I hope you’re not getting tired of seeing my room. I feel the need to capture the essence of the room in all it’s glory because in three week, no doubt it will not be nearly as tidy or organized! I always start out great, but with little ones it takes a great deal of energy to keep up the organization once they’re involved.
Here we have the Art Center. This is always a popular area as well. Especially with the girls! They seem to really enjoy creating things with paper, glue, and scissors. Believe it or not, but the art center also doubles as the teachers’ lunch area. After the kids are dismissed at noon, we congregate in the little chairs at the table to eat lunch and talk shop together. The other day I didn’t pay close enough attention to whether the chairs were clean, and sat in some glue. That was awesome. One of the hazards of the job.
Next to the art center is the Discovery Center. It’s pretty lame as far as centers go to be honest with you. It consists of the sand and water table, a tin of magnetix and a bin of science stuff (rocks, magnifying glasses, and shells) underneath. The curriculum we use is so heavy into phonics that science isn’t part of it at all, so it’s something I have to add above and beyond. It’s definitely a challenge. As is coming up with things to put in the sand and water table (which we call the “discovery table” since way more than sand and water can go in there.) I started out the year with popcorn kernels in the table. The kids love to scoop and fill buckets with them and dump them out. This group has been really good about picking up the kernels that fall on the floor. When they tire of the popcorn, I’ll probably put sand in next. I’m waiting for a new table liner to be delivered. It got cracked and I can’t put any water in it till I get the new one.
These next three pics are of our group meeting area. This year I actually have masking tape on the floor in a circle shape, whereas in years past I’ve had them sit in rows. Again, this is supposed to help create community when everyone can see one another. So far so good, except I had to assign spots. I started out the year with blank tape, then had to add names due to some little friends who have a difficult time keeping their hands to themselves. In the picture on the left you can see our jungle jobs, our class rules, the calendar, and our daily schedule. The picture on the right is our behavior management board. The premise is that each day the kids start on green. Their monkey can move up to blue or purple for great choices and exceptional behavior, or down to yellow, orange, or red for not so good choices and behavior that hurts themselves or others. On Friday I send home a weekly report that shows where their monkey ended up each day. It’s not ideal, but it’s a good way to keep the parents aware of what’s going on. I’m actually trying some new behavior management techniques I learned in Donna Whyte’s book, and so I’m having to move people down the palm tree much less these days.
We’ve got one more post to go on our classroom tour. If you have any questions about the room or where I got things or how I made things, let me know!