Classroom Reveal 2018-19

Back to school, back to blogging! I have been absent from my blog for over a year now, but with so many exciting things happening this year, I've decided to get back in the game!

What better way to get back to my little corner of the internet than a tour of my classroom for this school year? As of today, I can happily say that it is FINISHED and ready to be filled with energetic 6th graders!

Here is the view of my classroom when you walk in the door. This year we were lucky enough to get all new furniture, so I chose a mix of tall cafe tables and regular tables paired with rolling chairs.

This is directly to the left when you walk in the door. I've used this 9 cube shelf behind my desk for several years and decided to repurpose it for student use this year. I teach 5 sections of 6th grade math, so 5 of the cubes will be used to house students folders, 1 cube will contain drawers for turning in and retrieving current work, while the other 3 cubes are used to store my 6 supply containers for each of my 6 tables. To the right of the shelving unit is an IKEA table with crates to store extra paper copies for easy student access throughout the year and one for lost and found items. Above the shelf is where I post important flyers as well as my students of the week. I simply pick a student from each class and write it onto the plastic pocket with a dry erase marker each week.

On top of this shelving unit is the best pencil system I've found in the 6 years I've been teaching. I took piece of wood, drilled ten holes into it, spray painted it and slapped a vinyl decal from my Cricut onto it. My students know that in order to be able to leave at the end of the hour, ALL ten pencils must be returned. This year, I've added the cup next to it. It drives me crazy when students notice a pencil needs sharpened and they put it back to become another person's problem. This year, they will be instructed to put it the cup next to the pencil holder, and those will be taken into account for the final pencil count at the end of the hour.

Students will grab their group's supply bins on the way in the room and take it to their assigned group spot for the day. I created and hot glued a cooperative learning mat to the top of the container to be used to indicate and assign individual roles while participating in a cooperative learning activity.

Inside the supply boxes, I've hot glued the Google Classroom class codes as well as calculators and erasers (Dollar Tree face pads) for dry erase markers. I plan to add supplies as needed throughout the year and depending on the activities for any given day.

Moving right along, we have the birthday board. I've never really recognized student birthdays in the past, but over the years I've noticed how badly students want their birthdays advertised to their peers. I bought this calendar pocket chart from Target and created these date cards to match my classroom colors. I have a second set of numbered birthday date cards in which I plan to write student names on. I bought the cafe table set (below) from Michaels this year and decided to use it as my "birthday table," where the birthday student may choose a friend to sit with at that day.

When I bought the table and chairs set, the chairs were bright yellow, and while it went with my classroom color scheme, I opted for the blue color instead by painting them.

Most of my back wall is taken up by this large bulletin board that displays the "non-negotiables" for my classroom. Last year, I decided to stop calling them rules, since they truly are not up for negotiation. Under each non-negotiable are examples and memes that pertain to it. This year, I opted for the shiplap bulletin board paper from Oriental Trading for all of my bulletin boards and I LOVE how they turned out.

Next is my beloved lounge area, probably the favorite spot in the room. This area was funding through generous people and their donations to my Donors Choose project 3 years ago. My plan is to pick a group to sit here each day based on behavior and work ethic and rotate through the groups. Equal opportunity seating is HUGE with my 6th graders! The pillows are from IKEA and while they may be on their last leg, I just can't seem to let them go. Last year, I covered the coffee table in dry erase vinyl (found in the shelf liner section at Walmart) and students love working out problems directly on the table.

Next to the lounge is the charging station. Our school is lucky enough to be 1 to 1 with Chromebooks and to me, it's imperative to have a go-to spot where students can go to charge them. Next to the charging table is my computer cart. This thing used to be dark green and not-so-cute, but now it's one of my favorite little pieces in my classroom.

Here's my little corner of the room! More shiplap paper, lots of Rae Dunn, and plenty of splashes of mint and navy to make my heart so happy!

Here's a close-up of behind my desk. The six-cube storage shelf was used for students last year. This year I decided to turn it on its side and bought these navy drawers to store things without looking messy. The clear drawers to the left of that were used to house student papers in the past, however this year they will store things like my gradebook, planner, meeting notes, paper, etc. My file crate (from Sam's Club) on top of my shelves will house folders for each class and other important documents I will need to easily access throughout the years. Most everything else in this little area, I already had and pretty much repurposed it to fit the space.

The front of my room contains the Smart Board as well as some important reference (but still decorative) materials. Under my board are the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practice and above my board are 8 posters containing the most important classroom procedures. I create my posters on PowerPoint, save them as JPEG files and send them into ShortRun posters, a company out of Nashville, TN to have them printed. All of the posters above my board cost $3 each and after 3 years of using the company, I can safely say, you WON'T be disappointed by their quality and prices.

This year I"m implementing house points. I created 5 houses with latin names loosely based on my non-negotiables. Students spun a digital wheel to get sorted into their house and I use Class Dojo to keep track of house points. I got the idea from the Ron Clark Academy and Miss 5th's adaptation of it and it seems to be working rather well thus far!

The stool was purchased at a thrift shop and repurposed to match my classroom and the podium was something I already had, but of course needed to spruce up to match my room!

This corner of my room is really the only storage I have. As you can see, I made the most out of these big, ugly bookcases! The curtains at the bottom are on tension rods and I use them to hide the "not-so-pretty" things I need to store. The clear bins contain supplies with supply labels I created myself. The drawers above that contain master copies of materials organized by domain. And lastly, the smaller shelf houses task cards and other random classroom materials.

Here is my ever-growing word wall. Vocabulary words are color coded by domain and placed up on the wall as we learn them. Also seen here is a solo desk for students that may need some time alone as well as some Ikea stools for some flexible seating options.

One of my biggest pet peeves as a teacher is the question, "What are we doing today?" So I created this little corner of the room where students can see the learning target for the day, any assignments they will have as well as the daily agenda.

Lastly, I'd like to share the rest of this whiteboard. This board contains my "Goal Getters" board as well as "What Have We Learned?' The purpose of these two boards is to show students what standards we've learned as the year progresses (right) and how well we as a grade have mastered current standards based on assessments (middle). This year I'm attempting to mix the traditional grading system with standards-based grading and so far, it seems to be working rather well. I'm seeing more student accountability and higher achievement!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my classroom set-up and management! Please do not hesistate to contact me with any questions, I'd be happy to help you create a happy and positive learning environment for your students as well!


HEY THERE!

Hello, I'm Lauren. I'm a 6th grade math teacher in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mathematics in the Middle is an educational blog devoted to resources and ideas that can be applied to any middle school mathematics classroom.

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