Thursday, August 22, 2013

Classroom Tour

Alright, world! I'm going to take a shot at this blog thing! New school year, lots of new life changes, great time to start, no? I keep looking at how things were going this time last year (a year ago today I interviewed for my job), and can't figure out how I was able to get myself together for the school year. I was hired THE DAY BEFORE school started and only had about 3 hours tops in my classroom. I spent every day this week at school from at least 8-5, plus a full day last Thursday with my mom. I finally finished up without a moment to spare today as I inhaled a double cheeseburger as parents started walking in for open house, but I need to try to get a plan together for next week. My anxiety is a little high just because the schedules for the kids are pretty screwed up school-wide. I don't want to start teaching because things are going to get switched around, but I don't want to hold off either. Such a conundrum! My precious precious teaching time can't be wasted! 

Here are some photos of my classroom for this year. I am SO excited about it :D

From the door with the lights off--my room used to be a science room, and to me it feels like a hospital. I'm trying to do some alternative lighting, and I think with a few more lamps it will be doable.

Same view, but with one set of lights on. Still too harsh for me. I made some adjustments to the desks and turned the front two groups into 5's and got rid of the back middle group to create some more space. I was too lazy to take new pictures though. I also wasn't thinking when I ordered the binder holders and only ordered 3 sets. Waiting for the other 2 to come from Really Good Stuff so all of my bookcases will be uniform. I will do a closeup of the bookshelf and a description of how I manage materials once I know that it works the year is up and running.

From the other side of the room. The back whiteboard is a WhiteyBoard and I LOVE it. It was way too hard to peel and stick, so I used duct tape then put a border around it. My word wall is on the cabinets.

Homework board at the front of the room. I wanted to write the homework on each day so I the kids can keep track of what was assigned when, but the squares are smaller than I thought they would be when I ordered the calendar online.

Front of the room

This, I *think* I borrowed from Mrs. Hester, but I can't find the post again, so I may be wrong. We are focusing on collaborative groups with math workshop, so these are some questions I am going to train my kids to ask each other to guide their own discussions.

Classroom rules--took these from the Minds on Mathematics book I read this summer because I thought they were pretty all-encompassing. The M&M's of iPads is something that one of the 6th grade teachers came up with, I just made the poster with my wonderful Cricut.

Cabinets at the front of the room. I will put work in the absent folders as we do it. There are two folders per day of the week--one for this week and one for last. I have a binder that will keep track of who is absent when and exactly what was missed. They will have to get the binder then get the papers out of the folder. 

The skills side is for math workshop. Folders are labeled 1-12, and I will tell the kids on Monday what folder they need to pull skill practice from that week. I'm hoping this lets me differentiate better. My kids really struggle with basic skills like fractions, so this is my way of working that in.

I like to use Fist to 5 for quick formative assessments. Last year we did it, but I didn't have the meanings posted. I think this will help make it more clear.

My cozy corner. The two students who I think worked hardest each week will be allowed to sit back here on Fridays. That yellow eye-sore is an old decontamination shower, and my mom snuck the Flamingo in there. I can't come up with a good enough reason to get rid of it, so it will stay for now.

My math workshop board. It isn't going to be able to work exactly how I had planned because our schedule changed from 3 90min core blocks to 4 1hr core blocks, so I will post about this again when it is up and running. This design was slightly borrowed from Clutter Free Classroom, but I made it myself. I can't remember where I got the frames from in the designs, but I know it was somewhere on TpT for FREE!!

This is attached to my Whitey Board. I have the standards laminated and will post them and update the I can daily. I will also post the vocab here first before putting it on the word wall.

I'm burned out from this week, so I will blog again this weekend. I've just been dying to get these up as my first post, so I wanted to get it done! Until next time!



  1. Your cozy corner is super cute! We are also loving your agenda board! Gotta love "I can" statements!

    -Mrs. K & Ms. H

  2. Thank you! Some people looked at me like I was a crazy person putting a cozy corner in an 8th grade room, but the kids love it!!