Sunday, September 7, 2014

Classroom Setup and Prep

Welp, it's a new year with a new classroom and a new set of expectations. With two years of kindergarten experience, the task of setting up a classroom and designing lessons for a TK (that's transitional kindergarten) class seems a bit daunting. TK, for those that aren't that familiar with the concept, is the first year of a two year kindergarten program that has been adopted and implemented here  in CA. There aren't really any standards and there is only a VAGUE idea of what should be covered since my kids will be going through a second year of kindergarten. Figuring  out what is developmentally appropriate for my kids, since they will be four, is a bit of a trick. 

I always start with a theme for my classroom, and this year I decided to play off the theme that the front office has going. They did a big bulletin board with the yellow brick road, emerald city, and complete with little Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow. A glittery red lettering reads: "There's no place like Preston."  Naturally, my little mind floated straight to my favorite song from that movie "Somewhere Over the Rainbow..." and BOOM...a theme was born.

"Our TK Place Over the Rainbow."

The design of my room was a bit tricky since I have so many cabinets built in (not complaining about that in the slightest!) but when I sat down and really thought about it, the layout and design happened fairly quickly. 

 The resource teacher was moving out of my room when I first showed up.
 The computer area, I call that my technology corner.
 ALL THE PAPER!!! Bulletin board wall pt 1
 Bulletin board wall pt 2
Front board

Having all the extra stuff in the room was a little disorienting but the RSP teacher was really sweet and was quick to get everything out as fast as possible. First thing first I needed to rip down all the paper. And there was A LOT of paper. 4 layers of paper. Three trashcans of paper...did I mention all the paper? Anywho...starting with a clean slate was the first step so I cleaned everything off the walls and took down everything hanging from the ceiling (I don't know if you can tell but there were some area labels hanging from the ceiling at random spaces in the classroom.)

Rainbows became a big thing for me. I figure the kids have to learn the colors anyway, why not have them ALL OVER THE ROOM! The boards were the first thing to go up. I made my word wall, and then started with my "teacher corner" and moved on to math, writing, art, science, sequencing and shapes.  

I found the CUTEST borders ever at CM school supply to accent all the colors going on in my room.
(I think it's adorable...but it's really plain to most people)

It took me 4 straight days of hanging paper, cutting paper, hanging borders and fiddling with everything before I liked JUST THE WALLS! Not to mention the desks and library area. I had a week to prep and set up my class and I'm pretty proud of how it came out. 
 Full classroom shot.
 Word wall and technology corner.
 Bulletin boards pt 1
 Bulletin boards pt 2 and library/calendar area
Classroom entrance.

I'm still missing some things that the district has on order  (like my kidney table and rug) but all in all I love the way it came out. Can't wait for my kiddos to come in and start learning. 

Off for another adventure,
Your TK Teacher
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