Friday, July 27, 2012

My 1st Classroom

Alright, I was talking to Stephanie over at The Secret Life of a Teacher about using a Cricut for the classroom. I have used it not only to cut out shapes for vocabulary words but also to cut vinyl letters! How awesome, right?!

I thought that I would post pictures of my classroom from last year. By the end of the year, it looked a lot different. For one, I added a lot more flowers and flowerpots to the walls! :)

This is what I walked into on Day 1. I wanted to cry!

Here is what I did with my back counter. I added a poster to every cabinet door. I have two sets of trays back there. One set (on the left) is the work that I have to pass out that day...graded papers. The set on the right is where students turn their papers in. I have three classes and each set of trays has 3 shelves.

Here is my gown from high school. I graduated from the same high school that my students will graduate from. I graduated in 2007. My first students will graduate in 2017! I also added (where the orange post-it is) my gown from UNC. Above each gown, I had signs that said "Class of 2017" and "Class of 2021." Those are their high school and college graduation years.

This is almost what the front of my room looked like at the beginning of school. On the left, you'll see my Dry Erase Easel that I use as an Agenda board. Then, I have my "word garden" with the flowers and flowerpots. Next to that is my rules poster. I later added "Just Rewards" - consequences - and every 2 weeks, I added two more flowerpots with 5 flowers per pot!

Here is a close up of my rules poster and my vocabulary words. You can't see this...but each flower has ONE vocabulary word on it and each pot has a stem. For example, a pot may say bio and the flowers around it would say biology, biographer, etc.

This was my bulletin board and my desk. TRUST ME, my desk never looked like this again. My bulletin board is divided in half. The left side displayed student work and the right side, my favorite part of my classroom, is my "What Did You Say???" board. This was my grammar board. Every time a students said something that was grammatically incorrect, I would say "Jane Doe - Post-It!" and that student would have to go to the back of the room, grab a post-it, write what he/she said, correct it, sign their name, and place it on the board. After 2 six weeks, I pulled down all of the post-its, counted and recorded the number of post-its each student had, and gave prizes to those students who did not have to write anything! The kids got SO into this that they began correcting their friends in other classes and even would correct the other teachers (the sweeter kids would just tattle on their teachers once they walked through my door). I do not allow the word "ain't" in my classroom. Also, another common mistake was "That's mines" or "I ain't got mines." Oh, the look on my students' faces when I told them that I was glad they didn't have "mines" because I didn't feel like dying today from an explosion. :)

I also had my name above my door. I used the Cricut to cut out vinyl letters and put them above my door in the hallway. It looks like they were painted on! They're still up. I'll have to run out to the school next week and snap a picture (I had one on my other phone before it was stolen back in November).

Oh, how I have changed. I hardly had ANYTHING to use. I had ZERO novels for my classroom. Hardly any bulletin board materials. No experience setting anything like this up...and I did it alone. My mom was kind enough to help me cut out the decorations but I hung everything up. I was so overwhelmed. I'm much more prepared to do it again this year...but BETTER!!! By the end of the year, my classroom looked so different! It was so colorful and full of student materials!

I have begun planning my classroom for next year. It will have a lot of the same things. However, I plan to turn one of my white boards into a GIANT "word wall" or concept map type thing. I'll explain later :)

Thanks for reading! If you made it through this GIANT post, you're a trooper!