Teacher Week: Check Out my Digs

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for day two of teacher week.  For me, my classrooms my home away from home.  My husband might even complain that I spend a LOT more energy and time cleaning and organizing my classroom than I do my home.  Oops!

School does not start for two more weeks, and unfortunately the building is still closed.  When I walk in, I am definitely anticipating another  moment just like this one from last year.

That said, I can't show you pictures of my room.  I can, however, show you pictures from last year and show you my centers.  I am a HUGE proponent of center based learning.  I don't do worksheets, I do hands on, inquiry based learning.  I know that I am very lucky to work in a district that supports developmentally appropriate practices for our kinders.

I work in a gorgeous, old building located in an urban community in a large city in New England.  I was hired to work at my school straight out of college and am about to kick of my eighth year.  I LOVE urban education and never want to work anywhere else!

Right before you enter my room, there is a family news board.  I keep a copy of all of my newsletters here, as well as a monthly calendar with upcoming events, book order due dates, etc.  To see how I made this board for only a few dollars, click {here}.

Right inside the entrance to my room are the children's hooks and cubbies.  I am so lucky to have a huge classroom, but very unlucky in that there is absolutely no storage.  Not a single closet, shelf or anything that I haven't dragged in there myself.  If you like the fabric banner, there is a free tutorial {here}.

Now here are the centers:

Dramatic Play
I loveee spying on my littles in dramatic play.  I  also love that they are learning how to read and write without even realizing it!  I always keep mini word walls, paper, pencils and clipboards here so that the veterinarians can find out what is wrong with a puppy, the ice cream shop workers can take an order, or the firemen can write down the address of the latest fire.  You can check out the mini word walls {here}.
This is my favorite, favorite place!  It is a round nook area tucked into the middle of the classroom, but it feels like a mini oasis for my little ones.  Within the library I have books (of course), comfy pillows and a little couch for reading, and a retelling/drama center.

Sensory Center
Next up we have a sensory center.  Different types of playdough can be found here most often, but you can also find colored rice, gak, and all sorts of other activities here depending on our unit of study.  I love it for the fine motor aspect, but also because I often find that my shy students gravitate to this center.  It is a safe space for them to play and observe others until they feel comfortable enough to join in at the louder centers like blocks or dramatic play.

 Science Table
I love having a dedicated area for science!  I am always rotating materials to pique my little ones' interests.  They love to bring in rocks, sticks and flowers for their friends to observe, too! 
 You can read more about our butterfly study {here} and get this butterfly unit {here}.
The easels are off to the side of our art studio area.  I loveee seeing what my babies will create here.  It is another great space for quieter kids and of course the artsier bunch.

Block Area
 Who doesn't love blocks?  I think that sometimes they are underestimated... where do you think many of our great architects and builders got their start?  I would be willing to bet it was with a set of wooden blocks.

I will be back in a few weeks with much better room photos, and some up close and personal snaps of the centers I didn't cover today.  If you're curious, they are:
Writing Center
Listening Center
Art Studio
Teacher Desk & Storage


The Science School Yard said...

What a fun and active room! Love the reading corner and the little peeps in the window! It is great to blog hop and look at what everyone is doing to get ready for the new school year.

Renee from The Science School Yard

AndreaG said...

So happy to find a kindergarten blog in an urban setting! I teach in Milwaukee, WI and find it hard to relate to many of the popular blogs.

Mary said...

Thank you Renee! I really appreciate that. Andrea, I feel the same way! I am always on the lookout for more urban blogs and teachers who face a similar set of challenges.