Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My New Classroom

I have spent the last (more than a) few days moving into my new classroom, don't tell me that teachers never work in the holidays! My new room is twice the size of my last one and has a dedicated wet area for messy work and (even more exciting) I now have an interactive whiteboard!

Let me take you on a tour of my new room. There are not many classroom displays up yet, we have a lot of work to do to create some beautiful art and craft to decorate our classroom.

 The Library Corner - with a comfy couch and cushions, I have some bean bag cushions for the children to sit on the floor and curl up with a good book. I try to have a variety of reading material for my class to read; big books, poems, reading box books (these are books that we have read during our guided reading sessions), books from our school library, copies for the children's own writing that I make into books, folders of our shared writing, and other topic related books.

The Writing Table - this is one of the most popular places in my classrooms, most mornings and wet lunch times it will be busy with children creating something special. I have lots of writing tools and plenty of paper (I try to reuse any scrap worksheets and cut-off ends of paper), as well as outlines of invitations, postcards, shopping lists, and birthday cards (thanks Sparklebox). Next to the writing table is a magnetic whiteboard with magnetic letters and later in the term I will put out some whiteboard pens.

The Home Corner - a couple of years ago my local Kindy gave me an old wooden play kitchen that they were going to throw out. After a good clean and coat of paint we have had hours of imaginative role-play with it. I have stocked our Home Corner with pots and pans from the local thrift stores, plastic play food, a small table and chairs, and a wooden cot for my old dolls (one is called Dolly and the other Baby!), the basket underneath is full of blankets for the cot (or pretend picnics) and dolls clothes.

Reading Activities - I use a range of reading and writing activities that I keep on these shelves, some I have made and others bought from a variety of places over the years.

Maths Equipment - these shelves hold most of my mathematics equipment. I try to have most things in my classroom labelled clearly, I used this website for the cute free pictures in most of my classroom signs and labels.

Games - nothing too exciting, just shelves filled with games and activities that won't fit on my maths or reading shelves. Things like; Duplo, imitation Lego (from my neighbour), a lacing activity, playdough and cutters, small cars and road mats, felt board activities, puppets, chalk and small whiteboards, Pop-Up Pirate, and lots of puzzles. Children are allowed to play with these activities during choosing time and any other free time they may have. I always encourage the children to ask if they may choose an activity and take responsibility to put it away tidily.

My desk - I love this desk - a beautiful solid wood old-fashioned teachers desk. It was refinished a couple of years ago and is just gorgeous. I'm not very green-fingered (or green-thumbed) but the aloe vera on my desk was a Christmas gift from one of my previous students and only needs an occasional squirt from my water bottle.

Mat Area - Notice the interactive whiteboard! I am still learning to use it, the table and teacher-station store anything that I will need when we are on the mat within easy reach.

Daily Timetables - This large whiteboard displays our visual daily timetable. Because I teach juniors (new entrants) the pictures tell even pre-readers what we are up to that day. I am planning a post soon about my reading and writing wheels and how I use them.

You can just see the yellow door that leads to our wet area and behind it is the cloak-bay. This year I have named the hooks in the cloak-bay with children's names. I have used laminated cardboard stars with each child's name written on with black marker. That way I can easily write a new label for any new children starting during the year and just clean them and reuse them when my children move to a new class.

We have lovely tables and chairs in this classroom, each table is stocked with jovi crayons in a little plastic container, and in the cute Looney Tunes mugs I have glue sticks, pencils, pens, and scissors. I find it easier to have these as shared equipment rather than having each child's pens and pencils labelled with their name. It saves a lot of time looking for something to write with during a busy writing session.

I can't wait to start the new school year! 

Updated for 2013 - click here to see the changes I made for 2013.

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