Today was my first day back to school! This was the first year in which I didn’t feel as ready to begin school. I usually have my room completed 2 – 3 weeks before school begins. However, my room was cleaned last and it was’t finished until August 22. At that point I needed to focus on getting my youngest daughter off to college. We left on August 23 to bring her to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and returned on Tuesday, August 26. Teacher meetings were on Wednesday and Thursday. So, I was finally able to get into my room on Friday, August 29. I got there at 7:30 am and left at 4 pm. I felt some pressure to get everything accomplished and that always makes me feel uneasy.
This morning I took some pictures of my classroom before the students came in. Some of my bulletins are a work-in-progress. And I have left a few blank for student work to go up within the next week.
I try to keep my desk as organized as possible to keep my own sanity. Since it’s the first day it still looks pretty good.
The view of the front of the room. Every day I have a powerpoint slide on the tv screen telling students what we will be doing that day.
Above the door are the three different “bell” schedules for the week. I guess I shouldn’t use the word bell since we do not have bells to begin or dismiss classes.
Here is one of the three bulletin boards that is a work in progress. I got this idea from Matt Coaty and changed it a bit to meet my needs. Today, I started out each class period with a quiz about me. I put a question on the tv screen with four possible answers. Students had to go to one of the four corners of the room that corresponded with the answer they thought was correct. After they learned a bit about me, I told them that I wanted to learned a little about them. For homework, I gave each student a piece of paper in the shape of a puzzle piece. On the paper, they will have to put their name on it and four interesting/unique facts that they want me to know about them. Tomorrow, when they hand them in, I will glue them onto the green paper to form a complete puzzle.
I found this poster idea this year, but I can’t remember where I found it. Since all of my classroom rules fall under the category of respect, this fit in well. So, after the four corners activity we discussed how to respect ourselves, others, supplies, and learning.
Next to the back wall is a bookcase where I keep extra math textbooks and student supplies.
The bulletin board at the back of the classroom has two empty sections for student work. The middle section is Sarah Hagan’s mindset posters. I started the day with only the fixed mindset sayings on the board. After going over the classroom rules, I had the students get into groups of two and I gave them a set of the fixed mindset sayings along with the growth mindset sayings and I had the students match the sayings together. Afterwards, we talked about having the right attitude for learning.
After school I stapled up the rest of the bulletin board.
This year I really want to be intentional about getting students to have a positive attitude about math, so I hung “This is a Positive Thinking Area” poster above the windows.
As a whole, I was pleased about how the day went. Students were engaged and were surprised at how fast the period went. I hope that every day can bring those types of responses.