Carpet Spots and Thoughts

Okay, so after what I did yesterday, I am SUPER THANKFUL for my job at my wonderful school and I am SO HAPPY it's located in an amazing setting. Here's a pic:
Really nice, right? Yesterday, I spent the day with my best friend/teaching partner and her daughter because her daughter JUST GOT HIRED AT A CHARTER SCHOOL IN FIRST GRADE! And we went to help her set up her classroom. Except . . . um, well . . . how do I say . . . the school is in a mall? at a mall? inside the mall? The mall is slowly dying out but stores are still open and it's . . . we walked through the mall to get to her classroom. I have no words. Except that I am SUPER THANKFUL for my job at my school which is not anywhere close to a mall (but is close to Target and Michael's and Staples).

We talked school talk all day and I need your thoughts on Carpet Spots! I have always assigned my kids a spot on the carpet. I feel that wiggle worms need to be close to me so that I can poke give them love taps to re-focus them. I like to put my higher level, responsible, tuned in Melissa Sue's (this is a reference to Jon Antonetti's workshop. Anybody know what I'm talking about? LOVED it and I'm a Melissa Sue) in the back. Then I sprinkle the other lovelies in between. So here's where I need you. I don't have that rainbow rug where every kid gets their own square. I don't really have a rug for that area of my room because it's already carpet and I just don't. I don't foresee myself buying one of those rugs either because I have priced them out and I'd much rather have IPods for the kids or maybe a clothes shopping spree for me!!! I have used masking tape in the past to "mark their spots" but this tends to come up and/or they play with it. I really want something that MARKS THEIR SPOT. It is constantly running around in my mind -- what could I use?? Keep in mind, I can have up to 32 kids! Last year I had 5 rows with 6 kids crammed in each and then I think I squeezed 7 up on the front row (it was THAT kind of a class - more Bubba's than Melissa Sue's).

I'd love to hear how you do this. Or if you do this . . .

Again, I am SO SUPER HAPPY about where I work that I am sharing an easy little center for you. It's black and white so you can just copy it on the copier . . . the kids have to "read" the pictures to really distinguish between short a, i, and o vowel sounds. The other two vowels will come later, I promise. I always run the pictures on colorful copy paper and the recording sheet on white. You can download it HERE.

By the way, a quick recap of the Bachelorette. I was not surprised about Ames. Is it just me or is he odd interesting??? I think he would have needed to be on my front row if he was a first grader in my class. :)


  1. I didn't have a rug last year and I let my kids sit on the floor where they wanted unless they became a problem. This was a big privilege but I had a great class. For the friends who did not listen I would move them to a special little seat. I would suggest getting a few carpet squares for those special friends that need it. I think it works but then again I only have 16 students. 32...you are a saint!

    I feel for your friends daughter...a mall. What were those people thinking that opened the school? I worked in a charter school my first year and it was in a church. It was super out dated and not made for a classroom but it was at least a peaceful environment. I wish her the best! It's tough teaching in a charter school.

  2. I always go back and forth- I want them to teach them to make good choices and problem solve for themselves and monitor their own behavior, blah, blah, blah...

    I usually start the year like this and end up assigning them carpet spots a few days in with the intention to go back to the beginning, but it never happens!

    We are capped at 22 students- I can't imagine 32. My hat's off to you!

  3. I don't mark the spots on the carpet in any way. My kids pretty much stay where they're supposed to because there's really not enough room for my 28 cherubs anyway. Also, a MALL? That's just so bizarre I can't even come up with a comment for it but I feel as though it needs to be addressed in some way. Wow.

  4. I definitely like to mark spots for kids, especially at the beginning of the year. I just like to already have certain kids seperated or at the front, back etc. I use velcro. Its sometimes tricky to find, but its the kind that doesn't have adhesive on the back. Only one side will stick to the carpet too. I write on the back with a sharpie. Now, I do have kids still pick at them, but I'm pretty strict at first baout their places. After a while they leave them alone. They last a few months (unless the janitors vaccum picks them up, which happens occassionaly. I hope this helps. : )

  5. I LOVE my rainbow rug that was left for me by the previous teacher in my room. My little pumpkins are able to sit where ever they want unless they make a choice that is below the line and then I guide them to where they will sit for the rest of the day/week/ect.
    One idea if you don't want to spend too much money that I have is to get carpet squares/samples and you can sew/staple them together to make your own rug. I saw someone on HGTV do that once for her living room. She took kitchen rugs (kind of) and put them together to make an area rug for her living room.
    Here's an example:
    I think it's worth giving it a try or checking into it!!!

  6. Maybe you could try those spots that they use in PE for bases. Or get carpet squares from Lowes or a carpet store. I don't always have assigned spots at the beginning of the year . . . but soon I add them as I know students personalities.

  7. Hi Kristin! An idea that I saw on possibly? Shari Sloan- I have a rainbow rug and always thought about doing this idea on my rainbow rug to mark the spots for kinders. You buy the pocket-shaped cut outs from the teaching store (I bought them with every intention) You print cute labels for the front with their names and laminate them. You put one piece of the rough sided velcro on the back side and sticks on the floor. You tell the kids "Put your pocket on the pocket" because they have their pockets from their bottoms touching the pocket on the floor. I thought it was super cute! You may need some kind of cute idea to keep them from bending it like a surprise each week in the beginning for someone who kept theirs flat and nice. Really though if their bottom is on it, they shouldn't be able to mess with it! Goodluck! I wish you had pictures of the mall class :)

  8. I have an oval shaped rug with the alphabet around the outside. Some of my little friends get assigned a letter, most do not. I do want them to learn to make good choices, so I have to provide times when they get to choose. I do sometimes assist them, hehe. We sit around the rug for many activities so everyone is spread out and can see everyone else. They scoot closer for books and the morning message. I only had 20 last year, though. I think you have different strategies when you get to those big class sizes (and more Motrin!)

  9. I've seen people use small carpet squares but only for the students who need it. If you don't want to single out a few students, you can get flexible round rubbery discs online. I know it's an awful description but I don't know what they're called or where to find them! A teacher at my school last year had some and each child had their own "spot"...literally. They're rubbery so they can't slide around on the floor and they're easy to store, too.
    Good luck! :)

  10. I use the placemats from the dollar store. I like the ones that are the foam mesh stuff like shelf liner. They are thin and light so they don't take up a lot of space to store. Plus the give a boundary for those who need it. And best of all, they're cheap!

    Cathy I.
    Mrs. I's Class

  11. Hey Kristin! A few teachers at my school have vinyl "rugs". You can buy the vinyl flooring at Home Depot, Lowe's and then you paint the reverse side. You can paint it a solid color and then do polka dots or some other design for each student. Super presh...and I think pretty inexpensive! Let me know if you need me to elaborate! HA!
    On a Bach note, wasn't that sad to see Ames go! My friends and I called him Ackward Ames...bless him! Loved Constantine's fam...so fun! :) LOVE the last few episode!!!

    Castles and Crayons

  12. Just like Cathy, I use place as. I have enough for ALL kids if they choose to use it...plus my fixed carpet area is not in the best place (arcitechs put the Promethean board no where near it)!!! You can get cloth ones and the kids roll them for storage ( like a Montessori class would) and WASH them in ur washing machine...always a bonus.

  13. I just wanted to tell you how much I THOROUGHLY LOVE reading your blogs!! Thanks for making my days special. I'm a middle-aged (married with 2 fur pups), first time, first grade teacher and I truly appreciate all of your fabulous advice, as well as the sharing of your SUPER CUTE and 100% helpful resources:) I'm looking forward to learning TONS more from you!! Thank you!!

  14. Oh, I forgot to tell you that your school and background view is beautiful!!!! I would LOVE to have your school layout and view. Also, here is a link to those vinyl disks someone talked about: http://www.gophersport.com/products/item_detail.cfm?item_id=223&utm_source=gopher_sales&utm_medium=new_bldg_lists&utm_campaign=amym

    I was fortunate enough to inherit the square rainbow rug from the teacher whose classroom I'm moving in to:)

  15. Mrs. K - can I email you???? I don't know how to get ahold of you! :)
    Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  16. I have assigned kids a sit spot on the classroom carpet meeting area for the past few years. I don't have a big rainbow rug or anything fancy, I just point and tell them where their spot will be. This was made more difficult last year when the class size went from 20 up to 32. It's really hard to fit 32 kids into a designated area. 12 extra desks and chairs meant more of my meeting area taken away. :( I'm moving from 2nd back to 1st this coming year and will assign sit spots to the kids (hopefully, they're a little smaller so they can fit better in the meeting area). I'll still have 32 kids though. :(

    WILD About First Grade!

  17. I would love a nice beautiful rug too but our special ed budget does not allow for me to get one so I keep checking craigslist or ebay (no luck yet)so I just went to Loews and purchased the foam 2 x 2 squares that connect together (12 to a pack for $40). They are in multiple colors. But I only have up to 10 students so that was an inexpensive alternative for me. But with 32 students it might get a bit expensive. My suggestion is go to your local carpet store or stores and ask if they have any discontinued carpet square samples that they are getting rid of or would be willing to donate to your classroom. We did this a few years ago and the carpet stores were more than willing to give us them as they were just going to throw them out anyways. We used a piece of masking tape on the bottom and wrote the students name on them after they selected what color they wanted. Then have the students pick their square up and put them away in the basket. Teaches responsibility and makes for a nice tidy area! Good luck and hope you come up with a great solution. Oh, by the way, I LOVE your blog! :-)

    Jeannie from Class Full of Special Kinders

  18. Absolutely!!!! My email is pkteaches@gmail.com.


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  21. I am in the same scenario. I used carpet squares in the past that I laid out but it was time consuming and if we left them they were never straight (which drove me crazy). I did take them away and when they learned their rows I just had a visual cue where there row should line up with (ex. edge of the bookcase for row 1 etc.) I have an idea ruminating this summer to do something with felt squares (my daughters gymnastic class used felt shapes). I am playing with idea of sewing them together in a row to keep it straight and quick clean up (for vacuuming at night) just fold up. I am also thinking squares could be decorated somehow to designate partner 1 and partner 2 as we do a lot of partner sharing on the rug... hmmm....