Monday, September 9, 2013

Kindergarten Classroom Upgrade: Part II

 Submitted by Linda
This darling Hungry Caterpillar made of paper lanterns was the vision of my partner from last year, Alisha. She built it last fall, and left it for me. I think it adds so much to the theme. On the window behind it, you can see I bought the Hungry Caterpillar Birthday stuff, which is so stinkin' cute as well.
 From year to year, I've seen that most of my students love, love, love the housekeeping area. I know that in this era of higher standards and expectations that sometimes the housekeeping must go. I feel pretty strongly that our young friends need that pretend play as much as they need the strong, rigorous academic instruction. And thankfully, I'm at a school where the whole child is valued. My housekeeping area got a little upgrade as well. I removed a big ugly shelf, and replaced it with a smaller white one. Then I laminated green fadeless paper and cut a hole for a window (I was dreaming of wallpaper, but I love how this green echoes all the caterpillar colors).
 I then made a simple curtain (with my leftover Eric Carle fabric), added a mirror, and a "Home Sweet Home" made out of a 99 cent tray, some scrapbook paper, and some Thickers letters. The area also has a kid table and four chairs that aren't pictured, and all the supplies to set a table and 'cook'.
 One of my all time favorite Pinterest finds is pictured below. When I saw this, I knew it would solve all kinds of problems for me. This system is for kitchens (I believe), and is from IKEA. Craig installed the rods and hooks, and now my various types of markers and other teacher supplies are off of the ledge under the whiteboard. It's been working like a charm. I was worried that the kids would get into it, but so far so good.
Another idea I saw on Pinterest (yes, I've become one of those people who mention Pinterest in every other sentence), was to use this Nail Sorter Spinner Thingy from Harbor Freight. I actually snapped this picture so that I would know how to assemble it, but thankfully my dad did that for me. On Pinterest, it's painted lime green, and has cute washi tape on it, but I think it's really cute in plain old black.
I did "upcycle" some cans by covering them with Stampin' Up's polka dotted designer paper, for my pens and pencils and such. Now, I'm sure you want to comment about that lampshade, right?  Years ago, we learned that incandescent light is helpful to learning, and that fluorescent light isn't always the best. So off and on throughout the years, I've tried to add some warm lighting. I knew I wouldn't have room on my dest for a lamp, so I snatched this old floor model from my house. The lampshade was cracked, so I ran to Target to buy a freshie for a few dollars. No such luck - the shade I wanted was $24.99. But time is money, so I bought it rather than taking a trip to Walmart to keep looking. Then I decided it needed a bit of whimsy, so I headed to my local JoAnns.

I don't think that I have "champagne tastes", but it seems I always happen to like what is more expensive. The solid colored pom poms were so much cheaper, but just didn't give the same effect. So I whipped out my coupon and my teacher discount card, and I don't mention to Craig how much that lampshade ended up costing me. But isn't it worth it?
My seasonal upgrade is these paper lanterns made into apples. I'll be adding orange pumpkin lanterns when October comes.
So here's a parting shot of my entire classroom (though you can't see the desk in the front left corner. It is shown above with the apple lanterns.  The mess on the desk in the foreground was work for parent helpers and is all done and put away!


Kirsti said...

Best kindergarten classroom ever!!! And I'm only a little bit biased :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! What great ideas you have! I love the black nail organizer thing from Harbor Freight. I am trying to locate it on their website but I am having no luck. I was hoping you remembered its official name? My name is Kerri.