Saturday, September 10, 2016

Classroom Tour

We have been in school four weeks....FOUR! It's hard to get into a routine and THE SCHEDULE (evil, evil, evil thing) keeps changing. There is also the required TESTING.

But now it seems to be settling and I spent today preparing for next week and feeling like those lessons might really happen.

I also am considering rearranging parts of the room. So I better share my tour BEFORE that happens!

Once upon a time I had a self contained classroom, my students were not part of their peer group often, they were happy enough and didn't know what they were missing. My schedule was pretty straight forward, we used themes, modified curriculum and there were 1 or 2 teacher assistants.

Next came the time of "inclusion", my children began to grow socially, I tried to continue themes, but it wasn't needed anymore, my schedule became more and more complicated, more adults were needed to support kids in their homerooms, the district started to introduce "replacement core" programs for students at all levels.

I have been scrambling to understand what my role is in all these changes and what my classroom should provide.

We have 12 students with full time support, two of them spend most of the day in our classroom. The other 10 are in other resource rooms or their homerooms with support. It is a wonderful wonderful scene! Are there bad days? of course, sometimes the homeroom or even a small/big group setting is just overwhelming and they need to take a break.

Anyway, here is what we came up with. 

Our door, I provided the vision, but one of the teacher assistants did the curtains and the sign. 

The Chill Pad hosted by Pete the Cat.
It has been successful so far. It is NOT time out, it is a place to chill, to reset your attitude.

The "Book Nook" is my favorite part of the room. I worked on my books all summer, they are all labeled in categories that can easily be matched to a matching bin label.

I added an ipod shuffle to the "nook" and several students are loving it! It is loaded with kid songs and some old rock and roll like "Rockin Robin".

Students earn points for following directions, being kind to each get the idea. Every 10 points they move the paw up, at the top is the treasure box.

We are the Lynx and our principal created a hand sign to go with that, it is pretty clever and the eye glasses look like the ones she wears!

I decided that all the supplies would be in one place this year. In the past each work station had a tub of basic supplies. The other side has OUR supplies, items like staplers, tape, paper clips. The sharp scissors stay on or in the teacher desk (not that any of our students are a concern with scissors THIS year).

My desk when it was clean. The technology plan is to be wireless, the district purchased us some pretty sweet laptops and those can be used as a tablet. It will be great when everything comes together.

That's not even everything, but this is running too long! I just realized there are no pictures of our group instruction areas!
I love to look at teachers' classrooms, so many great ideas!
We are creative people! LOL

I'll end with a couple of  photos from our garden, this has been a sunflower year!