Prep week at Hope and my First Classroom!

My First Classroom- Before the First Day of School
The first week I was here in Moshi was a week to prepare for the start of school. On that Monday, August 25th, all of the teachers, teachers assistants, and administration began meeting at Hope International to get ready. On Monday morning we were given our class, room, and teacher assistant (T.A.) assignments. We also had a couple of meetings to get us started. We are using the book Teaching with Love and Logic for a school-wide management system, as well as some basic school rules.
I found out that day that I would be teaching first grade, in one of the largest classrooms, with a T.A. named Apa. Well, in the middle of the week, they switched teachers around, so Apa went to help in Kindergarten and my T.A. was now Vicky!  Once we got our T.A.'s switched around, I got to work with Vicky on our classroom. There were several Rubbermaid containers in my room with decorations, curriculum, and more from the previous teacher last year. This made things very helpful! I was surprised how well everything came together for my Rainbow Colors theme!
All of the decorations in my classroom were either found in supplies from previous years or made by yours truly! Here's what you see if you were to walk through my classroom door. We had three tables with all different colored chairs. I like the U shape, with the opening facing the front. It helps all the students be able to see me and the board if needed. My desk is up at the right side. They used chalkboard paint on the one wall to use as a chalkboard (a great cheaper alternative to the actual chalkboard!), where I put a the rainbow border.

This was the view from the front of the room. The door is in the back left, along with the green hanging thing, that I use for random things like lunch cards, project storage, etc. The students' cubbies are pictured in the back under the window bordered with the same rainbow border. I labeled each cubby with the students' names, when I got my class list at the beginning of the week. On top of the cubbies are Ikea magazine boxes, each one designated for a different subject where i can stick papers that we are going to do or have done. The bookshelf to the right has math and Bible supplies. I also numbered the tables to help with organization. I wanted to give the students a week to get acclimated with the class, and help me see each personality before I gave seating assignments. But now I most definitely do have them!

Here's another view. This shows the other window- I loved how much LIGHT there was in the classroom! Also another view of my desk (with some pictures of friends and family back home on the wall), You may also notice the buckets right underneath the chalkboard. They coordinate with my table numbers. So any supplies (crayons, pencils, glue) they might need for the day or activity are in there for easy access. I really love having them! My T.A. Vicky and I strung blue, green, and yellow streamers up around the main part of my classroom to add some color and uniqueness.

This is the front left corner of the room. I had another door, leading into the hallway of the building with chart paper hanging on it. I also have my Classroom Rules, made by moi, on the left, my ABCs on the wall, another bookshelf used for reading materials and books for the students, and to display read-alouds for the day and the globe. On the right, I have my morning meeting area.

So here is a close up of the wall next to the board. I had a dry-erase hundreds chart up on the right, and a clock on the left for time-telling practice. Then I had my calendar, ready to go for the first day of school. We add the numbers as we go. Below that I had a small sentence strips chart with my students' name tags in it, ready for the first day of school!

I was extra blessed because my classroom had a second area behind the mushroom-like cutout! It was perfect for reading time, or just to get the students out of their seats for a bit. I hung the ADORABLE rainbow bunting banner, and the alphabet sign. There is also a closet along the right wall for storage.

These pictures were the somewhat end result of a BUSY week putting everything together! I also took the time to look through the curriculum I had, plan lesson plans, and brainstorm other ideas to make my first first week of school as a teacher the best I could with what I had! TIA...after all!

After that first week, we unfortunately had to switch to a smaller classroom so that a bigger class could have the bigger room. It was a hard pill to swallow, after having a week to prepare and decorate, but I know God's ways are bigger than mine, and He has everything under control (even my very boisterous class!!!). I am still working on my new room, as we had about three hours to switch the Saturday after the first week of school, and my days are jam-packed. But hopefully I'll be able to show you the new classroom soon!

Lots more to come!

Much Love, Allie

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