Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Classroom: Organized Choas

Another teacher refers to my organized chaos as "controlled clutter".

Students that I don't have will walk by and say they couldn't handle the chaos. The kids I teach say they can't learn without it!

Here's my door. It's a little beat up, but I love it. My students decorated it last year and I added the Mathematician thing.

M ake inquiries

A ttack problems

T ranslate knowledge

H ypothesize phenomenons

E levate cognizance

M ake observations

A nalyze data

T heorize suppositions

I mplement strategies

C reate graphicorganizers

I llustrate ideas

A ssess comprehension

N avigate mathematics

S ummarize findings


This is as you walk through my door. My teacher zone is across the way and designated by red duct tape on the floor. I just have to have a little personal space.

My teaching area/power zone faces the students. I use my document camera mostly and I have it positioned where I face the kids. I don't worry about not being able to see what is displayed. I have a general idea and if I'm ever off, they let me know. I cannot stand to have my back to my entire class.

After working through college in retail, I prefer to stand at a desk at counter level. It blows the students mind that I don't have an official teacher's desk.

This is as you scan the room to the left. I have six giant whiteboards hanging around my room. Anytime a student asks me a question, I have someplace to demonstrate. There's lots of space for students to demonstrate their knowledge and then compare what they see. When I'm gone, my instructions are written there for the students to see. Sometimes I teach lessons on both the whiteboards and Promethean just to mobilize my power zone and draw more focus.

Standing directly in front of the Promethean board.

There's stuff everywhere. Sometimes we play I Spy for kicks.
To the right and left of the Promethean board are giant bulletin boards made from painted ceiling tiles! Love these!! The ceiling tiles cost me $40 for ten. Painted them black and hung them using liquid nail.
On the right side of my Promethean board, I have designated a portion of my bulletin board for the 'Since You've Been Gone' board. When a student is absent, their table mates write the absent student's name on any papers handed out, and these papers are pinned to that board. Therefore, the responsibility of pinning papers is the table mates and the responsibility of obtaining missed papers is the absent student's. So far, this has worked out very well.
I have used various arrangements of my tables in the past. This arrangement works out best. On the first day of school, I have colored dots on the table that show students where to sit. I don't have students sit with their back to me or the Promethean board.
These are the supplies that are always on the table. Surprisingly, they stay very organized. At the beginning of the year, I did teach the behavior and procedure I expect to see with supplies.

This is my second classroom, and so far it is my favorite.