So last year I felt terribly unorganized and hated the way my class was running. I knew I needed to organize my class differently. I just struggled with kids being in my personal space, me not moving around my class very well, and the lack of a central place for students to go.
I started this year focusing on really making my classroom work for me. I’m still struggling with the table groups and kids focusing back on me, but my students have been LOVING my class and I know they are learning because the conversations I’m struggling to bring back in are on topic!!! It’s hard to cut them off when they are being rock stars.
Here is the large view of my classroom. I do not have a science classroom because we simply have more science teachers then we have classrooms for. We do have giant laboratories that we all check out on lab days so it makes my life easier (plus the bathrooms are right next to my room). The students are in table collaborative groups of four which works well for a flipped classroom. Each table group has a number and eventually I will have the groups organized by test scores from their pre-tests. Yes I have taped out rectangles on the floor (stayed from last year). This is to make space for me to actually get through my classroom. 36 desks is tight in there.
I moved my turn “IN” box to the front after dealing with numerous kids grabbing other kids’ papers to copy. Also I have made my learning objectives, activities and homework very clear and student friendly. I moved the table that used to be a place for me to lean on and teach from instead of moving around to the back of the room and placed the podium and have my little roller cart to move small lab items to and from my room.
I added a behavior corner as well as a late policy. I used this in previous years and loved it! Basically they fill out a reflection sheet and then I email it home, there are more steps and it works great. My late policy is adapted from my years at a rough school with tons of great ideas, implemented far too late. I forgot the photo but basically they fill out a paper as to why they are late and then I email it to their parents too!
My students feel VERY comfortable in my classroom asking questions but many times this gets us off topic. So just like we store all our things in the virtual cloud, I created this for students to put their thoughts when they don’t necessarily fit in our classroom objective.
Student Central is my way of keeping students out of my space. I used to have student supplies all over the classroom (organized of course) but then kids would congregate around me and it drove me insane. Now they have their space and I have mine. It’s been fantastic!!!
I am working to incorporate even more technology into my classroom and just recently installed a Mimio (2000000x better then a smart board) and have been using that as well as the online support classroom; Schoology.
I’ll keep you posted, but so far it’s been great!