Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gearing Up

While I am thankful for the opportunities my family had during the six months we were in Russia for my husband's Fulbright teaching scholarship, I am also thrilled to be back home and back in the classroom that I missed so much.  Finally, I get to act on countless ideas I have had brewing in my mind during so many months away!
Glad to be back!  My daughter took this picture when she came with me to school for the first time since our return at the end of June.   
During my time away, I had the opportunity to check in on classroom happenings via Montessori Compass, which my school uses for record keeping and sharing information with parents.  Not only was I able to keep apprised of my students' progress throughout the year, but I also kept connected through viewing the daily photographs posted for each student.  With an 'outside eye,' I was able to see the classroom from a different perspective, an experience I value very much.  Nonetheless, through viewing the photos from this perspective, I also noticed the main rug in our classroom was wearing out and looking a bit tired.  So, the first order of business upon my return:

Our new rug (along with some new shelving for the bells).  Of course one thing leads to another - the new rug and shelves led to updating the calendar and morning message areas used during circle time.  Next, tape will be added for the Walking the Line activity.
Our previous rug was bright and beautiful with many colors.  While I loved its lively colors, I wanted to go with a neutral tone this time around.  It was my intention to bring out the beauty of the Montessori materials and let them 'stand on their own.'  The rug has given the room a new feel and I think I have succeeded in bringing the eye to directly to the materials.  Naturally, a new rug in the central part of the classroom called for a new rug in the math area:

When I ordered this rug, a picture and description indicated it to be the 'Nines' rug.   I thought, "How perfect is that for the math area?!"  Well, not so much - somehow the image was reversed and they are not the 'nines' as shown in the picture online, but a reversed image.  I am still loving the look and feel of the rug - my instinct is to make a lesson looking at the rug with a mirror and finding the nines…  
Over the summer, I also ordered a beautiful poster portrait of Maria Montessori.  Last year, the children in my class learned a special song about her and I always wanted a proper portrait on display.  Now, we have one:
The Peace area in our classroom - the perfect place of honor for Maria Montessori!
"Within the child lies the fate of the future."   
Since the classroom is now adorned with the new rugs and portrait, I thought this might be an ideal time to update the bulletin boards in the hallway as well.  I have always admired the natural tones of classroom spaces inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and decided our bulletin boards would be a fun place to experiment with this.

One of two boards in the hallway leading to our cubby space.  I used burlap and twine along with the black and white Moroccan-themed border (which I LOVE!).  The small, wooden clothespins are an effective and easy way to display the children's artwork and projects.  I can hardly wait to see boards these filled up! :-)
Next up, planning and organizing the shelves by curriculum area - an endeavor which will undoubtedly take up the rest of my classroom time between now and the beginning of school.  Stay tuned for updates as they come along and thanks for stopping by - it's great to be back!


  1. Love the new look! The chairs are wonderful also. I have been so into black and white this summer, it will be very refreshing to return to school.

  2. Welcome back to your school! Waiting to see all the new ideas and materials you have got from your trip.
    Regards, Maria from Sweden