Saturday, August 3, 2013

Classroom Current State and a Tour of My Area

My room right now--covered in pink!
It will be nice to clean this area up!
I tried the Pinterest shutter idea, and it will work for this spot!
I've used gutters in my room for years, but I can't attach them to the walls,
and it only takes one 7th grade foot to accidentally knock down the whole row of books!
My helpers, Sam and Thomas!  Sam made a "chair bridge work of art!"
So it seems like my learning curve for blogging is kind of steep :) Thanks to my sister-in-law/teaching librarian, Anna, who blogs at A to Z Library, I now have the Blogger app on my phone and can more easily put photos into posts.  Whew!  My next mountain is actually typing in some text before inserting photos...I think I can do it :)  

At any rate, these are photos from my classroom a few days ago when I drug my kiddos out to school to grab some books.  As you can see, my school has mostly open classrooms. It's a beautiful school, built in 1996 (I've been there since 1999), and we have between 1200 and 1300 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. We used to teach with the house concept, so the area above that I'll describe below always housed one of each teacher: English, Social Studies, Art/Tech Ed/FACS, Science, Math, and Communications.  Two years our district changed the model and went from an 8 period day to a 6 period day.  And we were more or less departmentalized.  Both systems have their positives and negatives.  I guess we just roll with the punches in the middle :)

As far as my room, three walls are all I have, so I created my wo-man cave with Ikea bookshelves (one with school funds and the other with my funds) to make sort of mock-up walls on the open side.  I also have a small gray divider you can see in the last photo.  I got that through an inter-district "trading post" many years ago. (Can I say "many years ago" yet?? I'm not new anymore??) 

We work in horse-shoe-like areas. If you look closely in the last photo, you'll see an area with half walls toward the top; that's in the center of our area, a computer area for the kids. Across the way (at the very top) you can see the maroon room dividers of Gregg (on the left...teaches American Studies) and Carly (on the closest colleague--teaches 7th and 8th grade English.) 

From the second photo, you can see that I have a half wall on one of the sides of my room near the entry. Right over the wall is a smaller classroom for my special ed co teacher, Robin.  It has been invaluable to have her right there.  Great for us to plan, for kids to work in, etc.

There are three other classrooms in our area. Beside me, to the left in the last photo, is a room with a door. There is one of these in each teaching area (there are 8 areas like this in the school,) mostly for the teachers who teach Communications and students give speeches.  This year it will be taken up by a new colleague who has been out on a parenting leave. She's taught 7th and 8th grade English before (in-district) and it will be nice to have her next door.  The other two classrooms in the area are to the right if you are looking at the last photo.  They are science rooms, and two great colleagues, Mike and Jamie, teach there.  They have awesome windows, which is the cause of some jealousy, but their rooms are pretty fickle with the weather, so I guess I should just be happy :)

Well, I'm going to wrap this post up and work on one about at-home reading logs. I'll be adding more detailed photos with my room set-up when I'm b2s in a few weeks.

Happy teaching!


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