Tuesday, June 27, 2006


So, I moved about 12 boxes to my classroom yesterday! I have a few more to go. I saw the room as a blank slate. Talk about overwhelming! I have some major organizing to do. My room is huge, which I love. That sort of makes up for no windows. I would like to move the teacher's desk--I see it as in the way currently, but due to hookups, I have to leave it in the general vicinity. So anyhow...I'm just totally confounded on how to set up everything. I'm more of a visual person--as in I have to SEE how to arrange it. That's going to mean arranging it, looking, rearranging, and so forth. Any tips from any preschool teachers? FYI, I'll be teaching a preschool class for children with developmental delays. I have some non-verbal children, vision impaired, possibly ED, and so forth.
I have a large counter with a sink, a VERY large irregular shaped room with 2 entrances (one goes directly outside-scary, but there are alarms on all doors). The walls are concrete--makes it difficult to hang things. The previous teacher hot glued ceiling tiles to the walls in places to use for bulletin boards, calendar, etc. I found these nifty little things at Mardel's that will help hang things.
I have several large furniture pieces to use to create barriers between areas. I'll have snack/art near the sink. Circle/calendar time will be where there is already ceiling tiles (for now). I have one area blocked off for when the vision teachers come, but I will try and use that space for something else as well. I'd like to have the sand table near the sink as well, as I want to also incorporate water play near that. Dramatic play/blocks will be together. I want a reading center with bean bags, chairs. I may put the ball pit there for starters. I want to incorporate an Active Learning area, or at least some aspects of one somewhere (see Lilliworks link below). I have at least 2 students who will benefit from some of the AL ideas.

Hmmm...funny how typing things out helps get my brain working. Since starting this, I've drawn a diagram and am ready to get back up there in the morning! I'm sure I'll have several rounds of trial/error, but at least I have a starting place!


helios said...

Hi Jen,

Found you from the CL board but I've definitely been here before. Congrats on the new job - weren't you teaching special ed high school age before?

I was looking through your plan. Sounds great, and I'm totally a "must see it" person as well (I teach K-1 special ed but I taught preschool for several years) and I wanted to offer a comment on one thing that stood out to me. The block area and the dramatic play area are centers that are extremely difficult for children with needs to master. Play skills are such an important area of instruction. I'd hesitate to combine the two, especially as teacher intervention is likely to be needed in teaching those skills. Also, if one child is playing in dramatic play and keeps knocking down someone else's blocks - unneccessary frustration.

Again, this was just my thought reading your (otherwise fantastic in a difficult room - concrete?)plan and it may be quite different in real life then you wrote it. Just my 2 cents... feel free to ignore. :)

Jennifer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Helios! I appreciate the suggestion--that is a good point.

I was previously doing MS Sp Ed (6-8th), so this will be a big change.

I saw the room again today and took pictures this time. There were a few areas I 'forgot' about that will hamper my plans, such as the 2 water fountains and then computer center. Still, I feel alot better about things. I can't wait!

Jeff in MD said...

Hey JJ! Sounds like some great plans in the making. Kinda fun to be able to be so creative with the space! Have fun!