Neva Fenno, M.S.Ed., MLIS
It’s sum-sum-summertime and a great time to look at your classroom in a new light. Sit down and make a list of all the things that worked well this year, and perhaps jot down the reasons why you think that might be. Similarly, what were the tough spots in your year? Are there some obvious things you can point to that let you know what went wrong? Maybe it’s time to get organized.
You may have noticed that in your old school building, there are echoes and sounds that distract from getting your message across. This is something you’ve been meaning to correct for a long time. There are a couple of ways you might approach fixing it. You could work with your leadership team to see if there are some funds for a simple sound system and to place some speakers in the room to make sure your voice is reaching every corner. It’s a trend in many school districts that have old building stock. It’s a simple and inexpensive solution.
Or, you might think about putting in a rug and some curtains or divider panels to absorb extraneous echoes. I did this in my room one year and it made a huge difference. Room dividers are also a great way to have a quiet time space for students who need a few minutes alone. There are ways to make the panels able to absorb sound; use felt squares and shapes to make a colorful display, they will do double duty and absorb some extra noises.
It’s time to get organized; you may want to bring in some storage containers to help corral all the toys and books you use in class. Some new shelves would really help to start collecting books for your classroom library. Put in some office supplies so you don’t find yourself running back and forth to the office supply store. And binders, do you ever have enough binders? Big bins for art supplies will help with your organizing plans too.
If you’re like me, time management is a huge challenge. There are some great tools for classroom planning that will help you get your schedules lined up.
You say you don’t have any money to pay for these improvements? Try crowdsourcing sites. You don’t need to write a huge grant to help with your classroom needs, but let people know what you need at sites like Donorschoose.org. Teachers have been raising quick cash by describing projects they’d love to have in class. There are other sites that help but this is the big one. You might also begin planning a fund-raiser. The Internet has exploded with sites for teachers who want to organize a fund-raiser. Work with your PTA or PTO to come up with some fun ways to raise money for your school.
If you do decide to write a grant to raise funds for your classroom, I’ve provided a current grant opportunity for your review.
So, friends, enjoy your summer break, you know how short it really is. And get jazzed about next year—spruce up your classroom!
The following grant opportunity is from our Free Grant Search Database MySchoolGrant.
Education Grants: Fidelity Foundation. Giving on a national basis and in Canada, with emphasis on areas of company operations.
All, Florida, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah.
$10,000,000.00 - $16,400,000.00
$2,000.00 - $3,000,000.00
11 Keewayden Drive, Suite 100, Salem, NH United States 03079-2999
Public School, Private School, Higher Education, Other.
Arts, Community Involvement/Volunteerism, Early Childhood, Family Services, General Education, Health/PE, Homeless, Math, Reading, Safe/Drug Free Schools, Science/Environmental, Social Studies, Special Education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Free Grant Search Database: MySchoolGrantsm is a complete grant search tool that is manually updated and checked for accuracy. It includes federal grants, state grants, corporate grants, and grant alerts.
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