I wanted to post pictures of my classroom at the start of year, but never got around to it. Organization makes me happy, color coding organization makes me even happier. And yes, I am a middle school teacher that loves primary colors. 🙂
Picture #1 – My shelves at the front of the room by the door that hold the group supply bins, all of my graph paper & colored printer paper. We collect graph paper and the colored printer paper from the students at the start of the year. The sign-out/sign-in clipboard is on the top.
Picture #2 – View from the teacher’s desk area (though I’m rarely there). You can see my Smartboard is placed conveniently in the middle of my white board, so helpful! I have another bookshelf that holds their History books so they only take them home when they need them. (They don’t fit into the lockers well.) There is a blue plastic cart that holds all of my whiteboard materials, marker, felt erasers, and individual boards. The top drawer contains coloring pages that my kiddos are all about this year. You can also see some of the fun posters I have on my walls; they do go around the room. But in looking at this picture, I should have put a dark backing like black paper to edge them out. Oh well. Next post is about the posters and signs I have around my room.
Picture #3 – ISN bins! Best idea ever! (Thank you Wal-Mart for having cheap hanging file bins for sale.) Of course the students can take their ISN home any time that they want to, but I found it less disruptive to have a place for them to stay if they didn’t want to take them home. I was having too many students leave their ISN in their locker and we aren’t supposed to let them go back, so it was becoming a small issue helping them stay caught up. In fact, we were having problems getting our ISN’s from the bins when we needed them, so I have improved this system a bit since then. I have colored plastic file folders (hoping plastic will hold up better) in each bin that are labeled by group numbers. The ISN’s from each group go in the folder so they can send one person from the group to get them and one person to put them away. It’s working SO much better now…saving my precious math minutes! (I only have 43.) The colored folders match the colored duct tape, obviously. 🙂 You can see the poster behind the bins…in my school we share classrooms, so the 7th grade math teacher I share with is a football coach and has the sport stuff up. He doesn’t like to decorate the room, so it’s good that I went a little overboard this year. 🙂
Picture #4 – Skill folder holder. Again with the color coding…I buy colored folders for each class at the start of the year for the students to keep their skill quizzes and checklists. I found it was easier to get them myself because we can easily tell where a folder should go based upon it’s color. The folder color matches the duct tape color I put on the edge of all of the ISN’s. You can also see my general supply bin for items that aren’t in the table supply bins or are extra.
Picture #5 – Everything in this picture is by the door. You can see my ISN Table of Contents area. I printed a TOC file (found online) in tablet size 11×17, laminated it and write on it with whiteboard markers. I took this picture before I put up the class headings on top, one is for Pre-Algebra, the other for Algebra. Underneath that you can see my Exit Slip stoplight folders labeled Red, Yellow and Green. They place their exit slip in the folder that corresponds to their understanding of the material that day.
What you don’t see is my back wall…it is all cinder block and blank. Along the top of it by the ceiling, I do have posters like you can see in one of my pictures, but I ran out of energy when it came to dealing with the back wall. Mainly because I had to re-hang most of what you see in the pictures because the first time whatever I used didn’t stick. Imagine staying at school late a day or two before the first day, hanging and organizing the room, putting on the final details and then coming in on the first day with kids and seeing everything laying on the ground. I was almost in tears. I now use the command strips to hold everything everywhere and they seem to be working. The cinder block walls cause a problem because they are exterior and I think the temp changes causes adhesive issues. I wanted to make the back wall my “Word Wall” or “Words Worth Knowing Wall” to tie in the vocabulary from CCSS, but I wasn’t able to find what I wanted online to create the wall and didn’t find the time to create it myself. Maybe in the future!
Thanks for taking a peek into my classroom!