Classroom Addict

That's pretty much how I describe myself whenever my family and friends say, "You were over there again?" I know many of you reading this are exactly the same...I've been reading your blogs too (and pinning your ideas to my boards)!

I promised myself this summer I would go through ALL my cabinets and bookshelves and WEED OUT! I am really not a pack rat, but after teaching for 20 years, there were things I had "collected". This clean out session was really necessary since my roster this year will again contain 28 wonderful names and I am in a 24 x 36 foot "cottage". I LOVE my cottage and have done several things over the last few years to maximize space. First, in order to gain space and more importantly promote collaboration, I ditched the desks for wonderful round tables. I started out with rectangular folding tables I bought myself, but found that the round tables really give the kids more elbow room while working and moving room while walking, so that has worked out great!! (Pics coming soon!)

Unlike many of you I don't have space for various centers so it was even more crucial that I part with things that weren't necessary anymore. As many of you know, we are a 1:1 netbook classroom, so we've been trying to become as paperless as possible over the last few years. However I still had these:

Yes, two of them, full of favorite lessons and units, many of which I had already re-created in digital format. And many more which I hadn't looked at in years. I am so proud to say that those two monstrosities, which took up a large corner of my small room, have been reduced to this:

And hopefully one day, these favorites will also be in the "cloud"! But for now I'm pleased! I even dragged the old file cabinets to the door myself so the janitor could get them OUT! I also went through all my bookshelves and organized them according to genre. I'd been wanting to do this for many years as well. Heading out tomorrow to buy about 20 mini crates for my neat piles! Tonight I created some Bin Labels (using PowerPoint) which I'll laminate and put on all the bins which will be strategically placed in the room. Feel free to download the labels and edit them if you'd like! (For some reason when they uploaded to Slideshare several of the pictures are larger and overlap several words...not sure why)

And finally, it's the little things that bring the most joy from teachers isn't it? I have two medium sized bookshelves in the room which house many literature sets, textbooks (which rarely get used), and other things that are randomly used throughout the year. I went out and bought two $5 cloth shower curtains and a few spring-style curtain rods at our new Roses Store. They were too long for the book cases, so I cut them at floor level and the leftover sections were sweetly sewn into curtains for my two windows by my son's girlfriend! My classroom has always been known as Collazo Cove and we have an ocean theme, so the pattern of soft colored shells, starfish, and sand give the room a nice calming effect. I'm thrilled!

Shower Curtain turned Book Shelf Curtain! (The turtle is our 5 year old red slider, Doodle)

Leftovers made into curtains! (The snake in the tank is our ball python, Sal!)
Overall a very productive day! Now tomorrow I'm going to.........
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