Thursday, July 28, 2011

Room Makeover!

My happy helper with his sippy cup. This is the view from the doorway. We're missing a loveseat facing the windows that's still in my parents' garage. Oh, and a 30 gallon fish tank.

Sort of a decent meeting area view. The couch potatoes (certain kids, rotated each day) will sit on the couch, while the other kids sit on the rugs. Books will go in the basket on top of the cool little dresser behind the couch and on the end table to the left of the couch.

The supply table sits on this rug in the middle of the room. Paper goes in the cabinet on the end. Little drawers and jars hold various supplies, including paints, brushes, scissors, Sharpie pens, Sharpie markers, and pretty much anything a second-grader could want to work with.

The view from the SMART Board meeting area. Imagine it without the inflatable dinosaurs and beach ball. You can see that most of the chairs are wooden and the tables are antique. I found many of them from family members or garage sales. I sanded them down and repainted them with various colors of green, grey, and blue paint that I found in my garage. (We paint a lot at home. Okay, *I* paint a lot. Evan tolerates my habit.)

You can see a small table with my computer and scanner on it. My old desk was just a junk catcher and I don't really need much but what's there now, so bye bye desk, hello space! The tall bookshelf is for book bins. The kids each have an ice cube bin for their books. The easels may or may not stay there.

Looking to your left from the doorway. Kids are in small groups, and each group will have a jar of colored pencils, markers, etc. at their table/group of desks. I like the old jar look--kind of vintage (and inexpensive).

Please excuse the books strewn all over--my happy helper REALLY likes to read. My mom made me new curtains from fabric I found on Those two lamps will move as well. The loveseat will sit at the edge of this rug facing the windows. Evan is making a shelf to sit on top of my main bookshelf under the windows so books will face out, more like you see in a bookstore.

Mmm...Etsy is great.

Rugs--Ikea. Pretty cheap. Or at least cheaper than any other rugs I found around here!

The kids will do a lot of work at "my" desk, scanning, Blogging, Tweeting on Twitter...I never sit there anyway.'s a little info. This is the first time in seven years I have been in one place for two whole years in a row doing the exact same thing and I need to change my setup since I am not changing rooms again. Yay! 

What I'm hoping this kind of setup says to my students is that they can be creative, collaborative, and decide what and how they learn best. I'm not in charge of their learning. They're doing and being and that's enough...I trust them.
This is the bare bones, most basic, preliminary setup of my classroom. It will change based on the needs of my students, but here it is!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wow, we got some comments!

EllaMae, Allie, and Wesley, thanks so much for commenting! We're plugging your comments into our book as you read this! They are so great. Superkiddos, is there anything else about being a writer that you think is important for teachers to know? Leave a comment and we'll probably include that too. I hope your summer has been great! I miss you!
Ian and Mrs. Overman ride their family's boat!