Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Room! How to Organize??

My New Room
Last year our district switched from two PreK-5 schools to a PreK-2 and a 3-5 school. This was a big switch for everyone. In the process I lost my classroom and had to share with another reading teacher. I've been teaching for over 30 years and I'm always looking for ways to improve my instruction so I'm not a teacher that's stuck in her ways but I will admit the idea of room sharing did not go over well with me.

This summer I read Learn Like a Pirate and I really want to try some of the ideas with my reading students. However, that is going to be very difficult in a shared room because it's going to be noisier than ever at times. I discussed this with my principal and he promised to give the idea of a room change some consideration. Yesterday I got the wonderful news that another teacher was willing to switch places with me! I don't think I stopped smiling all day yesterday. :)

I headed up to school and the custodians had already moved all of our stuff. I just had to pack up my desk and closet stuff. Easy! My first year as a reading teacher I was in a refurbished closet, really! Then I moved to a slightly bigger room. Last year I had half a classroom which was my biggest space so far and now I have a full size classroom! That means all my holiday and extra books I've stored in the computer lab can come back to my room and I'll be able to take other stuff stored in the hall closets and get it back in my room or toss it since I haven't used it in years. It's a great feeling.

So, here is my room:

Lots of bulletin board space!

Yucky white boards and they aren't magnetic, next to the Smartboard.

The one drawback to this room is afternoon sun on the hot days.

The kidney table will be leaving and be replaced with a rectangular one

My only open plug is back by the sink!

My teaching style is a mix of CAFE/Donalyn Miller's Books/Notice and Note/Learn Like a Pirate-I'll try to explain this in an upcoming post.

I have some comfy reading seats

  • rocking chair
  • beanbag
  • wagon with two pillows
  • a crate with a pillow
  • an extra teacher chair

I also have:

  • thousands of books in bins sorted by author/series/topic/genre
  • 3 computers 
  • 7 iPads with headphones
  • a rolling chart stand
  • 2 rectangular tables
  • 12 desks-not sure if I have to keep those or not
  • a teacher desk which holds the 4th computer and document camera hooked to the Smartboard

Things I plan on adding/doing this year:

  • a listening station-another teacher wanted to get rid of books on tape and I found a working tape player in the lockers so I took them. 
  • reader's theatre-
  • partner reading
  • giving students more voice and choice
  • more collaboration

I'll be making a trip to JoAnn's this weekend to buy fabric for all my bulletin boards, I'm definitely out of touch with having to fill in all that space. I think I'm going to do a pirate theme and I'll be using the Notice and Note signposts so I'm thinking about using that as a springboard for the big bulletin board but I'm open to other ideas.

I'll be spending next week getting the room arranged. I'd love to hear some suggestions from you on what to do for bulletin boards and arranging areas for my reading room for 3rd-5th graders before I get up there and begin working!

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