Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Organizing the Cupboards & Counter

I have been avoiding my cupboards and counter, because I knew it would be a big job to get everything organized. Since I had just one weekend to move classrooms, I placed everything in the cupboards quickly, knowing that I would have to go back and re-organize.

Here is a before and after shot of my counter space:

It probably doesn't look very different, but it was so. Much. Work. 

I also looked through the piles of unwanted items that teachers have placed in the staff workroom, and I found 16 FREE books to add to my classroom library!

It was a pretty successful day! I will probably try to stay away from school for the rest of this week. :)

Time spent working on room today: 5 hours
Cumulative hours: 33.5

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Started

While I was waiting for the cleaning crew to finish up in my classroom last week, I did some planning. I took pictures of each wall after the room was cleared out. I then printed the pictures on computer paper, and used them to plan my bulletin boards and wall space.

My room was all ready to go last Wednesday already! I spent about 2 hours last week, and 6 hours today at school. The first thing I did was put all of the furniture back exactly how I wanted it. This is where my craziness comes out a bit. You know how it's really annoying when your students' desks or tables shift during the school day? During the summer, right when the cleaning crew is finished in my classroom, I like to put my tables exactly where I want them during the school year. That way they have 2+ months to make a little dent in the carpet. During the school year, they barely shift, and when they do, they always fall right back into their little dents.

Next, I began putting some things out on the shelves, such as my classroom library bins. Due to the fact that I don't have any "working corners" (every corner is taken up by either built-in cabinets, counters, or the door), I had to place all of my classroom library book cases along one wall. I love seeing cute, cozy library corners, so this is a bit of a bummer. :( Here is a peak at my classroom library so far (I am going to re-do the labels this summer):

My big project today was organizing my teacher desk materials. As mentioned in a previous post, I decided to get rid of my teacher desk. I decided to make a teacher toolbox for my office supplies. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, search "teacher toolbox" on Pinterest.) I still have to cover the drawers in scrapbook paper and add labels, but this is what it looks like so far:

I also needed something to hold papers that need to be filed, and books/resources that I use frequently. I found the PERFECT solution in a closet of old, unused materials (it needs a good coat of spray paint):

Next, I organized the rest of my desk items that would not fit in the teacher toolbox:

Here is my finished "teacher desk" area:

I am LOVING my room without a desk so far! It freed up so much space, and it really forced me to get organized. I never realized how much "junk" was shoved in my desk drawers.

Here is what my room looked like at the end of the day today:

(Note: It drives me crazy that the SMART board is not centered in the middle of the room!)

Time spent working on room last week & today: 8 hours
Cumulative hours: 28.5

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where I Work (and Shop!)

I work at a teacher store as a 2nd job year-round. I love having so many decorating options at my fingertips! My co-workers are probably sick of me asking which borders look best when layered together. :)

As I start setting my room up, you'll see that many of the things I use come from the teacher store. I took some pictures of the store where I work, so that everyone can see how huge it is. Here are the bulletin board sets (you can see the back wall-the bulletin boards go all the way down the left wall).

Here are just some of the charts and trimmers:

The wall of accents:

If you live in the midwest and would like to know where this store is, send me an email!

Monday, June 10, 2013

And now I wait...

The summer cleaning crew started cleaning the upstairs classrooms today. We are the first elementary school to be cleaned, which is nice because we have all summer to get our classrooms ready. However, I'm always hesitant to start setting things up this early for 2 reasons:
1) Everything is really dusty by the time school starts.
2) We do not have air conditioning, and everything gets damp and wrinkly when the weather gets warm and humid.

When they are finished cleaning my classroom, my first job will be to work on my classroom library. For now, I wait!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 3: All Moved In

I thought today would never end. My mom and I arrived at school at 8:45, and left at 6:45. I had to finish moving everything, since they are cleaning classrooms starting tomorrow.

Just to clarify: I technically did not have to move my classroom myself. I could have packed everything up, and put in a work order request for the summer crew to move everything. Since they are responsible for moving everything district-wide, this could have taken place any time between now and the beginning of the school year. No, thank you! (Plus, I'm weird about my stuff, since most of it is my personal property.)

My plan was to take the items out of one cupboard at a time in my old classroom, and put them away in my new classroom in the exact same way. I even took pictures, so that I knew where everything would go.

The cupboards looked the same from one room to the next, but when I started moving everything, I learned that my new cupboards are actually smaller! My old cupboards are about 4 inches deeper. Some of my new cupboards were more narrow, as well. So, I had to do more re-organizing than I had originally expected.

My other headache of the day was figuring out my teacher area, since I got rid of my teacher desk. I kept moving things around, and getting really frustrated. Nothing looked quite right. I finally decided to use a small portion of my built-in counter for my teacher computer. This area is usually used for my 6 HP mini laptops, so now I will only be able to fit 5 (no big deal-students can take the 6th laptop to their table spots). There were some "dinosaur" computers here before, but I removed them all today. I'm really happy with how it looks so far!

This is what my room looked like at the end of the night:

I would probably still be at school if it weren't for the help of my mom and fiance. My mom actually traveled and stayed the weekend just to help me!

Off to bed...I have to go back to school tomorrow for 9 hours to participate on an interview team. We are hiring two new 2nd-grade teachers. How exciting!

Time spent working on room today: 10 hours
Cumulative hours: 20.5

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 2: Moving Day

My mom and I arrived at school around 5:30 tonight, and worked in my classroom until 10:00. We started by tackling the worst job of the night: cleaning the walls.

Almost every classroom in my school has white cinder-block walls. They do not re-paint them often (I haven't seen a room re-painted in 5 years), and teachers are not allowed to paint. The summer cleaning crew does not clean the walls, either, so they are pretty disgusting. After a lot of scrubbing and peeling (most teachers use Stikki Clips, which are a mess to clean up), the walls are looking a lot better! They need a good paint job, but that is not an option, unfortunately.

We started moving my furniture upstairs, so I could finally play around with the room arrangement. The big news of the night: I decided to get rid of my teacher desk! It was so big, and I could really use that space for other things. I don't have my "teacher area" figured out yet, but I have some ideas on how it will look. Here are some pictures of our progress:

Time spent working on room today: 4.5 hours
Cumulative hours: 10.5

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 1: New classroom!

What a long day! After 2 years in my current classroom, I am switching classrooms for the upcoming school year. I am excited about this move, because I was the only 2nd grade teacher downstairs, and I finally get to move upstairs by my teammates. I was able to get into my new classroom at around 3:45 today, and I stayed at school until 9:45.

Here are some pictures of my old classroom. All of my teaching materials have to move upstairs, as well as almost all of the furniture (most of it belongs to me). It may not look like a lot of stuff, but the cupboards are FULL.

Here are some before pictures of my new classroom. Before I could even think about moving anything in the room, I wanted to clean out EVERYthing. (The cleaning crew will wipe down the furniture and shampoo the carpets.) I like to have a fresh, clean start when moving into a new classroom. I was so excited to get everything out of the cupboards that I forgot to take "true" before pictures. All of the teaching materials in the pictures were pulled from the cupboards and drawers. It took about 3 hours to go through everything, and decide what to keep, toss, and give away. (I kept very little.)

Next I moved almost all of the furniture into the hallway. I also cleaned out all of the cupboards with rags and multi-purpose cleaner. I only moved a few things from my old classroom, as my main goal today was to clean house! Here is what my new room looked like at the end of the night:

My mom is coming to school with me tomorrow night to help move and clean. My goal is to have everything moved in by Sunday, because the cleaning crew starts cleaning the upstairs classrooms on Monday already.

Time spent working on room: 6 hours