Monday, September 2, 2013

Reading Garden

I love my classroom.  I've been in this exact room for 12 years.  Yep, 12 years.  A half of a year spent student teaching.  One third of a year spent in a long term placement.  And ten years calling the room my very own.  (Reader's Digest Version: Student taught in what is now my room, followed by a year and a half of being the building sub, before I got hired into my same room!)

Anyway.  The room used to be windowless.

The Original Reading Garden
Well, that's not entirely true.  It had one tiny window, about two feet by three feet, that I dubbed "the drive thru" as you couldn't leave it open for any amount of time or it would create a wind tunnel.  Because of the lack of natural views, I turned my reading corner into a garden, alas, the reading garden.    I built a white picket fence, lined it with fabric that looked like grass, and mounted it on a wall where there were beautiful blue clouds covering the ugly brick.

Wait.  It gets even better.

I was gifted a beautiful wooden park bench (thank you Original Thinkers!) which only added to the park like setting already blooming.  Then, I bought a tree.  (Not a real one, mind you, cause my black thumbs would have killed it in a month!)  And after weeks of searching, I finally found a stone rug.  Or, more like, I made a stone rug.

It was a beautiful, relaxing, peaceful setting that everyone who visited absolutely loved.

Then, things changed.
Step 2: add the grays

Step 1: purple stones
Last summer, I got REAL windows.  Ones that open.  Like, with screens and everything!  They're awesome!  I love the natural light!  Finally!

Except..... it meant a MAJOR room re-arrangement.  Potentially eliminating the garden.....

Step 3: accent grays
Thankfully, with a bit of creative thinking, garden removal didn't have to happen!  Instead, it underwent a mega overhaul, complete with two brand new bookshelves!  With all the changes, I had to create a new stone rug that would fit the modified space.  Back to Home Depot for a four foot by five foot canvas drop cloth I went!  Here's the outcome:

The new Reading Garden! (Park bench relocated by the math corner)
There's still lots to organize, as with the two new bookshelves (tall ones!) I was able to add about 400 more books to an already overcrowded library..... but hey, that'll be part of the fun, having the kids organize the new and improved Reading Garden!

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