Oh goodness. A year ago today, my friend and teaching partner, Christine and I were in VEGAS!!! Takin' in the sites and embarking on the first ever Teachers Pay Teachers Conference.
Hard to believe that was a year ago today. Hard to believe that one year later (to the day), I am at home with a 5 month old..... pretty much living a completely different life! HA!
I wouldn't change it for ANYTHING!! Our new little one has become our world..... and everything else has taken a backseat. It's like we've been given new eyes, and everything looks different.
Including this blog! Hahahaha! There are lots of tumbleweeds rollin' around here! Sorry to be so M.I.A.
With not being in the classroom (on maternity leave), it's hard to share the new things I am doing or rather, not doing. However.....the sickness still lives inside of me, and I still from time to time, think about ideas for the classroom and new things I would like to try.
So.... yes, it is summer, and who really wants to think about going back to work?!! BUT--- this is the best time to start thinking about setting up your classroom and engaging/hooking those kiddos in during the first few weeks. Maybe even grabbing a few ideas here and there, and putting them on the back burner until you are ready to get into gear.
My goal is to blog once a week while my munchkin naps :)
Soooo......Today's blog is to get you thinking about "Inviting Classrooms".
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE INIVITING CLASSROOM
Does your classroom feel like an extension of a house? Is it cozy? Is it inviting? OR Is it overwhelming, with too many colours and posters etc,? Are there lots of "things" everywhere, that aren't used on a daily basis? Start thinking about layout. When parents and students walk into a classroom it is always clear what kind of teacher they will be with for a year.
Here are a few ideas/layouts and questions to get you started:
Does everything have a place and can your kids access and take care of the room (know where things belong) when you are away?
Are bins labelled?
Do students have a place to come together? (carpet, centers, desk groupings, etc.)
Are your bulletin boards simple.... Blank canvases for your students work?
Are your teaching resources easy to get to? Are things labelled so that you USE them, and don't pile up in a closet or a drawer? Remember, if you can't see it, you won't use it.
Are your manipulatives accessible? Can ALL students use them? Are there picture cues on them for the students that can't read?
Do you keep extra school supplies anywhere? What could you purchase and have on hand for when kids run out and need a few days to buy more? Or supplies on hand for kids who maybe can't afford any?
Do you have your room set up so that time is never wasted? See below. How many times do kids just stop working because their pencil is broken! Really??!! Give them little reason to waste time.
Do you have a place for each student to display his or her work?
Do you have things like lamps or cushions or anything to make reading or working more enjoyable and relaxed?
Are YOU organized? What does the inside of your desk look like? If another teacher asked to borrow something and they went inside of your desk, could they find what they were looking for?
Now is the time to plan out your classroom. Even if you have had the same classroom setup for years and don't feel you have the energy to make changes, make 2 or 3 changes this year and next year change a few more things.
No matter the grade you teach, setting your classroom up to engage is ageless. Students like structure and organization. Set your room up this year to reflect your teaching style :)
It's ok to start thinking about it. No one will know! Ha!