Tuesday, March 29, 2016

No More Mailboxes! SOLSC Day 29

Looking around my classroom, I knew I would be staying late.  Books were stale; papers were spilling out of the mailboxes, and post-it-notes littered the carpet.  The mess that was overwhelming me today wasn't made in one day, and it wasn't one the class would be able to clean.


As the kids filed out of the classroom, I began. I turned on Spotify to my favorite African Acoustic relaxation music and moved about the room randomly grabbing one thing then another. The gravity of the work needing done was paralyzing.  


I decided to work in one area at a time. I pulled the trash can and a chair to the mailboxes.  The papers spilling on the floor begged organization.  I pulled out the contents of each mailbox one student at a time.  I looked at the papers saving only the pages showing promise of more work and tossed all the others!


My team laughed as they looked in and saw me buried in papers and folders vowing to NEVER again use mailboxes in first grade! I grabbed tubs for the writing folders, word study notebooks, and the reading folders. One tub for each subject, mailboxes are a thing of the past in our room!


To reward myself for all this hard work I decided to freshen the books.  I pulled all the poetry books and displayed them on our beloved book tower; I replaced the winter books with my collection of graphic novels, a new genre for our classroom.  Finally, I cleaned up the existing book tubs and moved them to new shelves giving them a brand new look!

I didn't get home until 7:30, leaving much undone in the classroom and me exhausted, but I know tomorrow my students will be in awe with all the new books and it will all be worth it!

7 comments:

onathought.com said...

Once you get started on a classroom project like this -- I know for me... I just keep going! Sounds like you got a lot done!

Ashley Brown said...

My first year of teaching, I quickly learned that mailboxes were going to be a spot of trouble if I didn't stay on top of them. But I experience the same thing with Book Boxes, Reading Folders . . . I don't miss those late nights, but I do miss the mess that was teaching. (and you just inspired a Slice for me - so thank you!) Those mornings after I stayed late and cleaned, or organized, or changed - those were fun ones with the kids. Enjoy!

Maria said...

That's great you stayed focused! I usually start a project and that leads me to another in the middle of the first one. I wish I could be there to hear their squeals. :)

Carolyn said...

I can't wait to check this out in the morning! Glad you feel some peace about it!

Wendy said...

I adore puttering in my classroom library, but those mailboxes sound like a nightmare!

Carrie Gelson said...

I love hearing about how people make changes in their rooms. Other thinking and reasoning teaches us a lot!

Pamela Stegink said...

Deb, wow I can relate to this feeling of accomplishment when you start with what seems like an overwhelming mess and you make something wonderful. Curious, how were you using "mailboxes"? My first grade mailboxes are only for things that go home. My kids have seat sacks over their chairs that are really a bit of a nightmare and I really need to figure out a better way to manage all of their stuff. Their writing folders really are a management challenge for them because they quickly become overstuffed. Still thinking of a solution.