Help me do it for myself.

Montessori in a Dene Kindergarten – Montessori in a Dene Grade One Classroom

Welcome to my Nightmare!

Posted by mrsmelva on 02/07/2009

I went to the school for a few minutes this afternoon and was completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my room and the total disorganization. Where, oh where to start. It is a disaster area and I need to clear the counter area so that maintenance can install my dishwasher, which will also involve changing the cupboards. The dishes (and a lot of other stuff) are in the bootroom. I also need to have the bootroom shelves and hooks changed, plus a lot of other fiddly work that I will need the janitors to help me with.

Looking in from the doorway.

Looking in from the doorway.

This is the stuff that has to be moved first so that they can deal with the dishwasher and cupboards. The sand and water tables are in the far left corner by the window, near the bootroom door. Under all the stuff there is a blue line that the janitors painted on the floor before they waxed it. I was going to have them paint a sweeping square too, but didn’t know where I wanted it due to the maintenance work, but I will figure that out for next year. They are very good about painting things on the floor for me and then waxing over them. In my old room I had beautiful circles on the floor.

Oh, my word!

Oh, my word!

This looks toward the other corner which will have science and nature. I need to have my shelves removed from the wall in the old room and mounted on the wall here, and the tall shelf needs to be anchored to the wall. the orange bulletin boards will be covered. That’s another problem,  I am losing a lot of bulletin board space so I don’t know how I will display the kids’ work. I will be requesting another one in the hallway, but it will have to wait until next year. The pink chair is my Author’s chair. I will move it near the rug (covered in stuff), up against the big bulletin board, along with my teacher chart stand. I will have my book displays mounted under the bulletin board.

Math Shelf 1

Math Shelf 1

math shelf 2

math shelf 2

These will be my math shelves. Everything on them is math related except some of the red drawers (need to separate the units), but not everything is staying on the shelves to be out at once. I did put it onto the shelves (well, actually my helpers did) so that I could see what I have and how it fits. My helpers started putting language things on the shelves too, mixed with the math, but I just took them off and will set up language on some other shelves.

Future Language Shelf and Art Shelf

Future Language Shelf and Art Shelf

I will probably use this shelf for language, but it needs a better location. The art shelf needs a location, but it is on wheels and is pretty much still set up.

Teacher's desk

Teacher's desk

There’s my desk, in the corner. Hopefully I can get the shelf  fixed to hold my binders. The computer desk for the school computer (required for attendance, rarely works for anything else) is directly behind mine so in theory I can just turn my chair around and enter my attendance. The printer is mine, I use it with my laptop mainly to print pictures of the kids.

New stove and fridge.

New stove and fridge.

The new stove and fridge are right next to the door, my desk is to the far left of them. They will not be near the sink/dishwasher/cupboards, but I will find a way to make things work for snack and practical life.  My microwave stands will go between the stove and the big brown shelf, holding the microwave, toaster and coffee pot.  The trolleys with bins of art supplies and student supplies will probably butt up to the big brown shelf and I will have to decide which way I want the student supply bins to face. Paint (large containers) will go on top so that I don’t pile junk on the flat surfaces!

New table, small and cute.

New table, small and cute.

I ordered 6 of these small tables which I can arrange in different ways to accommodate the kids in different areas. I will still have them working on the floor a lot too, if there is any floor left when I have all the stuff set up!

Small Group Table

Small Group Table

I ordered 2 of these small group tables, they are much smaller than the ones that I had before. I ordered 2 hoping that I will have a special needs tutor or an assistant, but I am not holding my breath on that.

I have a lot fo work to do to get this room ready, it is very disappointing to be moved after all the work I put into setting up the other classroom, but I am determined to make this a great classroom for my students. I will probably make changes throughout the year as I figure out what works and what doesn’t. I will be definitely trying to arrange it so that it is more closely aligned with a true Montessori set up. This past year, one of the mistakes I made was not clearly defining what materials went on what shelf according to the curriculum areas. I mainly organized them more for location of use or for where shelf space was available. Having the materials better organized and categorized should help the children make selections and should help me observe the children.

I did spend a little time today learning a few more tricks in my spreadsheet program for working with my class lists. I am beginning to get excited about my new class and my new room, but mainly about the class (kids).

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2 Responses to “Welcome to my Nightmare!”

  1. kicode said

    Hi Melva,

    I can’t imagine sorting through all that stuff. I have to move offices for the second time this year and I’m hoping I can find a space at the Ducharme Building for my days over there; I’m not sure when I’ll be making the move as it depends on Greg moving out of his present space. I know changing things is difficult especially when you still have course work to get done. I thought a few quotations about change would help you look at it a little differently. My favourite is the last one!

    Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
    Bruce Barton

    All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
    Anatole France

    Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
    Arnold Bennett

    If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
    Frederick Douglass

    If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.
    Gail Sheehy

    Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.
    Francis Bacon

    Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.
    Frank Herbert

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  2. mrsmelva said

    Interesting, in that I am trying to follow that last one. It really does sum up what we all need to do in order to implement change. Pam kept saying it to me last year when we were talking about some of the issues I have faced with my action research. It is a challenge to do it with a positive attitude, and I was not always successful. All of the quotes are good for my situation, thanks for the encouragement.

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