Here we are. We have finally started!! Another year of fun learning together!! I spent quite a good bit of time rethinking the lay out of my classroom during my holidays ; so I guess my first step will be to show what our classroom looks like this year.. Here is what I came up with.
Starting with a general view as you come in the classroom..
On the right hand side as you come in, you will see straight away a table against the radiator. As we have more boys than girls this year, I knew that I had to divide our contruction area into 2 different places. If not, boys will all gather on the floor and DISASTER would strike!! So I thought about it and realised that some of the construction work can actually be table top activities. I have therefore placed the potatoe head basket, the small lego basket and other bits like these on a table where I can supervise the activity going on. And of course, beside this construction table, we have our geogrpahy corner with jigsaw, pictures, books, continent boxes etc..
Beside this, we have the Practical Life exercises corner...
Passing the PL area, we are now entering the reading corner/circle time area.. I haven't changed much in here as it worked very well last year. On the right hand side of the picture, you can see our jigsaw shelving unit. The jigsaws face the PL area but I forgot to take a photo.
Right beside the reading area, we have a few wooden boxes nailed to the wall, dedicated to Science and Nature. The materials in this area change quite a lot as I follow the seasons and the interest of the children.
Facing the science corner is the construction / play role area: we have little cars, plastic animals and dinos, natural wooden pieces used with the wooden blocks for building castles, the brown stairs (which is technically a sensorial montessori material) etc... The top of the shelf will be used as our Nature display/table. Not much to display at the moment but October will be different!!
Beside the science boxes, we have the Maths area.
Let's continue our visit and on the left hand side of the math area, we have the sensorial area. This is quite a busy corner and as you can see, there is a lot to do!!
Passing the sensorial area, moving back towards the entrance door, we have the language shelf and then the writing table. On the language shelf, top shelf, we have our sandpaper letters and our phonic booklets. This will become a bit more interesting as we learn more and more sounds: boxes with items representing the phonic sounds will be added and I might be struggling to find enough space. I'll cross that bridge when I am there. Below the sandpaper letters are games aiming at developing the children's oral and aural skills: bingo games, pairing games, matching games etc.... The writing table is set right beside the Montessori metal insets. I have also included the stencils, plain white paper, coloured paper, crayons and pencils. Below the insets you will find a tray with scissors for cutting exercises and another tray for punching activities. Soon, as the children learn how to write with the salt box, I will also place there the chalk boards for further practice.
This following corner is an alcove on the right hand side of the entrance door as you come in. I used to have a rectangular table there, used for painting and for art. Children ended up messing up a lot at this table and this is why I have decided that only one child would paint at a time, limiting the mess (hopefully). This has open up the area and this is now much more acessible without danger of getting dabbed by a paint brush covered in paint or glue! I have added another shelf there too for my own use. I now have easy access to my Montessori albums at all time and can store my laminating pouches, my worksheets, my curriculum programs, the children's copy books, their observations booklets etc.. Perfect!!
And here is our outside garden. I got new fence put in and this give quite a nice finishing touch to the place. It is neat and very safe. No way children can escape!!! We also have a new cool shed for the tractors, bikes and cars... so if it's been raining the day before, we no longer have any wet car to dry up in the morning!!! And no more bird poo to clean in the spring time! Yippeeee!
So that's it... What do you think??