Time for some Sunday Ketchup (what we call "Catch-Up" in my classroom!).
Day 5's challenge was: Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see - and what you don't see that you'd like to.
There's this thing called "House Blindness" that I totally have. Living in a place day after day, I stop noticing the details, everything becomes "wallpaper", where the individual elements no longer stick out. At home, this goes doubly for the little piles of paper and school supplies I leave all over the place that drive Captain Handsome crazy.
I've also developed "Classroom Blindness". When I'm told my room is "too cluttered" by Health and Safety, I honestly can't figure out the problem is. Similarly, I took some photos before the first day and, looking at them, I thought my room looked dull and boring.
Taking some time to reflect with this prompt, I'm trying to look at my room with fresh eyes and reflect on its purposeful set up.
EDIT (Sept 7th, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.): The design for the classroom was made by my students from last year. They reflected on what worked for them last year and what they thought would make a great learning space for my future students. This week, my current students will be planning the "Dream Classroom" set up and we may make some changes.
The work in progress (my classroom the week before school):
|The week before school, I was lucky to have the help of two of my brothers and my teaching partner to move furniture, boxes and piles of books around.|
In terms of what I'd like to see:
1. Students! My room is so much more interesting when filled with the little people who spend hours each day working and creating in there. I'm still waiting for all my media permission forms to come in and then I can share what it looks like full of my team.
2. Student work: On all the bulletin boards, there is space for student work. I look forward to those filling up and changing over the course of the year.
3. A standing work space: I like to offer students a variety of places and ways to work. Some work sitting, some lying down, some in Bungee Chairs. I'd like to raise one of my tables this year. I've noticed that some of my students enjoy standing up to work anyway and know that it will be better for those who hunch over tables to have a table at standing height instead.
4. Homey furniture: A dream is to have a classroom that is much more like a living room or coffee shop than an institutional space. I'd love to spend a small fortune at Ikea and stock up on couches, tables and comfy chairs. (This is a bit of a Blue Sky dream and probably will not come true this year!)
5. A better organized class library: I'll enlist the students to help me with this. I'm not sure if we are going to sort books into bins or standing up. I like having them standing up only because they take less space that way. I'd like the students to have the largest voice in this, though, as they're the ones who will be using the class library all year. Right now, novels are on the tall bookcase (which was a gift from last year's class!) and the horizontal one is filled with picture books. I look forward to seeing how my team wants to organize our library. (I do, admittedly, have a desire to organize them all in rainbow-order, but don't know how practical or helpful that would be to my readers!).
When you look at my room, what do you see and wonder about?
What are some things that make your room a great learning space?
What do you think I should add, change or think about?
What are you still thinking about in your classroom?