Saturday, June 30, 2012

Debbie Diller Chapter 2…Unpacking my classroom and a New Design!

First, I briefly want to mention Chapter 2 of Debbie Diller’s Math Work Stations – it’s quite straight-forward.
Chapter 2 of Debbie Diller has all sorts of good tips on how to organize your math manipulatives. You should read this chapter! If you’re naturally organized this chapter will be very gratifying. For example, while reading this chapter I felt like my husband was breathing down my neck – every word she said was his mantra…”A place for everything, and everything in its place”. (sigh)
Are you naturally organized?  If you are I envy you!  Long-term organization is elusive to me as a rainbow colored unicorn.  I try, I strive, I wish really hard, but I can’t seem to achieve organization.  The problem is, that I’ve moved classrooms.  My general inability to be organized transfers into my ability to pack, unpack and stay emotionally stable while involved in these activities. I’m useless. I’m frustrated! I’m whinning constantly! I resent the wealth of resources I have! I cry while driving to work! You get the picture… 
Debbie Diller says when organizing, “sometimes we’re tempted to start putting things way in another part of the room, and we get distracted” – YEP, that’s me!
Take a look at what I’m dealing with – truly the pictures don’t do it justice! I wish I knew how to take a 360° picture so you can see the chaos I’ve created in my efforts to organize!
 In the midst of unpacking it made sense to also organize my classsroom library.  So I have about 75 piles of books to sort through in addition to the general organization issues.  So this next week I’ll be busy getting ready, because…would you believe my room needs to be ready by July 9th?!  That’s when summer school starts.  Wish me luck. 
Math Corner – cool idea!
BUT REALLY, there are some good things in Chapter 2 of Debbie Diller.  What I really want to try next year is the math corner.  The math corner is “a place to store manipulatives and graphic organizers used to teach math concepts, rather than keeping them in a closet where they are out of sight…students may use a material from the math corner…”  So basically the math corner is an area in the classroom that is separate from the work stations where students can access manipulatives, organizers, math literature and such to help them during independent work.  I like this idea, because it places the control in the students’ hands.  They can choose when to use the materials and what materials will help them.  
Now I need to decide where to put said math corner…do you have a math corner?  How did you set it up/keep it organized/etc.?
Now for something totally unrelated – I’m redesigning my blog!  I want something more fun.  So take a look at what I’ve done so far…let me know what you think – too bright?  too much? 
I will try not to let unpacking and organizing my classroom prevent me from blogging and being productive in general.  So many blogs are sharing so many cool ideas and I want to be one of them…
Mrs. Castro Pin It


  1. I love the bright colors! I've been wanting to change up my blog design into something more bright, too!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First

  2. I'm in the process of reading this book as well and am wanting to set up a number corner as well. I feel like I'm the queen of starting several more projects before finishing the current one. Good luck with unpacking and organizing!

  3. I am just like you. I will be moving rooms but not until August. Which is good, I just had knee surgery 2 days ago. Do now I an using my down time to think and organize mentally before I can go inane tackle my new classroom. I did put all my math manipulatives in one central place this year. Then any math standards or anchor charts we had used went above that spot. The kids looked there to support their thinking. Want to do that with all subjects.

  4. Hi Mrs. Castro! I just gave you an award...come by my blog and check it out :)

  5. I found you through Sweet Times in First. You did a great job with your layout! I love the background pattern and bright colors. I need to organize my books ASAP! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm on my way over to your blog now! I love finding new blogs to follow!