Sunday, October 4, 2015

Learning is a Journey -- A Tour of My New Classroom

Each room in the building has a value outside of it. I'm loving the one I randomly ended up with.
I picked this Dr. Seuss quote because it so perfectly matched the "Learning is a Journey" theme I was going for. I printed this on the DD's CriCut, but I had to put it up one line at a time. Then I noticed I had one line out of order. Arghhh. I had to completely remove and replace two whole lines. This took forever, but I love how it came out. This is the inside of my door going out into the hallway.
As you come in and look to the left, you'll see a bookshelf and pictures. This is actually the tail end of my books.
I love this picture which says "A book sitting on a shelf in a room is like having completely different worlds at the ready waiting to be explored."
This is one of the two whiteboards that I wrote grants for while I was at Lakeridge. It was a lot of work, and I was one of the main donors. So...I took it with me to my new school. I'm enjoying having it at the back of the room as a place for magnetic poetry and to display my quotes of the month.
This shelf is where I keep my short story collections (yellow stickers) and my nonfiction books (purple stickers). I do love the covered boxes I made up on the top using modge podge and maps.
This is where I keep my picture books, encyclopedias, and other texts that we use regularly in the classroom. Notice all my great travel posters!! This is also where the DD's Day of the Dead souvenir man from Cancun ended up -- he looks so cute in here.
This corner is oddly shaped, but ended up perfect for putting my radio (great reception here by the window)
and my poetry collection.
A closeup of my little poet's corner.
This was the perfect spot for some of those worthless, er, wonderful doodads that you tend to get as a teacher.

This welcome banner turned out rather well and is just clipped to the ceiling with binder clips, so it was so easy to put up. The large poster pictures are another story. They are put up with copious amounts of hot glue and were a real pain in the neck to get straight and level. I have to give a big shout out to the ever loving and patient BHW for helping me to put them up and moving all the whiteboards and bulletin boards for me.

I got these cute box labels from the website of an overachieving elementary teacher. A little tweaking, and each of my seven classes has an inbox (and a continent)!

I'd seen this above the cupboard display at a library, and I just copied it here The suitcases are extreme Savers buys (one of them smells so bad of smoke that I filled it with kitty litter because it would kill me to have it in class otherwise). I repainted them with spray paint and added travel stickers and an atlas. Huge green cabinets were made less imposing by covering them with travel posters.
My genre example box and theme notebooks, along with class supplies like hole punch, stapler, tissues, and tape, are ready for students to use them. Below I have mini white boards made of DVD cases, and more supply boxes made with modge podge.

This bulletin board was in the back of the room where the whiteboard is now. I'm using it as a catch all for various things -- right now it holds my graphic for Romeo and Juliet that helps the students keep the characters straight. You can sort of see how tall I am by where the pictures just stop happening -- this bulletin board is behind a cabinet, and this is as high as I can reach. I had to stand on the cabinet to put up the lettering -- which I had to do twice to get the spacing right. Being a perfectionist can be a bad thing. This was where I put the last of my travel posters.

This corner, also oddly shaped, is another favorite. The BHW and I worked together to create this signpost of places both real and literary. It looks awesome in the classroom. I added a little mini-display of postcards and paraphernalia from around the world, and a fun travel poster. The coup de'etat is the red rocking chair which was decaying not so gracefully on our porch and which I painted red and gave a new life. The curtains were added by the old teacher, and they are a fun, homey addition to the windows. 
I am a big fan of Carol Dweck's Mindset: The Psychology of Success, so when I saw this bulletin board online, I needed to have one of my own. I refer to it all the time while I am working with students. I've since added my Notice and Note signpost posters under this bulletin board where the kids can easily see them.
I've got a sixteen foot whiteboard in the front of the room, which is so nice. I have just a few rules and consequences here along with the infamous pull-down screen which fell on my head the first time I used it in class.

I'm using a table as my main desk, mainly to give me more space on top. I added some stickers to containers from the container store to serve as underdesk drawers for my makeshift desk. I like having a full six feet of desk space. We imitated the Straight Out of Compton picture for our faculty photo.
My containers with stickers. This was another buy at Lakeridge that traveled with me.
My chair is actually a little scary. One arm was unfixable-ly broken, so I removed them both (this lets me slide it under the table, as well). I added a super nice chair cushion, but I really hardly ever use it.
The actual desk that was in the room is quite small. I shoved it right up against the wall and am using it as a storage cabinet only. I really like the Home Depot office supply organizer I made.
I hung my certificates and bulletin boards in a grid pattern that makes them look pretty awesome all together. The small pictures of maps are mini dry erase boards -- I don't use them much but they look cool. The pink Japanese lantern was the DD's, but she had never really wanted it. It works great to warm up the area over my desk. This area had a large TV hanging over it when I moved in, but the TV didn't really have a function anymore, so the janitor took it out for me. I also had to buy the receiver and wire in the the speakers so they would work myself. So. Much. Work.
This printer cart was another DI find. I repainted it green and black because I added a shelf -- I think it turned out pretty good all things considering. I added some fun travel magnets to dress up the metallic side of the desk. This area has a neat poster of the Great Wall of China that says that "The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step."
These bookshelves originally from the back of the room where a perfect fit under this bulletin board, I dressed up the long rather worn top by adding some antique suitcase boxes, bottles and doodads, and a globe. This bulletin board is supposed to be an ongoing project for the whole class. The banner on the top was painstaking created by me in PhotoShop -- I added the whole path of the airplane to it one little rectangle at a time.

Another view.

These four filing cabinets are useful but boring. I dressed them up with liberal application of travel stickers. The little suitcase/trunk (another awesome DI find) on the side holds bags to protect books and lots and LOTS of bookmarks.
I printed the file labels on maps -- it just made it so fun. They are laminated for protection.

I was worried about the life of my cute stickers, so they are covered with modge podge. This makes it impossible for students to mess with them -- yes, I knew they couldn't resist.

Finally, I added some appropriate hall passes with hall pass, office, library, and bathroom printed in several languages. They are permanently affixed to the clipboards and work well.

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