13 August, 2015

How to set up a classroom in six days: Day 2

Today was a lot less physically exhausting, but a lot more exhausting in other ways.
My husband started off by alphabetizing the library. Once he had placed all the books into rough piles, I noticed he had alphabetized by title instead of author. He was wonderful enough to jump right back in and reorganize the books. We made a deal and instead of organizing it completely, he just organized it by first letter in the last name. I'll have someone else finish the job tomorrow. I think that this idea is super important. Even though I just have a few days to get my room in perfect order, arrange pieces in your classroom the way you want. I am a little worried about having strange people help me tomorrow because I don't know them and they don't know just how I like things (or how OCD I am). It did take a bit of time to reorganize the books, but I know I would have either hated it all year, or spend time in a few weeks to put them the way I like them.

The mess started to diminish throughout the day. Because the cleaning and organizing is so slow, it's hard to tell that the mess is getting smaller. Here is a huge hint to make your life better when doing the frantic classroom setup: Clear out the boxes as you go. Don't do it all at once, but as soon as you have two or three, take a small break from cleaning and organizing and flatten them. (Throw them into the hallway if you are allowed.) Yesterday I did not do this and the mess did not seem to get any smaller. Today we chopped away at the pile every hour or so and it seemed to get more organized faster. For example: Take a look at this picture

And now look at this lovely one. Granted, it is a different angle, but it was only taken a couple minutes later. The construction workers had left the large box the television was packed in right in the middle of the classroom. I pulled it into the hallway and the improvement was amazing.

Another thing I took time to do today was slowly get ready for volunteers. All those piles on the left table are my notebooks with the papers to be glued onto the cover sitting right next to them. Don't be that person that welcomes helpers with, "I do need some help, let me think about what is most important..." or "Let me dig out all the supplies you need to do this; it will just take a minute." Have everything ready to go. I don't really have a "top priorities" list. As long as I need it done before the first day of school, I have it on a huge list, ready to delegate to volunteers tomorrow.

One part of moving in that makes me anxious is that there are construction workers still adding parts to the rooms. If you look in the first few pictures, I am missing my carpet trim that goes along the perimeter of the classroom against the wall. You wouldn't think that someone would get too worked up about not having trim in place, but I was instructed I could not place anything against the walls until the trim was put in so that they could come in and do their jobs. Here is an exciting picture of the trim laid out and ready to go on the wall. The awesome workers were done with my classroom in ten minutes or less. Too bad hanging bulletin boards and white boards does not go as quickly.

Once the trim was up, I took full advantage. Another little tiny detail I learned this afternoon is that I will not be getting a teacher desk this year. I'm not heartbroken over this news. I've thought about getting rid of my desk each year, but have not thought through the logistics enough to really go for it. The news was shocking because this was the first time I had heard it. My classroom design changed several times today after receiving news like that.
As many of you do, I will have my headquarters at my kidney table. It will be under where the TV is.

I stashed my science supplies under some counters and added a curtain. The curtain was made a year ago, but it matches my wall perfectly.

Another fun idea for nice and neat storage: I saved some of the nicer boxes that I packed in and hot glued some adorable fabric to one side. These were placed above all my cabinets for extra storage if needed. (I still need to make some bigger ones with aqua triangle fabric.)

Tip. While breaking down boxes, careful not to let the scissors slip and cut you instead of the cardboard.

One hard thing today was getting rid of memories that are no longer needed. I created two adorable paper airplane garlands last year that just don't fit this year. They went into my trash box.

The desks started getting clearer. I only have a few items still in boxes.

Here is what the classroom looked like right before I left. Not too shabby. I have almost everything put away and I am ready for volunteers tomorrow. Tomorrow five schools are giving up half of their professional development day to help out.

An awesome mom donated this IKEA cabinet to me last year and I love using it. This year it will hold our data binders. (You can also get a sneak peek of the birthday chart.)

Here is a preview of my teacher space. I am keeping all my picture books back there and an old little cupboard that I owned when I was a youngin.

See my other days:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

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