I linked up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade's August Currently. If you are visiting my blog from there, welcome! I am a first year teacher and have a combined class with forth and fifth graders at an international school in Venezuela. School starts in one week, and I have been busily preparing for it.
My currently definitely reflects that I'm a first year teacher in a new country. Things have been going better than I expected. My classroom does have a lot of resources compared to what I thought. Now, I just need a place to put everything. I have a filing cabinet for some of my stuff, but it smells terrible, so I need to figure out if I can get it to be better. My biggest problem in I don't have containers like I would in the states to put things in. Hopefully, I can get it mostly organized for the beginning of the school year. It might not be pretty at the start, but maybe I can still get it to feel homey.
For the back to school must haves, I stuck with some basic ones since I've never started a school year before as a teacher (except student teaching). New pencils, pens, and other things are critical for me. I want my students to feel like the classroom is new, fresh, clean, and exciting. This might be a challenge in my classroom here. As I sorted through it yesterday, I found layers of dust, broken bits of materials, and a classroom library full of many great but old and smelly books. Second, I must have a plan for how I will run my classroom. This is what I am busily trying to work on. I know generally some procedures and routines, but still need my schedule to finalize some thoughts. I'm also having to rework some as my original plan just doesn't work. For example, my classroom only has a door to the outside, so for my students to use the restroom, I have to unlock our door and then unlock the door to the rest of the school. Then, I would need to unlock it to let the students back in. What a pain! I can tell you that I am going to have a very strict policy about when they can use the restroom because it will waste so much on task time. My third back to school must have was books. Books were the one of the few teaching supplies I found room for. I love using books in all subjects, and they will be essential for my ELLs.
Here are some pictures of my classroom in progress! My board was hung yesterday, and I moved the desks into groups. Some students may look far away, but they will actually be able to see around the pole and will mainly be at their desks when they work independently or in small groups anyways.
In the back right of this picture, you can see my trapezoid table that I will use for small groups. I kept it near the board and books so those are easily accessible. I plan to teach most of reading and math in small groups, so having that as the focus should work for me. There will also be a carpet on the floor where the green chairs are that I will use for whole group.
That's all I have today! Let me know what you think about my classroom and if you have any suggestions that would be helpful, I would love to hear them!