Spring cleaning is on the brain my friends. The weather is warming up and we have doors and windows open as we air out the house and get moving on re-organizing the classroom. After 2 months of homeschooling, I am learning what works and what does not work for us. This is just what I have been working on this week, hopefully I can give a full out tour soon enough.
I have a very long shelf that runs very close to the classroom ceiling and on this shelf I have all of our educational games and puzzles. This keeps them apart from the normal board games and such that are in the playroom and also allows me to keep a better eye on them. Keeping these all in the classroom let's the kids know that they can play with them at any time they would like, but they need to stay in the classroom. I try to keep them grouped by types of games but usually by the end of the day, I have to get back up there and rearrange them.
Our Nature Table is another corner of our classroom I would like to share with you! We picked up this spice rack at the Container Store and it is absolutely perfect for specimen jars! The kids can collect to their hearts content. I plan on putting in a shelf above it for them to keep an even larger collection. I keep Tweezers and a Magnifying Glass accessible and several different collection containers and trays in the drawer below. You can also see a soil sample that we took after the storm today, to examine under a microscope. A Nature Table allows your children to bring the outdoors in and always gives you a place to keep these "Treasured" items. Even something like a large glass jar would work if you are tight on space!
This shelf is using bin storage for books as opposed to just the standard shelving. This of course takes up more space but allows the kids to see even more of what is present!The Top is full of assorted Letter & Word Tiles.
#2 is full of Science Readers, Reference Books & Science Magazines ( Ranger rick magazine, National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Kids, National Geographic World, All Animals)
#3 Has Puzzle Magazines by Highlights for Children (Puzzlemania & Mathmania), Flash Cards, Which Way USA Activity Books(By Highlights)
#4 Penguin Books, Pop Up Books, The Everything Kids____Books, Phonics Readers and cards
#5 Flashcards, Religion Books, Readers that are sorted by Reading Level.
Here is a closer look at how I organize the Readers on shelf #5. You can see that I just used Sentence Strips to divide up each level and they sit in one shoe box type bin perfectly! Keeping these books divided properly allows children from different reading levels to grab what would work best for them and also shows them that the better they can read, the more that opens up to them!
A corner of our room holds pocket charts that we change out games when necessary and our wall of Presidents. I have a deck of Brain Quest Presidents cards but I am waiting on a flashcard set and once I have those, I will put them on a cup hook below the chart for more interaction. This is a hidden corner of the room where whoever is working here can sit comfortably and work while not being bothered.
Geography Corner! If you keep related items together, they will get used more often. I try to keep things on display, to make them more inviting. This corner shows a poster from Brain Quest that has very eye attracting colors, along with a ring of State Flashcards and Writing Prompts that are Travel Themed all on the wall. On the surface space, you will find a basket filled with card games and reference materials along with a dry erase board that has different pages to test your skills on states, capitals,countries, continents and the like! (Picked that up at OfficeMax). Round it out with a Globe and Continents Puzzle and this place sees a lot of action throughout the day!
With 3 kids and their friends constantly in and out of the house, our classroom tends to be more of a library than anything else and I knew it was time to get organized. Step one was to figure out how to keep the books organized. I am keeping each section visible to the kids by using Paint Stir Sticks. I got mine from Lowes. I asked the person in the paint department for as many as they could give me and the man was much obliged. It didn't hurt that we are remodeling our new home and have bought gallons and and gallons and gallons of paint. My next step is to type up the title and author of each book I own in it's sub section and keep a master list. This will prevent me from purchasing doubles of books and also allow me to keep track of what is being loaned out or missing!
Enjoy every minute my friends!
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