Top ten list - Classroom set up

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teachling, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2010

    OK, for those of us who have to start from scratch what are some basic guidelines to get started setting up your room. I know planning has to be one of the first things but what would be in your opinion some effective ways to approach this?

    One thing I did (end of year packing) was use these plastic storage bins that are about 9 x 12 to store reference books, files, bb materials & arts/craft supplies. I had about 12 or so bins that had been left by the previous teacher. I love using these because 1. they are see-thru 2. they are just the right size for average size books & 3. easy to stack for storage. So when I start to set up my classroom, I can quickly see what's in these plastic bins & either pull things out of it or store as is. I also purchased plastic shoe boxes & used them to store small things like office supplies i.e. paper clips, sticky notes, markers, etc. For me, this will cut down on the time of sorting & putting away papers, books & "little items".

    Setting up a new classroom can be overwhelming & so I would love to here from the EXPERTS here as to what has helped you get started quickly & efficiently. So if we had to come up with a TOP TEN LIST, what would you include as a MUST?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    *Be kind to your custodians- bring them donuts or iced coffee (or iced capps, I just learned about!!) My custodians moved me into my new room yesterday and they were SOOOOOO helpful. They told me some :eek:stories:eek: about other teachers in my building who are difficult and demanding when it comes to 'move in' time...they said I was 'easy'. :p

    *Before the summer, I bag up my leveled books in plastic grocery bags and then put the bags back into the leveled book baskets...that way if the books/baskets fall out of the bookshelves when the room is being cleaned/furniture moved, it's easy to just pop the correct books back into the correct baskets rather than having to re-sort them.
     
  4. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2010

    Figure out your furniture placement before you start adding other things in.

    Make sure everyone can move around the room freely and that there isn't a "logjam" area. That can make the whole room difficult.
     
  5. JTeach619

    JTeach619 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2010

    Spaces and Places by Debbie Diller is a great book with lots of full color pictures to give you ideas on how to set up your room. I just moved to a new school and district this summer and since I wasn't familiar with my new room's layout I went in there with some grid paper, measuring tape, rulers, and post-its! I measured the room and drew a representation of it on grid paper (I also drew the permanent fixtures like windows, doors, computer hookups, boards, etc.). Then, I measured the furniture and drew it on post-its. This made it really easy to move the furniture around on my grid paper layout as opposed to moving big heavy furniture over and over until I found something that worked. I know it was a little extreme :blush: but the pre-planning really helped me out when I went to go actually set things up.

    Here are some of my must haves for setting up my room:

    1. Cleaning supplies (pledge, dusting towels, air fresheners)
    2. PLENTY of small plastic storage bins and baskets. Once school starts, there is barely any time to organize your materials. Take advantage of the summer to label/organize everything to make all of your things accessible and easy to find both for you and your students during the school year.
    3. Labels

    Picture of the storage cabinet in my new classroom after I was done organizing my materials yesterday:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. tb71

    tb71 Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2010

    looks great!
     
  7. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Jul 23, 2010

    I envy that large cabinet space! Mine are up high and hard to reach!
     
  8. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2010

    JTeach, love that closet & how it's arrange! NICE!
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 23, 2010

    LOL teach1st - I have a "teacher locker" that is great, but my built-in cabinets are all waist height and lower, deep, and hard as rock candy to organize! Not to mention they have no doors and haven't been painted in many years.... I'm gonna make "shelf skirts" with cheap fabric and velcro to cover them up!
     
  10. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2010

    One of the things that I like to do is buy or find a bunch of items you will probably need at some point during the year... I have a rolling storage cart with the fronts covered. This is what I use for my personal storage (don't have a teacher desk).

    -Medicines (for yourself)- aspirin, pads/tampons, sinus/allergy meds, anything you think you might need during the year (it is in a place where students can't get to it). I am adding cough drops and cold medicine for next year. I also keep petroleum jelly in mine. I found out early that when the kids go to the nurse for chapped lips, that is what she would give them. I now give it to them and they aren't out of class. Same thing for something small (like a paper cut) that needs a band-aid.

    -Toothbrush/toothpaste/deodorant/body spray/brush- you never know when a parent will show up or when you will need any of these items. They are also great for freshening up on the nights you have to stay late for meetings and such.

    -Hammer, screwdrivers (mine changes out the head), nails, super glue, hot glue gun w/ refills, packing tape, magic erasers, cleaners (all kinds), rags for cleaning, velcro dots, staple gun w/ staples. This will be the cleanest your room will ever be. Take advantage of that. Scrub everything before you move it.

    -Snacks/bottled water/popcorn . I have a special basket in my area for these items. You will get hungry at some point and will want to have a snack to eat. Also keep a small container of change someplace for unexpected days where you need a soda or something.

    You are not going to want to stop once you start in your room, and hopefully these items will help you get your room in order, and keep it in order once the year starts.

    Also, bring a box of file folders and get started making files now. That is something I struggle with, and if you get started right away, you should be better off.
     
  11. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    I wish I could be as organized about packing my room at the end of the year as most of the teachers who already posted. I'm so tired that I dump stuff from my desk into boxes labeled 'desk misc' and put my books into boxes labeled 'reference' or 'professional library'. Most of my library books stay on the deep, rolling bookcases the district bought me this year because of how often my room floods.

    When I set up my room, I need music, my dehumidifier (I teach in a "lower level" and boy, is it humid in August), and time. This is when I sort through each and every box, binder, and file cabinet to have everything organized and ready to go for the first day. I have a veneer of organization, and that veneer chips away slowly as the year progresses. Each year it takes a little bit longer to get away from me, so perhaps this year will be the year I manage to stay somewhat on top of things all year! :)
     
  12. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2010

    Me, too. ;) Love the analogy.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2010

    This is what I do as well--I just run out of steam. This year, however, I brought those boxes home to sort through. My box of "desk stuff" that was overflowing is now less than half-full--it's amazing how much "junk" accumulated in my drawers.
     
  14. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2010

    I love this. By the end of the year, I used to just dump stuff in boxes too,or the file cabinet.
    One thing that helped is: when I went in the office to get my mail, I immediately dumped anything that I knew I didn't want into the recycling bin there. It kept the junk from piling up on my desk this year, and there wasn't a box for my pile at the end of the year.

    However, I still have years worth of junk to clean out of my file cabinets!:lol: That's the project for this year.
     
  15. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I had to do that two years ago when they ripped out all of our carpet in the lower level and replaced it with vinyl tile. I went from four tall file cabinets and four short ones to two of each. It was a great feeling, and I'll probably purge more in the fall.
     
  16. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2010

    Like a previous poster, I keep a bag (like one of the free ones you get when you buy makeup) zipped full of essentials. I also have sunblock in it as we have times that we are responsible to be on parking lot duty. Also, I keep a pair of junky tennis shoes and clean socks in case I have a shoe disaster (ie blisters, heel breaking off, strap snapping, whatever). Also comes in hand when it is raining and I don't want to ruin the shoes I am wearing as I trek across campus (my room is in a portable, conveniently located 2000 steps by pedometer from the office. ) or if I went with pretty shoes that aren't so comfy.

    I know that isn't room set up necessarily, but it does make my life a lot easier.

    By the time I move in my space, I have mapped it out to such a degree that I just need to operate by my plan.

    Storage at my school is a beast, so I keep most of my stuff stored in another location and trade out stuff about once a month (about when I need different bulletin board stuff and resources for units etc). I am glad I have that ability.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2010

    ...a change of clothes. I work with young ones who often help me need a change of clothes.
     
  18. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I think that one thing for sure I will do is to just take the 'essentials' of what I know for sure I need to set up like my organizer drawers, file roller cart, magazine file stand & the plastic see through bins that are pretty much already organized. I will also take all the items I need to decorate my BB's & my poster.

    My approach is to go in the room & see how it all looks & organize what is there first. I will then start organizing my essentials accordingly. I am not going to bring everything in to sort through on top of dealing with the way the room currently looks.

    With the limited time I have, I have to be practical. I figure once school starts, I can just bring a little at a time. As it stands, the earliest I can get in my room is next Friday. With the following week full of training, time will be limited. At this point I am not going to sweat it. As long as I have the basics in place & my room looks presentable for the 'sneak peak' we will have the week before school starts, I am good.
     
  19. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2010

    I will add air freshener to that list, especially if you have kids at a stinky age (which I think can be about all of them). Or a scent bug or even a cute bowl of potpourri if you have somewhere to put it. Tweezers and a little mirror (fluorescent lighting sucks for most things but it is great for plucking eyebrows. I always do mine at school after hours before I go home. lol). I also keep things for my hair, like some clips, hair ties, and a hair band. I also keep extra panty hose and have thought about extra clothes (I have had at least 3 clothing mishaps where I have had to run home and change or do some "stapler sewing" in the bathroom.) As for food, I also recommend something you can eat for lunch that you can stash in your room, even if you pack every day. You never know when you will forget your lunch. They make meals that don't need to be refrigerated, or even some soup or PB and some bread are all good choices that you can keep stashed.
     
  20. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 8, 2010

    I'm thinking this year I'll start with the first thing the kids will see- the hallway outside my door. I'll get a welcome message up- Welcome to Second Grade: Your Place to Shine- and then I'll add stars with each child's name under the heading Mrs. Q's Stars.

    Next, I'll get their desks ready- I'll place them where I want them to be and then I'll get their deskplates on. Then I'll put up what I know they'll need first- like a bathroom area with numbered sticks, an empty water bottle to put the sticks in, a sign out notebook & pencil, a digital clock, and stuffed toys (one for the girls, one for the boys) for them to place on their desks when they leave the room- this helps me see who's out at any given time.

    I'll also need to get their lunch count stars and job stars ready. After that, it'll be a matter of getting my stuff organized and getting the room decorated a little. Some stuff will just have to wait =) I hope to not get too rambunctious and wear myself out the two days I have in my room before the kids arrive!
     

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