I have seen several other teacher bloggers share tours of their classrooms so I thought I would do the same. My 7th grade science classroom is a colorful place to be….what can I say, I’m a very visual person. Besides that, I spend so much time in my room during the school year that I want it to be a pleasant place to be. There is no sense in looking at 4 blank and boring walls all of the time.
This year was the first year that I didn’t have to move my classroom in about 4 years. I was beyond thrilled both because it is a ton of work and I love where my room is located and the people teaching nearby. Not moving meant that I had lots of extra time available to work on things in my room and after a very challenging year last year I knew I wanted to make some changes to some of my procedures.
The overall scheme of my classroom is zebra print with pink, green and blue. I didn’t change that this year, but I did add lots of pops of color as part of my changes in how we do business each day. This “Welcome” sign was something new I did that I got FREE from Teachers Pay Teachers. It just sort of brightens things up at the door.
The paper shade on my door is to cover the window in the event of a lock down or a drill. It makes me sad that we have to think about things like this now, but it is better to be prepared I suppose. I didn’t want my window to be covered all the time so this does the trick. There is a little Velcro dot at the bottom that holds it shut. I just use a binder clip to keep it up when I want it open. This was another idea I found on Pinterest of course!!
Just inside my door is a new set of bookcases I picked up at Target for $18 each. I wanted an easy place for kids to turn in their Exit Slips on the way out the door as well as a place near the garbage can to store the Garbage Bins they use at their tables. I added some zebra print fabric to the back of the shelves as I was putting them together just before I put the back on them. I just used a staple gun to hold it in place and then the nails for the back of the shelf made it even more secure. Above the shelves is a bulletin board with my monthly calendar, classroom rules, the bell schedule and the Current Events schedule for the quarter. The idea to layer the paper flowers came from here.
Next to the shelves is my big whiteboard with a projector. When they built this building SmartBoards. I like that I can still use my board as a whiteboard when I want to, but I still have the option to project just about anything on it from notes to movies. The idea for the sign at the top of my board came from here.
My desk is in the corner just opposite of the door. It is not always the tidiest of desks, but I like it. I know lots of people have done away with their teacher desks to make more room for the kids. Fortunately, because I teach science I have a huge classroom compared to others in my building so there is plenty of room for the kids. Besides that, I just like having my own space. Lots of my summer projects are being put to use here and I love them!
I like for my kids to work in groups most of the time so I generally keep the desks in tables. I guess these aren’t really desks, but science tables but I still like them in groups of two. this year I have also numbered the tables and the seats at each table. The supply tubs and garbage bins are also numbered for each table so if there is a mess I know who to look for to take care of it. In the past I just had enough supply totes for each table and they took whichever one they wanted and it was too hard to hold anyone accountable for a mess or missing supplies. Last year it was a total disaster and so far this year everything has been neater than ever….yahoo!!!
I also use the numbers to assign each student a weekly job for their table. This has helped so much with getting everyone settled quickly each day with everything they need. Each student is responsible for getting one thing for their table. This prevents having 25 kids at the Notebook crate all at one time trying to get their notebooks or arguing about who is going to go get a supply tub for their table and so on. Life just seems to be running so much smoother this year with this in place.
I don’t even .have to hand out papers anymore, except for those that are graded. I just them on the cart at the front of my room with the “Take One” sign and the person responsible for that job takes care of it for their table. If someone is absent at their table they are also responsible for putting that person’s name on any papers for the day and then putting them into the correct file for that class period in the Absent Work File. The kids know that when they return from an absence they need to look there for any papers they might have missed. This has taken a little work to get it going, but it seems to working well now that we have had it in place for a couple of weeks. This also saves me from having to dig through papers for copies for absent students.
This bookshelf sits right in front of my desk and serves lots of purposes. It has the Absent Work file as well as magazine racks that I use as a place for kids to turn in papers. I found them at Ikea over the summer….I love that place!!! The set of drawers on the right are for extra notebook paper, printer paper, extra copies of handouts, paper for Exit Slips and Current Events worksheet. the kids have access to it, but the drawers help keep it all really tidy, which of course makes me ever so happy!! 🙂 There is also a place for dictionaries, calculators, and the Lost and Found on these shelves and a few crates for me to store colored paper and Science World Magazines.
I have 2 sets of milk crates in my room on either side of my computers. One of them is a place for the kids to store their Interactive Science Notebooks and the other is a place for them to store their Early Finishers Folders. the kids don’t have to keep their notebooks in my room, but they know that if they lose it they will have to recreate it from the beginning so most keep it in the room to be on the safe side. The Early Finishers Folders are still a work in progress. I have never been great at going from bell to bell, so I wanted to have something for those kids that finish quickly or for on those day when things don’t take as long as I had anticipated. I just wanted to be sure that there was something productive for them to do otherwise they just tend to play around and get in trouble. Here is my Early Finishers Board with the list of things they can do. This is also a work in progress.
Two sides of my room are lined with cupboards, sinks, and counter space. It is so nice to have a sink and enough counter space available for every group to use when we do labs. it also keeps the mess off of the tables away from their books and things.
The back corner of the cabinets is also a place where I keep some extra supplies that the kids might need.
Just beyond the cabinets back near the front of the room is the emergency eyewash and shower. I also keep my chart stand there since it is something that is easy to move in the event we needed the shower or eyewash.
In an effort to make things clear and to do a better job establishing procedures this year I also made several posters for my room that are hung above the whiteboard and at the top of the windows. All I did was make what I wanted using Word, printed it and took it to Staples to be blown up to 24″ x 26″ for about $3 each. Color prints were MUCH more expensive so I stuck with black and white and just used markers to add a little color to them.
These have been great so far and one of teammates has done the same for a couple of things.
Well….that’s my little corner of the world at school. I hope you found an idea or two you might be able to use in your own classroom. Most of these ideas are ones I got from others so feel free to use them as well. Here’s hoping all my fellow teachers have a TERRIFIC Year!!
Have a Great One All!