Just to give a little background... I walk into my classroom and it is FILLED with all kinds of... stuff. The previous teacher had left the majority of her items there, and they also had to empty out a closet to make it an office, and they put all of those things in the middle of my room.
We spent hours and hours cleaning and organizing and dumping and hauling... and that was BEFORE all my stuff got there!
Here's a before/after shot (more like the middle shot... this was at the end of day 1).
Here are the different areas of the classroom:
Reading area/listening library:
This is the puzzle table with the puzzles on the shelf behind it:
And the house/kitchen/dramatic play area:
The group work tables:
The cars area:
And the building area:
I used the same theme as I did last year, Fairy Tales. This included my Jack and the Beanstalk word wall, the Little Red Riding Hood reading poster, the Work on Fire Dragon Bulletin board, and some new things that I made, too.
Check out some of the new items I made:
This was an original idea! Unfortunately, my classroom doesn't have any windows :( and we had a big blank door right in the middle of the housekeeping area. I decided to make this outdoor door decoration with red butcher paper painted to look like bricks, windows made out of empty picture frames, and construction paper to make an outdoor scene, cabinets, and that pie. Doesn't it look delicious?? I love it!
I made this job helper chart using the clipart at MyCuteGraphics. I just found out about that website, and it has been SO helpful!
Schedule and schedule fairy - My kids absolutely love this! I just used the same schedule holder as last year, and added a few different inserts. I then made the schedule fairy, laminated her, and added magnets to the back. Wherever the wand is pointing is what we are on. The kids absolutely love moving the schedule fairy, and they follow the schedule so well.
This transportation chart is from lessonplandiva. I made the circles in Microsoft word using black and white clip art from the internet and coloring it in (no colored printer!). I cut them out, backed them on cardstock/scrapbook paper, and glued them all on a long piece of ribbon. I then punched flowers out of pink cardstock, laminated them, and glued them to the end of scrapbook-covered paper clips. This way, I can use rubbing alcohol to remove the names at the end of the year and use them again and again! I don't have great pictures, but I will put more up when I take them.
This naptime sign was another original. We kept having people walk in and out of our classroom during nap time, so I decided to make a sign to hang on the door. Trying to stick with the fairy tale theme, I chose to put the Princess and Pea on it. My other option was Rip Van Winkle, but I didn't think as many people would recognize the reference. So I made two signs, again coloring in the picture. The little poem says: "Please be quiet/ and take extra care.../ there are little minds/ at rest in here!" One sign goes on each door.
I would like to claim this one as an original, but I'm sure someone has thought of it before. Last year, my posters were an absolute mess and I never used them. I decided that this year should be different, and I came up with the solution of a Hanging Chart Poster Organizer. For this, I just used skirt hangers (the metal clips had little grips which I think helped a lot) to hang my posters on a chart rack and tuck them in the back of my office. It worked out just as I hoped it would in my mind (which never happens)! We did have to do some quick thinking when it came to adding stoppers, and we just taped some pieces of foam to each end so the hangers wouldn't slide off. I can hang multiple posters from each hanger (up to 4 or 5) so I separated them by theme. I can then rotate the hangers so the organizer lays flush against my filing cabinet.
These cork board circles were inspired by muyingeniouso. The picture directions on the pin told you to buy cork circles from ikea and cover them in fabric... easy enough right? Unfortunately, they don't just sell cork circles at Michaels and I wasn't going all the way to Ikea. I bought a sheet of cork and cut out two circles. Ugh... that was annoying.
Then I covered them in fabric. Like it's sooo easy to cover a circle with fabric. It was all bunchy and annoying and they didn't turn out perfect, but they work. I added magnets to the back so I could hang them on my file cabinet next to my desk.
This was my Fairy Tale bulletin board for the beginning of the year. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it was one of the last things I got done before meet the teacher. To do this, I cut out a scroll/ribbon from brown butcher paper and the words 'Once Upon a Time' from light brown paper. After I finished, I realized the letters should have been bigger and the scroll could have been better, so this is sometime I will probably do when I get extra time during the year. I then drew an open book on a piece of white butcher paper and laminated it. This way, I can write whatever I want on the book with dry erase markers and change it as often as I'd like. For meet the teacher, I printed off little princes and princesses with each child's name, and crowns for my name and my assistant's. This picture has their apples that they made, too, but they had blown all around and were taken down right after.
Finally, one of my favorite projects for my classroom was my teacher supply toolbox! This was from createteachshare and blew up on pinterest. I used a template that was free on teachersnotebook and printed the labels out on pink zebra/ light pink card stock I already had on hand. This project was super easy, only cost me the price of the toolbox ($22 I think? It was at Lowes, NOT Home Depot). It keeps me much more organized and I always know where everything is. Best of all, when I have visitors in my classroom or my assistant asks where something is, I don't have to be embarrassed and say "I don't know... in my desk somewhere?"... I can say, oh that's in my toolbox and they know right where to look. Love it! (And adding it to my top 10 crafts). I would definitely recommend this. Would also make a great gift!
Oh, the labels I included were pencils, pens, markers, clips (binder clips), change, rubber bands, push pins, Large paper clips, small paper clips, band-aids, brads, tape, staples, sharpies, post-its, rings, expos, highlighters, glue sticks, misplaced items, and I left one blank because I figured I could just write it in later when I realized what I needed to put in there.
The last thing I want to show you is the result of my __ day of school frame. Each child took a picture with the frame within the first week of school (ok, I forgot on the 1st day). This one was one of my favorite pictures because this student is tiny and had just woken up from nap, so he looks so little sitting inside the frame. If I were to do it again, I definitely wouldn't use black on the blue surface, but oh well!