I had completely planned on blogging last Sunday but ended up never having the time. I went in to work all day and got so much done—then came home and worked more! I managed to take some pictures for the the Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge (I'm about two weeks behind on the challenge now—how dare work get in the way! ha.) and it was perfect because my classroom was a complete MESS. Not only did I take some horrible pictures but I did manage to clean most of the mess that is seen in the pictures (but I did not take any after photos yet because I have some major changes brewing in my classroom layout—if I can get the help of friends/custodians soon). Here are some of the pictures that I took:
This is normally my guided reading area. As you can see, it's also the area where I do a lot of my work when I'm not meeting with kids. Oops.
The unused word wall (and below you can see how messy my computer area is as well)... I actually took all of this down on Sunday. I would love to put two types of fabric up and turn it in to a language arts focus wall. But that will only happen if I remain in this classroom next year.
The computer that I do all of my work on...
WHAT is going on here?
Cubbies that NEED cleaning.
My classroom library isn't too bad off... I just don't like it being located where it is in the room.
This counter actually looks MUCH better now--I used a lot of my time on Sunday on this area!
It stresses me out to even look at the pictures.... no wonder I am stressed out all the time!
The next step in the challenge is to make a plan to declutter. One of the (very few) benefits of being a first-year teacher is that I haven't had (too) much of a chance to acquire that much clutter but there are a few things that I have got to get rid of. There are a few areas in my room that are kind of scary because the teacher before me left a lot of things and when I was first moving in, I didn't know what I was allowed to throw away. Well, six months later, I have a much better idea of what I can use and most of that stuff is just taking up valuable storage space in my classroom.
Here are some of the areas in my classroom that I would like to focus on and what needs to be done to them:
1. I have these nice cabinets in the back of my room above my cubbies. Two of them are labeled as “I don't know what to do with this...” stuff from the previous teacher. I will be going through this stuff and either getting rid of it or finding a place for what I can use.
2. I have about 10 cubbies that don't get used by students and I use them for extra storage. A few of them are also full of things from the previous teacher and I need to do the same as I mentioned above.
3. Go through what's on top of the cabinets to get rid of things such as old textbooks and see if I can get rid of the overhead projector (???) that's up there as well.
4. Rearrange my classroom so that I can put my textbooks and guided reading materials where I would like them to go.
5. Find a place for every sheet of paper floating around my classroom.
6. Find a way to store all of my center activities for reading and math. While they are in use by students and when they are put away for the rest of the year.
That might be all I can handle for right now. If only I could have a workday where I could just be left alone in my room to do all this decluttering and not spend the whole day in meetings—now that would be amazing!
And as for the rest of this weekend, this is a picture of what I brought home to try to finish. That folder is FULL of all the things I need to grade (the marking period ended yesterday) this weekend. I also need to start on report cards. Siggggh.