It has surely been a while – but since student teaching, going back to my former job, and then landing a summer camp to teaching job, I’ve become a Kindergarten teacher for 2015-2016!
I am beyond excited. I was lucky enough to get a position at The Goddard School close to my house for the school-age summer camp program this past summer. We had a lot of fun – my room included kids from age 6-11, many of them siblings! While we did some fun experiments and other summer camp activities, I was looking forward to a more structured classroom with children of the same age/grade. I took the position for the Kindergarten teacher at the Goddard School for the upcoming year. It was great because I already knew the students coming into the program since they were in the Pre-K room when I started summer camp.
This past week was used for preparing the room for the upcoming school year beginning on Tuesday 9/8 after labor day. Our school-wide theme was “Learning Through The Decades” and I chose to decorate my room as an 80’s theme. Take a look to see how I incorporated Kindergarten requirements while using an 80’s theme for decorations.
I used my school-agers to help complete my Pac-man birthday wall. They helped paint my pac-man and color in my letters and ghosts. I downloaded the Pac-man font to use for “happy birthday”. The fruit were just regular google-images I printed out and had the summer campers color in.
I used a printable of a cassette tape for our cubby tags and printed them out on bright colored paper and then laminated. I wrote each child’s name on them and placed them above their cubbies.
At our school, it is a requirement that every place on the shelf and every bin is labeled with a picture and word of what is supposed to go there. I love this idea – it helps students know exactly where to find materials and where they go after using. I see myself using this idea at any age level in an elementary school to help them know exactly where things go. After I organized and labeled my art cabinet, it felt so good to have a spot for everything to go!
I didn’t have any bulletin boards in my classroom, so I needed to create a makeshift one for our circle/calendar time. I used pencil lined border and the chalkboard themed calendar from School Is A Happy Place. I laminated each piece and used Velcro strips to add to my wall. The students already know a few “days of the week” and “whats the weather” songs so I plan to use the same ones when they come into kindergarten with me. I made the “calendar” sign using teal and red construction paper cut into flag shapes and printing out the letters to add to each shape. I then just attached them to the wall using sticky dots.
Any successful classroom has rules! I loved using the printable rules from Kindergarten Kids At Play. I printed them and attached them to the matching teal construction paper from other signs in my room and then laminated and stuck them to the wall. I have these right next to my calendar, but at a lower level so they are more at the student’s height to see throughout the day. I am sure we will be repeating these many times over the first few weeks of school to help them remember!
This is to the right of the calendar wall. I used a bright orange pocket holder from the Target dollar spot to hold my classroom job list. The holder only has 8 spots – but I only have 9 students and 2 of them are half days, so this works perfectly. If needed, I can double up on snack/lunch helper or teacher’s assistant. I also created on a bright green poster board from the Dollar Tree a 1-100 chart. Over the first few weeks we will be counting 1-20 and moving through each 10 numbers as each week goes on. I know I will reference this chart often, so I made sure to have it close to the circle time/group instruction spot. To make sure parents and others knew that my room was “80’s themed”, I wanted to incorporate something that stated it was the 80’s. I used a flag banner from the Dollar Tree that is brightly colored and filled with fun patterns (polka dots, chevron, etc.) and wrote “Rock The 80s” to fill the flag.
Lastly, I created a rubix cube using 12×12 scrapbook paper, laminating them, and then using black washi tape to separate them into 9 blocks. I am not the best with creating letters/drawing freehand, but luckily I have an awesome co-worker who made my letters for me to show it was a Rubix Cube. You can also see part of my Alphabet wall above that my summer campers helped me create. I tried finding a printable alphabet chart to use, but none of them were quite what I was looking for. I created my own by printing out a colorable picture for each letter, then tracing block letters of each capital and lower case letter, and having students color them in. This helped make my decorations child-made as well!
I also added some lightning bolts to my windows as 80’s themed and look forward to adding more student-made decorations as the year goes on!