Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School....

As always, I am sad to see summer go. However, after a day or two back in my classroom, the creative  juices start flowing quickly! You may or may not know, that elementary teachers are perfectionists, and I am no exception.  We often spend weeks throughout the summer, reorganizing, seeking better efficiency, brainstorming new ideas to help students succeed, investigate initiatives,  furthering our education, and try to decorate our classroom to make it a fun, stimulating learning environment for our students.  

Gone are the days of the lone blackboard.  Since I first started teaching, it has been the unspoken expectation that the walls should be used as much as possible to display not only student work, but should be used as an actual learning space. So we fill every square inch of it whenever possible. 

Normally, I am in and our for weeks preparing for the coming school year.  This year I got into my classroom much later than normal, due to my extremely busy summer and my room was one of the last to have the carpets cleaned. However, once I got in the door, my creative juices started flowing! 

Thanks to Pinterest, I got several projects done and I must say, I love the way my classroom is turning out this year!  Here are some of the projects I stayed in my room to create until the wee hours of the morning! Check it out... 

I was inspired by my friend Nancy, and I "refurbished" this filing cabinet by covering the drawers in material and using spray adhesive to anchor it to the edges and back of the drawer. (I didn't trust myself with spray paint and couldn't find any fun contact paper...) I think it turned out pretty well, and it beats the ugly brown eyesore!  I plan to attach labels on top of the material.  This worked better than trying to cut a hole for the label below.  It just didn't look "clean" enough for me.... 
I was on a roll... 
I got this idea from my friend, Marsha (Yet another teacher/Pinterest-addict).  I simply used borders to create a place directly on my whiteboard to write homework for students to copy into their planners and agendas everyday.  Thanks to my Smartboard, I find that I use my whiteboard very little anymore anyway... 
This is a cart that houses all of my board games and manipulatives.  It looked very cluttered, and I wanted to give it a clean, organized look.  I chose to "cover" the games with a curtain of material, anchored by Scotch heavy-duty double-sided tape and a border. It can easily be moved aside to allow student access. 
I also had these big ugly brown cabinets that are about twenty years old.  I got tired of looking at them and also wrapped them in material, adhering them with Elmer's spray adhesive.  Love it! 
Do not spray to close or you will get "wet" spots such as these... Spray evenly from a few inches away! 
I also had ugly brown sink doors.....  not anymore! 
I have very few places to display student work.  I have one bulletin board, which is already in use and my walls are concrete block so little to nothing sticks to them well.  After some thought, I decided to turn another section of my outdated whiteboard into a magnetic display board.  I did this by taping lightweight material to the board with clear packaging tape and then taped a border around the edge.  I plan to use magnets on clothespins to display student work on the board!  A creative use of resources! 
I have continued my camping theme for a second year in a row.  Thanks to a friend, I also rediscovered, where I found some awesome products from The Clutter Free Classroom, which is on the way.  I will post again soon with some of this awesome stuff and more pictures of ideas for the classroom soon! 


    i don't see reading on your agenda! no more virtual book club?!? :(
    your room looks great!

  2. LOL Cassie! I am only teaching math, social studies and spelling. Penny is teaching all of the science and reading. I will SO miss our virtual book clubs! They ROCK! Although I am sure Penny would be game...