Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome to our School: Part Two

Welcome back to our school! In yesterday's "part one" I posted some general pictures to show the general layout. Today I'll post some more specific pictures to show you what is on the shelves.

You may remember from yesterday's photos that one of the first things you see are what look like educational posters for the kids.

They aren't for the kids. This section of the classroom is where I post things that I need to learn. For example, I have trouble remembering the full names of the triangles in the geometric cabinet (obtuse angle isosceles?). I had never been taught the names of the leaf shapes for the botany cabinet. I also had never taught handwriting before and need to make sure that the boys trace the sandpaper letters in the correct way. As a result, much of what is up there are letter and number formation charts (both Hainstock's and those available for download free at Handwriting Without Tears).

Here are some of our sensorial shelves.

The top shelf holds the brown stair and a set of cards that show some suggestions for combining the brown stair and pink tower. The middle shelf holds the geometric solids and cards. The bottom shelf holds color boxes two and three.

I covered the top of both sets of sensorial shelves with fleece using a staple gun. The red rods were a little long for just one shelf and this lets them lay across both shelves without scratching.

The remaining shelves hold the cylinder blocks and blindfolds.

These are our math shelves. We haven't started beads yet so there isn't much to see.

The top shelf, working from left to right, holds the following:
  • a tray with Kal-El's book for pasting numbers, die-cut numbers, and a glue stick
  • the sandpaper numbers (looks like we need to work on putting them back right-side-up)
  • the number rods and number tiles (in the little tin)
The middle shelf holds this nutcracker and number matching activity.

The bottom shelf holds two versions of cards and counters. One uses squirrels and hazelnuts, the other uses snowmen and white pom-pom snowballs (I made).

This is the first of our culture shelves. For now, it only holds our globe of the continents, map of the continents and some landforms. This area is in the middle of a big surge and will change considerably in the following weeks as we add maps, continent boxes, and more landforms. I have a nice map cabinet and all the maps, but it felt silly to bring it in when we are only using one map to start.

Here is the second set of culture shelves. Obviously it holds my enormous sandpaper globe. The bottom shelf holds our botany and zoology puzzles. Because this is next to my comfortable "observation chair" it was also a good place for Me Too's sandpaper letters and I Spy object box. He comes and sits with me each day to work on his letters here.

These shelves hold various practical life works as well as various things I put out specifically for Me Too. On the floor (again, left to right) we have our silver bucket of flower arranging materials, beginners tangrams, and a shapes/numbers peg sorter. The bottom shelf holds a snowflake sorting activity, a Christmas shapes sorting activity, and a sew-n-sew. The second shelf holds a necklace tray and a Christmas transfer activity. The third shelf holds about a third of the boys' children's books. If you click on picture it will get bigger and you can see all of the Dewey Decimal labels.

Finally, we come to the shelves that are mostly for language.

On the floor (left to right):
  • salt tray and moveable alphabet
  • locks and latches board
  • cards for the geometric cabinet
  • geometric cabinet and presentation tray
  • extensions for the pink tower (on top of the presentation tray)
First shelf:
  • capital and lowercase sandpaper letters
  • double sandpaper letters
  • bucket of objects for use with double sandpaper letters
  • basket of wood pieces for making lowercase and uppercase letters (Handwriting Without Tears)
  • laminated forms for lower and uppercase letters to be used with wood pieces
  • a tray with Kal-El book for pasting letters, die-cut letters, and a glue stick
Second shelf:
The third shelf holds the first two-thirds of the boys' children's books, again these pictures can be enlarged.

I hope this gives everyone a better idea of what they are looking at as they read the blog. I just love snooping around in people's learning spaces and thought I would return the favor!

Other posts in this series:


  1. Thank you for the tour! I love the kids learning space. It is wonderful!

  2. What a wonderful room, so much storage and all those windows with natural light and views of nature. You have done a great job of organizing everything too. Your boys are lucky. Thank you for the tour. Thanks also for the link to the snowman lettersound activity, I will be using that for my next parents as partners meeting makentake.

  3. That's what I talking about, when I first ask you!! So great tour!! Love your room!! so organize!! and a great Big space!!! Lovely!!

  4. Thanks for giving us a tour of your school! It's a great space! You have visited ours once and we have made changes recently. A new room and neutral walls this time. :-)

  5. Ooo I love seeing other people's learning spaces as well! Thank you for sharing yours with us! I just posted our "new and improved" room a couple of days ago, too. Must be the New Year bringing out the desire to reorganize! :)