Teacher Week with Bloghoppin' ~ Where?

All right people... I need to say this before you read (and look!) any further.  My classroom is NOT ready.  Nope... not ready... not beautifully adorned, not filled with matching decor... NOT ready.  Kids don't come in until next Wednesday, so I still have time to get things in order.  (Although, judging by these pictures, I have A LOT to do!)

Bloghoppin' is running day two of Teacher Week and today's topic is WHERE.

My plan was to run into school yesterday, snap a bunch of pics of my "under construction" room, take a few of the building on the way out and be done with it.  BUT, that didn't happen.  Too many people in there working and everyone wanted to talk.  So I had to stay.  And I forgot to take pictures of the outside of the building.  And I probably should have checked to see what else was on the Teacher Week list of blog topics because I am sure I should have taken pictures of other stuff and I do NOT plan on going back.  So we'll just have to make the best of it, shall we?

I am going to share with you pictures of my classroom... the place I spend most of my waking hours most of the year.  And this is really going to be keeping it real folks, because I feel like I'm showing myself undressed.  I added some labels to the pictures so you can imagine what it will really look like.
I hope.  You may want to close your eyes and just peek through your fingers for these...

 Here we are at the door of my room, looking almost straight in.  Not too bad.  Those windows are good and bad.  They let in a TON of light, which is nice, but it also makes it hard to see the screen with the smartboard.  And it gets HOT.  VERY HOT - and no, we do not have air conditioning because we are not in Florida or California or wherever.  It will cool off soon... until then we just deal with it and I do not need you to come to my room and say "Boy, is it hot in here!"... Trust me, we know that.
Here is the view looking to the right.  You get the picture - lots to do.  And I actually cleaned up and organized already.  Just not enough.  I have 3 main tables for my kiddos to sit at.  (I have 19 kids now so I need to use the back table which will cause all sorts of issues but it's ok.  I cannot complain about having 19 kids when so many others have like 90 kids... how DO you do it?)  I do assign seats, which change every few weeks, or whenever we seem to be getting to comfortable and chatting a lot.  And my kiddos sit all around the room when they are working... table spots are really just if we all need to be together and writing something or such.

 This is my new spot for my word wall.  I am giving up trying to use the board over the sink to actually display things. I am too old to be climbing up there all the time to change it.  The only problem was the old word wall was not the same size as the new board and I really liked the word wall and I did not want to make a new one AGAIN... so that left part of the board open.  Which I hated.  Until another teacher came in and said how much she loved the way I divided the board into two parts and wasn't that a great idea!  Yes, it was... just what I planned. :-)

 This area obviously needs a lot of work.  The word wall used to be there, so now it is empty and that whiteboard is going to be mounted in that spot.  But maybe not by the beginning of school, says my principal.  But maybe yes, say the facilities guys.  I'm going with yes.  Please.

I am planning on taking all the junk art materials and moving them to plastic bins.  I'm moving the table over a little and that's where the science table will be.  I'm starting with monarch caterpillars, then I'll change it to something else as those fly off.

 (I have no idea why this picture is blurry.  Please just squint and it will look ok.)  My pocket chart calendar is missing.  I need to find it.  I do not want to go back to the old faded blue one I had and then replaced with a nice new yellow one that I cannot even FIND online if I had to replace it.  Hopefully it will show up.  My classroom library will have more books in those baskets.  And the shelf has ore containers.. somewhere...

I am looking forward to having my SitSpots this year.  I'm hoping it will help my seconds stay in their space a little better.

 I LOVE the colors of these baskets!  It makes the whole area so bright and fresh.  My old ones were cracked and faded.  I still have to put nametags on them.  I put them in alphabetical order by FIRST name.  Actually, I organize everything by student first name.  It makes no sense to me why I would use their last name.  Once my parent volunteers get used to it, they all say it is so much easier.

Since we have tables, this is where my students keep their folders, journals, etc.  This way everyone still has their own personal area, but everything stay organized.  I can call students to get their reading journal (or whatever they need) by table number or by workbox color.

On top of the workboxes are more containers of books.  These are related to themes/authors we are currently focusing on our that my kiddos are interested in.  To start the year it will be school, Froggy, insects, butterflies and being me.

 This is the area near my desk.  (I apparently forgot to take pictures of that but since I don't ever sit there it doesn't really matter.  I usually have kids sitting there instead.)  This table is great for working with a small group or just as another space for students to work.  I went with stools this year instead of chairs (spray painted black) for some variety.

 I had to take a picture of this shelf because I am so happy with how it looks and how easy it is now to find everything.  It' amazing what consistent containers and colors will do!

Here is the back of the room.  I am going to staple yellow fabric on that board area and THEN put the letters, so I think it will look much better after that.  I'm also going to make a few pompoms for the sides.  I use this area for small group work and again, as another place for students to work.

And now our tour has ended.  I obviously have lots more work to do, but I'm really liking the way it is coming out.  Last year everything was mostly yellow and black.  This year I added pops of other colors and it has really changed the look of it all.

Be sure to head back to Bloghoppin' to visit other classrooms.  Ones that I am sure are not in such disarray as mine!  I love looking at other people's classrooms and seeing what goes on.

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