Sunday, September 03, 2006

From Trash to Treasure


After six days of back-breaking work my new classroom is finally ready. I have to thank my mom, my sister, my youngest niece, and my dad for all they did to help me pull this together. My mom and my sister spent two days up on ladders hanging butcher paper all the way to the ceiling, and trimming the butcher paper with border. Sarah numbered student supplies and fetched items for us, and Dad was a big help with furniture placement. My mom has sewn a curtain for the back window (which we will hang next week) and she's making a new seat and back for my director's chair.


This is the corner of the room where the classroom library is. The round table is used to work with students in small groups. I usually have parents volunteer to help during math to support those students who need their math efforts "micro-managed" in order to be accurate. Since I've been utilizing parent volunteers in that way, most kids who really struggle with math have made greater improvements throughout the year.


Here you can see our computer stations. I have three new computers this year. In my old classroom, I had the same computers for eight years! Do you think they worked? It was ridiculous. Fortunately, that room now has all new computers. I'm not very good at incorporating technology into the curriculum. A lot of that has to do with the fact that our technology hasn't been reliable enough, but my last class in this master's program is about technology. So, maybe I'll pick up some strategies for making better use of my computers in that class. I am hoping to have a Smart Board installed this year or next. That's technology that I can get excited about!


This is the back of the room. This building I'm in is circular and has six classrooms in it. We call these buildings "pods". The middle of the building is a room shaped like a hexagon - it is a room shared by the teachers for storage and we usually eat lunch in our own pod rooms. Since I'm in a pod with third grade teachers, I'll still go over to the 4/5 pod for lunch. Each classroom is shaped like a giant piece of pie. Because the rooms are shaped like that, it does make it difficult to place furniture and optimize the space, but I think we've done a good job. That's my desk back there in front of the window. I have a smaller desk at the front of the room from where I teach and have all the day's materials.


Last picture - leaky sink, television and VCR player, and cabinets that are now meticulously organized! I love Mary Engelbriet, so I have two sets of her posters displayed in the room. I also have a nice set of Virtues posters. We have a virtue of the month schoolwide. We want the kids to think about responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, cooperation, etc., throughout the year. My favorite little board is back by my desk. It's titled "The Joys of Teaching" and on it are group pictures of each class I've had since 1996. I'm just going to keep adding pictures until I retire. Understand, some of them are more cause for joy than others, but you know what I mean!

I try to create a classroom environment that is moderately stimulating and calming at the same time. I use vibrant but cool colors to set the mood. The feel of a classroom is very important and can impact student achievement. I don't like being in classrooms that are dated looking because the teacher has the same posters up since 1979, and I don't like classrooms that have too much decor in them, either. I think kids probably feel the same way whether they can articulate that, or not.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my home away from home!

20 Comments:

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger Paulette said…

    You did a great job and my Mom who taught 1st grade for 30 years said that your students will love it.

     
  • At 9:16 AM, Anonymous kayce said…

    Your class room looks GREAT!!! As a parent I love rooms with color and interest, yours captured me! When does school start?

     
  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger Kathy and Joel said…

    Your classroom looks so wonderfully stimulatiing and I am sure that your kids will love it. I am stunned at the ammenities you have in your classroom! Best of luck in this new school year!

     
  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger Michelle said…

    Your classroom is beautiful! It puts mine to shame! :) You're lucky to have so much help. I did most of mine by myself. Your students are lucky to have such a beautiful classroom and a devoted teacher!

     
  • At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Johnny said…

    A question for those not in the know....wasn't this your same classroom as last year? If so, is it just the normal cycle of the year that you have to "rebuild" from trash-to-treasure each year?

     
  • At 11:26 AM, Blogger Connie said…

    That is AMAZING! What a great classroom. I want to start over in grade school again seeing that :0)

    Should be much easier to have a great year in that room!

     
  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger Krista said…

    Wow! You did a great job. It looks so organized. I want you to be my girl's teacher... :)

     
  • At 1:51 PM, Blogger Jenny said…

    WOW!! That looks awesome. YAHOOO!!!

     
  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger Mariah said…

    Wow, that makes me want to go out and buy new folders, pencils and erasers;)!

     
  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger Julie said…

    The colors are awesome! Nice job!

     
  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger Jodie said…

    I LOVE your classroom! LOVE IT!

    You did a great job fixing it up, and your students are so lucky to have such an inviting place to spend their day learning!

     
  • At 5:18 PM, Blogger tracy said…

    It's a very nice classroom! Love the colors and the fact that you spent so much time preparing to teach the children this year. I love it when I go into my boys' classrooms and it looks so cozy. Afterall, it also their home away from home. Comfy is a good thing!

    Thanks for being a teacher! The world needs more of you!

     
  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger Christi said…

    Looks lovely and now I want to take pictures of my room too. I love the Joys of Teaching idea. I agree with you about not overdoing it. I like things really organized and clean and I think it does impact the children positively.

     
  • At 7:20 AM, Blogger Michele said…

    WOW, your room looks great!! When I was teaching I always loved getting my classroom set up. Now I try to get in on the action with the teachers in my building at times LOL. It is such a fun time. Your kids will love the room and the parents will too!!!

    Michele, Mom to Emily and Alyssa
    www.ourjourneytoalyssa.blogspot.com

     
  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger Tamara said…

    What an inviting and friendly looking classroom. The kids will be so excited to see their new room. You did an awesome job and you can tell a lot of love and work went into transforming your class room. Thanks for sharing all those great pictures.

     
  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger C2 said…

    I think your classroom looks fabulous! Best of luck with your new students this year~

    PS: Of course I'll share some of my wine with you- you are a fellow teacher after all, so I know how some days you just need it!

     
  • At 4:02 AM, Anonymous terri said…

    Awesome job! Worth the sweat. Your kids will love it.

    Johnny, I think this is a new classroom that she inherited, right Joannah?

     
  • At 4:31 AM, Blogger Stacy said…

    Your room is great! So colorful. Don't you just wonder what some architects are thinking when they design schools? I'll tell you about my room some time. It doesn't make any sense.

    Enjoy the year!

     
  • At 5:55 AM, Blogger Joannah said…

    Yes, this is a new classroom for me. I emailed Johnny and brought him up to speed on my situation. :-)

     
  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    Your room looks fabulous! Your students are going to love it!

     

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