Friday, August 24, 2012

The Classroom is Complete!

The classroom is complete!  As you know, there are three ESL teachers sharing two large classrooms this year. I come from the general education elementary classroom.  I have never had to share a space before and was a little unsure of how it would all work out.  After a week of working on the room, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The first thing the three of us did was divide the room into thirds.  This way we all had our own space.  Then we used the furniture in the room as dividers.  We tried to build the "walls" as high as possible to give each of us a sense of privacy and our own room.  I didn't take pictures of the other two spaces yet. I'm just getting to know my ESL partners and didn't want to invade their space with my flashing camera.  They don't know how many pictures I take and how attached to my camera I am.......yet.


I took the middle space of the rooms.  I had to get a little creative with creating bulletin boards and spaces for student work.  In the picture above, I covered the back of the bookshelves with butcher paper.  I stuck on some border and taaah-da.......there is my alphabet wall.  The two tables in front of the alphabet wall will be used as a writing area/resource area.  The black bins are labeled with the days of the week. This is where I place all my materials that I will need for each day.  In addition, the bins serve as a resource for teaching students the days of the week.  I don't need a poster because I have my bins.  I love things that serve two or more purposes.  I'm also grateful I saved all of my wall hangings from when I taught first grade five years ago!  I'm now pulling it all back out!  If you notice the lower case letters are highlighted on the alphabet strip.  This is because students in first grade, should recognize and be reminded that they should always use lower case letters.  If they aren't doing it, they should be making the transition.


The blackboards are on a sliding system with tracks, kind of like sliding glass doors.  The blackboard is in pretty bad shape.  I'm not sure how often I will use it.  It might just become a space for me to hang posters and anchor charts.  I did add a border to make it more colorful and pretty.  The green carpet was from my third grade classroom.  I think I will do most of my teaching on the carpet.  I actually prefer to sit on the floor and teach in small groups.  I have my mini white boards and clipboards in bins next to the carpet since this is where I will use them most.


This space is where I placed my table so that I could work with small groups.  Do you see the chairs hiding underneath the table?  Gosh, I sit on them and my knees touch my chin!  I would probably be more comfortable kneeling at the table.  I have pretty long legs, so these chairs aren't great for me. I forgot how tiny K and 1 children are!  The large bookshelf on the bottom is covered with table clothes and stores all of the ESL curriculum materials.  We taped the table clothes on after the velcro wasn't really working.  Then we used thumb tacks because the tape wasn't working.  The thumb tacks did the trick.  My ESL partner purchased the table clothes at the Christmas Tree Shop for about $1.50 each.  I am thinking I might also want to cover the two tan bookshelves as well, but I am not sure with what or how. It's difficult to find a pattern and color that will work well with the pink.  The black piece of furniture is a filing cabinet with the drawers removed.  It's turned so the drawer openings are turned down.  This way both myself and my ESL partner have a magnetic board.


Finally, my desk area.  I have two bulletin boards.  They both extend outwards so that they can be larger, but I thought the square was enough.  The bulletin board to the side of my desk will be used as a space to post resources and information for myself.  The bulletin board behind my desk which currently has a few posters hanging will eventually be used to display student work.  The front of my desk has little cutouts of community helpers.  This will be important when I teach this unit.


This is my materials bin.  I will keep pencils, erasers, markers, crayons, highlighters, scissors, glue, and dry erase markers in here.  Where ever I happen to be working in the room, I can just pick up the materials bin and bring it with me.

How are your classrooms coming along?  Students are back to school on Monday.  I can't wait to meet my new, and wonderful ESL students!