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

Archive for August, 2009

Where will I put the students?

Posted by mrsmelva on 24/08/2009

Yesterday, while working in the classroom, I was having trouble visualizing the placement of the tables, of which only one has arrived. So, I took paper and cut it to table size and laid it on the floor, setting the chairs around it. I then discovered that I had no room for all my children’s books, which were in 27 tubs, on 3 carts. I put them in the hallway (will need to find them a better home than that) and began rearranging shelves. I also discovered that I need to have the screen moved to the center of the room, it is offset right now, but that placement will not work.  Since all my students are new to kindergarten and to Montessori, and I am also rquired to do direct teaching using Animated Literacy and some other programs, I plan to start the year with these directed lessons and introduce the Montessori works slowly and steadily. Hopefully a little further into the year we can rearrange the tables and move them when needed if we are using the screen. I chose small rectangular tables but will be arranging them like two long rectangular tables for the start.

First row of "tables"

First row of "tables"

This is the first row of “tables”,  next to the carpet. The one actual table is at the front of the room. The overhead is placed so that it will project to the center of the board, so the pull down screen will need to be moved over. The shelves behind the overhead, dividing the space, will hold practical life activities. The pink shelves under the board will hold math materials. I have a lot of my math materials on the shelves right now,  but they are not set out in a way that makes them easy to use.

Second row of "tables"

Second row of "tables"

This shows the other row of “tables” and the language shelves, including last year’s practical life shelf, which now holds the metal insets perfectly!

Metal Insets Shelf

Metal Insets Shelf

I haven’t put the insets on the stands yet, I need to find them in my many boxes, and also need to find the basket that is exactly the right size for the paper. Last year I just had the pencil crayons in a basket, but this year I organized them by colour into these little empty juice bottles in a nice Dollarama wooden tray. I also set up a tray of pencil crayons for the pre-k teacher. This shelf, which fits the insets exactly, was given to me. It is metal and I spray painted the end brackets and just washed down the shelf sections. It serve well as a practical life shelf last year, but has now come into its own with the insets.

Story and Calendar Wall

Story and Calendar Wall

It seemed silly the other day to be decorating a bulletin board amid piles of boxes but I needed to set up this wall so that I could determine furniture placement. I had to move the rug back a little bit so that I can move the chart stand easily. I do a lot of teaching from that stand, it has a magnetic board, white board and chart paper, plus a ledge for big books and four book tubs that are interchangeable with the ones on the carts I put in the hallway. I use the pocket charts for attendance and many comprehension and math activities. The coloured strips on the left are the alphabet that was purchased for every classroom. The garbage can and other stand of chart paper will be moved and the black metal rack will be hung on the wall to display books for the children. The science and sensorial area is to the right of the calendar and the sand and water tables and painting area are to the left. It doesn’t leave much room for displaying student work, and I have a lot less hallway display space too, so I think I will just have to commit more time to changing what work is up (and to filing the work when I take it down). Maintaining this space is going to be a lot more work on a day to day basis, I will need to be very organized!

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Cupboards, Dishwasher and Shiny Sink!

Posted by mrsmelva on 15/08/2009

After a wonderful two week family holiday I went to school this morning to check on the state of my cupboards. They are done! The dishwasher is in and there is a very shiny double sink, an improvement on the old single. I snapped a couple of pictures and then headed home to cook lunch. I will go later and start washing dishes since they have been on open shelves in the bootroom all summer. Then I can start organizing the cupboards so that the children can get what they need for snack independently.

sink and dishwasher

sink and dishwasher

basic view of the cupboards

basic view of the cupboards

I now need to have the papertowel, soap and toothbrush holders installed by the janitors. I will meet with them on Monday with a list and some muffins. I actually need them to do quite a few little jobs so I will bribe them with some fresh muffins.

Flylady would love this shiny sink!

Flylady would love this shiny sink!

I will have to be on my toes to keep this sink so shiny. Must remember to line my paintcups with thin plastic bags so that they don’t need soaking. I am feeling much better about the room now and am looking forward to getting things put away and organized. I will post pictures when I get some things done.

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