One of my many goals for the new school year is to start really using this blog. The problem is I never know where to begin! Today I was inspired by this post from Allison Wienhold to start by sharing my classroom.
I’ve gone deskless! This has transformed my “closet” into a spacious classroom. Even more importantly, it has increased student engagement! There’s nowhere to hide, and the desk-free atmosphere seems to help students feel more at ease to speak–the arrangement invites conversation.
The posters that are not quite visible in this picture include rules students helped me create (above white board), my cell phone policy to the right of the board, verbs posters, and question words. The last two have been laminated with English translations written on top in Visa-Vis marker (to be erased when students acquire them in Spanish). The tables with orange tape are next to the door, and that is where students put their bags when they enter. The biggest challenge with going desk-free is that I must communicate clearly with students what they need out of backpacks, so that they can be left on the tables and ignored for the rest of class. It keeps me organized though!
…and speaking of organized: (1) Lesson Plan notebook for drop-in administrators and a place for students to sign in for tardies, breakfast, etc. (2) The days of the week for my materials. I work on a college campus and my classroom is in a different building than my office and the rest of the high school. Since I can’t just send a student to copy materials, I need to be sure to plan ahead and I try to collect everything a week at a time. (3) Student bins throughout the classroom for common supplies needed for pizarritas & interactive notebooks.
Remaining challenges: I’m not allowed to get rid of any tables at the moment, so I’ve pushed them to the walls although I have more than I need. You may have also noticed the empty bookshelf. I took it off the hands of a teacher trying to de-clutter his room because I aspire to have a classroom library. Thanks to a recent Donor’s Choose project it will start getting used soon, and hopefully even more in the future to the point that I would need another one!
So now that I’ve shown you mine, show me yours!