Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. This is the first time I’ve headed into a full time job after the winter break and I am so excited! I feel so lucky that I get to stay with the same kids I’ve been with since September and now I have a fun space to play with and make my own. So while most teacher bloggers do a classroom tour post in September, I’m going to do one for you right now! I am really fortunate that the teacher I’m in for already has a beautiful, well kept classroom space with TONS of books and resources. But here are a few pictures of some of the things I have added to the room over the break.
Chalkboards with Style
First off, yes good old fashioned chalkboards… I know. I spent a good amount of time planning and prepping my chalkboard at the side of the room – I really wanted to make good use of the display space! I have an attendance board with name magnets, homework board, class jobs, weekly goals, a large calendar by my desk, a spot for my anchor charts to hang, and open chalkboard space to put up the groups for French and Math centres. I used chalk markers for the coloured lines so they come off with water but can’t rub off – a lifesaver when you have students who love to touch everything you write up on the board!
I saw the large calendar in a co-workers classroom last year and have used it ever since! I love how organized it keeps me and the students really like it too. It’s great for field trips, early dismissal days, etc.
Best comment of the day came after school, “I really like what you’ve done with the boards. I actually read everything on them now.”
In our middle schools we have Advisory time at the beginning of the day. The length of this time depends on the school that you are at but ours is about 15 minutes. I always want to use this time wisely but often get caught up in attendance, announcements, etc. and forget to get anything started. This term, I’m bringing in some of the activities I’ve done in the past and I really hope they become more like routines the kids can do on their own. Today we started with our SMART goals – I went over the system and we set a long term goal and then our first of the weekly short term goals. Each student writes a goal on a sticky note and places it on the board. We will do a reflection piece for each goal later too. I will share my Advisory activities sometime soon!
The “Best” Desk Arrangement for Middle School
I can’t remember where I found this (probably somewhere on Pinterest…) but someone called this desk arrangement the best for middle school…
I am giving it a try and so far so good! I really like how students are sitting in groups but no one has their back to the board. The idea of it is that I can pull up a chair in the middle of the “L” and have a small group meeting or the desks can easily be flipped into a standard pod for group work. It feels like a bit of a maze in the room with 30 desks (though I think it would be better with desks that have separate chairs), but when the students are sitting in the desks I am really happy with the arrangement.
What is the best desk arrangement in your room?
Any other good ways to use those chalkboards?