Yesterday I did not feel like working at school, so in the morning I stayed home and puttered with my flowers and my dogs. Finally I bit the bullet and went to school, but once there I wandered down to the library and visited my niece for over an hour. Reluctantly, I forced myself to head to the classroom and was trying to get focused when one of the janitors came in and asked if I needed help – Yes! He unscrewed the shelf in the bootroom and we moved it in behind my door and he screwed it to the wall there for safety. This is the shelf that I’ve been waiting for to put art supplies on. Now the next logical step would have been to put the art supplies on the shelf, but if you know me you will know that I do not always do things in a logical manner. Other than loosely setting a couple of things there because they were in the way, I worked on the placement of the other shelves.
"new" art supply shelf behind the door
This shelf will help to keep the art supplies organized and accessible, and it will also prevent me from piling boxes in this spot! After the shelf was placed I turned the guided reading table and positioned a shelf for some literacy activities and the snack table. The shelf for literacy activities was tricky because I have an alphabet pocket chart on the back of it. I put it near the snack table and added a desk next to the snack table (sometimes the snack table was a little small last year). The desk will be for serving fruit, and it eliminates what would have become a walkway and would have resulted in the child working with the pocket chart being interrupted or stepped on. This is the snack serving table, the students will eat at the guided reading table or at their desks, depending on whether or not the table is in use for reading/group work.
snack serving table (pink) and desk, alphabet pocket chart, guided reading table
Next I brought in some chairs and decided that I needed to get some smaller desks, the advantage of already knowing the kids is that I know that some of them are quite short. I managed to trade 4 desks for shorter ones that are all the same height, so I have one shorter row in front. I also moved all the desks forward the width of one floor tile. That frees up a little more floor space for working. It is a bit tight at the front of the room with my chart stand, but workable and that will move later in the year when they install the Smartboard.
Art center shelves, with clean trays, and desks in the background
Next I positioned the art center shelves, the one on the right backs onto the snack area desk. The students will come and get a tray and the supplies that they need and then go to their desks or an area of floor to work. The desks are in the background.
Backing onto the art shelves are these two shelves that will hold some sensorial and practical life materials.
Next I set these two shelves in place. They will hold some sensorial and practical life materials, at least at the start, and possibly some geography materials later in the year. I do know that some of my students still need work in practical life and sensorial. The top of the art and practical life shelves will give a nice display area for interesting art materials and trays of markers/pencils/crayons sorted by colour. It will be easier for the students to select and return materials when they are on top of the shelf instead of on a shelf underneath.
metal insets, on their own little shelf
This one is pretty self explanatory. I love my metal insets and this little shelf was a freebie and is just perfect for them. The pink shelf to the right will have language materials and the science area is behind them.
Just before leaving I set up the peace table. A student gave me the indigo rose this year, and wanted to add it to the peace vase. We didn’t have an actual peace table, just a vase with rose on a shelf, but it was effective. I have this desk for a peace table and in the storage tray I have put a selection of items students can use to help calm themselves if they need to. They may also hold the rock or shells from the little beach scene. I had three of those from my old classroom, one on each table in that room. We had packed them very carefully in bubble wrap but they got tilted so I had to use a sieve to separate the sand from the “water”. I will give one to the kindergarten teacher, and haven’t decided what I will do with the other one yet. On that peaceful note I went home, ate supper, and cut the grass.