Monday, August 1, 2011

First Day in My Room

My summer class is done (and I got an A!), so I headed off to my classroom this morning to see what needed to be done.

And let me tell you..... I only have two weeks until school starts and I have SO MUCH to do!! Holy mama.

A while back, I posted some "before" pictures to show you what my room looked like. Well, now everything is back in and I took some more pictures of what I uncovered in my adventures today. Here is the view from the door, when you first walk in.
I decided to go through the cabinets underneath the chalkboard on my one wall to see what was inside of them. I want to take the cabinet doors off and use it as my classroom library. Well, when I opened the doors, I found a BUNCH of crazy old reading books that were published in the 80s and early 90s. Here is an example of just one cabinet.
After clearing out all of the cabinets and going through the coatroom (and after talking to my principal) here are the books and materials that are getting tossed! I think this table may collapse before I get back tomorrow. Mostly this is 3 different reading programs, an entire science program, tons of things from old-school Open Court... and a lot of extremely dusty stuff that probably has not been touched in years!
These are all of the math manipulatives I found..... and I mean all. Looks like I know what I'll be asking for donations for...
And a special treat for you: creepy green people that are painted on my radiators!
I need to make a game plan before I go back tomorrow. I'm glad I have a few days off here so I can really work on this stuff!!!


  1. Well I think you need a roller and a can of colored paint to paint over the "green people" they are a bit freaky. Are any of the books you found useable? I know you said you don't have any shelves, I'd suggest the wire works cube shelves for dorm rooms, you can get them at target/kmart/walmart for pretty cheap with the back to school sales. I know your going to need math manipulatives, does the school have a hidden supply some where? Target dollar bins has a lot of dice and counters recently. Do you know what grades you'll be teaching?
    Whyte Water

    1. Sadly I don't think I can paint over the green people... all of our rooms have some kind of theme. I think mine is creation? I am not really sure.

      The cube shelves would totally work! Good thinking; thanks! And I have picked up a few math-related things at Target but now I will have to get into gear. I have first and second graders so they definitely need to work with math manipulatives!

  2. You got a lot done! I remember cleaning out tons of junk when I moved into my first classroom! Wow-those green people are seriously creepy! Maybe you ask to paint over them and then create some new art there with your students that follows your classroom theme. I'd also ask around about math manipulatives first before buying any-the teacher that was in your room before must have had some. Did she take them from the school? Usually they come with whatever math series you use. Other teachers might at least have extras to donate to your room if you can't track down what happened to the ones your room is supposed to have!
    Keen on Kindergarten

    1. Our school is private and so all of the kids' tuition mostly goes to our salaries and then keeping the school running. So whenever they order a new curriculum, they mainly just order the bare-bones of it. The teacher before me used the Unifix cubes as her classroom management technique - she'd give the kids 5 cubes at the beginning of the day and take them away as they misbehaved. So my duty this year is to get the kids to not hate Unifix cubes.....

  3. It looks like your making great progress. The classroom library can be an essential part of the reading block and getting it leveled and organized will help it to become more productive.

    I would make some noise about your lack of manipulatives. Almost every school has a room full of discarded materials. You might find just what you need in this room. Maybe another school, an AP's hidden pot of money, or the PTA could help.

    Your off to a great start,

    William Smith

  4. I had a year when I had very few manipulatives so I used some other things...
    I bought a bag of large white beans and spray painted them on one side for 2 colored beans as a manipulative for fact families. I use a lot of playing cards for games and buy them at the dollar store along with dice. Put both on your wish list from parents.
    For counters I used buttons( large bags from Walmart or craft store). I also had the students bring in milk caps and soda lids to sort, count, use as game markers etc.
    If you can't get unifix cubes, ask parents to donate legos or other plastic building things so you can make groups of ten.
    I would post a note on your blog for suggestions of cheap, homemade manipulatives. Also post on ... I've always gotten a great response from there.

  5. I showed my husband your creepy green heads and we both got a laugh! I can't believe you can't paint over them. Maybe you could agree to a better creation picture such as trees, animals, birds etc.

    I've also used beans for counting. I put them in film canisters for each student to keep in their desk. You can get film canisters from Walmart if you ask them to save them.

    The dollar store sometimes has manipulatives. So has Walmart.

    I have the students bring in real money. They bring 4Q, 10D, 10N and 20 P. You can also keep these in 2 film canisters. I do this even though I have plastic money. The real money is better for them to count with.

    Good Luck!
    Little Priorities

  6. Wow the comment before me is very helpful! I hope you can get what you need, but remember, it'll take time!

    I had a good laugh with those green people... too funny!

    Sending endurance and a good sense of humor your way,
    The Kinder Kid

  7. Looks good Ms. Draffkorn. If you need to use something from my equipment room do not hesitate to ask! Just stay away from the foam pool noodles, the students might go crazy if they were to be missing.....

  8. Your room is HUGE! I would love to have a room so big! I was in my room today, and it is such a maze with my 24 stduent desks, 10 centers, etc.

    Good luck getting yours finshed in time for your start day!


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