My Classroom

June 25, 2009

These pictures start before my first year (08-09).  A recent blog post from Elissa about her first classroom made me want to spend some time reflecting on my own choices my classroom and how I can make improvements in my second year…

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View from the back. At the front is my stool and podium. I love having the stool because I can still sit and discuss while being able to see all of my students. (It also helps me feel less desire to sit at my own desk.)

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To the right is my view from the podium.

Out of the whole year, I think I enjoyed this seating arrangement the most. They can see each other reasonably well, in addition to the front and back boards.

Each side is a row three desks deep, and those rows represent their groups for many of our projects. It’s easy for them to flips their desks around to accomplish this.

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I used a sage green fabric that is almost like a burlap texture.

It doesn’t fade or show holes like paper, plus texture adds warmth.

I trimmed all the bulletin boards with basic black for cohesiveness.

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To create an additional bulletin board, I bought a cheap foam presentation type poster board in black and using hot glue, I created a sage green ribbon border.

I used chalk to add “Quotable Quotes” and I periodically change the quote posters attached. (Thematic or by authors.)

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This is the view on “my” side of the room.

I have storage cabinets for my own stuff.

Bookcases with dictionaries and personal favorites of mine.

Construction paper and posterboard.

And yellow baskets filled with markers, colored pencils, scissors, and glue for group projects.

005This is an important part of my workspace, though it sometimes gets cluttered with student projects.

The ugly cardboard sorting tower is a lifesaver. I keep the handouts for the day in the top slots (by class) and keep extras paper clipped together for students who need a copy later, whatever the reason.

At the bottom, I keep graded papers that need to be returned; once again by course and paper clipped by actual class times.

The black metal file folder sorter is where I keep the papers that I need to grade by class. It helps me see how far behind I am at any given time, and it’s easy to throw just 1-2 folders into my bag at night.

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This is my *cluttered* computer area. I spend lots of time here!

Next year, the microwave will be in the far corner w/the lamp on it.

The milk crate holding folders will be on the floor under the counter.

Everything will be moved left and streamlined.

There are also more pics of my kids above this station! :)


Hope you enjoy classroom clutter!!!

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The reality is that sometimes you have lots of projects at once.

I feel it would be wrong to only post favorites, so if they are individual, they can only use regular printer paper to keep them small.

In groups, we sometimes do full poster projects. The best thing I can come up with is to keep them lined up very geometrically to reduce the feeling of chaos.

002This bulletin board eluded me for an entire year. I HATE the stuff on top. THAT will never happen again.

This is my biggest problem area. I feel I should give a bulletin board space to my Creative Writing elective, but it’s so hard for me to put stuff up there. I think I may just let go of the idea of using it for that class next year and start fresh. ANY ideas would be welcome!

To end on a more positive note, the blue lines you see on the markerboard are wonderful! I used painters tape to make this semi permanent grid and have my website url at the top and our daily “menu” of in class activities, due dates, and homework assignments within their respective rectangle.

I also have one of these (painter’s tape grids) on my backboard that lists our daily objectives (you know, students will:) and sometimes add to the side of it a list of UPCOMING due dates to offer more long term reminders.

Oh! One more tip. Use hot glue for you “all year” laminated posters. As long as the paint is in good shape, it will not hurt it. Just a nice little drop, don’t go overboard or anything. At the end of the year, it pops right off the poster and the wall! WAY better than posters falling down constantly (like my student work does… stupid tape).

Anything you want to add that you do in your classroom?

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3 Responses to “My Classroom”

  1. Elissa Says:

    Love it! I really like the Quotable Quotes. And the hot glue is a great tip I never would have thought of. I see what you mean about the plants and I really like the lamps too.

  2. Pat Says:

    Thanks for the ideas. Now that it’s summer, I’m finally able to sit back and rethink my room. I appreciate the painter’s tape idea; my room is used in the evenings too, and I had to keep redrawing borderlines every morning. A little tip that saves time and frustration. I wish I had another outlet for lamps; florescent lighting is NOT conducive to reading. Thanks again!


  3. What a lovely classroom! I love the lamps!


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