Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sneak a Peek with a Peach: Mandy's Tips for Teachers

Today is the FIRST of a 22 part (!!) installment of Sneak a Peek with a Peach!  Each author from the Primary Peach will share a tour of their classroom or a specific area of their classroom.   So, grab a drink and a snack and let's get started!!!!

I am in a little bit of a different position than some of our Peaches.  I am no longer in the classroom and I am currently a stay-at-home mommy.  While lots of learning happens around our kitchen table, it doesn't have quite the same affect as a classroom reveal! LOL! I have decided to share my most favorite area of my past classrooms: the library! So we are going to climb into our DeLorean and time travel a bit!

This was my VERY FIRST classroom.  Ah, the nostalgia! You can tell from the quality of the picture that this was the Dark Ages. I was a rookie- and it showed.  Look at the arrangement of the library!  See the arrows? They are pointing to my CLOSED OFF library! Eek! Hiding places behind the bookshelves? I wanted a cozy little nook and created it with bookshelves....that hid the teacher's view. What was I thinking?  Apparently, my first year, not much. Luckily, I was a fast learner! This arrangement didn't last too long. LOL!

A few years later I moved in to a double wide trailer. Space was at a premium.  I had all kinds of things hidden and stuffed into corners!!  The arrow points to my library. The chairs were stacked in the library after school- they were not there during the school day!  You can tell I learned here!  Still a nook, but always in my view. 

I moved (again) and you can tell my library really expanded that year.  I have always loved children's book and I hoard them.  Even now! I kept recess games in the steamer trunk and pillows for kids to snuggle up with.  The little rug was shaped like a school bus and I adored it. I also adored lamination!  Holy smokes! Look at all those laminated posters! I will say, we DID create those charts as a class and then I laminated them. Most of the charts are from the Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell's First 20 Days plans.

I loved again this year and changed grades.  This was my first year in second grade and I adored it.  This was one of my most favorite groups of kids ever. These kids are now in HIGH SCHOOL!  Eek!

This view is from the classroom door. I decided to make the library line the classroom meeting area in front of the easel. This idea was okay.  I will say, for the most part, my kids didn't play in the book baskets during whole group lessons.  However, this was a great group of kids.  When I lined the meeting area with our books other years, it did cause problems.

This was also the year I revamped my library organization. I wanted to make sure my little second graders could maintain the library and color coded it.   You can read about that here and get a copy of the labels for free! The kids were able to keep up with the library and it actually worked well enough that I kept this system up for several years.

I loved those blue shelves. They were hand me downs from another teacher and I lovingly painted them with leftover paint from my parent's kitchen. The shelves were super heavy and sturdy. So heavy and sturdy, I had to leave them behind when I moved schools! 

I moved to a new school in 2008.  I looked, but couldn't find any images of my library.  I think my mantra that year was, "Just keep swimming!" LOL! I switched to a new classroom and grade in 2009. 

I decided to line my library under the board for more room. When I set the room up I thought it was a brilliant idea, since the space below the white board seemed wasted. Honestly, I did NOT like this set up.  I found that a bumped against the books when writing on the board and dropped pens and things behind the books.  I am a bit clumsy. 

The next year I decided to stack the white shelves (from Walmart and could be rearranged several different ways) and line all the books against my back wall.  I did like that the books were altogether and not blocking the board.  I didn't like that the shelves were so tall, because some of my third graders had a hard time reaching books from the top baskets.

My last year, I think I figure it out! LOL!  These shelves were inherited from another teacher and were awesome.  All wood.  Super heavy and sturdy.  I didn't even have to paint them because they were already black!

The room was a great size.  We made the library a separate area- away from whole group instruction.  The baskets were color coded.  The white ones were fiction, black were nonfiction and blue were poetry. I found a new cozy rug from Target and we had bean bags stacked in the corner.

Side Note: Our of the camera's view is my co-teacher's table.  The library may look blocked off in the pictures, but in reality was in FULL view of a teacher. 

I hope you got a few ideas!  It was wonderful to travel down memory lane!  

Every day, until September 22nd, a different Primary Peach author will be sharing his or her classroom! Check out the schedule below!