Classroom makeover part one

I am NOT the kind of person who likes to rearrange things. In fact, I do my best to avoid all such nonsense. I like to just leave things the way they are once they're set in place, that's just where they will remain until we get rid of them.

With the exception of the classroom.

I'm always trying to make sure it's well organized and that I'm making the most of the space I have. It's a bit of an obsession some times. There are a few more things I want to do, more clothesline for hanging artwork, more magazine folders for books, little touches like that. But, when it comes to major furniture rearranging, I believe I am done (for now!).

Among the more recent changes are this train table and desk. When I first got the train table, Little Bear wasn't able to reach anything on it, so it was great for when we needed to work on something that he didn't need to get into. Now, he can reach ANYTHING we put on it, so I have to be careful when he's in the room with us, but we are still using it for large projects and art.

The desk has been WONDERFUL for keeping Monkey focused when his little brothers are in the classroom too. For now, Little Bear can only reach things on the edges, so we keep everything towards the middle of the desk. Inside, I have everything Monkey needs for his workboxes, so the drawers I use for workboxes are less cluttered. I also have a drawer in the desk dedicated to sensory balls and other "fidget" toys I find, these are great if you have a squirmy student! My Monkey plays with one of these toys while we read a lengthy lesson and he's so much more attentive and responsive afterwards (I thought they would do just the opposite until I tried one out).

The green carts with transparent drawers are still being used for our workboxes. I like drawer carts because it helps contain large and small work and is more difficult for babies and toddlers to open on their own.

On top of his desk, I placed the bookcase that used to be on the floor only. I rearranged books around the classroom and placed his favorite books and easy readers here. On top I placed out $2 magnetic dry erase board that we use for All About Reading lessons and our inflatable globe.

Also on top of his desk is the blue "sharing" caddy that contains markers, crayons and scissors for my boys. This caddy contains things I used to distribute amongst the boys, but decided it would be put to better use in a caddy that they had to share. It immediately cut out all of that "but I want to use that!" whiney-ness!

Board books and LeapFrog books are now in our reading nook along with our rocking chair. Froggy frequents this area often, sometimes completely ignoring the "work" I put out on his black and white bookshelves and just "reading" during school time.

I finally have our maps laminated and hung on a L hook on the wall so they can be taken down easily and used on our work table in the middle of the classroom. We get so much more use out of the maps now that I don't have to worry about them getting torn!

Monkey was SO tickled when I hung up the double clothesline for his art work! I plan on putting another one on the other side of the room above his school desk. He loves being able to show off everything he makes! Right now, it's so heavy with artwork that it's hanging down into our calendar board. I don't have a picture of it yet, but when I take artwork down, it goes into a binder depending on what it's from. There's a separate binder for curriculum work, Jesus Storybook bible crafts, and Raising Rock Stars craft.

In part two, I will show you more detail about how I have our classroom set and and give you a video tour of all of the areas we use for school time!


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