My first two years at my school, I taught Drama as an exploratory class to grades 6-8. My classroom was the actual stage, which you can imagine was terrible in terms of sound. I was always having to shout to be heard because the school was fairly new and the ceiling wasn't insulated yet. If it rained, the roof was metal, so you could hear absolutely NOTHING! It was a difficult room to decorate, and there were no bulletin boards. It was hard to find pictures from this time, and it definitely speaks to how young I was! Also- there are no windows in this room, so the color is very muted and dim. This wasn't my camera, it was like this all the time!
Almost everything in this picture I bought at The Chalkboard
Very exciting wall (sarcasm)
I can't find a single picture from my first year in my classroom, which is surprising (since I apparently like to photograph everything).
Aww...my baby classroom library :)
This is back when I was hypersensitive about checklists! Students had to check in on a clipboard when they were late, check out on another clipboard when they went out of the room. Wow. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!
I remember feeling guilty that I bought these posters and didn't use them!
The beginnings of my "comfy" classroom vibe. That Marilyn poster will be with me forever!
Another view of the classroom library
I notice a few things about myself from these photos: I wanted it to look great, but I didn't have a clear vision. I also wasn't seeing past the typical or looking outside the box. It was more like, put classroom rules here, hang obligatory poster there, etc...
My inner control freak calmed down to let my students make a classroom library rules sign. :)
Mega Desk (have you seen The Office?)
Yeah, those bins didn't work out. Good effort, though, haha :)
This was my third year in the room, and I was starting to "pack" it in more and more each year. Student projects were overflowing from the top of the shelves, and behind the boards they were packed full!
Ahh, yes...2012-2013, the year of the Owls...
Running Owl Count: 1 (that's not so bad)
Running Owl Count: 66
Running Owl Count: 68 + 20 for the rest of the groups
Running Owl Count: 90 + all the ones hanging from the ceiling and peeking out around corners??
Classroom reading area
I'm tired of counting owls, lol. And who could forget these??
which now totally remind me of:
from one of my fave movies, Labyrinth!
I'm sharing a link to last year's classroom tour for this one, as there were a lot of pictures, and I already had it organized. Also, if you already follow this blog, you've probably seen them all already!
And this year. I've already shown you lots of pictures, but I'll go in order and try to give some details for everyone.
Classroom library and reading area. Pillows made with fabric from Hobby Lobby. Hanging lights from Target (Room Essentials) Throw, green lamp, and carpet from IKEA. Other lamp from Target.
Agenda boards and Jeff Anderson "Invitation" board. Made with wrapping paper from Target. The right board at the bottom will have a running list of what we have learned during the year.
Bins, tablecloth, and file folders on wall from target. Organizer on bottom from IKEA. Classroom rules sign stenciled by me.
Desk, chair, and stools in corner from IKEA. Clipboard, tray, acrylic box, and calendar from Erin Condren. Supply box from Home Depot, mod podged. Large clothespins from Michaels.
Chair covered with fabric from Hobby Lobby. Easel from IKEA. Tables were props from High School Musical, painted blue.
Signs made on computer and glued on to cardstock from Michaels.
Large post-its from Target and Office Depot.
My classroom has changed into one that is more student-centered throughout the years. I carved out space specifically for student learning and enjoyment. They have a dedicated space to find materials, store their own materials, browse and read books, and a clutter free space for learning and working collaboratively. I have slowly made my teacher area smaller, and more functional so that it is primarily for working when students are not in the classroom. This takes the focus off of me as the teacher, and gives it to the students. My overall goal is to make
my our classroom inviting, warm, and functional.
The bulletin boards are also student centered, and require input from them in order to be complete. They are also works in progress. The students will change and add to them as the year goes on so that it reflects what they are currently learning. While I love decorating, I wanted it to be functional rather than strictly decorative. This has definitely been a learning experience over the past eight years, and I feel confident about where it is at now, but I'm sure it will evolve and change in the future as well.
I hope you enjoyed this classroom through the years tour!
Also- I took the Ice Bucket challenge. Head on over to my Facebook page to check it out and see who I nominated! I donated to Team McLaren for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon benefiting Project ALS.