I went into my classroom yesterday as I said I was going to (yay me for following through!) and worked for about seven hours straight. And even though I worked for what seemed liked forever, when I went to flip off the lights as I walked out at the end of the day, I couldn't help feeling a bit defeated at not quite seeing the progress I had hoped for :(... I really DID get a lot done, there was just so much left behind by the teacher who worked in the room before me, that I haven't gotten to any of the fun stuff yet! I took some "before" pictures so you could all see what I was dealing with when I moved in...
Ok so here it is. Believe it or not, the only things I have actually brought into this classroom are the boxes on the round table, the box of stacking cubes sitting against that desk in the middle of the room, and the computer and papers sitting on the desk. Seriously. Otherwise, this how the room was left. It really is a great room, and the teacher who was in here was really ver organized, but she hadn't originally planned on retiring and didn't take much of anything with her when she left. If you stick with me for the after pictures, I PROMISE it will look really super cute when I'm done! All the chairs, desks, and tables are moved to their proper places for starters...
That cubbie area in the back is quickly turning into my cozy little reading nook and space for my CAFE board. That giant file cabinet is not gone and replaced with much smaller and neater cabinet that sits next to my desk (which by the way, is now on the other side of the room). The circular table is now gone and replaced with a kidney-like table that I dragged in from the room I had last year and the rectangular table sitting in the back cubby area has been moved out and put along the side wall to be used in our writing center.
I do love all the windows and the big beautiful tree outside my room!
Did you notice all the fabric covering the bulletin boards and shelves and all the posters on the walls? Those are all gone now, too. Just taking all those down (and then the papers, borders, etc.) behind the fabric and organizing the materials on the shelves took me a few hours in itself. But I did find some treasures! The teacher left behind 30 matching clear shoebox containers!!!! It's like Christmas, right? She also left behind some fun games and things to used for indoor recess, so that was kind of exciting. I also started going through everything left in the two closets in the back of the room and got rid of all the containers that didn't match and old manipulatives and activities that I knew I didn't need or wouldn't use.
So what does that leave me with you might ask? Well... completely blank walls and bulletin boards, empty closets and shelves, and a few books, boxes, and files sitting on the ground. So not much. But better than what I started with, I'm at least super happy to have a blank slate because I am SO DETERMINED to stay organized all year. OH! I do at least have my classroom arrangement done :). I should have taken a picture as I was leaving to show the improvement, but I forgot. I'm hoping to have it organized by the end of next week, so I guess you will have to wait until then :).
The one thing I can brag about is all my beautiful window and this view!! Look past that tree, and that is Lake Minnetonka! Not sure how familiar any of you are with Minnesota, but around here Lake Minnetonka is a pretty big deal.
What's your favorite part about your classroom?