Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Montessori Makeover: My Classroom (part 2)

After spending about two mornings a week in my classroom over the last few weeks, I finally completed the classroom portion of my Montessori Makeover!  There are still a couple "piles" of stuff that need to either be donated or put away.  But, for the most part, the classroom is ready to go.

As you will notice in the photographs, there are some aspects of the classroom that do not conform to the traditional Montessori classroom:

*  Many of the shelving units are still painted a bright green color.  This may be something I will change in the future.  But, for now, for the sake of time and money, they will stay green.  Plus, I like the color!

*  There is a brightly colored circle time rug rather than the traditional circle or elliptical shaped "line" on the floor.  Again, this is something that may change in the future.  But, for now, will stay.

*  Most of my supply storage is in the classroom.  That's just the way it is.  This is not something that I can change.

*  There is a block area, pretend play area, and a gross motor area in the classroom.  These are things that were already there and the children enjoy.  So, they will stay as well.

Here are the photographs:

Block Area -- this used to be the Circle Time area

Practical Life -- the small rectangular table to the right of the picture towards the back is for food preparation.  This used to be the table that I kept all the painting supplies on.  The table was originally meant as a work bench for using tools, so the top was in poor condition.  I covered it with blue vinyl like most of the other tables in the classroom.  The small round table is for eating snack and the large rectangular table is for practical life work.  The small wood shelf is for snack set-up items like plates, napkins, cups, and pitchers.

This is a different view of the practical life area as well as the art and sensorial areas.  To the right of the picture, towards the front is the practical life work shelf.  There is a small independent work table past that and then the art shelf.  The round table to the back, middle of the picture is the art work table.  To the left are two easels for painting work and a sensory table.  The long shelf towards the back is for sensorial work.  I am planning to get a large, solid colored area rug for the floor in front of the sensorial shelf.

Another view of the practical life, art, and sensorial areas.  To the left, front of the picture there is another small independent work table.

Gross Motor Area

Pretend Play Area

Circle Time, Math, Culture, Science Areas, and a partial view of the Language area.  The shelf to the left is for math work.  The shelf in front of the window is for science work.  The green shelf to the front, right of the picture (you can only see the corner of it) is for culture work  The vertical book shelf is for, well, books of course.

This is the Language area and the science work shelf.  The tall green shelf to the left is for language work.  The short green shelf to the right is either going to be for more language work or maybe more culture work.  I'm not sure yet.  The rectangular table is for small group lessons.  Towards the very back of the room, you can see the children's cubbies -- and some other stuff that is waiting to leave the classroom.
Well, there you have it!  I am really happy with the results of this makeover.  The next step is to put work out on the shelves to start the year.  Of course, since this is the beginning of a new school year and the beginning of the Montessori curriculum, we will begin the year with work that the children have probably already been exposed to.  Things like Mr. Potato Head, peg boards, bead lacing, etc.  The Montessori materials will be added as lessons are given on each material.

I also have some more materials to purchase for the classroom.  I plan to purchase work rugs from Ikea.  These seem to be the most reasonably priced rugs I have found at this point.  I also need to purchase small table work mats.  I will probably see what Ikea has in this area as well.  I am always open to suggestions, so please feel free to let me know if you have any ideas for classroom work rugs.

As I complete the set-up of each individual area, I will post updates to my blog.  And, as I go through the year I will be sharing some of my own ideas for Montessori-style works as well as updates on how the year is going.  Please "stay tuned" for further "Montessori Makeover" updates! 

I am also very happy to announce that I will be taking Karen Tyler's online Montessori teacher training through World Wide Montessori Online!  Since I neither have the time or the money to complete traditional Montessori training, this was a wonderful option for me.  I have heard so many great things about Karen Tyler's program and her resources for Montessori educators through yahoo groups, blogs, etc., that I have no doubt I will benefit greatly from her program!

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