This past week was my first week back to school (our first student day was Wednesday) and I had to scramble this year to get my classroom together! It was so unlike me... usually I spend a couple of weeks throughout the summer doing a little of this, a little of that. That wasn't possible this year because 1. CPR classes being held in my classroom and 2. baby. So it was a mad dash to the finish line this year, but I'm really happy with how things went. Actually my pictures this year were taken at the end of the first student day, so the room had already been pulled through the ringer and survived! #winning
I didn't make any major changes this year; in fact, I went back to my roots in a couple of ways. After five years of trial-and-error, I decided to pull some of the best things I've done and incorporate those into my classroom environment. I think you could call this the "Best Of" Classroom Tour.
(Want to see how my room has evolved? Here are my classroom tours from 2012, 2013, and 2014.)
For fun this year, I did a little panoramic action to take a 360º view of my classroom. Obviously it's a little warped, but this gives you an idea of what my room as a whole looks like. As I mentioned in this post I've decided that the seating arrangement that ultimately works best for my classroom (due to physical space, number of students, my goals for the class, and various other factors) is the Runway. My room is divided by a runway, with one group of students facing the other across the room. I am very thankful to have much smaller class sizes this year (currently my largest class has twenty-nine students), which has allowed for a wider runway and more space between desks. The students all have a good view of the Smart Board in the front of the room (which we use every single day), but they can also see me just about anywhere in the room. I can teach from the front of the room, the back, or even one of the corners, and there's no severe rubbernecking going on.
If you're wondering about the sticky notes on the desks, I use those to determine student seating for the first day of school. The desks are temporarily numbered with sticky notes. When my students come in on the first day, they find their name and number on the Smart Board, which directs them to their desk. It's a great system.
Okay, let's look at some details.
|Information Bulletin Board|
|A Closer Look|
I still have my Smash Book Set-Up papers up as a reminder for everyone as we get going again this year. I also typed up the Holstee Manifesto (discovered via Pinterest) to hang up because, well, I like it.
I moved my round table/grading station/T.A. station to the other side of the room so I actually have access to my cabinets now, rather than student desks blocking them. The one new thing I did this year: I got a vertical file holder to hold graded student work. My T.A.s are going to be responsible for handing out the graded work. We'll see if it works.
My homework trays, paper drawers, and the home of the dreaded Yellow Sheet have all stayed in the same place.
So there you have it. Life in A104. Thus far it seems that this environment is going to work out really well for us this year. I'll be keeping you posted if I decide to make any major room changes.
What's going on in your classrooms this year? Feel free to leave your ideas or links to your own classroom tours in the comments below!