Tuesday, August 27, 2013

{a tour of my classroom}

Because I spend so much time in my classroom, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a little tour of it. Today was the first official day of school for all district staff, so it meant a lot of meetings...and sitting...but it was great to see all the faces of friends I haven't seen (in some cases) since June.

I am a huge fan of color in my classroom. For some students, I think the extra color just helps to wake them up a little. One way I do this is with my ACT prep words I display throughout the room. They are the green pieces of paper on the wall in this shot:

I have found that these words do sometimes appear in my students' writing assignments, so I think that having the words displayed is working.

I also like to only put half of my overhead lights on. I put the lights on in the front half of the room. Then along the back of the room I have lamps. Yes, I even have a lava lamp. This is my lava lamp that I got in high school :) --

I picked up the lamps at Goodwill on the half-off days. The lamps seem to have a calming effect for the students. Not so calming that they fall asleep, but calming enough that they are (for the most part) quiet when they should be and also on-task. Students will walk in sometimes and breath a sigh of relief. I think they are comfortable in my room.

Now keep in mind, they are teenagers. And some of them are teenagers who are coming to my room after gym class. Sometime they smell are not so fresh :) That is why I LOVE air fresheners. I stay away from really strong scents. I love things like Fresh Cotton. I keep a plug-in at the front of the room, and this year I added a Scentsy warmer (This is okay to use because it heats the scented wax with a low wattage light bulb). I am lucky that I have the hook-up with Nicole. Not only does it smell great, but I think it looks super cute on my back shelf.

Table set-up:

I started putting the tables in this configuration last year. It is more of a pod set-up. Some people asked if it promoted more off-task talking, but I didn't find that to be the case. I also put a bucket in the middle of the tables with a couple pencils in case students need to use one for the class period.

My desk area that is still pretty bare at this point--

I will show you more about this after I get my desk area completely set up. I still need to print off new pics. I love to have pics of my family everywhere to see during the day. I need to send the pics to get printed at Walgreens.That cork board will be filled with pics, and the little picture frame on top of my filing cabinet needs new pics. If you see that green thing under the lamp all the way to the right of the pic, that is my mini-microwave. There is also a little refrigerator under that. I keep snacks under the little table with the green table cloth. Mostly popcorn and rice cakes.

I love my classroom. I am very comfortable in there. So are my kiddos, as you may remember from this post. They love being able to go to my classroom at any time. I also love the little fun things I have all over. My William Shakes"bear," William Shakespeare doll, and my William Shakespeare action figure--

My Edgar Allan Poe action figure and the crafty "The Raven" that my mother-in-law made for me--

Above them is my "Harry Potter" movie poster. I used to have it at home, but Caden didn't like it. He said they look "angry" --
I love this sign I have on my door. It's new this year--

My rack of books for the students. I have MANY others on the bookshelf in the room--

This table is where I keep supplies for the students to use. The three baskets in the front are where the students will turn in their papers for: English 9, Creative Writing, and Senior Writing. The basket in the back will have loose leaf paper in it--

I keep the lesson plans for each class posted online, but also right up on this board for students to see. And yes, those are already my lesson plans for next week. You can never be too organized, right?

Lovely, huh? It works for me.

I will leave you with a pic of the kids from tonight. There were patches of clouds passing over with huge rain drops that would only last for a minute or two. They kids decided they wanted to catch them in their mouths--


Until later!


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