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I’ve taught first grade for 18 years and have always been in an indoor classroom. I am being moved into a portable building for the first time. It is very old, small, drab, and has very limited in wall space. I have a huge classroom library and a huge collection of teaching texts, not to mention all the math manipulatives and science materials. I’m overwhelmed by the challenge of making my classroom inviting and flexible, with room for the structures and routines that first graders need. I also want to have a makerspace because I went to several trainings about makerspaces and am excited about what I learned. I feel like getting rid of most of the “school furniture” because there is NO ROOM. I’m not sure where to begin. I have round and trapezoid tables that take up too much room, and I’m not sure I will be able to get any rectangular tables. I’m going to ask the custodians to remove the kidney table because it just takes up too much space. Ideas?
Hey there, As a veteran of a drab and dingy portable for the past 15 years with 32 junior students crammed in, I totally understand your dilemma! I'm, fortunately, on the opposite side this year as I'm moving into a very large indoor classroom with only 20 students, so it's surreal! One of the things I did in the portable that made a huge difference and the students loved it, was to attach a huge strip of butcher paper to the length of one whole side wall. Then I painted a very, very simple ocean/sky mural with a small boat in the background and a railing in the foreground. When I left my portable in June and took it down, I wanted to run out of the room - it had made such a huge difference in size, visually. Seriously, it's not hard at all - paint a strip of dark blue 1/2 way at the top with clouds streaked across, then a lighter blue in the remaining 1/2 with wave caps, and finally you could even cut a railing out of construction paper and run it along the bottom. If you send me your email I could forward a pic to you.
Hope it helps!
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