't know if you can see them in the pictures, but I also have 2 closets, and a bathroom.
     
  15. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    Aug 1, 2008

    Wow! Thanks for the praise (you don't even know me or the type of work I really do, but reserve the right to take the praise personally!) It makes my day. I still have 4 weeks before school starts, but I was already worrying about the beginning of the year. Make sure you start the year telling the teachers at your school!

    You will think this is ironic, but I think FIRST GRADE teachers have the most pressure on them. I send my students up to 1st grade wishing I could have had more time to help them prepare. To top it off, at our school, we get a handful of students who never attended kindergarten and go straight to 1st grade!!! AUGH!! That would freak me out! You are MY hero!
     
  16. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    Even without the bulletin boards, the room looks amazing. The arrangement is WONDERFUL!

    To clear your view and make more space, I consider moving that bookcase that's across from the round table in the kitchen area. That way, more students can access. You might not need to spread things out and lose any library space that way.

    Make sure you can freely walk inbetween the tables the students will sit at while they do seat work. If you have an activity where you have to read the directions to them and wait for them to work, it will be easier to see what they are all doing if there in the same area. Our tables are so spread out, I can't wait to get in the room to see if I can rearrange them!

    Also, when I first started, I didn't have any manipulatives either. Other teachers shared their stuff with me. We arranged for a rotation. Can you do things like that?

    Sign up for freecycle.org, if it's in your area. It's a posting site that helps you find things you need or give away things you don't want to throw out. The idea is to save the environment by not trashing things you don't use. They encourage you to stay as local as possible so you don't hurt the environment with pollution or other packaging materials. Check and see if it's in your area. I was able to get 200 kids books and tons of puzzles this way.

    Good Luck and enjoy your year!
     
  17. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Last year I changed my room around five or six times from September to November before I found a lay out I liked. Don't be afraid to move things around once the students have arrived! I also had to make sure I could get a wheeler chair around everything. Have you asked about students with special needs. I hadn't and had to rearrange before they students even arrived because of this!
     
  18. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    I use posters of families, etc. and a different monthly tablecloth in my housekeeping area. Changing those two things can change the entire look of the area.
     
  19. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    It looks wonderful. It will be more colorful when student artwork is on display. Our PTO puts up apple wish trees for us- we just tell them what items we are looking for. I have gotten donations of legos, play doh, wiggle eyes, stickers, even gift cards to craft stores this way. Families with older children have asked if I could use puzzles, books, stuffed animals, puppets, etc. that they no longer play with. Have a wonderful school year.
     
  20. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Aug 2, 2008

    lol. Thanks:) I do work really hard but can only drive my curriculum because the kids already know general rules and I usually know about potential behavior problems before they come to my class. The kids know how to work in centers and I have less students wetting their pants because they know to ask in kindergarten!

    I LOVE my kindergarten teachers. They are on my list with the custodians, secretary, and principal. I tell all of them how much I appreciate what they do.

    As for kids going straight to first. I think peer pressure would work on them. They would see that all of the other students knew routines and expectations. It would just be a lot like a new student moving to your district.

    In my mind you are still and will remain number 1! Remember this as the wild little ones start in a few weeks! Thank you on behalf of all other first grade teachers. :)
     
  21. preschoolheart

    preschoolheart Rookie

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    I would consider making the library closer to/or attached to the group area. This way if the kids are waiting on the rug (while you help someone finish up or gather materials, or whatever) they can grab a book from the shelf to keep themselves occupied. If you moved your chair and easel into the corner (where the block shelf is) then the library could go under the window). This might be better anyways- I don't know what direction the window faces- but you don't want the children to be staring into the sun! (This happened in the room I did student teaching in- the kids complained endlessly until we moved it so that the teacher was facing the sun- fun!) If you put the library under the window then you could move blocks over to the current library area (which I think makes more sense). I like having blocks and dramatic play close together because they tend to be noisier- this way quieter activities will be on the other side of the room. Also- having blocks and housekeeping nearby can encourage children to connect their play b/w the two areas (which some teachers like, others find too busy). You might also end up wanting dramatic play to be a little bigger- it looks like it might get crowded if you have more than 2 children there.

    You have such a nice big space- so I'm sure you'll make it work! I love the idea of not having a theme- kids don't need so much business on the walls. It may seem empty to us adults- but it leaves lots of room for children's work to be displayed.
    Also- when you fill your housekeeping area- try looking at thrift stores (and even regular discount stores) for real kitchen accessories- small pots and pans, measuring cups, etc. I like these better than the colorful plastic versions they make for kids.
     
  22. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I would consider making the library closer to/or attached to the group area. This way if the kids are waiting on the rug (while you help someone finish up or gather materials, or whatever) they can grab a book from the shelf to keep themselves occupied. If you moved your chair and easel into the corner (where the block shelf is) then the library could go under the window).
    I like that idea, but I was just worried about not having enough space if I moved the block area. I thought the rug would be a nice, big area to play with blocks. But I was uneasy about having the reading area next to blocks, so moving it to the carpet would make more sense. Maybe I'll take a closer look next time I go to my room...

    I don't know what direction the window faces- but you don't want the children to be staring into the sun!
    Ahhhh, I didn't even think of that! To tell you the truth, I don't know which way the window faces. I think...west? So I might be ok.

    Also- when you fill your housekeeping area- try looking at thrift stores (and even regular discount stores) for real kitchen accessories- small pots and pans, measuring cups, etc. I like these better than the colorful plastic versions they make for kids.
    I'm with you on having more realistic-looking items (versus the colorful kid-sized stuff). I actually found plates, bowls, cups, wooden spoons, a mixing bowl, and other spoons, spatulas, etc. at Walmart in a 2/$3.00 area. They're regular-sized and I only spent $9 on everything! But I'm having trouble finding kid-friendly utensils that don't come with little kid plates, cups, etc.
     
  23. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Hmmm.. you should be able to find some at Wal-Mart in their picnic area stuff. If you can't, try just plastic utensils. They're cheap.
     
  24. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Wow I am jealous you have so much cabinet space. My room isn't quite that big.. Like how you have everything organized. Also like the kitchen area for the kids.. I wish I was teaching a lower grade so much fun :) Lots of room. Very organized.
     
  25. Bridiecakes

    Bridiecakes Companion

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    Your room looks really great. I am moving from first go Kinder. and my new room has a lot of the same furniture you have, so it was nice to see how you had it.

    I agree that student work will make it look nice.

    Good Luck!
     
  26. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    I love your room! Have a great year!

    (p.s. I have found a ton of great pretend-play manips at garage sales and thrift stores this summer...never hurts to try:))
     

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