Saturday, June 15, 2013

Before pictures and decorating plans

As some of you already know, I will be teaching first grade at the International Academy of Suriname in Paramaribo, Suriname this up coming school year. One of the teachers there sent me pictures of my classroom. The current teacher had already taken down everything. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous when I saw these photos. BUT, then, I got excited at the challenge of decorating this room and making it cute, welcoming, and comfortable.
First the pictures, then I will share some of my ideas. 

This looks like it might be a reading/library area. I am praying I can find a different piece of carpet somewhere for a reasonable price. If not, I'll make do.  Also hoping I can find some big pillows or cushions to line the wall. Hoping I can find some sort of baskets or bins to organize the library.

I bought some small white curtains to go over that window.  As you can see, it is a chalkboard! Which is fine. I am one of those who prefers a chalkboard over a dry erase board.   Student desks. Not sure how I am going to arrange those yet. 

A view of the room from the teachers desk. Yes, that material map will be coming down. Will try to find a different spot for it.  :) I can't wait to get there so I can see if I can do some rearranging. 

View of the teacher desk area. Those curtains are coming down! :) I've found some cute ones at Walmart, of all places. :) Pic posted below. 

Another view of the room.  I see a lot of potential! Here is my main dilemma. I can only take two suitcases at 50 pounds each. So, I am limited to how much school stuff I can bring with me. But, regardless, there are some things I have to take with me, as they are difficult to find there.  

I am not really a theme kinda girl. However, I usually have color schemes. I am thinking yellow and green with polka dots.  Here are some things I picked up today. (BTW, the Carson Dellosa items were 20% off)

LOVE these letters. AND they are already pre-cut. I am investing in a small personal laminator to take with me.  They weigh about 4 pounds, but I think it will be worth the sacrifice of an extra pair of shoes or two. :)
Pictured above are letters, name tags for the desks, name tags for the students, and some accents I will use in the room to label things. 

My bulletin board border. LOVE. :)  I was told the school does have bulletin board paper. I am hoping they have green and yellow. If not, I 'll just make do with whatever is available.

My alphabet boarder.

The curtains I found at Walmart. The picture is not very good. But they are green with white polka dots. I was excited to find these!

So, there you have it. I have got my work cut out for me. BUT I am up for the challenge. I think the hardest thing for me is not being able to get in my room now! I usually like to work on my room a little at a time all summer. This year, I have to wait until I get there. That is why I am trying to get my stuff together and get a plan of action so I can hit the ground running. 

PLEASE leave me a comment if you have any ideas or suggestions!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Organizational Tips Linky Party

Fun in Room 4B and Ladybug's Teacher Files are having a linky party! Share a tip about how you stay organized in the classroom.


I wish I had a more recent picture to share. The only one I found was from 2 years ago when I was setting up my classroom.

Idea number 1:

On my teacher desk, you see 5 pocket folders. They are labeled Monday through Friday. This is an old picture. This year, I had newer folders with cute days of the week labels. Wish I had taken a picture before I packed them up at the end of school!  Anyway, when lesson planning, I put any work or tests we will be doing in the daily folders. When it is time for a test or worksheet, I simply just pull them out of that day's folder. Makes my life so much easier! This was for fourth grade. Next year I will be teaching first. I plan to find some type of narrow tubs/bins to use. I will put any flashcards/manipulatives/or worksheets for that day's lessons.

Idea #2:  See the yellow folders? They were labeled by subject. When they completed a test, quiz or written assignment, they would file it in the appropriate subject folder. My teacher's helper would sort them for me in numerical order. (The students were assigned numbers).

Can't wait to read everyone else's ideas!

Happy organizing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Collecting and Returning Homework

Joy in the Journey is having a linky party. What do you do with that pile of homework you assigned? I taught 4th grade the last 6 years. Here is what I did.

I have a tray in the front of the classroom for homework collection. When the students come in, they place their homework in the tray. They are to put their name, student number, and subject heading on all of their papers. My teacher's helper will sort the papers and put them in number order for me.

The picture above shows the homework tray.  After the homework is sorted, it is checked. I do this two ways. Sometimes, I pass it back to the students and we check it as a class. The rest of the time, I take out my fun, colorful felt tip pens and check it myself. :-)

When it is time to pass it back, I, or my teacher's helper,  put it in their mail slots. I LOVE this pocket chart organizer! It has made my life so much easier.

And that is how I checked  4th grade homework.
Next year I will be teaching first grade. I will probably do something similar. I need to put some thought in to it. :)

Oh, one other thing. At the beginning of the school year, I send home a copy of my homework policy to the parents. They and their child sign and return it to me.