The Heart of the Home.
The kitchen has been known to be the "heart of the home,"
and now it is where Sweet Pea and I will have much of our Mother Goose Time (MGT).
The heart beats and pumps life throughout the body,
and it is here that I will be teaching, learning, and growing with my little girl.
The Kitchen is my Classroom.
The top freezer part of my fridge houses the Thematic map. I can quickly look and see what we are covering that week.
The buffet is a work in progress. I am working on organizing it to house all the manipulative we use (like puffs, chenille stems, shells, ect) and extra stuff inside, but the top of it is home to all things MGT. Since Sweet Pea is just a Tot, I am only going to give her one tray a day. Right now, it has the new nuts and bolts manipulatives on it that she played today with daddy.
but I have these drawers that are perfect! (You can find them at Walmart or Hobby Lobby and use that wonderful 40% off coupon)
I organized them by Monday-Friday and with the last drawer, I made it to house all the daily things I need such as my lesson plan book, music CD's and calendar number.
It's set up practically and functionally, which is more important than pretty. I have no idea where I would put one of those towers anyway. See.... isn't it pretty... it even has a top shelf...
I don't need it.... I don't need it...
So, my drawers.... perfect size! I would suggest that whatever you use needs to be at least 8.5x11, so that it can hold a regular sheet of paper. I placed all the materials I need for all the activities in the drawer for that day, and placed our Daily Topic Question on top. See all that stuff in the picture on the right? That all fits in the drawer under the Daily Question! Mary Poppin drawers I'm telling ya!
This is what the drawers labeled Monday- Friday look like.
Here's a look at the "For the Record" 6th drawer:
MGT, is Sweet Pea's little table and area.
My wonderful husband built her little table and painted the top with chalkboard paint. My neighbor, who is a pediatrician, moved offices and gave us the little chairs! Sweet Pea loves them! The white tower is something I inherited while teaching, and it has 2 shelves, which Sweet Pea keeps her everyday art supplies. She colors, plays with play dough , and even builds towers here. Starting Monday, we will do much of our MGT activites at this little table.
Oh, and her art work... it's just a piece of twine with 3 pushpins holding it. MGT sent some little clothespin clips for preschools to make a daily helper list (each kid has a clip and their chore changes each day), but I just used them to house her masterpieces. :)
This is the backside of the kitchen sink and dishwasher! I really went all around my house wondering where the best place would be to do circle time when all of a sudden, I saw all this unused white space! Perfect for our calendar, topic (daily question) poster, and world map!
This might change in September with the new yearly Circle Time items, but I will still keep it really simple for Sweet Pea.
View from the kitchen sink. Buffet on left, Sweet Pea's area on right.
View from next to the buffet.
This is a starting point. The thing to remember when setting up any classroom or learning space is to do what works best for you and your students! Functionality > Pretty. In fact, in my opinion the beauty is in the functionality. Classrooms are a work in progress- they are a living space that bends to the needs of the child and the teacher. Our classroom might move to another area in the house next year, or next month, but for now, for Science Lab, I can't think of a better place than the
Heart of my Home,
And Breakfast Area.
Have a great time setting up your space! I'd love to see pictures in the comments or links to your space wherever you teach!