Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Near the Door...

I thought I'd talk about this picture for a minute...or five. I'm in a blogging mood tonight. (This is probably my "pencil sharpener." See below.) What should go by the door? Surprisingly, there's a lot there, and I've never thought about it before.
  • For starters--emergency escape procedures. That's what the posters on the wall are. The red card near the bottom is where the fire drill card is to record the date of the drill and who is there...or not there. Tape a class roster to the back in case you ever have a "guest teacher."
  • If you have a window in your entrance, I've heard you are supposed to cover it up as part of lock-down procedures. Does any one know this for sure?
  • There's a mirror under the black owl. This is new to the classroom, and I've discovered that the kids LOVE it. It's near the door, so they can only ever get a "quick check" as they come in and out of the classroom rather than "preening." Easy dollar store find. Use the foam mounting tape.
  • That wooden block on the wall just near the bright blue container was where our classroom pencil sharpener is...was. I found out that the newer pencil sharpeners are usually made from recycled parts of old sharpeners. When we had ours, it had to be replaced a lot because it kept breaking. It's also well-known that the kids like to use it when procrastinating. I actually asked the custodian to remove it and I put in an electric pencil sharpener. It has done wonders for the classroom--not a lot of procrastination with an electric pencil sharpener. If you don't want yours removed, I got this idea from a colleague--put a plastic sandwich bag over it when you don't want it to be used. That works very well, too. I still use that idea with the electric.
  • There is laminated black paper around the pencil sharpener (or what used to be the sharpener). The wall is dry wall and go figure...pencil sharpener + drywall = pencil holes and writing on the wall. Put laminated paper around it and there's no more holes and writing. They won't write on the wall farther away from the sharpener.
  • Put a poster behind the trash can. School trash cans are made of good old metal. Whether the wall is dry wall or concrete, those cans scuff the wall. Put a poster there or more laminated paper to protect the wall.
  • Put a small outdoor mat underneath the trash can and/or pencil sharpener. This protects the waxed floors from getting all dirty. It's not the custodian's fault if there is A LOT of dirt there. Heavy pencil marks on the floor will not scrub off unless you strip the wax and put new wax down.
  • Carpet squares are underneath the table. If you do not have any, it's a great idea. Usually you can have them donated to you by your local home improvement store.
  • Speaking of donations...AAA recycles their maps every few months. Ask for them to save them for you and give them a date when you'll pick them up.
  • Hall Passes: another great idea. Never thought of it until last year, but...if you do think about it, it is kind of gross that they take those to the bathroom with them. lol I started this last year, thanks to another colleague's idea-sharing. Have them put the pass on their desk instead. You still know where they are, the bathroom is in use because the pass isn't on the wall, and who is out, but the pass no longer gets bathroom germs.
  • My favorite poster on the wall above the light switch?--"I don't GIVE grades, YOU EARN THEM." with a picture of me on it. =)
  • The welcome mat at the door--so inviting. (Don't get a grass one, very messy.)
  • Pink sign hanging from the table in the lower right corner?--"Bear Cave." That's a reading nook. Kids LOVE crawling under things.


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