I am messy, disorganized, and generally any space I occupy for more than five minutes is sprayed with shrapnel from my work.  Wires, papers, bits of this and that.  For most of my teaching career I had a very small room.  For the last three years I have a space that would make most public school teachers least I think so…how large is your room?  It is big enough so that once I littered one desk with too much stuff I could just abandon it and move on to another.  A few months later I would just throw out all the stuff left behind on the first desk and start over. This year I have been trying really hard to stay neater.

Thursday we had an early-out because of snow and I decided to stick around and clean my room…at least just one part of it.  I have this big space in the rear of my room, where you first walk in that was just wasted.  It had filing cabinets that I had not opened in years, an old teacher desk, another desk I let student teachers have, and some other random paraphernalia. Here is a pic of what it looked like Thursday morning:

Eight garbage bags later it turned into this:

The filing cabinets now are each filled with things for the kids to explore and everyone has something quirky and different, things that kids can go through to spark new ideas or just play with.  There are lots of little figures, dress-up clothes, wigs, puppets, and even one filled with bones 🙂

There is a table on which different appliances will show up next to a pile of tools inviting students to take them apart.

It is not obvious from the pictures, but there is just enough “stuff” forming a partial wall around it so that when you are in “it” it feels like you are outside of the “normal” class.  A “wall” will greet kids when they walk in on Monday.  A wall does keep things out, but come on, when you get to a wall don’t you always want to peek around it to see what’s on the other side?

I am going to set-up some recording equipment up on the table to invite play, and there is the green screen and tripod and camera ready to experiment.  A computer on wheels is also back there with video editing software. There are also some “group” size whiteboards for kids to use.

There is also an aquarium with out composting worms back there, and our fish died last year, but I think it is time to replace him and put the aquarium back into the new space. There are also some individual desks and go anywhere bean bags…along with stacks of broken old laptops.

I had lots of other stuff I was going to bring in, but in this part of the world anything that is not padded is considered dangerous.  I left the hot glue gun, band saw, and hammers home 🙂

So now when you stand in the middle of the room and spin around, this is what you’ll see…hopefully I can keep it clean for more than a week!

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