Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tackling the Classroom

I've been working summer school all July long, so this past Monday was the first time I could actually go to school to work on my classroom. On Monday, I did more dusting and cleaning than anything. I forget how dirty everything gets when a room is unoccupied for so long. Not only was it so dusty, but apparently every spider at my school has decided to make my classroom home. Ughhh! Needless to say, I left my classroom Monday afternoon messier than it was before I got there!

Tuesday I wasn't able to work on my classroom because I had mentor training with NCDPI. When I was a first year teacher, my county assigned retired teachers to new teachers as their mentors for their first three years of teaching. Because of funds, they unfortunately cut this program. I was already a fourth year teacher, so I was lucky to have my three years with my mentor. But I can't imagine being a new teacher and not having a mentor there to help! I learned so much from my own mentor that has made me a better teacher! Thankfully, our county is now revamping the mentor program by assigning veteran teachers to new teachers within the school building. I get to meet my two mentees next week at a luncheon my school is hosting! I'm excited to be working with these new teachers!

Today, I was able to go back to school and work on my classroom again. I was able to do more than clean this time! I set up my tables and chairs (Every class I have will be over 30 this year because my hall will be a four person team). Because I have to accomodate so many kids, I have no room for anything! I had to resort to placing my student computers on my cabinets, next to the faucets (I'm sure I'm going to be told to move them).

My big mess!

This was a shelf that was left behind by a previous teacher. It was plain white and dirty from wear and tear. I spruced it up with some polka dot wrapping paper, then outlined the edges with bright green washi tape!

This is the bulletin board at the front of my room. Previous years, I have used this wall for school news, calendar, important info, and keeping up with absences. Because I really want to focus on vocab this year, I turned this into my words worth knowing board. Those sentences strips are laminated, so I can write and wipe whenever I need too. I made vocab cards for each section on powerpoint, but I figured I would be more likely to change out the words or add to the list if I wrote them with an expo instead! The words on this bulletin board will be the words we focus on in a unit and my kiddos will be required to use our WWK ISN template, which you can download for free here.

Here is the left side of my whiteboard where I section off for EQ's, standards, and lesson for each of my classes. It feels GREAT that I only have two preps this year!!!! 

Here is my unfinished data wall. I decided since my word wall is now my front bulletin board, I'm going to use my entire back wall for data purposes. I'm still thinking about how I'm going to implement this data wall. I THINK what I'm going to do is have this display pre/post assessment averages for each standard. I have two sections of 8th grade math and two sections of Foundations of Math II, so I think I'm going to have different color bars to represent each class and make it into a competition. I'm also planning on finding a way to show my class goals so my kids can see if they class has met the goal that I have set for them.

I've been looking around for examples of other data walls, but I find so many elementary walls. I'm teaching math to the entire 8th grade and it would be overwhelming to have every single student represented on the wall, which is why I decided to use it for class averages. For individual data tracking, I'm going to continue to use my data trackers from last year, which you can find in my tpt store. My kids enjoy coloring in their graphs and seeing how much they've grown. Plus, each of their goals are individualized based off of EVAAS, so a lot of them like to keep their goals private. I have math I trackers, 8th grade trackers, 7th grade trackers, and 6th grade trackers available in my tpt store! 

That's all for now! Until next time! :-)

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