Winter break is here! Last week was full of Christmas festivities and families, and this week I am slowly (but surely) starting to *maybe* think about teaching. Thankfully I was able to take a trip to school and get all my planning and prep done, so I wanted to take some time to show you a few of the changes I have made in the classroom since the fall.
If you remember in my 2014-2015 classroom reveal post, I have a huge wall in my classroom that is half countertops/storage and half bulletin board. Even though my sister and I spent DAYS organizing all my book bins so this storage would look “pretty,” my OCD just wasn’t having it. It wasn’t functional either because a lot of books don’t fit in the shelving!
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I peeked into the room next door and ended up seeing beautiful checkered curtains. Knowing that teacher is a sewing genius and crafting queen, I was ready to pay her to cover my clutter! Little did I know, all she did was *staple* fabric from the craft store onto the wooden shelving! It required fabric (I used a teacher discount and a coupon), a staple gun, and 15 minutes! NO SEW! NO MESS!
I tried to take the picture myself, but seeing as I had a staple gun and am a bit of a klutz, I asked my mom to snap the photo for me. Thanks Mom. 😉
No, my wall is not round. It’s the panoramic setting on the iPhone!
Ahh, so much better! I did have to move by book baskets to another location, so I put all my games and big books behind the curtains. And some other things (clutter) …but you’ll never know what because it is covered up!
The next big change relates to technology! Although we are so fortunate to have laptops, ladybugs (document cameras), and projectors, they are not mounted on the ceiling. This causes a few problems.
1. Students cannot stand in front of the projector. That means no GoNoodle from the carpet area.
2. I was using a desk. A little first grade desk. Which means it was uncomfortable to stand and use the document camera, and yet I don’t want to sit and teach! Awkward.
3. Cables, cables, everywhere! Although I bought a power cord for this set up, I still had a cord running from the table to the wall. I tried my best to plug/unplug it before/after every break, but as a teacher, sometimes I have other things on my mind. (What? The bell rang? Oh no, grab your lunches!) My students were good about stepping over the cord, but I was always a nervous wreck.
The solution? An audio/visual cart! I got mine from Quill.com. It came in a medium sized box. My husband easily assembled it and I rolled it out of my mini SUV and into my classroom. It has solved a lot of my problems!
Because of it’s adjustable height, I can now stand next to it, which gives me a lot more mobility when I’m teaching. (We all know classroom management is all about mobility and proximity, right?!) It’s big enough to hold my laptop, projector, ladybug, TE’s, supplies, gold tags, manipulatives, and whatever else I may need.
My laptop slides right out. I have way more room than I did on my table! As you can see, behind the projector and crayons are a cable. It has power built right in! I no longer need my power cord, and I no longer have multiple cords running across the floor. When I really need the space, I just roll the cart against the wall. Everything stays “set up.”
I also have room for my document camera. I usually stand in between the computer and the document camera. No teacher shadow on the screen. 😉
Last but not least, the lunch crisis!
We’ve updated our morning routine so that we can have smoother lunch transitions.
This year, most of my class brings their lunch. Since the kiddos leave their backpacks outside, we need lunches inside (it gets hot here)! We used to have a giant bin inside the classroom. Students would put their lunch in the big red bin when they came in the morning. The problem was, when it came to lunch time, the kids would be digging in the bin for their lunch. It was time consuming and it wasn’t orderly. Can you picture it? 25+ kids reaching into a bin trying to figure out if is their Frozen lunch pail or their friends Frozen lunch pail??
In came the Lakeshore cart. 😉 Before you go thinking I am using this cart for a purpose other than which is intended, know that I inherited it from a retiring teacher…and it was empty. 😛
Every morning I roll this cart outside. The students unpack their backpacks and place their lunches and water bottles on the cart.
Their homework goes in the blue bin. Once students come inside, they start working on A Teeny Tiny Teacher‘s morning work. I roll the cart to the back of the room and check homework folders. It makes lining up for lunch a breeze. As students walk to the door they grab their lunch from the cart on the way. It works so well and most of the kinder and first grade teachers are using the cart system now as well!
If you want to try the cart system, you can click here to download my “lunches” and “homework” signs for FREE!
Have you made any updates to your classroom?