Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Update

Yesterday I went back to work for the first time since June. We don't officially start meetings until Monday, but I'm in a new room this year and wanted to unpack the moving boxes and get my furniture in place so that I have a good place to work next week. I actually like getting started a week early in August, but in the past I've let myself get bogged down trying to plan units and set up my room at the same time. This year, I decided to get my room "finished" before I did anything else.

When I got to school, my new room looked like this:

20+ boxes. 1000+ books.
Lots of shelves in my new room.
New shelves replaced lockers, which moved to the hallway. Unfortunately, this means computer carts in the rooms. For now,

I quickly realized that I was missing about half my classroom library and a few odd boxes of tech gear. Fortunately, it was all waiting in my old room and will get moved by the end of the week. In a way, this was to my advantage because it kept me focused on unpacking boxes. I also don't have a key to that closet yet, so I haven't been able to set that up.

Here's what I got "done":

Picture books.

I moved this freestanding bookshelf into a front corner and filled it with picture books and poetry. This unit was in pretty much the same place in my old room. I like the visual of a bookshelf in front of the room, and I also like that it's separate from our main classroom library. (The poster is covering where the backing was ripped off, which is probably why it ended up donated to our rummage sale.)

Comfortable and cheap.

I'm pretty excited about this chair, a $15 purchase at the hardware store. It's actually a bright blue without the filter. The unit next to it spins, and I picked it up free at our rummage sale a few years ago. It desperately needs to be painted bright white. Maybe next summer (she says for the third year in a row). For now, it's holding books the students can't borrow without permission and class reads. It used to be behind my desk, but it got in the way, and it was silly to put too much on top because then you couldn't spin it.

Temporarily storing everything still lacking a place.

This will look a lot different by the time school starts. For one thing, I can't get in the closet yet, so there are supplies all over (and boxes that still need to be unpacked on the ground). I also don't have all of my books in the room yet, so I'm not sure how much of the fiction section will fit on the white shelves. My hope is that I can use the first two or three sections here for non-fiction, award winners, oversized books, student portfolios, and reference materials we only use part of the year (like Shakespeare), and keep my professional materials and books in the last section. These shelves are really deep, so I can also store professional books I use less often in the back. I'm also not sure what to do with that bulletin board behind my desk (the posters there now are temporary and usually go on the door). Hmm.

Yup, that's Nathan Fillion watching over the room.

Today I'm going to have help moving furniture, so that filing cabinet will go near the door and we can try some table arrangements. I'm hoping to put the teaching table near the window (between the reading chair and my desk) and then set up the four round tables so that we can have a tiny floor meeting space around the chair/easel/bookshelves, and still have room to use the smart board. My first instinct was to put the teaching table in the back, where it's out of the way, but I want this table to be a space that we use daily. I want it to be at the center of of what we're doing. I also want students to be able to access all the shelves and the computers/printer without going behind me. I guess we'll have to see how it fits.

First, though, a trip to the office supply store for wall tabs. It's time to hang some maps!



  1. I love your room Lea! I hope to be able to come visit it sometime this year. :)

  2. I love your room too! The windows, the books, the adirondack chair . . . make it so inviting and open. This post is making me want to get started on my classroom!

    1. Thanks! Every visitor today has commented on the chair; it was definitely $15 well spent.