Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Classroom Tour

With two more sleeps to go, I am not feeling completely ready but I know that I have done most of the big things now and it's the final touches and tidying that will get done or don't really matter too much.
I also need to start thinking about planning the first week so I have something to do with my lovelies in my new space.

This year we are "2C" so I decided to be "Cool Cats". Surprisingly there are no "cat" themed packs that I could get my hands on. Frogs, bees and ladybeetles seem to be more popular than cats. I made the door decoration using clipart by Trina Clark. I used a paint program and MS Word to individualise the paw prints. People keep telling me they look like dog prints but I don't know the difference and I hope my Year 2s are non the wiser as well. ;-)

Here is my room. I have 24 students but until a few days ago I was expecting 25 so I have 5 groups of 4 and one of 5. I'm not quite game to repurpose the spare desk just yet in case someone turns up on the first day. Six groups of 4 would be very neat though. I usually start the year with students facing forward as much as possible because it is easier to gain attention at first but I figure since they are younger grades, I will put them on the floor for whole group focus stuff and the desks will be for activity in groups or individually. I am using pencil caddies, not pencil cases, so they need to be in groups. Secretly, I would have preferred tables to desks but they are fairly new, especially compared to what I have been used to for the past few years so I won't complain.

I made these placemats for my students desks. I use them as easy reference for high frequency words, maths activities and also to mark where I would like the students to sit for particular activities.

This is one of the pencil caddies. I have enough pencils, scissors, crayons and glue sticks for each child, as well as a set of 20 counters each. I have only put two erasers on each table because I don't really want them to be erasing all the time and they tend to just use them to stab, chew on, draw on and crumble, so hopefully if they have to share them they will pay more respect to the group property. (It's a theory - I'll let you know how it goes.)

This is the front of the room. There is a large blackboard which is half covered with a white board and then I covered the rest with paper to use as a display space. I found a great picture of a lifecycle of a frog craft activity and display that will look great on the board. I have an interactive whiteboard on another wall so I will use it most of the time. I'm not sure what I will put on the whiteboard yet. Maybe messages.
The piles of stuff on the ledge are the books that go into children's desks. They should be gone by Tuesday morning.

This is my gathering space. I wanted it to be in front of the IWB so that we can do morning message and calendar and use the board interactively. I have put the carpet under the desks because the floor is vinyl and we are directly above another classroom and it gets very noisy when children are putting their chairs in and out. This means I don't have a carpet to sit on. I don't know whether to go for cushions or a rug or what just yet. Mum's a great quilter, maybe she will come and help us to make an alphabet rug. (That's a hint, Mum, if you read this.)

This is my prayer space. I still need to make a sign and find a candle and bible. I have cut out the letters for the sign but haven't worked out how to put them up. I have plans for the tree.

This is another view of the space on the floor. I have a sound muncher and some boxes with toys for free play and also maths equipment - MAB and unifix.

My empty word wall, ready for the students to add their names and to keep adding to as the year goes on.

This is my birthday chart. On the first day, I want the students to place their name and birthdate (already printed, cut out and laminated) on the right charts and add a candle to the right cake to make a birthday graph. Then I will move them up higher to make a frieze.

So as I said, it's coming together! I am pleased with how it looks. I hope my kids love learning in this space.


  1. It's looking great, Jane! I'm doing my plans for the first week now as tomorrow is the big day for me - lucky duck, still having 2 sleeps!

    Good luck! (oh, and your class website looks good too! Nice and simple. I've just started a Virtual Classroom through the Learning Place, not sure how it'll go!!).

    Down Under Teacher

  2. Looks great! You will be off to a wonderful start this year :) Your word wall looks really nice :)

    Teaching in Room 6

  3. Thanks, guys. It is very fiddly and time consuming getting it all set up.
    Having so many good ideas on the web is both a blessing and a curse, I fear. No-one can do it all!
    Better get to planning.
    Good luck tomorrow, Kylie!

  4. It's all looking great and ready for your kids! Isn't it funny when you get an IWB that all of a sudden you don't use your whiteboard for anything important really! The cat on your door is so cute, I always drew cat and dog paw prints the same - your kids wont even think twice about it!

    Good luck