A small classroom tour

My classroom is ready. Almost. There is still a ladder the custodians left when the awesomely moved my overhead screen to a new wall... I'm picky about set up. I haven't put out kids names on tables. I still have a few odds and ends around the rooms. I haven't labeled everything. But it will get done. It will. Tomorrow will be busy- but it's 6th grade only, so I have one more day to get the last pieces together. And then... I don't know why, but it doesn't seem real yet.

In the meantime, I thought a tour of my almost finished classroom was in order.

Entering the room... to the left
Entering room... to the right. My desk shows in the corner
I guess I could have turned some lights on. Or waited until the light was better... but that doesn't meet with my want for pictures NOW. The top picture shows off the big big panels in the room. These can actually be folded back so that my teaching partner and I can open up the rooms into one BIG monster room for team time and such. Awesome. The whole room was an atrocious, eye burning, almost neon blue when I moved in. Instead of dealing with the classic butcher paper or painting, I opted for the cheapest fabric I could find. It should last a long long time. It did end up costing more than I'm going to post here. But still, not bad. Paint wouldn't have been much cheaper.

Okay, on the panels....
First, the board with my latest and greatest classroom guideline. I'm a believer and follower of Dylan Wiliam. Such a great, great man. This article talks about no raised hands a bit: Daily Mail UK- No Raised Hands. I finally did it last year in it's true form (read: when I got tired and cranky I didn't just fall back on letting the kids raise hands and calling on the kid I knew would have the answer). I loved it. I used mini white boards to allow all students to answer. Or I called names at random from Popsicle sticks I drew from a can.

The article that started all this research for simple solutions to engage all students in learning can be found here: Inside the Black Box. I plan on rereading it before the year gets too far on.
Below the sign in my learning target board- right now it's got kitchy start of year goals for kids, but soon it will be filled with our math goals for units. The idea? If kids know what we are trying to learn, they have a lot better chance of getting there.

Next up- my Welsh Pride. My first teaching experience was across the pond at a wonderful school in southern Wales. I still put up my flag every year. Cymru am byth!!

Below, calculators. In a clear shoe holder. This way, it's easy for me to see if they are all back at the end of class. Oh yes, this is not my first time around the block. Things leave the class so easily. Not because 8th graders are out to steal things, but because they are SO SPACEY they will simply pack my supplies up with their own and walk out. I often get it all back at the end of the year when locker clean outs happen.
A panel of this and that. Posters I like.
Quotes about math.
A painting I've always loved.

You know. The random stuff in every classroom that reveals a bit about the teacher. The stuff to make the classroom interesting and in hopes that when the students space away from my lessons (because, let's face it, it's math class. I'm going to lose them from time to time) they have something interesting and worthwhile at which to look.

My whiteboard. You can see brackets above it... that's where the overhead screen used to be. But see, it covered my whiteboard, diminishing space for awesome math scribbles and figurings. So my fantastic custodians moved it for me. You will also see three computers I begged, borrowed, and stole from around the building. Two crash at regular intervals. Oh well. We'll get something better someday, in the mean time, this counts as my technology station.

Okay, some of my favorite posters. When I first started teaching I found these about to be thrown out. They are from the Apple "Think Different" Campaign. I wish I could get more- but apparently they have become collectors items for Apple Nerds. I found the quotes and typed them up and added them. I also have a Miles Davis, not pictured here. They ALWAYS lead to great discussion at some point in the year.

There's more to the room. The posters by my pencil sharpener (I figure, hey, they are standing there, sharpening their pencils, may as well give them something interesting to read). My wall of victory. The homework board. The bookcases. But maybe another day. In the meantime, time to travel into the future and get this school year started.

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