Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week - Classroom Digs (Or Dumps?) & Organization

So I missed yesterday's topic because of a silly reason. I didn't have my camera cable with me! I left the camera cable at my parent's place so I couldn't upload the pictures I took of my classroom. Well, I have the cable now so I figured I would just do a double feature since the two sort of relate in a way.

So if you've been following my blog, you'll know that I not only moved from first to second grade, I also moved classrooms. It's not a huge deal since I am still at the same school, just moved down the hallway. Sounds easy right? Wrong. So very wrong. The classroom I moved into was the classroom of our now retired second grade teacher. And she was in the classroom for at least 10+ years! You can probably imagine the amount of stuff she collected during all those times, including furniture. Not really sure what I was thinking when I decided to move into the classroom (yes, it was MY decision, not anyone else's). But I figured I should be able to handle it. Well, after working on the classroom for almost two weeks, I am finally making some progress. It's not done yet, though! There is still much work to be done! However, I decided to be brave and show you pictures. You can decide if it's digs or dumps. To show the progress, I am posting before and after pictures just so you can see. It's still a mess so be warned!

Here it goes!
Classroom Library
Before picture was taken last school year when we were packing the classroom. And yes, there is a piano in my new classroom. 
 Sink Area 
I'm not quite sure what the retired teacher used this area for but I've turned it into my computer area and listening center.
 A Corner of the Classroom
As you can see, I got rid of/moved quite a bit of furniture.
 The Wall Opposite of the Classroom Library
Bye bye shelves!
 Teacher's Area
Got rid of the desk and switched it with a table. Also moved one of the small bookcases over.
(P.S. The before picture was taken the first day I got my new keys. You don't want to see what it was like when she was packing up.)
 The "Front" of the Classroom
Also got rid of/moved furniture. The classroom looks so much bigger now! I will also be getting a SMARTboard put where those bulletin boards on the whiteboard are.
Are you all still here? Didn't get scared away? Whew! I'll bet you that when former students come back to visit the classroom they will be amazed at the change.

Now, onto some of the neater and more "organized" parts of the classroom.
Part of the classroom library. Chapter books are organized by series. Picture books are organized by level and genre.
Math manipulatives and games. Games are grouped by subject. 
Pencil boxes for each student! It has everything they need inside: crayons, erasers, glue stick, pencils, a bookmark, and their sticker chart! No need to pass out these things when they need them! 
These are the things the students get to keep when they take home their pencil boxes at the end of the school year. I will add a dry erase marker which they have to return to me. 
Supply caddies, whiteboards, and clipboards. Each table group (labeled by color) has their own supply caddy. In the caddy is glue, scissors, whiteboard erasers, and extra crayons. I plan to use the jumbo fabric book covers as chair pockets and store the white boards and clipboards there so that it's easily accessible. 
Labeling cubbies with student numbers rather than names. Student numbers are pretty awesome!
Other suggestions with no pictures:
*Color code student folders by subjects. This year we are going to have a folder for math (orange), writing (red), science (purple), and specials (green). I also happen to have the same colored baskets so the students also turn their papers in to the baskets according to subject too. (ex: math papers turned into the orange basket)
*Organize and store all classroom materials and books in boxes by units or months and ONLY take them out when they are needed. Put them away immediately when the unit/month is over, including the books. Don't worry, the students won't miss them! There are plenty of other books in the classroom library for them to read!

Okay, long post. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around! As a reward, here's a free copy of the owl labels for the binder clips! Click on the image below to get it! Hope you like it! :D


  1. WOW! Is that the mess you walked into! I hate it when that happens! You have to tidy up from the last years teacher before you can even start planning yourself! It is looking great! Well done for all the hard work!

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

    1. Thanks! Still have much to do but I'm definitely feeling better about it! :)

  2. I am also moving into second grade, but from kindergarten. The teacher that I am replacing also retired and she had a piano too!! I got rid if a lot of shelves/furniture also. I was lucky though because she was very neat. Good luck with your room! Looks great so far!


    1. Thanks! You are so lucky that the previous teacher was very neat. Makes it easier to clean! Are you planning to use the piano? I haven't played piano in YEARS but want to try to see if I can make use of it this year. Guess we shall see! :)

  3. It looks like you got a lot accomplished. What a difference in your before and after pictures. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks! There's still more work to do but at least it looks it can be used for a classroom now. Haha. :)