Monday I have dinner at my in-laws so I have to leave work rather early. Tuesday I had a first year teacher meeting 1/2 hour away that started 20 mins after school lets out....so I had to leave early and fly there. Wednesday was supposed to be really bad weather so I left early to avoid that. Thursday was another day of really bad roads, so I had to leave early then too. Finally, Friday. I do not get ANY prep time Mon-Thurs. Fridays I don't have class, but get all my prep time in one day...so there is much to do! I am required to put in 3 hours, and I have put SO MANY hours in recently, my principal said she would be flexible on that as well: "Don't feel like you have to come in just for the hours...you have put in more than your share." The thing is: I can't seem to leave the place! I always have so much I want to do I often put an 8-10 hour day in on Fridays.....Today, was one of those 10 hour days...
It took me almost 2 weeks to get to number 3. This was going to take some time and time was something I didn't really have. Today, I got it done!
Challenge #3. Surface Clean. "I want you to start in one corner of your room and work from top to bottom and left to right. Ultimately you'll do a complete 360 around the entire classroom."
*As mentioned when I was taking my before photos, it is a tricky getting rid of all the visual clutter because in a play based classroom everything is to be accessible to the children. It is also lots of toys and games they play with that makes up the shelves, my stuff is usually in closets.
*I did fix up some areas, reteach how to put toys away this week, and then wipe surfaces down with clorox wipes (these were on the supply list this year and I am SO GLAD! I use them like they are going out of style!)
Here are some pictures of the improvements!
*First, I cleaned off the sets of drawers behind my desk. I took the stacking shelves off the file cabinet. I wasn't using them because I am not tall enough to reach them while they are on top of there. I needed to find a way to use them more efficiently.
*I need to keep the paint brush bucket in the room because we do not have a sink in our room. I wash the brushes once a week, but I keep them clean and prevent them from hardening by keeping them in water. I hid that behind a picture frame that is now on the File Cabinet.
*I moved frames from my desk to the file cabinet as suggested in an earlier blog to remove clutter. I think it adds a nice touch.
After working today and taking the pictures, I have realized I do not like the bulletin board behind my
|Click here for original site of image|
desk. It started out cute, but now stresses me out. I am thinking of doing something like this behind the desk. Each child could have one piece of art, I could feel organized.
*I cleaned off my desktop and washed it down.
* I moved the stacking shelves onto my desk. I plan on making labels for the shelves (you can see they are there now-binder clips with a small label stuck on the back and clipped on the shelf)
* The top right now is the TONS of scholastic packs I get a month. I get quite a few of orders from scholastic, so I can't complain, but I am needed a home for the brochures until they go out (I get the next ones in before the order is due, so I wait until one order is submitted before sending out the next)
* My sub binder is is on the next shelf. It will get scrapbook stickers labeling it soon. The sub binder is also where the lesson plans are stored (I print them once and put them in there for reference, but I make and look at them online when I need them-See my lesson plan post).
*Next shelf is "fillers" for kids that finish early, someone who cannot make good choices and gets called to table work, and similar situations.
* The bottom is empty, but I am learning empty can be good, don't fill it because it is there. If I need it later, it is there.
This week, I have added a listening center. These books (the original storybook reader) work with magnets in the pages and a cartridge put in the back. When the page turns, the magnet is read, and the page is read out loud. Bringing this into the class got the book out from under the stairs and is adding more to the students hearing and listening to books. I got the reader and 10 books at a rummage sale for $10. Since it is so old, they dont make it any more. This means replacement books and more books are very expensive. I am trying to get some off ebay, we shall see how that turns out. If they do well with this, we can move to books on tape and/or cd. The Cd player moved here from the heater.
The "Friend and Family" "We Wish you Well" and "check in" wall was bothering me. One, the borders were falling off. Two, paper was fading. Three, they pictures were falling off. I revamped. The wall is covered in one solid piece of paper (purple, my new color of choice). I hope to convert this to fabric some time soon. The check in was
I moved the sensory information over to the left and pushed the sensory table over to touch the wall. It always bugged me they ended up pushing it over there so I just did it for them.
*The other corner is the safe spot now. There is a pillow and a carpet square to sit on. I will get the two small posters out and post the on the wall right there as well.
*Still havent found a good way to store the literacy bags and the library books. Still thinking on that.
Rotating clockwise some more, I have taken the milk crate out and put the
file cabinet in. I asked our principal if there were any extra cabinets or shelves in the school I was looking. She remembered this little guy. Perfect for the space. I do intend to cover it eventually. I really cleans the space up visually for me.
*I took out the big stereo (it was borrowed) and put in the small one I bought the day after Christmas sales.
*I moved their puzzles and games around a little bit, and retaught the proper way to put them away.
*I wiped down all the shelves. (oops, wipes still on the shelf in pictures).
*I moved the Family and Friend board over as well. This also allows for stapling rather than tape. The pictures lay flatter and they get less damaged by the daily walk through here.
*I plan on doing thematic fabric as the background next year. (when back to college sales on sheets come out)
I turned all the bins so the labels are out and retaught how to put the toys away. Have one more label to make and also some labels for the toys in the closet that will get switched out to this shelf and need the labels.
Took the radio off the heater, washed off the shelves and window sill. I dont think I have ever washed the window sill so if it isn't clutter free it is clean (and sanitized!)
Challenge # 4. Assess Needs. "Assess your current storage situation and make plans for improvement. Start by taking measurements of your space(s) and make an inventory of what you have."
I didn't get to and couldn't get to under the tree house stairs back by my desk for the challenge #3. That is where #4 comes in. I measured and thought of what kind of storage could go there.
I went to dollar tree this evening to help meet these needs. They didn't have the color I wanted (purple) so I got pink and green (my other 2 favorites) and maybe will have a tropical colors theme or just paint them.
I am still assessing how to meet the needs of those literacy bags and library books by the door. I feel the library books being in the crate is ok (and purple ;) ) but I need to find a way to get those slumpy bags that need to be accessible less visible.