I moved to a new school this year, and I got really excited about decorating a new room! I spent quite a few hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration, and even more time executing those ideas! Here are a few shots of my room, one week into school. Now, let me be honest and tell you that I have ZERO artistic talent (my big sister got all the artistic genes!), so while I might dream big Pinterest dreams, I also realize that I have time, budget, and skill limitations. Here are a few shots of my classroom, one week in. It’s a work in progress but I’m quite pleased with it!
I saw a picture of a teacher’s classroom with a narrow white board next to the door of her classroom where she wrote reminders for her students – homework, tests, please bring _____, etc. I was so JEALOUS, until I realized I could do the same with the window beside my door! I put up a few pieces of white paper on the outside, so on the inside I can write on the glass with a dry erase marker. One of these days I’ll throw up some border, too, and then it will truly be Pinterest worthy!
My white board:
Standards, plus a giant proficiency rubric above (thank you Kara and Megan!).
I made this calendar during pre-planning my first year teaching. It is laminated, so I just erase and renumber each month (or better yet…get a student to!). PowerSchool gives me a handy notification icon when my students have birthdays coming up, so I went ahead and wrote them on there. Later in the year I’ll ask my classes about birthdays (in the TL) as the month turns.
My desk, with maps above. Some students helped me make these maps a few years ago. I projected a map onto the SMART board, turned off the touch features, and had a student trace the map onto a piece of chart paper with a pencil. Then, we outlined in black, colored in the countries, and laminated them. I write the names of the countries in dry erase marker, and erase if I want to quiz students.
This isn’t decor, but it’s a Pinterest idea that’s really working for me so far! When I moved schools, I packed up my curriculum in these file boxes from Fred’s. Now, I’ve converted one into my make-up work box. I’ve got tabs for every day of the month, labeled 1-31 (or I will, when I get another box of hanging folders). Each day, I put left over handouts in the box, along with a list of any vocabulary words or assignments we did. I had a lot of trouble managing make up work in the past, so this is way for me to stay organized (today I had a student go straight to the box when I directed students to get out a handout he was missing – success!!!).
This is another organization strategy that worked well for me this year. I sat down with my rosters before school started, and typed up labels for each desk indicating who sat there each period. I’ve tried other strategies in the past, where students are randomly assigned a seat at the door (such as Martina Bex’s fantastical creatures), but I found it was confusing for students. Especially on the first day, I want to be very clear with what I want from students. Having their names on the desk has other benefits as well – first, when they come back the next day, it helps them remember where to sit, and secondly, it makes taking roll a breeze. I just look to see which desks are empty, check the label, and move on. I will note that even with name labels, a couple of students STILL sat in the wrong desk, but we got it straightened out quickly.
To wrap things up, a final decoration picture:
Straight from Pinterest – Adiós on the floor in duct tape! It’s not quite so pristine now, but holding up better than I expected.
My next project – a boggle bulletin board like this!