It's beginning to look like a classroom!

Well, I have officially started heading back into my classroom.  I went in yesterday (Monday) for a couple of hours.  I was pretty aware of what my room would look like, as I was in last week to make some copies and drop a few things off ( you can only keep so much on the kitchen table before you look like a Staples hoarder!).  I had the goal for myself to get my desks arranged.  I did that and then some!  Score one for me! 

Here are some of my desks arranged.  We don't know how many kids we will have.  We should have no more than 24 kids.  When we filled the classes, we all ended up with about 17 - 18 kids per class. There is no way the district will let us keep the classes so small!  I know we will end up collapsing classes, as we are low in 2nd grade (we have 5 classes filled with 17 kids each...can you say combo?). I have my desks situated into 4 groups of 6.  It's not ideal, but I don't want all the group crowded together.  Even now it feels tight.  

Below is my teacher table/reading group table/small group table.  I moved my teacher desk out last year and it was the best thing ever!  I gained extra room in the classroom, though I am a bit more unorganized now.  Behind my chair is the counter.  I have started keeping all my binders of stuff there.  Most of them I use weekly, so they are quite handy.  I really need to figure out what to do with the bulletin board.  I didn't use it last year like I should have.  It's hard to reach and I have to climb onto the counter to put work up or take it down.  I tried the clothespins with the thumb tack on the back and they ALL FELL OFF!  Drove me insane!  It's too large for my board.  Any ideas?

Here's the back cabinet of crap!  It is more organized, even though it may not look like it!  I have 2 sliding cabinet doors.  I don't know what they use to "clean" them, but they are horrible for writing on them.  BUT, I am thinking of using them as my weekly objective/skills wall.  I am working it out in my head right now.  If I do it, I can put the spelling and sight words there, the skills we are working on, etc and have more room on the front board for writing stuff or having my anchor charts up.  It's a work in progress!  

This is my carpet area.  Right now it's the place where the chairs go at the end of the year and do not move until I move them back to the desks.  I doubt they were moved to clean the carpets!  Nothing else was moved, so why move the chairs?  Anyway, on the board behind the chairs is where I have had my calendar.  I did have it on the other wall, but it seemed too out of sight, out of mind.  Having it where it is now, my kids seemed to use it more for reference.  I have had more on it in the past, with wipe off cards for the date, number of the day, etc.  I am going to move things around a bit, so they are in a pile off to the side.  I am not sure what the other board will be for.  I have some ideas for it, but what you can't see is there is a big metal built into the wall box just to the right of the picture.  I don't know why it's there (the custodian said it's so we have a place to put our purses...they never gave me the key for it, so I have no idea what's in there!).  Again, it's still a work in progress...the thought process!  

I went in today and didn't work on any of those areas!  I was working on organizing and sorting my math manipulatives.  The big drawer things are going to be used for each group to keep their manipulatives in, along with other things we will use during the year that I don't want to have to pass out all the time.  According to our math guru, I am not supposed to tell the kids what they need to use, but let them decide for themselves what tools they feel are the best.  Um, ok, yeah, whatever. So I will see how this goes.  It cleaned out my cabinets, that's for sure!  

I don't think I am going in tomorrow, as I have a ton to work on at home.  I am updating some things, cleaning out some things and reorganizing others.  I took all my math supplemental stuff and am putting it together in binders.  4 binders is much nicer than lots of random file folders!  We will see how it all goes come the new school year.  

We have 2 weeks until our Back to School Night and I feel more prepared than I have in a long time. I have worked more on my planning this summer, but it's the other stuff that's stressing me out.  In fact, the back to school dreams/nightmares are already starting!  Yikes!  Time to add some sleepytime tea to my nightly routine again!  Time to get back to work and find the other side of my desk!  Happy planning!

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