Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back-to-school Classroom updates

We've been doing mini lessons all summer long, but I'm starting to crack open the curriculum and get my year all fleshed out.  We have a few additions to the classroom since the last blog appearance, and I am feeling ready to begin this odyssey!  This room has become my 'safe haven' from the eventual chaos and "I-have-two-children-and-a-puppy" craziness of the rest of the house, and the kids feel it too.  It is a safe, warm place to relax and be together. 
I found this great 'curio shelf' at a Goodwill in Iowa last week, and even though I didn't have a purpose for it, I couldn't leave it behind.  Alex and I decided it would be a perfect display case for her minerals, fossils, and other really special natural treasures.

 Alex is responsible for creating a monthly calendar and filling it in with our activities and classes.  As we move through the month, she adds drawings of observations she's made from nature.  August 1st was our Lake Superior 'tidepool' adventure.
Next to the calendar is our Homeschool Rhythm schedule (more for me than for them).  I laminated the back paper, attached Velcro dots to it and then made (and laminated) the individual activities.
It has been working well for our truncated summer rhythms, and I'm looking forward to using it for our entire day in a few weeks.
The circle-time part of the room is almost the same-  we still adore our sheepskin rug and pillows.  The Flower Alphabet poster moved over here AND we have a moveable desk that Gramps constructed.  It's wide enough for both kids to sit at/on and has a built-in balance beam if you turn it upside down.  Justin prefers to work over here.
 The succulent that we received at The Duluth Grill oversees this area.  It's so nice to have a touch of green.
 This is the thing I'm most excited about-- my mom gifted me this gorgeous tree trunk.  It has been in her classroom for years, but she thoughtfully offered it for us to use.  My circle-time journal, candle and snuffer live on it.
 Mmmmm.....sheepskin....  I don't know if I mentioned it before, but we got these for a great deal from Sierra Trading Post.  Make sure to search for "coupon code" before you order, because you can find fantastic deals!

The other part of the room is the desk work area.  While in Des Moines last week, I visited my favorite teaching store and found a cursive alphabet that met my aesthetic standards.  I'm not completely happy about it, but I think it will really benefit Alex in the long run to have examples of each letter up.
I found a perfect 'eraser' basket.  Seems silly, but it really saves me a lot of bending and cleaning up after dirty erasers bounce off the chalkboard rail onto the rug.
The other part of the succulent (I divided it) lives here, at the top of my 'teaching shelf'.
The US Flag is an important part of our room as well.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning circle-time.
At the back of the desk-work area is some shelving, our nature table and the kids' cubbies.  Each cubby has their lesson books and handwork baskets.
Our summer nature table will soon be turning to autumn.
This sweet mobile keeps watch over the room-
 The closet, which used to be a coat closet, was reformed into a supply closet with the addition of rails and shelving.  I love it!  Our art supplies, teaching books, and manipulatives live here, with the addition of a garbage basket!  I hate 'seeing' my garbage basket, so it hides in here.
I am so happy with this room, and feel so blessed with this opportunity I've been given.  Bring on the school year!


Me From Maine said...

What a lovely space! It has a fantastic energy to it!

born ambitious. born imaginative. said...

I love all the subtle comforting touches. I want to go to school there! :)