It’s that time of year…..put away the suntan lotion, the dog-earred novel, and all of the trip memorabilia. Accept the fact that blogging may have to decrease to two or three posts per week instead of the daily Summer post. Move all of the Summer things to-do to the upcoming Fall Break to-do list. Hang up the flip-flops and try to find more presentable teaching shoes. Try not to have any regrets about wasted time and all of the things you wanted to do over the break but didn’t get to.
It’s time to focus on the classroom to make it presentable for Open House and the first day of school. As you can see I have many, many things to do. Over the last two days I’ve opened every tub (I should have stock in Rubbermaid), and weeded out and thrown away things I haven’t touched in at least two years. I’ve dusted, cleaned out my fridge (there was a container of yogurt in there with a date of 2005), and reorganized my classroom library.
This picture (below) is taken standing in my classroom door looking towards the back of my room. I need to reorganize my word wall. I usually use words for writing on the wall and post social studies/history vocabulary on a chart. Since I am going to teach language arts to both classes of social studies I'm playing with the idea of posting all the words together since students will be writing reflections at least every other day to sort out and make connections with the content. What do you think?
This picture (below) is also taken standing in the doorway looking straight ahead. I love the fact that I have two whiteboards. They really come in handy for things I'm required to post all of the time as well as for things I need to write during a lesson. This is the side of the room where everything, yes everything was when I came to school last week. I've spread it all out so I can have space to work and I use the desktops to sort things.
This is the view (below) from the back of the room at my desk looking towards the doorway. Students will be sitting in groups of four. A set of textbooks is already waiting in each desk for students. I hold the book facing me and place a tiny number on the top close to the spine along with the first two letters of my last name. I begin with 1 and move on to 2, 3, 4, etc. I do this on each type of textbook-----math, science, grammar, reading, and social studies. One desk has all of the 1's, another the 2's, etc. This helps students keep up with their books so much better because they know all of their books should be the same number. I have forms with the school system number already written in along with the matching number of mine so on the first day of school all I have to say is "What number to do you have?" and enter the student's name. I keep a master copy of these forms with the school system number on it so I don't have to reinvent the wheel unless we have new books. A great veteran teacher friend of mine showed me this trick when I moved down to fourth grade. It also makes taking up books at the end of the year a snap.
Finally a shot of my desk. I laid everything flat and put small things in a basket back in May because I knew they would move everything to clean the carpets.
I'm worried I won't get things done before Open House. We have to be at school Monday, July 31st for an all day meeting....no time to work in the rooms. I'll have all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning to work. However, Wednesday afternoon parents will be milling about my room. It's almost like having them searching through your underwear drawer. I know it a necessary evil, but I'm sure many judgements are made on that first visit. Yikes! I hate to spend my last two free days...tomorrow and Friday at school, but I may need to.