Wow, it’s been a whirlwind of two weeks since school has started. Many long nights, many ideas and many suggestions have gone into making my classroom what it is and I totally want to share that with you.
As you walk into my classroom, you see the signs by my door. I need to add some more stuff in this area and have made a banner with my name and can’t decide if it will go above the door or on my desk. The name sign is something I made and everyone in the school has one next to their door. My tutorial times are posted for my students to see and the quote about being late is perfectly placed because this is where I greet my students and sign in tardies as needed.
As my students walk in they go straight to this table which has all the materials they will need for the day laid out for them.
Behind the materials needed for the day, are my turn in baskets. I got these baskets before school at Dollar Tree and am so happy. I don’t have baskets for my two newspaper classes as we turn in everything on edModo. The signs on the front are something I created and just tied onto the baskets with twine.
Above the turn in baskets is my “In The News” bulletin board. As you can see, there isn’t much news right now but it also has my noise level chart, my 3-2-1 response poster, my Twitter poster so students can follow me and I have added a Sheldon Cooper poster I created but snapped the picture before I added it. At the bottom of the bulletin board, I post my students birthdays for the month. I need to swap out August and put up September next week.
After grabbing materials, students then go to their assigned table group. I don’t assign seats but rather just a table to sit at. Gives each of them the ability to still somewhat choose where they sit. At the table you will see each person has a job taped down. These can be downloaded FREE here. I also have their table tubs that are labeled with their table number and sit on top of the table label. This is a FREE download here. I got the idea for the “Tidy Trash Tubs” from blogosphere and was so excited that I have implemented these because it makes for so much less up and down during class. These tags are available FREE here.
Since I had to recreate all my calendar stuff due to the laminator eating things, I went the easier route this time and just created them with Power Point and some fun frames and fonts. I have these available for FREE download here if you are interested. You can find the numbers as a FREE download here as well. The Word of the Day hasn’t really started being used yet but the plan is the first student who is able to tell me what it means in each class will get a sticker (more info on this at a later time).
Next to my calendar area is my “Bazinga Board” which my students are totally in love with. It is now covered completely with all of the papers from the first homework who made a 90 or higher. Sheldon totally brings a lot of humor into the classroom and allows me to connect with my students in a different way.
Since this picture, I have had to add a table in front of this area and two chairs since I have more students than desks. I didn’t want to break up my tables and make them any bigger than 4 so I have one class that I have students at this table and the materials table. They know my expectations for that area and it just works for us.
My second white board houses my objectives and agenda for each day. The labels were created with PowerPoint as well due to the abominable laminator. I have them available if you would like, just let me know what you teach and I can change the subjects. I can also change TEKS to CCCS (or other standards) if you would like.
In the back corner of my room is where I house Anchor Charts that we are using. These that are currently up are when we created our Social Contracts. I still need to convert these into a Wordle poster to put up in class and have all my students sign it. Priorities I tell ya.
Next to the anchor charts is a big bulletin board that is still under construction and therefore not even available to be seen. LOL!
Next to the bulletin board is a table with three crates on top. These are used for Extra Handouts as well as Graded Papers. At the end of the day I put in the extras in a folder with the date of the month on it. Graded Papers are added to a magazine box next to the crates and filed as an aide is available to. I have them currently working on labeling all the folders. I made the labels in Word and used a different font for each class so that they could tell them apart. I just used their first name and last initial if needed.
Right next to the table are my two bookshelves that house all of my manipulatives and supplies. This area is stocked and organized.
Next to the cabinets is my desk area that is totally organized chaos. I know where the things are and since I have two aides throughout the day (and one student who sits at my desk during 7th period) it has to stay organized. I never sit here! It’s a formality to have one in my room and is used mainly for storage by me. Behind my desk is a table that houses my literature sorter of various types of paper. I keep some personal items on top and it makes me happy. The wall is kind of bare but it will gather items over time.
Now, my personal area of the room is right next to my desk and it’s my computer station. This is where I am most of the time. It’s quite a catch-all but has to be cleared constantly since my document camera is right there. I have another magazine box on my desk next to the document camera that holds my INBs for each class. I have one for 7th grade math (teach 3 sections), one for Newspaper (teach 2 sections) and one for Resource Math (teach 2 sections).
I have had the File-Tastic for three years and it makes the world of difference. Previously I housed all of my extra handouts per day in this but have not commandeered it for my personal use. I have labeled each folder and keep masters and handouts I need to refer to in the files. I plan to move masters once a six weeks to a binder so its not overflowing all the time.
Next to that area is my “Wall of Fame”. I keep pictures, creations, etc. in this area. I love showing off things that my students have made me or any pictures we take together. Below that I have my bell schedule and school calendar and have since added my master schedule of all staff and my Instructional Focus Document as I reference them often.
The last corner is my cabinet and built in bookcase. All of my resources go on the shelf and are organized by the different class they go for as well as an area for my Student Council items. My cabinet houses extra supplies, more paper that has not been opened yet, my personal belongings and other what not.
So far things are working well and I’m adding other ideas as I am able. I will soon have a laptop cart in my room with ten laptops. I don’t know the configurations of the cart and hope the space between my computer area and bookshelf will house them appropriately.
Although these pictures were taken after the first week of school, and on a Friday afternoon, I can say that my classroom is still just as organized and clean. I was pretty up front about that expectation and have made sure to follow through with it and we haven’t had any problems. Hope we are still there in 3 months!
So, what do you think? What are things that you have added to your classroom after the school year began to make things easier or to create order?