Monday, September 5, 2011

Finally Ready

No matter how much time I put in over the summer or how prepared I think I am before the teacher work week begins, it's always a bit of a frenzy to get everything ready for open house. After meetings all day on Monday and the superintendent's pep rally on Tuesday, we had Wednesday and Thursday to work in our rooms before kids and parents arrived on Thursday night. We even got our class lists a full 24 hours before open house! I think I have a good group this year, certainly with a few challenges, but it doesn't seem like I'll be dealing with the same level of disrespect and defiance that I had last year. After open house ended at 8:30 Thursday night, I was really dragging when I had to be back at school less than 12 hours later. I did manage to straighten up after open house, get everything totally prepped for the first day, and snap some pictures of my room.

The view from the door:

 Meeting area at the front of the room, with the first day's schedule, morning message, morning work, and homework. I'm so excited to have a ceiling mounted projector this year. I'm going to try posting the morning routine using power point each day instead of writing it on the board.

I'm trying book bins this year. These are the 5/$2 magazine files from Ikea. I don't expect them to hold up well, but the price was right to see if I like the system. I printed a label for each student, and I plan to let them decorate their book boxes with crayons or markers.
These metal modular shelves are from my college days. I had handed them down to my sister to use in her dorm, but now that she's graduated, I reclaimed them for my classroom. I got all of the milk crates at walmart, and I'm loving the extra storage!

Reading corner and CAFE board:

Standing in the meeting area, looking toward the back of the room:

My desk area:

The help-yourself-shelf and my calendar bulletin board:

A couple of ideas I found online. I got the idea for a Family and Friends board from Rachel of In No Simple Language, and the Word Watcher sign from Miss Teacher of Juice Boxes and Crayolas. I also added a spot for a new 24 card each day. I started putting a card on the board last year for early finishers, and it was a big hit. There's a box on the shelf below for students to submit their answers, and I'll pull a name for a small prize each day.

I have two long chalkboards in my room that I've covered with paper to use as bulletin boards, so I needed several small, strong magnets to use in place of push pins. Inspired by Nancy of Teaching My Friends, I used magnet buttons, scrapbook paper, and fish bowl gems to make over 100 of these for less than $20:

A pretty uninspired writing and science board:

Space savers for my social studies board:

I lined the bottom of my bulletin boards with scrapbook paper to display student work. I got this idea from the Science Gal, who also works at my school. Once the two of us had these papers up, the idea went viral around the building, and several other teachers have created similar displays.

My News board, which has a lunch menu and lunch choice tiles, information about the Boystown skill of the week and the word of the month, and the kids' writing prompts for the local newspaper. I left room in the top corner for current events.
Looks like I need to bring in some stronger adhesive to reattach the lunch choice blocks that have already started falling off their magnets!

My student teacher came up with this idea for my door:

I feel mostly ready for school to start tomorrow; I'm not sure I'd ever feel totally ready, no matter how prepared I am. I had my annual back to school nightmare last night. This time, it involved me being late for school on the first day, and the school was so swarmed with parents and students that I couldn't get in the building!

Good luck to everyone else who starts tomorrow! I'm hoping to be back a couple of nights this week with some back to school ideas, but please forgive me if I decide to just veg out on the couch instead!


  1. Your room looks great!! Love your F&F board :)

    Also love that you have a spot for the 24 game. My students LOVE that game, too!

  2. Your classroom looks great - well done!
    Your kiddies are going to LOVE it too and have a fabulous with you!