Saturday, August 4, 2012

Setting up the classroom

Today I spent part of my day putting together a variety of classroom documents. FYI: all my files are a little messed up due to the conversion to .doc. So if you want to use mine as templates, just know, they need some tweaking.

1. Classroom Noise Control
My inspiration.
Here's what I did and why:
I really liked this noise-o-meter. However, I didn't want to lose my catch phrase: "Are you in the zone?" The catch phrase is a positive sort of redirect and there are still a few kids who will answer "auto zone" which can be a silly bonding moment (as long as they then enter "the zone"). I used to have magnetic signs that I would slap up on the board under a "Are you in the zone?" sign. However, I liked the idea of the clothes-pin because I hate the space the signs take up when they aren't up. I never had a blue zone before, but I think it worked as an addition because whole class discussion requires some different rules than other zones (and it makes it feel like we're not frequently in a red zone). The image is taken from my word document. For once in my life I payed to get some quality clipart (after an attempt at drawing my own, which wasn't horrible but wasn't great). I'll cut out the parts and pieces and make them a little more aesthetic before hanging up on my board.

Science Activity.

2. First day activities: vs standing up and introducing the classroom via lecture.
My inspiration.
My treasure map! FYI, some of the text was flipped sideways in the linked file - the above is the real deal.

 I created the treasure map for social studies and in science, I created an observation activity related to the nature of science. Each was designed to allow the kids to figure some things out and for me to clarify and go over them debrief style. Much better suited to the time schedule I like to keep (Sam Bennett's workshop model). The social studies one is fairly straight forward, but the science one is a little sneakier. It includes a little info about me, about what we'll study, and some rules and expectations. For example, I like coffee (so there will be coffee beans in one box). Also, we use playdough as a learning tool, so that is in the touch box. There is some problem-solving. For example, the sound in the soundtrack will not be studied in class as I have a cd of frog sounds and we study earth science. Essentially there is more to that one than meets the eye.

3. Mission Statements

Social Studies.
My doors both open out, so the act of opening would hide anything on the outside and because they are usually open, students couldn't see them from the inside. Instead, I though I would make mine posters that go in the windows or on the walls. In social studies, covering the window (and making it double sided so it can be seen inside and outside the room) helps me with lockdown drills. In science, I could really put it I am debating locations. I am not into using the word love, so i changed the text somewhat. I think it stills conveys that I care. I am a minimalist when it comes to wall-art, but I felt these mission statements were the right touch.

4. Bathroom sign out (I used to have one of these, but my station needed an upgrade. I am trying to figure this one out. But here's the idea.

5. I also spent some time on an organizational binder. I will update you all on that later. I made some great calendar pages, planning pages (customized for my needs).

6. Curriculum mapping. More to come on that.