Yesterday was officially our first day back to school! It was a great day and I have a good feeling about this school year. I wanted to share with y’all a tour of my classroom as well as my goals for this year.
I set up my desks a little differently this year, and there is truly no bad seat in the room. I went for the more flexible seating, providing a variety of choices for the students, which will also help when the students are working on different things in a unit and need different types of help.
I divided my left whiteboard with washi tape for areas like Announcements, Agenda, Homework, and Standards/Essential Questions. I kept my right whiteboard open for if I need to write directions or note take with the students (this board is easier to see for most of the room).
Above the whiteboards, I printed our geography standards on orange paper to add another pop of color but also to make the standards transparent to the students. Plus, it makes it easier to reference them when all you have to do is point at them.
Next to my whiteboard is my only bulletin board in the room. I used a world map as the backdrop and put some of the postcards I’ve collected from my travels above it. Eventually, I would like to make the map more interactive as we go through the regions in the class. At the bottom of the bulletin board, I’ve tacked on things the students would need to reference.
I was excited to have a teacher desk be moved and have this table available for use. I decided to make it more of a student center where they will turn in their work, collect missing work, and access any supplies they might need.
This “Were You Absent?” binder comes from Eat. Write. Teach. I’ve used it in the past and it seems to work! Plus, I love the binder I put it in this year 🙂
Instead of making another big poster and cluttering up my walls, I decided to make this little sign next to the turn in trays for things the students can do if they finish early.
Under the front table there is a set of drawers. In those drawers are supplies the students can access and use like calculators, erasers, notecards, clip boards, band-aids, etc.
Next to the door I keep important documents like the schedule, grading scale, and classroom expectations so they are easy to access. This year I also decided to put a small whiteboard next to the door to have students sign out on when they leave the room.
P.S. I love my little chalkboard signs!
On the other side behind the door, I put hung out folders for exit slips. These are to rate their understanding of the content for the day. I don’t do these slips every day but I try to do them a couple of times in each unit.
I set up my teacher area a little different this year. The desk was switched out and I added the document camera cart, which freed up space on my desk because the printer is on top of the cart. I put the recycling bin behind my desk to avoid students putting food wrappers in there. I also put a student desk at the end of my teacher desk for when we do student conferences.
This is behind my desk. I really like how this is set up compared to last year. I feel like I have more surface space. Also, I’m still in love with that map!!
This last area is a space I was more excited to incorporate. I wanted to make it feel more homey in my room so I purchased two bungee chairs, a couple of throw pillows, and a small rug to create a lounge/reading space. The green ottomans were part of the room last year but felt out of place by themselves. Yesterday, the kiddos were really excited to know they could sit in them 🙂
The cabinet behind the chair is also an area where the students can access. It holds extra supplies for them if they need it, art supplies for projects, and books for them to borrow and read. And the cabinet is easy to access with just a scooch of the chair.
I am very happy with how my room turned out! I definitely want to be in there doing work and I’m excited to share the space with my students this year!
Speaking of work, here are my teaching goals for this year:
- Stay firm and consistent in my classroom management
- Incorporate more engaging and collaborative activities in my lessons
- Contact every parent before Open House (which is some time in September)
- Have all copies and presentations done by the Friday before
- Keep working at home to only one night a week and don’t stay later than 5 pm any day – this means utilizing every planning minute before and after school and during my prep period
- Update grade book weekly
- Do more checks for understandings and conferences to catch issues early on
- Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to other team members
But most importantly… enjoy the school year, get to know the students, and continue to grow!
Questions for You:
How do you decorate your classroom?
What are your non-negotiables?
What are your goals for this school year?