Welcome to our room!
Isn’t the beginning of the year great? The freshly sharpened pencils, the rearranging of furniture, and of course (most importantly) the students and their smiling faces.
When putting a room together, I love to create little spaces here and there. I want it to look welcoming and exciting, yet also have enough open space to put up student work and let them leave their mark.
Let’s take a tour of our room! I’d like to point out 5 parts of our room that we find very useful and absolutely love.
My mom made these chair pockets for us and we love them. While we share some things with our tables- pencils, crayons, glue, and scissors- having chair pockets gives our students a bit of independence in taking care of their things. In our chair pockets you will find our writing folders, handwriting books, and rest journals.
#2- Closet Chalk Boards
We use these chalkboards as a place to keep track of our reading stamina, ideas for writing, and names of our friends.
They really perk up our room!
#3- Our classroom library
Such a rich part of any classroom, a classroom library is the home for stories and books about the world. I worked in a children’s book store in high school and college and have had a slight obsession with books- children’s books specifically.
Our library is organized by topic. I wanted the kiddos to have a large part in deciding this, so last year we talked about how we wanted our library to be, how we wanted the books to be organized, and how it should be labeled. I did the writing for the labels and they did the illustrations.
#4- The Kitchen
We are very lucky to still be able to have Free Choice as part of our day in Kindergarten at our school. This is part of a Kindergartners education that is going by the wayside in many schools. I feel very lucky to be in a place that embraces this time and all the skills it supports- communication, cooperation and collaboration, problem solving, independence, etc. The list could go on forever!
This is our Kitchen area- by far the hottest choice during our Free Choice time this year. It is a place where kids who wouldn’t normally play together now do, and they enter an imaginary world where they get to try on different roles. It is one of my favorite parts of the day- listening to and watching them at this time.
#5- Our schedule time line
This part of our room is such a small part, but it does so many things. At the beginning of Kindergarten, the days seem so long for our little learners. They are wondering when lunch is, when they get to play, when they will go home. The schedule above our SMARTboard helps us tremendously to answer those questions and ease any worries. We move the star along our schedule as we go, so they can see what’s coming next.
We build the schedule cards together, so they know what the pictures mean if they can’t read the words.
It helps the kiddos continue to work on their left to right work which will carry over into reading and writing.
It also acts as a memory bank for our year. Whenever we have a special event, we make a card for it and put it in our schedule for that day. When the day is over, I keep the card and at the end of the year when we’re reflecting on what a full year it has been, we pull those cards out and take a look at all the special things we did in addition to our very full typical days. The cards are also useful when thinking of topics to write about (for example: narratives about special class trips or a how to book about how to make applesauce).
So there’s our classroom in a nutshell. I love to try to make it a special, uplifting, and well-designed space for us in which we spend our many hours together.
What parts of your room are your favorites? Which parts really carry your ‘fingerprint’ as a teacher?