And this one’s got a ton of bells and whistles, folks!
The thing about affluent schools is that the things are really shiny and nice. I am 4.7% magpie, so of course this stuff is appealing to me. My classroom in my new school is just… fabulous. There are so many things I am excited about, and yet, it’s the simpler things like having exterior windows for the first time EVER that really make it feel luxurious. Oh, and my school doesn’t block 8tracks. Life is good, man.
I have a bunch of fancy clickers and remotes, a barcode scanner for taking attendance, Apple TV, a shiny FM mic system, new furniture, and great keyboard (seriously, very important). It’s all very pretty.
The basic tenets of my classroom set-up remain the same: create collaboration-friendly, flexible learning spaces for my kids. Provide resources that stimulate and assist creativity and spontaneous moments of curiosity/discovery/whatever. Maintain a colourful and welcoming atmosphere full of stuff to read and things to provoke conversation. The belief system behind this new space is still the same, and yet, it manifests so differently when it has natural light and student tables (no desks, no desks!) behind it all.
(Note: If you want a more elaborate look inside my head when it comes to classroom physicality, you could hop over to my classroom tour from last year, at my old school!)
I flopped into my chair today and surveyed my two weeks’ worth of cleaning, arranging, organizing, and setting up, and lo and behold, I realised that in terms of the perfect classroom I always imagined in my head, I’m pretty much there. If there were anything I would add, it would be bookshelves full of books and a few more beanbags. But it’s close. Really close.
It will be interesting to see how thirty or more kids fit into the space, but I’m hopeful. While the tables don’t give as many configuration options as individual desks pushed together in whacky patterns, I think the size of the kids’ workspaces like this is pretty darn amazing. I’m interested in seeing about a fishbowl configuration down the line, too.
Amazingly, I think I finally have enough posters and prints up — the walls are well-covered! Last year, I had some sheets of cardstock-weight paper laminated and then they kind of got ignored, but this year I’m using them as posters and maybe also for other purposes as time goes on. For now, four of them have become book talk-like excerpt posters! I wrote, “An excerpt from ______________ by _______________” at the top of each one and included an excerpt that I think is thought-provoking and/or beautiful. My hope is to change the posters every couple weeks, but, you know. November happens. The four books I chose to open my year are The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Decoded by Jay-Z, and The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.
Anyway, I gotta get back to my planning for tomorrow (First day of school, wooo!), but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these little peeks into my new home away from home!
PLANTS! I CAN FINALLY HAVE PLANTS! YEAH, WINDOWS! 🙂
Catch you later!