Well, we did it. We survived the first 3 days of school. After 13 hours of sleep last night, I feel somewhat rested. For me returning to work started much sooner than the 22nd, and it all caught up with me last night. After a week and a half of planning, then 3 days with the kids, I am finally ready to share the pics and stories from this year’s classroom.Every year I choose a theme to decorate my classroom with. A few years ago when I was in a different classroom I did a monkey theme. The room I’m currently in is over double the size of that room, so I added jungle into the mix and used all my monkey stuff from before. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out! It came together much easier than I though it would. So, let me take you on a tour 🙂
This is the hallway outside the classroom. I don’t have a bulletin board out there so I don’t have to stay within the boundaries. I kind of went “wild” (pun intended) with the use of animal print border. The kids coat hooks are underneath and on the opposite wall which looks really boring since that’s where I hang their projects and we haven’t done any yet. This year I have a class of 14 students: 11 girls and 3 boys. Now, it may seem strange but I prayed for this! Last year I had a class full of challenging boys and it was one of the toughest years I’ve ever had. With lots of girls you get lots of tears, drama, tattling, and pink. With lots of boys you get fighting, kicking, fighting, wrestling, fighting, punching, and more fighting. Since I have 3 daughters, I am well equipped to handle the drama of girls! Boys challenge me. I really needed an “easy” year. After only 3 days with my new class, two of my three boys are more like 3 boys in one! So, God knew what he was doing.
As you can see, my classroom is huge. I love having such a large room, but there are a few down sides. After 3 days of going over classroom procedures and keeping my kind, caring teacher voice in constant use, my throat is killing me and my voice is scratchy. The other challenge is trying to make such a large room look decorated. Having to cover such tall walls is tough. The color monkeys on their vines in the art center are one of my favorite things I made. The key for me not getting overwhelmed was buying some pre-made stuff, and making some of it. The other thing that helped was the work order I put in to have my classroom painted bright colors was approved. They painted one wall yellow and one bright blue. It made a huge difference in the feel of the room and made it much more friendly feeling.
Here you can see the blue wall. This area of the room was perfect for the library center. This year all 3 classes (2 PreK and 1 K) absorbed the school library into their classrooms to make it possible to create a music room. Every week we will have a music class in the first and third marking periods. In the second and fourth we will have a phys ed class once a week. It’s exciting to have these new opportunities available to us! There are still around 8 boxes of books to be sorted through and split up between the classes. That will be an ongoing project throughout the year no doubt. I was really excited to see my students in the library center looking at books and playing with the puppets of their own accord. Typically, the library center seems to be the most unused centers in the room. I really wanted to make it look fun and inviting. Once I get to know this group a little better, I’ll be able to fill the bookshelf with books that really interest the kids. I have a feeling I’ll be looking for a lot of princess books this year! Part of the library center is the puppet tree, and that’s always a big draw to spend time there. On the second day of school I was attending a “tea party” in the kitchen center next to the library when one of the boys came up to me with the spider puppet on his hand. The spider proceeded to “bite”my arm to which the little guy said to me, ” You’re Peter Parker, but now you’re spider man too. Shoot webs from your hand!” Trust me, this boy is going to be providing plenty of fodder for Tiny Talk Tuesdays this year! He is one funny kid.
I’m so happy with one of my summer finds. This is a shoe rack I found at Good Will. It works great as a puppet tree! I’ve been wanting one for a few years now for my ever expanding collection of hand puppets, but the wooden ones in the school catalogs are ridiculously expensive. This works great and the kids seemed really excited about it too. Check back soon for the rest of the pics of my classroom.
I hope you enjoyed seeing part of my classroom. More to come this week!