This year I decided to decorate my classroom door in the spirit of the Holidays. This year I have only one child who does not celebrate Christmas so the children’s vote was overwhelmingly in favour of Santa coming down the chimney. I thought to add Christmas stockings on the mantle and some garlands. My SNA (Special Needs Assistant) added a few Christmas presents and a tree.
We love our door and have had many compliments from children who pass by. I encouraged other teachers to join in and now our hallways look very festive.
As you all know, the windows in my classroom were changed during the Summer. The new panes are not covered by a thick mesh, hindering my view of the outside. Instead, the new window protectors are thin and barely noticeable.
The view from my window has also changed. Now I see the new play structure and the green of the pristine soccer field and running track. When I work from my desk in my classroom, I can enjoy the sight of children at play as well as the pleasing aesthetic of the newly renovated grounds.
Many of the sights in my classroom during October were Halloween inspired. Before the Halloween-themed activities were explored, however, we spoke of Thanksgiving and thought a little about what we were grateful for.
We also discussed what we ate for the meal we shared with our family. It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn relevant vocabulary in French.
Even though the classroom had still not been painted, I put up a few Halloween decorations in the room.
Many activities were Halloween inspired.
The activities, however, were driven by our inquiries on Fall and about ourselves, as well as our daily activities.
October ended with the classroom filled with excited children wearing their costumes. We got a little work done – but not too much.
October has been a good month filled with learning. I now look forward to the month of November and the changes Room 1 will experience.
What changes has October brought for you?
(This post is inspired by Cardinal Guzman’s Monthly Challenge: The Changing Seasons in which bloggers post pictures of the same location throughout the year. The location I have chosen to focus on is my classroom.)
Good morning. How are you keeping? I know, it has been a while since we have had coffee! When the school year ended in June, I was exhausted and I willingly let my blogging routine slide. During the past weeks I have slept, read to my heart’s content, watched movies on Netflix, and enjoyed the time with my family.
Now the time has arrived for the new school year to begin and, as a result, I have been preparing during the past week for that very important first day of school.
On Monday when I opened the door to my room, I was surprised by the presence of a ladder, drop plastic, and workman’s tools. I guessed that the room was being prepared for painting. The space needed it and I was thankful that the room was on the list. I was hopeful, though, that they would finish in time for me to prepare for next week.
On Wednesday the plastering was done – but not the painting. I was told that the painters would paint later in the month therefore, on Thursday, I began getting ready for the first day of school. I had a lot to do: wiping the dust off of the furniture as I re-arranged it, taking out the readers and materials from the cupboards, preparing notebooks and holders for each of the students, planning the lessons for the first few days at school.
As I was preparing the students’ individual notebooks and holders, I was thankful that this is the second year I will be teaching the same class. I have an idea of what to do with the children – all I need to do is refine certain aspects of the programme that I taught last year. As I worked towards getting my room ready, I noticed I was not as stressed as I was this time last year.
Many things in my classroom will remain the same as last year with a few minor adjustments. Like my reading centre: I have kept the cosy feel of it but have added a shelf to store more readers, and have placed these readers in baskets instead of plastic bins. I am sure this centre will become a favourite place to spend time – as it was last year.
For an hour or two this weekend, I will spend time writing down exactly what it is that I plan to do during the first days. And the rest of the time? I will enjoy the time with my family before the activity of the school year begins.
This week I went to school, eager to begin setting up my classroom and get ready for the first day of school. This is the first year since I have been with the TDSB that I am not moving schools or classrooms. I mentally rubbed my hands in pleasure, believing that I would not experience the stress of trying to finish my task before the bell rings on Monday at 8:45am.
When I opened the door to my classroom on Monday, I was taken by surprise:
Workers were in my room filling in the cracks and plastering over all the cement patches. Now I am to wait for the painter to come round and finish the work of improving the appearance of my room. I may not be able to begin preparing for 6 September, but I am grateful that my space is being painted. This year I will not need to cover all the bad patches with posters!
The school year began in a different classroom for me. If you recall, I did not have desks and chairs that were appropriate for the age group I am teaching. In consultation with the principal, I requested round tables and additional chairs. Four of five of the tables have finally arrived and I look forward to receiving the remaining table and the chairs. My classroom is beginning to look like the image I have in my head.
This week I am grateful for the arrival of most of the furniture I requested. The children are now able to work in comfort – and I can implement some of the centres I have been longing to introduce.
Many plants cannot survive outside in the cooler days especially those that thrive in the heat of summer. On Friday I was asked to look after the planters that are normally placed at the entrance of the school until the warmer spring days. I took in the geraniums gladly, knowing that they would bring life and colour into the classroom. I enjoy seeing the greenery each day as I step into the room and I take pleasure in the colour of the remaining flowers.
This week I am grateful for the plants that have been brought into my room.
This school year I will be teaching a grade 1 and grade 2 combined class and as a result, I was moved from the kindergarten room into a new space. I do not yet have all the furniture I need, nor all of the materials. However, this is my third year setting up a new space and I have learned that everything will come with time.
Even though I have had to start from scratch again, I am grateful to be where I am as I enjoy teaching grade 1. I look forward to the start of the school year and to creating a beautiful classroom environment with my students.
As a teacher I spend my days surrounded by the letters and words I have posted on the walls in my classroom. Thought I would share a snapshot with you of what one corner currently looks like:
One of the boards you see will in the photo change this week when I put up the posters I am currently making on animal vocabulary.
It is exciting to see the children point to the words and try to read them during the day – especially when they are working on the activities that I have prepared in order for them to use the French words they are learning.