Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Sneak Peek

I stepped foot into my brand new room a few days ago and had a million things going through my head:
- I can't believe summer is really over :(
- Maybe I should have just stayed in first grade, I know exactly what to do there...
- Where am I going to put everything?
- Thank goodness she left me so much stuff!
- What in the world was I thinking??

And the list goes on and on.

I am beyond excited to be the reading teacher for K-2, but at the same time I am scared out of my mind.  So when I walked into my new room all of the fears overwhelmed me.  I didn't even know where to start.  So what did I do?  Took every single thing out of each and every cabinet and spread it all across the floor to create the biggest disaster I could.  Yep, that makes a lot of sense, right?  But I did have a good reason for doing it.  By pulling everything out I was able to see what I actually had in the room.  That way I wouldn't go through the entire year not even realizing I had the 'perfect resource' because it was tucked into the back corner of a cabinet.   Here is what the room looked like after I emptied out the top cabinets...the bottom ones are all still full.

So after I emptied everything out and I could barely walk around the room the next step was to...panic.  I almost started crying - haha.  I had so many resources (yay!) but no idea how to organize them.  Plus, I went from having a huge closet in my old classroom to just this small space for storage.  I freaked out for about five minutes and considered going home and coming back a day or two later.  But, I finally calmed down and decided to group the resources.  Once I started doing that, things got pretty easy (and I started to breathe again).  I was able to group all of my resources and fit them back in the cabinets in a way that would make it easy for me to find and use all of them.  And that is what I am going to share with you today!

After I grouped everything I decided that I wanted to make labels for the cabinets so I could quickly find the materials I needed.  Jackie over at Inspired to the Core introduced me to my new favorite app - A Beautiful Mess.  It was only 0.99 and I use it for everything.  So I obviously had to use it to create my cabinet labels.  Here they are:

One of my favorite things about this app is that when you get the pictures printed they come out as a 4x4.  So cute!  I created all of the labels, picked them up at Walgreens and glued them on to black card stock.  I absolutely love how they turned out.

Then, I put everything back into the cabinets and stuck my labels on.

Here is how I organized this cabinet (since you can't really read the labels):
Top left - letter recognition
Top right - rhyming
Bottom left - beginning, middle and ending sounds
Bottom right - word families

These cabinets still need some work - the labels just say phonics resources (because that is what both of those bins hold).  The best kept secret when you have cabinets like these??  Having your handy husband cut extra shelves!  There is so much wasted space on the top of this cabinet, so I took the measurements and my husband is going to cut another shelf for me so I can make better use of the space.  It will just hold posters, chart paper and the offices, but still!

These cabinets have:
Top left - sight words
Top right - CVC activities
Bottom left - blends & digraphs
Bottom right - long vowels

Hooray!  The bottom cabinets are organized and I can walk around the classroom without falling over everything.

The top cabinets are still a work in progress - just like the rest of the room.  But one step at a time right?  I am heading back in to work on it some more on Tuesday - so hopefully I can do another sneak peek once I get things organized and set up!

How are your classrooms coming along?  I'd love to hear about them :)

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