Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I spent a good portion of today in Room 315, setting things up and getting ready for the new year. I am such an ADHD girl...I flitter around the room as things grab my attention, often times abandoning what I was doing to suddenly go work on something else. It's an annoying habit but one I can't seem to break. It must just be how I roll. :)

My room was an absolute disaster when I left yesterday. Things pretty much spread out over all of my table groups and everywhere with some boxes and totes still needing to be emptied and some things needing to go back home that are lower-grade specific. I decided last year when I was moving out of my school that I was NOT going to have every teaching item I owned in my classroom anymore. If it wasn't relevant to me in that moment, it wasn't staying! As such when I thought I was teaching first grade, I had a lot of my big kid stuff still packed away in the barn loft and have had to exchange some of it for the little kid stuff I won't be using this year after all. 

In some ways, this hasn't been a horrible thing because I have purged many things I forgot I even owned but also have found some treasures of "OH YEAH!" items that I haven't used in awhile that I know my kids will like and we can do some things with this year.
These are, by no means, "final" pictures but I kind of like seeing a progression of where I've been and where I've gone. :)

 There are few things about my building that are kind of bothersome, very few. The open shelving we have is one of them. I think it is more because even when you're super neat, its REALLY hard to make it not look messy/cluttered.  So using the red fabric I had up on the bulletin board at my 1st grade school, I cut it into smaller pieces to cover these foam boards I got at Dollar Tree. I bought 6 but have room for one more on the far end! I love that they are a "hinge" so I can easily reach behind them but they collectively will serve as a focus wall area for language arts and vocabulary.

 I saw this on Pinterest and wanted to try it. It's cute...but either I'm creatively challenged or the others who did this had help because it was a HUGE pain to put up and I won't be making another one.

 Last year since I had a split, my hallway area said "Fabulous 4~5's" and I was REALLY glad I just put up "4's" this time :)

 I am reusing some old organizers I found in my barn loft for behind my desk (a better picture will come soon). I have so many sticky notes, I had to made a drawer JUST for them! :)

 I love this space. It's on the "bump out" glass. My Math Workshop board is here (you can see the strips where I will write the assignment for each area) and next to it is our "ROK" Vocabulary. If you've read my blog for awhile, you've likely heard of my love affair with DDI. I have moved more away from the paper-based activities that go with it and want to focus more on the vocabulary. We will have focused vocabulary here that coincides with the vocabulary the kids are likely to encounter on their MAP tests.

 This is "in progress" clearly because it's a mess. This is in the corner by the "bump out" space (see the vocab pocket chart?). I plan to have a writing space here and my Math it Up station. (Waiting on final numbers for my class now that we have a split coming in because I can likely use a long student table instead of these small ones.) I REALLY want my kids to have lots of options for their individual choice time during math and reading workshops this year.

 This is the window ledge. I put my mailboxes here and those tubs (sorry its hard to see because of the sun) have math manipulatives inside. These are here as they will be available for the kids to use when they are working in the areas of the math workshop. See that little tree? My school nurse gave it to me last year. They named it Audrey like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors ;)

 Table groupings (so far). Each student has vocabulary folder (orange), Student Reference (math) book, Reading Street volume 1, composition notebook and a box of 16 count crayons. I need to add their pen pal pencil holders still. 

 This is my corner....my MESSY corner! In trying to get most of the other areas ready, I started piling everything over near my desk area! :)

 This is in the back of my room. My super colleague who had this room last year left that makeshift board up there (its a piece of foam!) and I need to add border. My small group area will be back here. This is a great spot for it because I will be able to see my whole room from this space.

 Far off look of the library area (big cart). Underneath that yellow bulletin board is a cart of books as well but it's covered with an organizer that I forgot to remove! :)

 Same area as the first picture but you can see my binders piled up (far right of the counter) that need to be relabeled and given to the kids for their data notebooks. I also have four crates there that say "Student Portfolios", "Walking Classroom", "Read Naturally" and "Audio Books". More on those coming soon!

My whole group area. I love that I have enough room here for my Calendar Board :)

I figure it will take about an hour to finish up the messes in my room because its really just a matter of sorting the rest and putting it where it goes (90% of which belongs in the organizers by my desk which is why they are back there). 

Tomorrow is our official staff report day and we're in meetings from 8:30-3:30 with an hour for lunch. I plan to get there a bit early and spend lunch working and maybe a little bit of time after the meetings also. Thursday we should get our specialist schedule (its late because we just added two teachers to our staff who now need to be added to the schedule) and I am hopeful to have the afternoon to plan for the first week. I know almost everything I'm doing for the first day--mostly fun stuff and getting to know you type of things (goal setting, etc) and then jumping right into curriculum on Wednesday. We have a lot to do this year and I want to be able to give my kids some extra buffer toward the end of the MP by getting started right away.
I'm really hopeful to get everything set before I go home on Thursday so I CAN relax this weekend and not do anything school related.

The Caffeinated Teacher


  1. I feel like I have NO time to get things organized. I need a solid toddler free week in my room but all I have before kids come is Thursday morning. We have supply drop tomorrow night and the room is barely there. But I recall last year kids touching EVERYTHING so I really am not putting a lot of stuff out and about because I just get irritated when they toucha and play with everything. We just got our new reading curriculum materials so we have about 12 boxes that need to be unpacked and I'm not even sure where any of it is going...Yikes!

  2. Looking good! You've gotten so much done! I swear, nothing brings out those ADD tendencies like trying to set up a classroom--I don't think I could finish one task without getting distracted at least 5 times when I was working on mine!