I've been teaching at the Mom's Day Out that my kids have all attended for several years now, but this is the first time I've actually been in the same classroom for more than one year in a row! We have expanded each year and moved things around, and it's nice to finally figure out my groove in a room and get to tweak it.
As you all know, I have an affinity for birds, so my theme is all birds/owls related.
I know. Why do all teacher things have to be corny and punny? I have no idea. But I secretly love it.
I've gotten a lot of inspiration from the blogs Teaching Two and Three Year Olds and Teaching Preschool, and one of the ideas I'm incorporating this year is having a basket and notepad/pen by the door for parents to leave me notes at drop off. That way, their child can be dropped off and then they can slip out and leave me any important information that they needed to tell me. I'm hoping this will make the first few times of drop off a little smoother (when the little ones tend to have more anxiety).
My classroom is blessed to have a full kitchen in it. The cabinets really need painting but it's a large job I'm not ready to tackle yet. I figured twinkle lights and a happy little window frame perks up that side of the room. I'm thinking I may add some tulle or something else with the twinkle lights to soften the edges.
My goofy little assistant one night as I was working on putting supplies away...
The other side of the room is my centers side. I originally had all my toys pushed up against the walls, but after watching this video I found on Pinterest, I had a lightbulb moment. I don't know why I never made true centers in this room before, but while it may look crowded to a full sized adult, these little areas are perfectly sized for my older twos/younger threes!
My home center is pretty much finished. I plan on introducing several things here throughout the year. One of our favorites is a muffin tin pan with real cupcake liners and real paper plates. It's so funny how something simple like that make these little guys feel so big in their pretending!
Next to this area is my reading nook. I had been looking for some sturdy book shelves to organize my books into baskets on when I realized one day that I could just take the cabinet doors off of the cabinet shelves and voila- instant built in shelving! I am also experimenting with keeping my puzzles in this area- we'll see how that goes.
Adjacent to this area, building a "wall" to the nook, is my "Construction Zone." Here are our wooden blocks, magnetic blocks, and tools. I will probably rotate different things on top of the shelf, but we're going to start with our castle for now.
Across from the reading nook is our dress up area. I think it will probably flow together nicely. I'm flexible though and willing to change up centers as I see how the kids use them!
The little green chair is going to be our birthday chair, but I still have to decorate it.
My gallery wall is almost complete. I'm still contemplating what to put above our art table. This is another new thing that I'm trying out this year- a table that will rotate different art/sensory/motor skills manipulatives.
The other side of the art table is our pretending area- lots of little people, dinosaurs, trains, houses, trucks, tracks... I imagine it will be fairly popular. ;) I want to add something to the back of that door (it's locked and won't be used). I'm thinking a felt board. Any other ideas from my creative friends?
It took me at least 6 hours and one friend to get my shelves organized and sorted how I wanted them this year. It makes me a little giddy to look at everything labeled and sorted nicely. Yep. Total nerd.
I will continue to update here as we continue into our new year. I'm so excited about my little group! We're going to have a fun time together. :)