Monday, March 22, 2010


Are you one of those teachers that has to change your room around every month?? Or are you a teacher that keeps the same set up from year to year?? Do you fall somewhere in between?? I am one of those teachers that has got to do an over haul of my room every 3 to 6 months. It all depends on how the kids are behaving. If they are engaged with what I have out, then I leave it... if not, I change it. I like that the look of surprise when the kids come in on Monday morning (I tend to do these things on a weekend or vacation) and can't believe things are moved around. "Where are my toys?" Is usually the first question I get... then we go and explore until we find the special toys we were looking for (usually dress up clothes, the beloved Kitty's, or popular monster trucks).

Today the kids came in and loved what they saw. I made some more nooks and cranny's for them. More intimate centers where only 1 or 2 kids can fit and explore... I tried to cut down on the open "running" space that we had, and I think I did. We will see how the next few days go to really know if it was a success.

This is a photo of the art area before the move. I thought I has some recent photos of the playroom space... but I can't seem to find them. I found this one in some random file... I don't even remember taking it... it was probably one of my kids :)

I went to IKEA and bought these really cute magazine holders for some of my resource magazines, children's work, and various paper work I tend to lose :) I was also excited about the mesh ball bag purchase... we lose so many balls due to leaving them outside (and the dogs eating them) and forgetting to bring them in... this way, I dump them out, the kids play with them, then when it's time to go in we race to see who can get the balls in the bag fastest. We will save so many balls from sure destruction this way.

Here is a view from the doorway of the house... where all my families come in each morning. In the back left corner is the Science Center area... I put my son's old work bench (which I plan to hang magnifying glasses, goggles, etc...) back there to work on, today I put out Magneato's to explore. I also situated the Sand Studio under the window, this will help with the sand not getting on my carpet, and be close to the equipment they use to explore in it with.

Right on the bottom of the picture is the writing/manipulative center... I put out some language games, stamps (letters, numbers, pictures), their workbooks, and a few different kinds of writing utensils. Back behind the pole, is the Art center... not much different there, I just replenished supplies, added some do a dot markers, and added a collage bin.

Here is our Circle Time area... The kids are used to having the whole carpet and spent the first 2 minutes of circle talking about how much smaller their sitting space was. Mind you, I have 5 kids :) there was plenty of room!! On the opposite side of the circle time area is our Housekeeping space. I still have a little more work to do there. I want to move in a table and hang the dress up clothing up somewhere... still brainstorming :)
This is the view from the Circle Time area into the new block area... I put blocks, cars, monster trucks, mega blocks, trains, and some My Little Pony's in this area. The new rug is a race track theme and the kids loved it. My own 8 yr old son spent a lot of time there last night :)
I didn't get any photos of us using the space today because I was busy helping the kids re-learn where everything belongs, how to keep our Art area in working order, and going outside. So, hopefully tomorrow I will catch some kids in action.
I think that they were so excited they had to try everything, go to every center, and touch the materials to make sure it was still the same toys they have been using. They also, spent some time in the family room playing Ladies, Kitty's and making and setting the bed (the couch) with the blankets. It was a busy morning and went by pretty fast.


  1. It is fun to see the excitement a few changes can make. I just make sure that the changes enhance the experience and still make the room feel familiar. Just as you said - it depends on how the kids are feeling as to whether or not a change is in order.

  2. I haven't changed the basic layout of my classroom in 8 years. I change what is available in each area almost every day, and sometimes I remove individual pieces of furniture for a day or a week, but I've never felt compelled to perform wholesale changes like this. I wonder why?

  3. Wow Tom, 8 years... that is a long time :) I know I couldn't go that long without changing things up a bit. But, I know there is comfort in the familiar, especially for the young child. So, maybe that comfort zone rings true with you too :)

  4. I love to change things around just because I get bored with it or the ages of my children vary so much from year to year. Sometimes I just want to incorporate a new center for a while. Loved seeing your pics. By the way I am in NC also...Hickory area

  5. I used to change it up about every 3-4 months, mainly because the setup wasn't working. However, I have had the same layout for the past year now, because this one works. Like Tom, I have changed the available materials, but the basic layout is the same.
    I love the new arrangement! I wish I had your space!!

  6. I change my room up at the beginning of each season. It keeps things fresh and interesting. My kids love to see changes and can't wait to explore the different set up. I actually just changed my room over the past weekend as well.