Classroom

I teach classes that can have upwards of 32 kids in a school that is pretty old, so I've worked hard over the last few years to make my room as aesthetically appealing as possible.

A coat of purple paint to cover the hideous beige/salmon walls, 20+ hours worth of designing bulletin boards, and a lot of love later, this is my classroom. It's a work in progress and I like to change things
up, but for me, it's my second home.





Bulletin boards
The first thing many people notice is that I have a lot of bulletin boards, six to be exact. I try to design most of the boards myself, but I do get a lot of ideas from Pinterest, Facebook, and blogs I follow. I'm most proud of my Web 2.0 Bulletin board set (see left photo below), which I designed to help my students find the correct tools for completing different proficiency tasks.

Inspired by some blog posts by the Creative Language Class and Spanish teacher Facebook page, I created my Path to Proficiency bulletin board, which is based on the ACTFL benchmarks for proficiency levels.  I have kids evaluate their proficiency level throughout the year and on specific assessments/assignments by looking at the descriptors.


Seating Arrangement
I used to depend upon rows of desks, but I eventually figured out that such an arrangement didn't exactly encourage conversation. I later moved to of pairs of two desks, which improved things, but still limited my activities because students got tired of always working with the same partner. I've now use tables of four, which actually reduces unnecessary chattiness, improves productivity, and is awesome for pairing kids.  I break students up into side partners, across partners, and sometimes even diagonal partners. Pairing students is now effective and efficient, which makes my heart happy.

Organization
I truly don't consider myself an especially organizer of things (you should see my bedroom), but a decade's worth of teaching has taught me a few things that help me organize my classroom to be more functional.

  • Absent crate- I like to start class right away, so I needed a system that stopped the, "SeƱora Shaw, I was absent yesterday and want to know what I missed" scenario. As soon as I take attendance, I staple packets for absent students and place them in the correct day's file folder. It works like a charm after a few class reminders.
  • Extras bin- Since it is unavoidable that students will inevitably lost worksheets every now and again, I started housing all of my extra handouts in a singular binder. Students know where to find extras and it becomes their responsibility, which I love. 
  • Resource center- When I'm teaching, I don't always have time or the desire to hand kids scissors, staplers, or hole-punchers.  As result, I created a center for tape, scissors, hole punch, stapler, tissue, hand sanitizer, lined paper, and scrap paper.  I discuss what are appropriate times to get up and get supplies and it maintains itself.  I've had surprisingly few scissors go missing in the five years since I started using it.
  • Table bins- When I was given a class set of new textbooks two years ago, I knew I needed a system. I bought nine Sterilite drawers, one per table. The top drawer is for dictionaries and scrap paper. The middle drawer is for art supplies. The bottom drawer houses the textbooks, which we rarely, if ever, use. They bins save me a lot of stress of trying to collect baskets of supplies and students know where to get their supplies.



3 comments:

  1. This is super helpful! This will be my first year teaching and I have 7th-12th graders (the only foreign language teacher in the school)! My university promoted IPA like crazy and I am so excited to start using it! Thanks for all of the tips and products you've created!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is super helpful! This will be my first year teaching and I have 7th-12th graders (the only foreign language teacher in the school)! My university promoted IPA like crazy and I am so excited to start using it! Thanks for all of the tips and products you've created!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is super helpful! This will be my first year teaching and I have 7th-12th graders (the only foreign language teacher in the school)! My university promoted IPA like crazy and I am so excited to start using it! Thanks for all of the tips and products you've created!

    ReplyDelete