We start this week, I feel like we are the only district around the country that starts this Thursday. I’ve been working on my room/the book room all summer because I’ve had to take the intermediate book room and move it together with the primary book room to free up a classroom.
There were times when I just didn’t think I could accomplish it. But I created my teaching areas: one for ‘checking in’, breakfast and word work and another for guided reading. In my forty-five minute blocks I like to move them around, and I guess, come to think of it, I like to move around also.
The book shelves with all our little books are imposing, so I have hung my fabric from Costa Rica, and my striped canvas to shelter out the long shelves that cut the room in half. Teachers can access the book room when I’m teaching, so my make-shift drapes keep the kiddos from being distracted. When I’m in the small group they face me and I’m the only person that can see a teacher picking up books.
My friends who are used to me having two rooms think it looks a bit crowded, but I love it. I have a long, kind of ugly couch that I have placed giant Scandinavian looking pillows on. I have an antique chair that I painted and red, yellow and purple to give it a contemporary look. The low wicker rocker is pretty uncomfortable, but my young friends don’t seem to mind it. I also have three low stools that I have covered in fabric with a batting underneath. These were salvaged from when our district was in the construction mode (they used to have electrical wiring on them). We use them for many things…breakfast tables, performance and just sitting. A wide green and white striped chair is also a favorite when they are re-reading their little books every day.
Hanging from the ceiling are banners with the strategies, a soft plastic shoe rack that are houses for the stuffed animals . I have four different blue pocket charts that will get filled with various sorts and short poems that we love. My books are scattered in baskets so they can easily be accessed while they are ‘reading to self’.
One of the most important areas I shall call ‘artifacts’. It is the area surrounding my computer. I have a picture of three of my buddies, from Buddy Day eight years ago. One of the little boys in the picture passed away at the end of that school year. It reminds me every single day that having students build relationships with me and each other is a strong value that I hold. I have a new mug that says, Mor Mor on it (Swedish for grandma). Hopefully, I won’t lose that mug this year- not too many Mor Mor’s hanging around Liberty! I have colorful magnets holding people and verses that I treasure. This is my work station…but it reminds me every day that moments at my computer count, but people matter.
I thought about a picture for this post, but right now it is missing the most important part of the picture, and I think you know what that is. Just a hint: it will never be this clean again! Happy start ups to all.