Friday, August 29, 2014

a new school year means a newly organized classroom

the view from the door
It took us hours and hours to get this room to look like this. It's the same room as last year but good golly did we do an overhaul. We removed some furniture, added a few small tables, and rearranged the whole shebang. While we do have a nice budget for our preschool it goes to big wishlist items such as a light table or block shelf so a lot of our furniture is a bit mismatched but you can't be too choosey can ya? The blue table here replaced a taller rainbow table and we love having it there.
the view from the reading corner
Our classroom and school used an old elementary school so we have amazing windows and space. I mean look at all that natural light! The white shelving units are from Ikea and had blue doors on them last year. We relocated the items we were storing in them and pulled the doors off to create a math shelf and a science shelf. The backside of each shelf will soon hopefully have magnet boards on them. The coffee table was in the a-go-go garage and is now a small world table. The rug came from the old casa de a-go-go and adds a bit of color to the grey carpet. The playhouse in the way way back there was sold to create more space in the room and put a little moolah back into the budget.
the art shelf
The art shelf is a work in progress but I love having the art supplies out all the time. I covered the back of the shelf with brown paper because there were a bunch of flower stickers stuck all over the place.
another view
 On the shelf for the first two weeks the kiddos will find glue and gluesticks, colored pencils, sharpeners, markers, pencils, beeswax crayons, gemstone shaped crayons, paper, and traditional crayons. Phew! The art table is next to and in front of this shelf for easy transfer of supplies. On the table is a lazy susan which currently is holding cans of yellow, blue, and green markers for our week of Little Blue and Little Yellow.
the reading corner
 Our reading corner used to be on the other side of the room where the play kitchen now is. The bookcase is new and we finally got the canopy hung. I would love to not have an ABC rug but that will be for a later project. I would also love to switch out our pillowcases to match other elements of the room. There are a bunch of orange pillows at Target that I am adoring right now. The Alphabet cards are from K & Company and have nifty animal facts written on the back.
the play kitchen
 Here is our play kitchen. Out went all the plastic toys and food and in came the fabric, glass, wood, and stainless steel. This little area sees a lot of play. It's a bit trying to keep organized but al that happy play is worth it.
the artwork wall
 The brown paper here is covering two long white boards. I am so happy to have them covered up. we will be putting photos of the children on this board and their art will be rotated here throughout the year using washi tape covered clothespins that have magnets glued to the back. This took me far too long to put up. Phew!
view into our kitchen area
Here is our kitchen area. This is where all the play dough play, easel painting, cooking, and concoctions happen. We also eat our lunch here before heading out to our adjoining play yard. Last year only one of the cubby areas with hooks was a vailable for use as the other was used for storage. The mister installed shelves on the bottom for us and now we have official cubbies. Just don;t look in the cabinets yet, they still need a bit more work. One holds our pantry items such as flour for cloud dough, baking soda, vinegar, shaving cream, and snacks for us teachers...of course.
another kitchen view
Last year I made a few organizational-like changes to our kitchen such as putting in a hook or two for our broom and dustpan and adding an art wire across the top of the entryway (fine, I didn't do it myself, the mister did, but it was my idea).  Before that, the broom was always in a different place and  artwork space was at a minimum. We now create classroom garlands with the kiddos' artwork and hang them along the wire. It adds a bit of flair to the room. The white shelf unit there used to be in the middle of our room. It held art supplies and blocks. The shelves are pretty deep and the unit is taller than the kiddos so we were super happy to move it to where it is now to act as storage for all the plastic shoebox sized bins we have that hold art/craft materials such as pipe cleaners, beads, coffee filters, etc. The other side holds puzzles and games. I made the curtains from a Target tablecloth and a couple of tension rods.
our kitchen counter
 Here is where we set our snacks, wash our dishes, and place art trays ready to go out. Last year it got super cluttery so this year I asked the mister to install a couple of shelves for us. We also added hooks under one of the shelves to hold our mugs. The shelves closets to the wall hold cleaning supplies and spray bottles while the other two shelves are for cups and plants. The plate rack was moved from the center of the counter to the right side of the sink and above the sink there is a three tiered hanging baskets that holds dishtowels, plastic clips, sponges, and a few other odds and ends. Not pictured is the mini fridge and microwave which have a hanging clippy thing that we clip damp dishtowels to for drying.
the paper shelf
 The paper and paint shelves used to house all sorts of art supplies and all of the bins for collage and the like. It was a mess and got very cluttered. We now have one side dedicated to paper and the other dedicated to paint. I found the white paper holder on the left at Micheal's on clearance and mister made the paper holder on the right out of cardboard. The trays are used for wet and messy art and as drying racks for wet and messy art. The stripy bin (a gift from the divine Ms. Za) holds tiny notebooks and is often added to the art shelf. The basket hold paint chips which also get added to the art shelf. The purple bin holds scraps of construction and scrapbook paper. It's so organized! I love it!
paint shelf
 I got a bit wacky with our paint shelf but I love how every type of paint has its own space. Most of the baskets and bins came from home. The tempera paints gets used daily and I like to store them in rainbow order as a conversation piece for the kiddos. They totally notice later i nthe year, when one is out of place. The basket on the top shelf holds baby food jars with the rest of my glass collection on the left. The children love when they get to use the glass jars and bottles.

This is the basket I put on top of the mini fridge. We tend to drop our water bottles, keys and phones up there and it gets jumbled and messy. The basket helps solve the mess and holds supplies we use everyday such as tape, scissors, and markers. It also holds my snack as you can see.

So, that's it. A mini tour of my newly organized classroom. I hope you had fun. I'm quite happy with it. Phew!



  1. Your room looks great. I can't wait to see the art board when it has work on it. I have been thinking of something similar (a permanent 'art' space for each child) but your design and ideas take it so much further. I live the peg idea - I am planning on stealing that! :)

    1. Steal away! At first we were planning on adding orange paper over the patterned paper but it looked busy. Then I found out my co-teacher had a completely different view of where the art would go and where their photos would go which blew me away as I never thought of it that way and she had not thought of it the way I was looking at it. It's still a work in progress but we'll get there! thank you!