Monday, September 1, 2014

Before the Craziness Begins

Like many of you, my students will be coming back this week.  I spent awhile in my room this weekend revamping my bulletin boards and trying to create a nice workspace for the kiddos.

The first shot is a panoramic from the front of my room, looking at the back.

One thing you need to know about my district is that we are the Knights (and our colors are black & gold).  This year we have taken on the motto, "Protect the Castle."  To me, that means we need to do whatever we can to have pride in our school.  I'm transferring that into my classroom via our social contract.  I explain our social contract as how we treat each other.  Last year, when I introduced the social contract, I had my students split into 4 groups & each group was given a different question:

1) How do you want to be treated by your teacher?
2) How do you think your teacher wants to be treated?
3) How do you want to be treated by your classmates?
4) How do you want to be treated when you disagree?

We then compile our answers & sign it.  The signatures will go on white paper inside the castle, the ideas will be written along the outside of the castle on paper.

On the other side of the back of my room is my math board.  I've written extensively about how I'm going to run my math workshop, but if you want more information, please check it out here and here.

In this picture you can also see a shot of my super organized bookshelf (heavy sarcasm) and another workspace option.  I also have a lamp in the front & back of my room.  I'm not a big fan of the fluorescent lighting, and tend to use other lamps instead.

The next shot is a panoramic taken from the back of my room.  Notice there are 3 tables & 3 groups of desks.  This year I'm going to give my students a chance to decide where they want to sit (desk vs. table).

My school has developed a slogan that we all get behind.  The slogan is "Be the Best You!"  In the word BEST, each letter stands for something:
Be a leader

On our "best" board I'm going to put anchor charts & rubrics that we develop together.

The other board in that corner is going revolve around growth mindset.  During our pre-school PD we learned and discussed growth mindset and grit.  My plan is to explicitly teach both of those topics to my students this year.  I'm sure I'll have more blog posts about that as the year progresses.

In the front of the room is my reading nook with my Grandpa's old chair that literally has the stuffing coming out of it, but it is too comfy to throw away.

We'll be using the Daily 5 this year to help teach different reading strategies.  This bulletin board will develop as the year p progresses

While my room isn't perfect, and I'd love to do some more creative things with my classroom space, unfortunately I have a very limited budget.  Until Steelcase decides they want to redecorate my room for me, this will have to do!

Here's to another awesome year, everyone!