This past week I spent some time in my new kindergarten classroom. I don’t know about you, but it takes me SO much time to figure out where I want everything. I normally spend the first day moving furniture a bunch of times because I unfortunately was not blessed with spatial awareness. (Anyone else with me on that one?)
As I think through and move furniture I think how the setup will best suit the needs of my incoming students. When I was in high school, I worked in a day care for 4 years and I’ll never forget the director telling us, “set up your classroom to decrease the urge of kids to RUN!” As I look back, this advice has shaped every classroom I have ever put together. I will never forget her showing us how kids run through aisles and empty spaces in classrooms. Therefore, I always try to set up intentional areas in my classrooms where students can work and play.
This year, my classroom is smaller than I am used to. In fact, it took a lot longer for me to figure out where I wanted to put everything because I didn’t have a corner for my book nook. However, I think that what I came up with will work nicely.
Now as I walk you through these pictures, please realize that I am still in set-up mode. My classroom is not “perfect” yet (it won’t ever be!!), but I wanted to give you an idea of what was going on.
When you first walk through the door, you are greeted by a sea glass braided rug, two white comfy chairs and my reading area. (I couldn’t get both chairs in the picture frame.) This is not always ideal; however, I think it will work for us as people generally don’t come in and out of our classrooms.
To the right, are the children’s hooks and their book boxes.
On the book shelf, I currently have some easy readers, books that go along with our first themes for community, our world, colors, and my favorite August read alouds.
From here you can see what will become my literacy shelves.
Currently these shelves are housing simple activities and literacy games that will be familiar activities to my incoming students. This will help them feel at home in our new classroom quickly. On these shelves I currently have puzzles, writing supplies, sandpaper letters, the moveable alphabet, and the color box.
Last year these students LOVED these activities. Here is what they look like in action:
There are also two easy literacy centers on the shelves.
Matching capital to lowercase letters:
I always start the year with simple activities that do not need much explaining. This makes it easy for me to get centers off the ground! As the year progress, these shelves will hold all of our word work and literacy centers.
From the literacy shelves, you come into our meeting area. This is where we will hold our morning meeting, closing circles, calendar time, math meetings, and more!
In that small shelving unit I have flashcards on the top shelf, my Bibles and CDs on the second shelf, and the bottom shelf has enough dry erase boards and markers for all of my students. This will make it easy to pass out supplies to my students on the carpet. The bookshelf is housing all my read alouds for the first week of school.
On the opposite wall, you will find my math area and sensory table. (Again, you will notice super simple, engaging materials that students can use without much direction.)
My room is not 100% set up yet, but it is getting there! Since the room is tiny, I wanted to make the most out of the cabinets in my classroom. I decided that the cabinets that the children can reach will house items that they can access throughout the day. The shelves above their reach level are for me to store my materials and items.
The shelves are currently housing items for our “exploration centers” in the afternoon. My students will be able to open up the cabinets and take out the materials that they are interested in.
From the pictures in this blog post you can’t see the light table and the easel that is set up but many of these materials can be used on those items.
I also have the art supplies stored in cabinets where the students can easily assess them. I did this last year and it was a life saver! My drawers look like this!
I have a “frequently used supply drawer.”
A “paint drawer.”
And a “craft drawer.”
These drawers make crafts super easy! Everything I need is right at my fingertips and I “train” the students to know where everything goes.
I also have a paper cabinet. (I know, forgive the red construction paper that is out of place. After I took the picture I realized I had to fix it….) The white paper has its own section because we go through it the most! It is the color that is right at my student’s hand level.
In my teacher cabinets I am storing my extra math items, science experiment materials, curriculum items, and guided reading materials. (Some shelves/materials are not shown!)
And there you have it! That’s as far as I have gotten this week! Next week I will keep plugging away! I hope that you are doing well!