Friday, July 19, 2013

Classroom Makeover 2013

After spending time planning lessons, I always realize why I enjoy having a teacher blog. It keeps my thoughts above the mundane parts of teaching, and keeps me looking forward and up.

Yesterday, my mother, a retired educator and my daughter, a true go-getter, and I worked on my classroom. The process took much longer than originally anticipated, but our family lives by a motto of -- "no breaks until the job gets done".

As a result, I am proud to say that I feel that I have an attractive, functional space that my students and I will enjoy. I'm breathing a sigh of relief now that it is over, and I can spend time on my unit and lesson plans for the new year.

I decided not to use a theme like "pocka dots", "ladybugs", "movie theatre", etc. I am proud that I spent less than $20 on my classroom, yet I still feel that it is attractive for students.

I used material for the backdrop of the bulletin board. I can use it all year, which is great. It is very durable. I liked the colors and how they contrast well with the green chairs.
I placed the chairs in rows and students in pairs. I have found this to be the best strategy for middle grades. The students can see me, and I am still able to walk around the room to assess their work. It is also the preferred method from one of my "go to" books, Teach Like A Champion.
This is my new classroom library ordered alphabetically and labeled with Lexile scores. All of these books I got for free from former teachers. I hope to add more throughout the year.

Sydney, my daughter, labeled each book with the appropriate Lexile score. She even created an inventory spreadsheet! Way to go, Sydney!

Lexile Labels

Distraught, with my inability to be crafty with my strong verb list, my mother worked her magic, using only construction paper, scissors, and glue stick to create an awesome word wall!

Hint: Cutting paper in cloud form hides paper flaws.
There are still a few items that I need to add like the rules and procedures chart, but overall it is complete and ready for my new students. I feel so relieved!

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

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