Sunday, 1 July 2012

My New Room

Have I said how much I love my new classroom? I love it!  I always thought that the old place, which was a double unit, with 50 children using it at a time, was busy and sometimes seemed chaotic. But we made the best of it, as you have to. It is only after being in this room for a few weeks, that I have realised that it does not just make a small difference to everything, but a huge one! For a start, I now have control over my classroom-I am not talking about the children here, but how I feel. I can make decisions about how I think it is best to do things, without having to compromise, and so suddenly am enjoying doing displays again, arranging the classroom, and thinking about how it can best help the children in my class to achieve, without having to worry about the other class too. (Sounds harsh I know but I already have 36 in my own class!) I do talk to the staff I work with about things, and listen and incorporate their ideas, but it is easier to do this with three other people than six.
 My crochet monster and octopus have new jobs-as key rings for the gate and my drawer key. They are so big they are unlikely to get lost.
The second reason I am finding it so much better, is how the children are in class. They are calmer, there is less running indoors, and the atmosphere is busy but allows the adults to focus on things more without the distractions we used to get in the old place. If anything is going wrong, it is easy to see in this smaller space, and to intervene quickly before things get out of hand. It is easy to stop them by ringing a bell-I can see everyone now! We have walls and a door! At my school, I have never worked in a fully enclosed classroom-it used to be all open plan, and even though some doors and walls were put in over the years, the nature of the building design meant that often your classroom was a corridor to somewhere else. There is nothing more annoying or distracting than people using your room to walk through, have conversations at the edge of, and push dinner trolleys through.
 The third reason I am loving it so much, is that I can set up all the little story and rhyme opportunities I want to, provide things such as small toy cars, or phonics resources, and know that they are not all going to go missing! If they do it is easy to search this room, whereas the old place was huge, and had so many hiding places it was impossible.
 So on Friday night, the five speckled frogs who have lived in my car for a while now, were given there own sparkly log.
 The speckles are felt circles you use to stop things scratching tables. I have kept them for ages, waiting to find a good use-speckles 1-5 are that use!

 The play people have moved into the big house, ready for Monday. What they don't realise is that I bought a jail yesterday in the charity shop! And a bank for them to rob! I think Grandad did it.

 This great bookend was in my 'p' bag to illustrate 'push', but now he can do his real job as the classroom has lovely deep windowsills.
 We brought the pigs and houses with us to make this display. I wrote the story and then read it with the children before putting it up, as there are quite a few words they can read now, and I wanted them to know what the story said. They liked the 'run!' part best! The pigs have such cute expressions!

 The pigs and bad Mr Wolf were very popular last week, and, as I say, did not go missing at all! Next week they have got the three bears. I got this little set on ebay-for something like £2.99!
 This book is one of their (and my) all time favourites. Full of adventure and brilliantly illustrated with photgraphs.
The other main reason the separate room is better, is that we can work with the children in our class only, thus making assessment and teaching easier. We do work with the other class outside, and there has been a little mixing in the rooms, but that has worked ok. I think the new school had an all in one classroom again, but after our experiences down here, it is going to be split into two. Hurray!


Carole Reid said...

Sarah, I'm so happy for you! and your students! Everything sounds like fun for all. Best wishes for a great Monday.

snoopydogknits said...

Hey! It looks fabulous! It does make such a difference to have a space that you can take ownership of and give some love to! I must search out the bus story, I've not seen it before. Love the Three Little Pigs display! Enjoy the last few weeks of term. Ros

elizabeth said...

So thrilling that your workspace is so much better.
It really can drive you mad if endless people traipse about all the time.
Your love for the children is evident in all the cool stories and toys and activities you have set up for them.
A happy post!

Jenny Woolf said...

I love that book, the Naughty Bus. It's been out for a while and I wish I had got it when the boys were younger. Actually I think all your items are such fun. And I'm glad you like the new classroom.

Unknown said...

your classroom looks amazing. I am so happy for you and look forward to seeing more new projects that you do with your students.

Anonymous said...

It all sounds wonderful - and you are obviously fired up with new enthusiasm!
When Stuart started school, someone had the bright idea of them not sitting at desks, but sitting round tables ..... but that meant half the class had their backs to the teacher, and the children chatted to each other, as it was all so informal.

Unknown said...

Hello Sarah,
Did you see this?
I immediately thought of you. Not that you're priceless Victorian rubbish you understand.. :-)

Tracy said...

HOORAY! So glad the new room has been such a great thing... worth all the wait and mess, 'eh? ;o) And isn't it amazing how a new, bright space can inspire?! LOVE all the sweet plush cuddly friends & fun in the new room. Happy Week, Sarah ((HUGS)) P.S. Many thanks for you lovely comment at my place. I think though we don't have children, we are still mothering & nurturing, just in different ways... and these ways are just as worthy & valuable... this is I am believing in more and more. :o)

Linda Sue said...

This is all well and good, Ms. Wallis...but where is the algebra and trig room and the rote tests and exams?Don't you realize that your children's books are too childish for children...shouldn't they be reading JOYCE by now, something substantial containing big abstract words ? What's it coming to when three year old people must play to learn...I just don't know- how will they ever enter college by the time they are five???
So glad all is well - that you have room to move about but to see all. I can not even imagine how you coped with the old space.
Package on it's way this morning. Hope it reaches you in good time.

Leenie said...

Your students are so fortunate to have such an imaginative and caring teacher! Wow! I would be happy there too. Sometimes we don't know how bad a problem is until it is resolved. Laughing at Linda Sue's comments. Yes, where are the classes in trig and mechanical engineering?

Sarah said...

Yes-it's my low expectations you see!
Though does using mobilo and lego count as engineering?!

Queenie Believe said...

I'm so pleased you love your new classroom space, Yay!!! Nothing like an improvement to really give one a shot of enthusiasm, enjoy!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie