Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#kinderblog Week 3 Classroom Set-Up

Find this week's blogging challenge at Kinderchat123.  
There are two options for the topic and I chose...

Option 1: What is the process you follow for setting up your classroom? 

What are your priorities, your values, your beliefs, about classroom setup, decor, and organization? 
(Feel free to share photos! We love photos!)

My list of kindergarten hopes is at the end of this post!

Our school was built in 1921.  Air conditioning was installed just a few years ago.  The aesthetics are beautiful-  marble staircases, brass railings, stained glass windows, solid oak casings, built-in glass cabinets.  There's even a fireplace in one of the kindergarten classrooms! 

No matter what size my room may be, or what school I'm in, the spaces I design will always have these things:  a cozy nook/dedicated area for sprawling out in comfort with a good book, a writing table that will accommodate at least four children, a student work display, a photograph wall, and a way to play music. 

The first three pictures, taken on check-out day in June, show the bare bones of my classroom 
(In two weeks, I'll have new pics of a ready-to-go room!)
In this photo, I'm standing in front of the guided reading reading table, 
looking at the SmartBoard. 
To the left and right, both walls are made of windows and glass.
The classroom door is in the middle of the left wall, 
which complicates desk placement.
In our district, we are strongly advised that 
no child should be facing away from instruction 
AND 
student desks should be arranged in groups for cooperative learning.
Not an easy feat with 25 desks and a narrow room width;
fortunately, kindergartners like being together!

 I took this picture from the doorway. 
The "chalkboard wall" is also an accordion closet.
The doors open all together…and can be slammed shut.
No one has lost a finger. Halleluiah!
There are hooks inside of the closet, 
but coats and backpacks fall to the ground on a regular basis.
I'm still trying to come up with a solution for this challenge!
And, this may sound old-fashioned, but 
I love the chalkboard wall!!
(See the owl? The "Be Brave" banner will be hung there!)

This is the inside wall of windows. 
At one time or another, I've covered sets of 3-6 panes with colored card stock
to block the sun.  A clothesline also hung across the wall, to hold anchor charts.
Last week, I ripped down the torn shade and removed the leftover papers.
My plan is to velcro white poster board to the highest window sets,
hang dry erase foam boards from two of the lowest sets, and
continue to display anchor charts in the center.

 As the class size grew larger, I assigned color spots on the rug.
This may sound harsh to some of you, but
I did this with everyone's best interest at heart!
The children were also able to easily do "turn and talk
with peanut butter and jelly partnerships.

 The Word Wall fit nicely on the closet doors.
Not sure it's going to stay there, 
as word cards could easily 'disappear' into backpacks.
Birthdays and reading strategy mini-posters were displayed above the wall.
The guided reading table is in front of the closet, so this was a good place to 
hang posters when not in use.

 Our very-most-absolute-favorite book 
was the photo album that we created as the year progressed!

Class in motion, jumping hurdles on GoNoodle!

Buidling together with a variety of supplies.

As I looked through the 1000+ photos that were taken in my classroom last year,
these words came to mind, to describe my hopes~dreams~goals for kindergarten:
community
relationships
independence
comfort
investigation
creativity
laughter
music
stories
wonder
compassion
problem-solving
growth
love
~I think this list promotes college and career readiness. What do you think? ;-)~

8 comments:

  1. So after reading this I went and checked out gonoodle! I think I'm in love! Thanks for mentioning it!

    ☺Jody

    Camp Kindergarten

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    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by :-) Our PE teacher introduced the school to GoNoodle, sponsored by our local hospital. We used it at all times of the day, for various purposes: start the day with "Happy", run relays between station rotations, sing "Let it Go" after lunch recess, breathe deeply at the end of the day. IT IS AWESOME!

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  2. Love your list. Find it so telling that your first word was community. Have a great year!

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    1. Thanks! You, too! I'll come by and visit your blog :-)

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  3. I LOVE your goals for your classroom! I agree with every single one of them ! :)

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    1. In the process of making a poster! Good to see you, friend!

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  4. I love your wall of windows...so much light!
    Jenny

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    1. Wait until you see the transformation :-)!

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Thanks for being part of my story!