Friday, March 19, 2010
I don't know about other K teachers, but I've struggled some with classroom layout. This year, I moved into a new room. Last year my room had a curtain in it that divided the classroom into two parts and I was able to divide my students into two groups. This year we are all one big group! ;) I have figured out some ways to make it work, though!
At the beginning of the year, I still divided my 23 kids into two groups~ Cowboys and Ranchers. I always have them line up in two lines and they sat at different tables. We have a small library, so they go to two different library times too. I even started the year with my tables in two different areas of the room. I soon found that this wasn't the best idea. So, I moved the tables together. The only pics I have are some from a day that we spread out blankets and wore out p.j.s. ;)
Another important area is rug time. I have a large rug in front of my calendar. I found the rug at Hatch an early childhood company. It's really my favorite! I just love The Very Hungry Caterpillar! I also Love my calendar! I had a similar one when I taught first, but it had too many things for K kiddos. I found this one at Lakeshore and it has just enough. When I was in college, we did the Math Their Way calendar and this reminds me of that. We have a song for each month that I got from a book Count and Rhyme at Calendar Time. It teaches the kiddos how to spell each month through song. Really a must have!! I got it at an SDE conference through Crystal Books. It's by Donna VanderWeide. I've used SO many of her songs during calendar time! The other fun fact, they still sing them in 1st and use the months as spelling bonus words. Sing it you'll never forget it!! :)
My centers are spread out around the rug and on the other side of the room. I have two dramatic play centers, housekeeping and dress-up/puppets. At the beginning of the year, I only opened one at a time. Now they are both open. I have a writing center with a monthly journal, listening center with various books usually seasonal, blocks/legos/lincoln logs in the block center and we rotate what we use weekly, sand table/playdough, which we rotate use, table toys at work tables, reading center, and computer. I make a center page for the week in my lesson plans with what we'll be doing for that week. I make notes on the page so that I'll know how it worked from year to year. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't.
As teachers we're always looking for new ideas that will work for us, so if you have any of your own, post it! ;)