Monday, August 22, 2016

Classroom Reveal, 2016

Two weeks into the school year, I have finally surfaced to take a quick breath before delving back into the craziness that is back-to-school season.  I love my job and my students and my classes, but the schedule has been hectic!  I'm learning new curriculum, new programs, new faces, and new names -- all in ten periods per day.  Thankfully, I have been blessed with a beautiful classroom (that mysteriously smells like cinnamon ALL THE TIME), and when the last cars pull away at the end of the day, I can sit in my classroom, play every harp station Pandora has to offer, smell the sweet cinnamon, and get my work done in an almost calming environment.  I'm excited to share this space with you today!

Drum roll . . .

Hello!  I found my desk decor at Hobby Lobby, along with these little rugs that cover up the annoying cords sprawled all over the carpet.  I got two dorm room cubby organizers from Walmart to put on the counter behind me, and that is where I sort my ingoing/outgoing paperwork!  

 This is one of my favorite parts of my classroom!  I found these marquee READ letters at Hobby Lobby, and I made the paper fans on the wall with patterned scrapbooking paper.  My classroom already had these beautiful bookcases and books, and my students choose their independent reading selections from the classroom library!
 My students turn in any paper assignments in these letter trays from Office Depot.  I put a colored binder clip on each letter tray so the students remember where to place their work.  These colors coordinate with the hand-back folders (pictured below).

My grader and I hand back papers in these bins.  Each kid has a folder with his/hername on it, and the students stow their interactive notebooks here when they aren't using them!

I have two bins full of craft supplies for my students, and they used these to personalize their interactive notebooks (I decorated mine first as an example).  I also have a pencil box with glue, scissors, colored pencils, and crayons on each table group in case students leave these at home.

 I have one comfy chair in my classroom, and to win the privilege of sitting in that chair, students have to win a fun challenge related to literature.  For the first week, the chair challenge was to match all of the 7th/8th teachers to their favorite books.  It was a big hit!

 Remember the fast-paced schedule I mentioned?  It is CRAZY.  I think the short class periods are good for middle school attention spans, but I feel like I'm spinning in circles all day long.  I'm slowly starting to acclimate to the ten-period days, and I think I might like them in the long run.  We'll see how it goes!

 I thought this verse was perfect for a middle school classroom.  Hobby Lobby to the rescue again!

 This one too. :)

We had an open house during the second week of school.  I printed out my syllabus, and I splurged on color ink.  I love how they turned out! (Although my first draft said that the students should check the "grade boo" regularly -- very embarrassing!)

 I found this mouse pad on Zazzle!

This bulletin board has fast-food-themed reading strategies students can use during their independent reading time.  I also put up some matching bookmarks, and the kids have already used all of them!  (You can find both the posters and the bookmarks in my TpT store.)

After a couple of weeks of classes, the tables are covered in scissors, books, and glue.  My floors constantly have sticky notes littered across the carpets.  But I love my classroom, and I am so happy to be teaching middle school literature this year!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

It's Lit (erature) Bulletin Board

After meetings and more meetings and meetings about more meetings, I finally had a chance to really work on my classroom today.  Hooray!  I got my class lists, labeled like crazy, got my revised class lists, re-labeled like crazy, and put up a bulletin board I have been anticipating for months!  This bulletin board took a little planning, but was overall a simple and fun task.  Here's how it happened:

1.  During the many meetings, I asked the other teachers in my building to tell me the names of their favorite books.

2.  I searched on Google images for the covers of their favorite books and copied them into a document.

3.  I found all of the staff photos on the school's website, and copied the teachers' pictures into the document with the book covers.

4.  I accidentally printed the document to a building across campus, and when I got there, it had printed double-sided. :(

5.  I re-copied the pages and cut out the book covers and staff photos.

6.  I wrote "IT'S LITERATURE!" in a huge Kimberly Geswein font (KG Second Chances Solid and KG Second Chances Sketch).  I made the "It's Lit" stand out, which made me feel quite clever because my students used that phrase in every other sentence last year!

 7.  I typed a page that says, "Match your teachers with their favorite books!"  I printed this a bit more successfully.

8.  I painstakingly cut out every letter, cover, and photo because I still have not purchased a Cameo Silhouette for my classroom.  (Fingers are crossed for my birthday next month!)

8.  I stapled it all to the board.  Ta da!

It's Lit (erature) Bulletin Board for Middle School English -- Match your teachers to their favorite books!
Can you guess which book is my favorite!?