Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am going to go out on a limb here and just state for the record that thirty-eight children is just too many for one classroom.  More specifically...for my classroom.  I love them ~ each and every one of them ~ already.  They are seriously awesome.  But there are just too many!  We are all way over, which means sometime in the next week or two, it has to be dealt with.  I swear, it's going to be one of those things where the cure is worse than the disease.  There's a possibility (floated to me just today) that I may lose my WHOLE class at the end of this, and have to start over with a WHOLE NEW CLASS.  This is, of course, totally unacceptable.  But I have no control over it, so I'm just carrying on.  It's just that we've already bonded!  I hate to even think of losing any of them (though, come on, it's ridiculous!) let alone all of them.   Just writing that makes me need to go lie down.

But!  Before I go!  Here are a few pictures of my classroom, mostly having to do with my books.
This corner is my 'professional' area.  It's the only place in the whole class that is "mine".  The first day I moved into this classroom, I pushed the teacher's desk over to the door and left a note on it that said "Please Remove" for the custodians.  I replaced the behemoth with this tiny writing desk and a slim (hand-me-down) wicker storage from the Pottery Barn.  The desk top is where I keep my plan book and some 'grab it quick' supplies, such as push pins and a stapler.  It's also where Miss Carmen's swap gifts are sitting (at least the turtle and the "B" notepad!) but unfortunately, I didn't get close enough to show them.  :( 

The books on the bookshelf, categorized by my obsessions:
First shelf for my obsession with the politics of race in the educational system, and the opportunities for social justice and equity that are so familiar ~ and so hard to actualize ~ in our classrooms.  There are a few books here that changed my life...Hunger of Memory is one, Pedagogy of the Oppressed is another, and "Other People's Children" too.  Everything else on this bookshelf, and in fact, my master's degree in math education for social justice in urban schools, can be traced back to just a few books that started my brain ~ and my heart ~ on this path.
My obsession with learning about math...
My obsession with teaching math...
My obsession with teaching teachers how to teach math....
A theme is starting to reveal itself here...hmmmmm.....
Not to worry!  I have a whole other closet for science, social studies, and teaching reading and writing!  Elementary schools are so wonderful for broadening your horizons...and breaking your back, honestly, as the amount of work it takes is overwhelming.
None of these books even includes my literature or class library.  These were all just the professional books.  I have two long shelves under the windows for the kids to choose from, and another bookshelf for my children's books that I use for teaching purposes.  Whew!  We have an iPad AND a Kindle (because, frankly, Erik has his own obsessions!) but nothing, NOTHING beats an actual book in the hands of a child.  Except, maybe...
Getting some of these into their hands!  Cubes and blocks and counters and tiles...oh my, be still my heart.   Even just looking at these, I can't get over how completely irresistable they all are.  Aren't they positively begging us to dive right in?


  1. wow! what a great set up!
    what grade do you teach?
    i am sure you are an amazing teacher.

  2. I love your classroom! However, I started to panic when I found out that you actually moved out your big desk for a small writing desk. Just looking at the picture makes me want to dive for a chocolate bar right now just to ease my anxiety over it!! How do you do it all on that little desk?????? Once again, you amaze me...

  3. Well, for heaven's sake, woman, GET A CLOSE UP OF THAT DESK!! Haha. It really warms my heart that those pieces are in your room, especially because your banner now graces the wall behind my (huge, imposing, and no way am I giving it up) desk, and the little pouch hides treasures in a drawer. Seriously, I'm with fishface. How do you do everything on that desk?

    And, dude. Thirty-eight? I would cry. I have 27 and want to cry. :)

  4. Your room looks very friendly and inviting. Hopefully, all the issues with class size will work out with minimal disruption.

    Have a great academic year! La

  5. @ Michelle ~ Currently? 33 thirds graders and 5 4th graders. Oy. But they are so GREAT. You know, they have a really intense energy (not helped by their sheer numbers!) but as I get to know them more, I can see it comes from their intelligence. These are some sharp cookies, let me tell ya!

    @ Tra ~ ha! I like it because it *forces* me to not let things stack up or lay around. Every afternoon, I clear it, sort it, and put it away. It just works for me!

    @ Carmen ~ Oh lovely! I had wanted to make my own banner, before school started, but it got moved down the list and now I'm hoping to have it done by spring break. haha! Totally not kidding. Also, I don't really do everything on that desk. I eat lunch at my reading table, for example, because I like to spread out. Also? I've done the math, and 27 kinders is like, rounding up for decimal places, around 48 third graders. Just saying.

    @ La ~ thanks!!! I'm hopeful...I hate to lose them, but best case is they take my fourth graders and leave me all the third graders. If not, I may lose 3rd graders too. It hurts!