After a lot of donations and one very large, very generous donation, I have 75 new books for my classroom! Not pictured here is the Hunger Games series and a few other books that I had forgotten about before the picture. Thank you to all who helped to build my library! About 15 of these books were donated. The rest were purchased on Amazon and at an awesome book store here in Denton. It's like Half Price, but way bigger and much cheaper (if you can believe it). A lot of the books I purchased are Bluebonnet books or Newberries. Woo hoo!
On Tuesday I started hauling my new stuff to my room! Whenever I get a grand idea, I always underestimate the amount of work it will take. I have like 7 or 8 weeks left of summer, so I've got plenty of time! My awesome co-worker (which I affectionately call the Gooz) helped me unload my car.
I am in the process of taking everything off my walls and starting totally fresh. The custodians were cleaning the carpets on Wednesday, so I couldn't set much up, but here are some pictures of the room as it looks right now. Pretty bare!
I had been looking forward to my Ikea trip for MONTHS! I would count my money over and over and over again. I had a spread sheet of all the things I wanted to buy. I had measured the walls, made floor plans, and priced everything out. I finally had enough and Aly and I made a trip out to the land of decorating and inexpensive throw pillows!
I knew I wanted to completely revamp my classroom, but the problem is that I'm broke as a joke! Not really. My husband and I do fine given the fact that I'm a teacher and am in graduate school and he is in school full time and works at a campus job (very hard by the way!). We're not rolling in it.
I talked to my sister-in-law, Alyson (who you will see in a lot of posts, because she is my BFF/partner in crime) and she suggested I ask for donations. I'm not big on hand outs. She said I'd be surprised at how many people would help. As usual, she was right!
I sent an e-mail to family and close friends and the response I got was wonderful! My first donation came from my sweet friend, Caroline. She sent me puzzles, school supplies, and a gift card for treasure box stuff from Oriental Trading. When I opened the box, I cried. People have donated tables, books, time, skills, and a whole bunch of money to my project.
Before I did anything, I had to write thank you notes to the wonderful people who have helped so far. Shout out to: Caroline and Nate, Aly and Chris, Matt and Jenny, Mark and Nicole, Ellen, Inga, Diane, my mom, my dad (in advance for letting me paint my tables in his garage), Passeys, Ashleigh, and Parker.
In addition to the donations, I've been working as a florist to earn some extra money. I do small gigs and help a florist with stuff on the weekends. All my flower money is going toward my classroom! Check out my flower blog at poppiesandpeoniesfloral.blogspot.com. You can also visit my florist friend's website! rlovefloral.com
I want to create the best possible classroom environment for my students. My school is 60 years old. There is water damage on the walls, my bookshelves are literally being held together by packaging tape, and my principal (unfortunately) does not have the resources to buy books for our classroom libraries or update our bookshelves. According to an article by Dr. Sheryl Reinisch, Director of Early Childhood Education Programs at Concordia University, studies indicate that high-quality classroom environments “help children feel safe, secure, and valued. As a result, self-esteem increases and students are motivated to engage in the learning process.” My students don’t have safe and comfortable homes to go to. My classroom is their home, their safe place. I want to make my classroom as comfortable, welcoming, and resource-filled as I can get it. If you can't tell from the picture above, my room needs some work! You can't see the holes in the desks. Over the years, students have literally drilled holes (with pencil) in the desks. You can see through the holes to the inside of the desk.
This summer I am doing a total revamp on my classroom and making it over completely. I am going to post updates on my blog so you can watch my progress! Get ready for some DIY!