Have you ever just needed a little bit of new scenery to make things interesting again? Well that's just how I've felt for the past few months. Normally I am a person who jumps into everything or wants things done yesterday... however, as much as I've wanted to jump, I've restrained myself for the past two months while I tried to think through all of my options. This whole dilemna started last year when my SMARTboard was installed and the "front" of my room changed from the north wall to the west wall. For 2nd graders it wasn't such a big deal not to mention my board wasn't a vital part of my daily teaching. Well this year it is embedded into a large part of my day and my kids' tables just weren't in a location condusive to the majority of them being able to see the board well let alone interact with it in a timely fashion, this coupled with the fact that I am now teaching 1st graders which also made a difference. This problem has consumed me for the past month almost daily as I soooooo see the need to have my students' table spots around my board for better focus, time on task, and interaction, but still wanted to have a group area on the floor in front of the board as well.
WELL..... it finally came to fruition today and I couldn't be happier with the outcome of the room. The whole room has a new feel to it, is soooo much more 1st grade friendly, and has lots of open space. I absolutely LOVE it! I'm most excited about a little nook that I made for a writing center. This is also something that I have been trying to work into the room arrangement as my kids were just going back to their table spots to write and behavior issues were cropping up. The new area is very inviting and has all the supplies in one area and the kids are pumped about it. I even put a small table lamp at the center which makes the area even more homey and inviting!! Can't wait to see how it all functions over the next few days and how the traffic pattern will flow through the room.
Edited 2/12 to say,
The new room arrangement is working beautifully!! There are so many large open spaces for the kids to spread out for Daily 5 time and math games and the writing area has been a HUGE hit- even for my reluctant writers! In fact, our temps have been below zero all week so we had indoor recess and the writing center was humming right through recess time as well!!! The tables around the SMARTboard are also working well and each set of 2 tables has a built-in teacher area that has been wonderful as it gives me a place to sit where I can work wtih 4 of my challenged learners at one time!! WOOT!!!