The room still looks like a nightmare, but I have taken some steps toward my dream of a functional, child friendly, Montessori based classroom. I have cleared the stuff that was blocking the access to the sink/cupboards so that maintenance can now do their thing and install the dishwasher.
- cleared sink area
Now that the area is cleared you can see the line. We will use it for lining up, it extends from the door way to the bootroom to the doorway to the hall. We will also use it for walking on the line, a classic Montessori activity.
- the stuff from the sink area
I just moved the stuff from the sink area over into the rest of the room. I did place boxes of science materials in the science area without unpacking them, and put boxes of language materials in the general area where I will probably have language shelves.
- looking toward the door
Looking toward the door you can see my new pup, Teddy Bear, having a snooze. The tubs and boxes on the right will probably stay, along with the back packs which contain theme items and soft goods for art like yarn and fabric. The boxes contain books and activities for the monthly Parents as Partners meetings. I usually teach with my door open so that will hide the worst of the mess. The blue garbage can, which is for kitchen garbage, will most likely end up beside the fridge, by the door, but it is out of the way for now so that it doesn’t impede bringing in the dishwasher (I’m just a little obsessed about that). My full length mirror will go on the storage room door, the door that the garbage can is against right now. That door will stay closed so it will be a good place for the mirror.
- microwave stands in place
I moved the two microwave stands into their place. I had to move the big brown shelf out a bit more and have placed a tub lid in the corner to check for fit as I may be stacking tubs with items not in current use there. They can’t go in the storage room, it is very small and very full and I only have half of it, half belongs to the teacher in the next room. I’m not sure if that spot will actually work for tubs or not. I am also planning to put more things into binders so that I don’t need as much tub/box type storage.
- art materials and student supply tub trolleys
Next, I positioned the art supply and student supply tub trolleys. I changed my mind about how I wanted them. My original plan was to place them at the end of the blue shelf but I think that would have “chopped” my table space too much. The art tubs face the kitchen/teacher area and the student tubs face the table area. I need to clean off the tops and put the big jugs of paint there. Right now the paint is in the bootroom with the dishes.
- book carts next to the art trolley
This looks messy, but it will be functional. The trolleys are all on wheels that lock for safety, but can be easily moved for access to the books. I can pull a trolley into the line area, select books for the current theme, and place them in the as yet not mounted wall racks for display and student use, and slide the trolley back into position. The black overhead cart will stay there, probably with pink trays on the bottom shelf, individual chalkboards and whiteboards on the middle shelf and my paper cutter on the top. It is the perfect height for standing to cut paper. I have a different cart with my actual overhead on it, one that I purchased before the school purchased carts for each teacher. It is smaller, but has drawers to store the transparencies. It will be located in the table area, facing the screen which pulls down over the chalkboard.
- language shelf (needs work!)
I think this will be the location for the language shelves. This shelf and another one next to it. There will still be a space to walk between these language shelves and the math shelves to access my desk. I am very rarely at my desk during the school day except to print pictures for the kids to use in language work.
- Language Shelf 2
This brown shelf will go next to the other language shelf so that there is room for a variety of activities without crowding. they are almost the same height. Right now this shelf is guarding the mirrors, one for the door and one each to be mounted on boards to make reflective work surfaces for the sand and water tables.
- looking toward my desk
This looks toward my desk, which is behind the big shelf. The area in front of the shelf, with all the junk, will be the kitchen/snack area. I hope to put one of my new, cute rectangular tables there for snack, but if that is not possible I will have to bug the janitors to let me into the shack to get some small desks to group for a snack table. The bit of pink is my snack serving table which I rescued from a garbage dump sentence, had refurbished by one of the janitors, and then painted.
I am going to have to be very creative with shelving/display/storage for practical life, sensorial and cultural items. I do have a couple of shelf units left, but they are not very big. I also need to locate the art center and set up the paint easel. There is a lot to do, but I will keep babystepping toward my dream.