Tonight is the last night of Spring Break and I’m happily typing in a not clean house but with lots of veggies prepped in the fridge, a week of kindergarten planned and ready to go and of course, a small snowstorm on the horizon. Spring hasn’t really sprung yet in Tahoe, which made last week the perfect time to get a couple parts of my classroom dialed in. 125 days after the 1st day of school. a bit late. But getting there!
I’ve been meaning to get organized for months. and months. It’s finally starting to come together. I saved quite a few posts of other teachers’ organizations and boxed all my piles of seasonal materials, reading games, manipulatives and other Target finds into tubs from Target. That now sit above still haphazard and messy, nearly empty cupboards. Maybe those can get resolved over summer break!
I have been dissatisfied with my Math Board for a while now but wasn’t sure why or how to fix it. Then on January 21, I saw a repost of @darlinlittlelearners’ space on @meetmissparker‘s instagram feed. And luckily for me, @darlinlittlelearners is one of those amazing teachers who makes visually appealing stuff and sells them on TeachersPayTeachers. So that 3 months later, my math board can look more how I want it to for my students’ learning and engagement.
Lastly, my word wall. I’m amazed at how much my students are using it and how much their writing has expanded the past couple months. But I wasn’t happy with how it was organized and the kids took the words off with the thumb tacks so that wasn’t ideal. Probably on instagram, I saw a post thefirstgradeparade wrote about word walls. It was the perfect reminder that kids’ brains really benefit from grids and predictability. This new set up might not be ideal, but it’s a lot more organized, easy for the students to use and easy to improve on.
Teaching is an ongoing practice and somethings that seem like mistakes can be just the learning opportunity you need. I definitely once told a fifth grade class that Mexico was in South America and very recently wrote the wrong date for a whole week of Morning Messages. But classroom learning spaces and opportunities are what keep me up at night. I worry that the physical space isn’t fostering the culture and learning that I know is most important. And so I’m always fussing and fixing mistakes and improving! (Sometimes at an incredibly glacial pace.)
Thanks #dcsdblogs for the inspiration to see my classroom improvements in a new light.