Saturday, January 26

Classroom Rug

When I think back to my first year of teaching…and my sad lack of supplies and furniture…it is a wonder I made it through the year.  It was hard enough starting out three weeks into the school year with 20 students who were pulled from 8 overloaded first and second grade classes.  Getting by with hand-me-down books, left-over curriculum, and mismatched desks just made the year all the more interesting.  It was a crash course in making due with what I had and teaching on a shoestring budget.

I would have to say though that one of the biggest headaches that year was “carpet time” without a carpet.  The students did not have a sense of personal space.  I could not easily assign a spot for them to sit (which we all know is necessary at times).  And the hard floor made every one of them complain.  Not fun.  So I made my biggest ever classroom investment before the end of the year…a classroom rug like this one.  It made all the difference.


Fast forward a few years…
My class size has grown.  We have not “fit” on our rug since 2009.  I have tried having kids share squares (bad idea), used smaller bathroom rugs for individual students, used runners to make an additional row for students, and used a bench for special seating.  You make due with what you have and make it work, right?  In the picture above, you can see the black runner I purchased this year and taped off with duct tape to make bordered seating for four more students.

Lacking enough space is bad enough.  But, years of kids picking at the rug binding while they sat caused some unraveling.  As you well know…an unraveling string is just plain irresistible to five year olds…and it has become worse.  I was wishing for a new rug and sighing sadly at the cost.  Rugs of the size I need run for nearly $500…too much.  So I was writing up a new Donor’s Choose project to see if we could get one that way when I was contacted by the folks at Kid Carpet.  Sorry…did I squeal when I said that? I will try to subdue my excitement.

KidCarpet.com sells an enormous variety of classroom rugs at the best prices I have ever seen.  They own their own carpet mill and provide factory-direct rugs that are very reasonably priced compared to similar rugs sold elsewhere.  They sent a classroom rug that seats 24 students and is adorably bordered with the alphabet.


No more runner required…we fit perfectly!  No more unraveled binding driving me crazy!  The quality of the workmanship on this carpet is beautiful.  The binding is very secure and even.  It appears to be very durable and stain-resistant (super important in kindergarten). I love the border with the letters and beginning sound pictures.  Delivery was fast…the rug was well-wrapped in plastic and not overly heavy for two people to carry.  According to information on the KidCarpet.com website, if the binding ever fails they will fix it.  I need only pay to ship the rug to them (approximately $20-$70 cost) and they will repair and return the rug for free.  Love it!  

Click the picture to read more about Kid Carpet and how they are able to provide quality classroom rugs at such amazing prices.  I am very impressed with this company.  I think you will be too.

Now, onto the best news!  Kid Carpet is offering all of my readers $20 off any classroom rug purchase made through August 31, 2013!  Just enter coupon code “JLT” to receive your discount.  Then enjoy your new rug!

Saturday, January 5

January...

January…wow.  I am amazed year after year how much faster time seems to slip away.  Each school year evaporates faster than the year before.  It really makes me frantic that my time is not being used as intentionally as it needs to be…

It is my goal to teach with intention…and intensity.

I head back to school on Monday.  Two more days of relative leisure.  Everything is relative after all.  My house has been gotten pretty well back in order.  It has been a busy break with my two oldest children moving out.  Sigh.  My only consolation there is that they are together…and not far away.  The nest is not empty either.  But walking into their rooms still elicits that same feeling you get standing in your empty classroom after the last day of school.  =(

And time goes on…

January in kindergarten is usually very exciting.  I am looking forward to witnessing the leap that many of my babies will make in their reading and writing.  You know the one…that amazing and inexplicable leap they make so suddenly this time of year.  It does my heart good.

We will be learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  And we will keep writing away…starting with writing about snowmen (a favorite).  I am also anxious to start putting their number sense and all of our counting practice to the test as I introduce addition.  I usually wait until spring for this math unit, but then feel short of time to get that sense that they’ve “mastered” as much as I wanted.  So, I have pushed number recognition and counting to higher numbers earlier and will begin addition earlier. We will see if it pays off.

We will also revisit all of our classroom rules and routines.  After a big break (and after a month of sloppy behaviors that we blame on holiday excitement…and a month of sloppy routines brought on by holiday extras) it is always necessary to tighten the reins and reinforce expectations.  Daily 5 stamina needs to be re-addressed and practiced…and goals for the rest of the year set and made exciting.

It’s a big month!  Here is what I created to record our goals on.  Kinders can color a star as they reach a goal.  Click the picture to download a copy for yourself.