Thursday, January 28, 2016

How to Move to a New Classroom in the Middle of the Year

In my last post I shared my first room...and I mentioned how I had to move out right before spring break! My school was going through a renovation when I started working there and my pod was a part of Phase 2! For us, that meant we were the second pod to move out and we did it over spring break. This was a very exciting time, but I definitely put in a lot of long hours packing up all of our stuff and making sure it was ready for my new classroom. new classroom - a door! a bathroom! a sink! a door! (Yes, a door was super exciting). 

I wanted to share some tips I learned from moving that will make it easier for anyone else who has to move classrooms in the middle of the year. We weren't able to move any of our stuff ourselves, so we just had to walk in on Monday hoping everything we had was there. Here are 5 things I learned from my big move.

Anything that you want to keep, put your name on it! I used a Microsoft Word document and made a 'label' in large print with my last name and new room number on it. I taped it to every box, every piece of furniture, even on my globe and teacher chair. This way, in case anything goes to the wrong place, the person who finds it will know where it belongs. Also be sure to label what is in the box - I did this with a big Sharpie marker. Don't use tiny labels, use something people can see as soon as they look at it.     

When we moved, the administration told us that most of the old furniture would not be coming with us. We got new student desks, student chairs, and teacher desks. Only certain approved pieces of furniture were allowed to come with us. Talk to your admin so you know what you need to clean out and what you can keep in it's place.

My students all had their own desk with their own supplies in it. I gave each student a small white bathroom trash bag. I had them put all of their stuff in it, then I used the Sharpie marker again to label each bag with the students name. I put these into 2 large boxes. Don't let the students take all their supplies home with them...who knows if you will see it again.

On my boxes, I used big, flat, foam hearts that were left over from Valentine's Day to label the boxes that I would need ASAP the day we got back from spring break. I also put them on the boxes of the students desk supplies. When I got back from spring break, I really walked in to a room of stacked boxes. Having those essentials (Expo markers, erasers, pencils, pens, post its) were essential (heh) for the first morning! I also got there early to put out students supplies on their new desks.

Moving classrooms is a BIG task! Ask custodians for more boxes if you need more, ask someone to make sure you are putting the boxes together correctly (this happened to me...I'd never moved before anywhere), ask someone for help lifting heavy boxes (ever tried to lift boxes of classroom library books SO HEAVY!). If possible, find a friend who is available to come in with you on the first day you're back. They can be putting stuff up or away for you as you teach.

All ready to go!

Don't stress - it will all get done! Re-organizing and getting everything put away in my new room took me at least a week, if not more! For things like the classroom library, you can even get the kids to help you unpack. 

While this is a super exciting/just a little stressful time for you - this is also a super exciting time for the kids! Look how fancy and clean your new space is! Don't forget to just enjoy your first day in your new classroom together!!!

Love & Sparkles,

Miss Jones

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Throw Back to my First Classroom! #PODLIFE

Hello friends! 

Welcome to my blog! I am excited to share with you my love of teaching and looking pretty! I have been reading blogs for years and I have been amazed by the communities that exist just because of passion for one thing or another. I can't wait to be a part of the community of teacher bloggers! I was also inspired by Principal Principles to start this blog - her blog is amazing! Check it out - I've linked to her post about how to start a blog, but everything she has is great! 

To start, I thought I would throw back and share my very first classroom! This was in August of 2013. My school is technically 'underground' and our playground is on the roof of our building. Interesting, I know! (I am still at the same school, but we have since been renovated. I'll do a before and after post sometime..) The inside of our building was made up of 4 pods. Each pod was shaped like a round pie and each classroom was a slice. Notice that we have no doors! 

We also had windows between the ceiling and the 'walls.' If you look through the entrance of my classroom, you can see someone standing in the hallway because we also had windows in classrooms that showed into hallway.

I was a lucky teacher because I had windows to the outside! You can see the windows partially covered in light blue paper (to block out construction). I also had a door to the outside in my classroom! It could not be blocked, so my desks had to be off to the side. I even had a set of steps in my room. This was a great place for kids to read and to watch readers theaters. I liked the steps and windows!

You can't see it in these pictures, but I also had something else most classroom do not have nowadays - a TV. I had a small TV that plugged into the steps. That is how we watched morning announcements and dismissal. I had one white board and 2 small chalk boards. 

This little pie shaped classroom will always hold a place in my heart. My first classroom, first open house, first teacher conferences...and then right before spring break, I had to pack it all up and MOVE OUT!!! That's right, first year, first move...but that is a post for another time. 

Love & Sparkles,

Miss Jones in Third