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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Took a day off...to go to work!

Hello again everyone! Yes, you read that header correctly.. I took a day off today, so that I could go to work. The truth is.. I took a day off of Mommy duty and went someplace quiet, where I can think, plan, and create. Many people would assume I went to a spa, or relaxed by the pool. But no, I went to my classroom..In an empty building, with nothing but a little eighties music blasting out of my iPad speakers..I was ready for a little dose of heaven. Until I walked into my classroom, and was met with this...

Somehow, the contents of my bookshelves and cabinets were vomited onto the floor in this manner. I believe the cleaning fairy is a bit disgruntled. Maybe the dust in her work environment or the constant attacks of feline sized cockroaches that seem to only visit in the summer have caused her to be less interested in her work. 

It was a task, but I got it all put back where it was supposed to go and got started arranging and decorating. My favorite part of the school year is this time. I get to take a shell of a room and turn it into a kid-and-teacher friendly workspace that serves our day to day instructional needs. I'm not finished yet, as I have some purchases to make (Don't tell Mr. Smith!) but I thought I would share with you what I've gotten to so far. Maybe you can pull some ideas for your own room. Ready?? Here goes!

View from the Door

I rarely use my desk and spend a lot of time on the floor with my kids so I keep it against the wall. It's really only there to house my Laptop, Document Camera, and VCR (Yes...I have a VCR! My DVD player died and wasn't replaced so I had to have something to connect to closed-circuit TV). It also houses four drawers of JUNK...pens, band-aids, and the random junk I pick up. That's on the bill for the next trip. That is an Activeboard on the wall and I'm replacing the shoddy black shelf beneath it. 

From Door--Left Corner

Over in the corner is my reading nook/classroom library. I really need to level out my books or sort them in some manner. I just don't have the ability to focus long enough to take it on. I have sixteen large baskets of books--packed in so tight that not even Calista Flockhart could fit in there. :-) I also store our indoor recess stuff under the shelves as well. (blocks,puzzles,games). And yes, third graders still like to play with blocks.
The stoplight chart was for behavior, but I'm changing it up this year to a clip chart. I'm so happy that my desks match--there's nothing I hate worse than mismatched desks... it's kind of like Madea with her disdain for wire hangers. I'm also getting some groovy new curtains as well. I can't wait to get them!

If you are looking for some fun curtains, you should check out Kangaroo Closet, a fun little shop that I found on Etsy.

Rear corner, to the left of the door

All of my computers are in the corner..where they have to stay because of internet cables/etc. I have four desktops, two laptops, and two netbooks in my room. I was very lucky to have a netbook donated to my room last year from a parent, as well as having one funded by DonorsChoose.org. I get it this year! I just have to find somewhere to put them! My guided reading table is here as well, and I have a rolling cart that will house our needed materials for that group. The crate shelving houses all of our writing binders and writing supply bins. (pens, dictionaries, thesauruses/or is it thesauri?)  My plans for the board are a content vocabulary board in the large section, Math Master's Multiplication Fact Completion Chart/Tracker in the middle, and my calendar is down on the end. I made  the headers and cards all by myself! I wish I could find a red calendar pocket chart though...

And finally, the bane of my classroom existence. Overhead storage! At one point, we had six third grade teachers. Now, we have three. So that leaves three roomfuls of classroom clutter that has to be distributed into our rooms. That shelf up there drives me insane! I've finally decided to buy some colorful totes and just box it all up. It has been there four years and I'm tired of looking at it.

Whew! That was a long post! I'm not nearly finished with it, but I did get a good start on it and I'm looking forward to the next "day off" to work on it a bit more. Maybe I can call upon one of  the Grandmas to give me a day off next week. 

In the words of my dear friend Bugs Bunny,
Thanks for visiting and taking a walk through my corner of the world..Check back soon for something big! You won't be disappointed!


  1. Wow! You got a lot done today! I'm heading in tomorrow.

    My Kinder-Garden

  2. I loved this post. This time of year is also my favorite. Looking at your pictures has given me an anxiety attack though. This year I have changed schools and have signed up to be part of charter hoping to change the trajectory of underachieving students in a poverty stricken neighborhood. This is the first year for this school and they renovated an older school so I have not been able to access my classroom. Usually by this time of year my room is all set up and ready to go. This year however, I don't even know what furniture or supplies are in my room, not to mention my garage is full of all of my teaching supplies! Yikes! Not sure how I'm going to pull off the set up this year and your post has got my wheels turning, but no outlet is yet available!! Good luck creating. It's looks like you have a great start. -Cara/Number Two Pencils