Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kindergarten Classroom upgrade

Submitted by Linda
This past spring, my kindergarten team and I agreed to transition to a 'full day' kindergarten program at our school. This meant that I would no longer be sharing a classroom with my a.m. teaching partner. This actually was one of my biggest concerns about the change, because we were able to provide so much support for one another on our off times, both academically and with managing the surprises that occur in kindergarten (potty accidents, runners, criers, etc.).

As the summer progressed, and I finally got going on Pinterest, I began dreaming the dream of a new reading nook, along with making some other changes in my classroom. Though we always kept it tidy in the past, I found that I have a new energy to make things efficient, streamlined, orderly, and cute, now that it's completely my space. Well, mine to share with 24 little friends.

Since I believe that Eric Carle's Hungry Caterpillar is a cornerstone of kindergarten, I finally succumbed to the urge to buy the fabrics. (I actually found this all while on my Carolinas trip, though I had seen it before).

I found this plastic adirondack (kid sized) chair at Lowes, along with the tiny garden bench.

This yellow bookshelf (here shown on the back of my driveway), has been a mainstay for most of my teaching career. My father-in-law built it, and I just kept repainting it yellow. This time it's going to be green, to help create the gardening vibe. The brown formica covered bookshelf is also going to get a facelift.
Craig, who is the fastest and neatest painter ever, is always happy to help when he sees me sloshing paint around. Primed and ready!
Here it is, now 'Kiwi' green!
And old 'formica brown' is now an 'almost black' color. You'll notice in the back left corner of this picture is a wagon wheel. Craig also repaired and refreshed several of our kindergarten bikes and wagons over the summer. I really wish those toys had an odometer on them - I'm sure miles and miles are put on them on the kindergarten playground.
When August came, my mind was officially ready to think about school, and as soon as I was able to get into my room, I got to work. When I wasn't in my classroom, I was sewing with my mom. We used one of the Hungry Caterpillar panels to make this pillow for the chair.
 And the butterfly panel fit perfectly for the bench.
 I bought a giant leaf from IKEA (meant to go over a kids bed, I think), some green leafy butcher paper, and some fake (from the teacher store) picket fencing. I had originally wanted real fencing, but I decided that I had already made my husband do too many school projects for me. Maybe next year. You can see my stapler and tape, as I'm trying to figure out how high I want to hang the fence.
I added clouds, sun,  my stuffed caterpillar, and the butterfly, found on clearance at Barnes and Noble. And...Voila! Reading Nook! My listening center is tucked in the corner, so they can listen to stories in there as well.

The caption in the cloud says, "Grow Ideas in the Garden of Your Mind" (another Pinterest find).
You can't see it very well in the picture above, but I also have a tiny stuffed caterpillar up in the leaf. Remember...."In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf".....
Soon each child's book box will live in that garden and we will start working on reading!

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