Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kindergarten Preparations

Hello All! My name is Anna Holcomb, and this is my very first year teaching Kindergarten! That may seem a little scary to some, but I was born to be an educator! Let me give you some background. Since I could walk and talk I have been playing school with my baby dolls and puppy dogs in my closet. I have always LOVED going to school! I can remember every teacher I had, and something about his or her classroom or teaching style that I would love to incorporate into my own classroom. After graduating from high school, I went straight to Auburn University. Incase you don't know, Auburn has one of the most highly ranked education programs. Waaaarrrr Eagle! I graduated from Auburn in December of 2010. Now I must admit, during these poor economic times, and during the middle of a school year, it's a little tough to get a job. I spent the majority of this time filling out applications, interviewing, and substituting all over North East Alabama. Then one day, I get a phone call from my very own k-2 elementary school, Big Spring Lake. As I said, when I attended there it was k-2, but now it is all kindergarten. Wow! How things have changed. As it turns out, they had a teacher going on maternity leave for the last 7 weeks of school, and I was the lucky winner to fill her shoes! I was a little bummed when I found out that they probably weren't going to be able to hire any new teachers for the 2011-2012 school year, but I kept my chin up and kept searching. About mid July, I get another phone call from none other than my favorite school, Big Spring Lake....and they have a job available! I accepted the job on the phone, the school board approved it that very same night and here I am almost 2 weeks later, still on cloud 9 thinking that I get to work with such amazing staff members at the happiest school on Earth.   

So, with all that said... one day that I have been looking forward to since I decided to become an education major, is the day (or in this case, many days) that I get to plan and setup my very first classroom. As I mentioned in the previous post, when I was hired I was informed that I only had about a week to get my classroom presentable before we have 225 teachers come to our school for a conference. It was a little overwhelming, but I got it done exactly the way I wanted to in the specified time frame. I never would have been able to do any of it without the help and creative mind of my mother, the muscles, sweat, and tools of my father and husband when he wasn't working, and the 2 extra hands of my best friend helping me paint bookshelves all night. I can't really verbally describe the room, so I'll let the pictures do all the talking.

These are all of the "before" pictures. I had mismatched tables, not enough chairs, a few computers, and a lot of instructional materials to sort through from the previous teacher.

Of course, Penny was there to help everyday! I couldn't leave her at home for 10 hours so she just came with me. 

This was about midway through the process. All the bookshelves were painted and moved in, curtains up, and bulletin boards in the works. All the stuff I had been saving throughout college was still waiting to have a home somewhere in this room.

Now for the final product...well at least until I get more stuff.

"Word Wall" and some of the student tables, and my cute rug!

Cozy little reading corner

Bulletin board...this will be my "theme" board to hang student work once the year actually begins

Student computers

My teacher corner and small group instruction area

White board and calendar board and cute reading chair

Writing center

My Door!!! My favorite part. My theme is birds, there is another cute bird display above the cubbies in the hallway, but I guess I forgot the picture.

Big View

I can't wait to meet all of my kiddos! And I really hope my room proves to be a relaxing, engaging, and exciting place that they will love and take care of. I haven't even met my students yet, but I LOVE KINDERGARTEN! Until next time...


Anonymous said...

where did you get that fabulous rug?

Unknown said...

Wow! You have an enthusiastic spark and love for teaching! Can't wait to watch your blog as the year goes on.
Tonia in Redlands,CA

Anna said...

Thank you! This fabulous rug came from a place called FLOR. I just randomly got their magazine in the mail but they also have a website. They are individual square that you stick together with "flor dots" so if one gets nasty, you can take up just that square and clean it. They have TONS of colors and patterns for you to mix and match. It is a little pricy, but very well worth the cost.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for the tip. Do you think it would work on a floor that is already carpeted? Would the floor dots "stick" good enough to hold it down long enough to last the whole school year (or more)?

Anonymous said...

Anna, this classroom is truely beautiful! You put in so much hard work I really hope you enjoy your school year. Good luck with the kids!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing, this is exactly how I want my classroom to look! (once I graduate and actually get a classroom anyway!)

Anna said...

Go for it! I just thought that I NEEDED for this room to express my personality but still be an engaging learning environment because you will spend sooooo much time there...especially your first year.

Anonymous said...

I teach K also and found your door through Pinterest! I LOVE IT! Where did you find the birds?

Anna said...

THANK YOU!! I actually made all the birds! I just made a template our of a file folder and traced them onto different scrapbook paper. Easy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna x
I too found you via pinterest. I manage a large day nursery in the UK and wanted to say your room is beautiful. Can I ask though did you have to but everything yourself or did you get a budget?
Anyway I'll follow you on pinterest & you can take a look at my centre also x its called Towntots ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ps..... To the above comment , my name is Judy Rigby x

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna! I have been a teacher for 10 years now, and just want to tell you that I think you have created a wonderful space for children! So awesome of you to share it with others via the web ... you have very likely inspired many!
*hugs* from Canada

Kayla said...

Hi Anna! We think your door decoration is just gorgeous and featured it at our blog, Bulletin Board Ideas!

You can find the full feature here:

We were sure to give idea/photo credit, as well as a link back to your blog, but we'd love for you to take a look at it!

Hope you have a great day,

aware said...

Hi Anna,
Love your classroom :) I am a Kindergarten teacher, and I have a bird themed classroom. We are the "Brainy Birds". As you probably know, it is nearly impossible to find any bird themed decorations. I was wondering if you could share your bird template? I am not artistic at all and could use help! Thank you!!


Anna said...

Hi Amy! So sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you! Hope it's not to late! I've posted the template for my bird for FREE in my tpt store for the next 48 hours. After that it will be $2.00

Mrs. Ziegler said...

Oh my goodness! I LOVE your room:) You and I must have a lot in common because I love your room design colors and I love your blog template (our blogs looks super similar!). I think dreamlike magic is awesome! I have been hopping around your blog for about 30 minutes now and love all that you have. You must be a fabulous teacher. I just started my own blog about two weeks and am currently hosting my very first giveaway and my very first linky party. I would love for you to hop over and link up to the party and become one of my newest followers. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

Teaching with Z

Anna said...

Thank you Rachel! You're so sweet. I'll definitely take a look at your blog!

Darllene said...

Where did you get the alphabet cards that are located above your white board? I will be teaching K this year and am re-doing a classroom. I love your room!

Angie said...

I noticed you also have cinder block walls. How do you get your ABC cards to stay up on the wall? I am enjoying looking around on your blog. Great stuff!

Anna said...

Hi Darllene! Those alphabet cards came with our Scott Foresman Reading Street Program :/ Sorry I know that's not really much help, but thanks so much for loving my room! I loved it too!

Angie, UGH!!! I have been on the hunt for good tape and I have finally found it. Everyone at my school calls it "booger tape" (haha) because to get it off the wall, you have to roll it off. The real name for it is "automotive tape" I think. There is another teacher who's husband gets it for us in 20 yard rolls! You MAY be able to find it at an auto parts store. I DO know that it is gray double-sided tape and made by 3M and it has a red backing that you peel off. Hope that helps!

Darlene said...

Thank you so much! We also use Reading Street so I went in on Monday and did what I do best-"rambled" through my room and found the alphabet cards (still wrapped). So again thanks for the post and your response!

Souli's said...

Great job!You really have a very good taste. I also loved your class,it reminds me the house of "friends" TV show which i also adore. I am Souli, kindergarten teacher in Greece and I got inspired from your ideas. Sorry for my english.I wish I had your talent to decorate so well.I am pretty sure you also teach very well. Thank you!

Elizabeth Billberg said...

Hi Anna! I love this classroom set up! I'm thinking about getting rid of my teachers desk, and I love your teacher/small group area. Is that a desk your computer is on, or did you make it yourself?

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