I just read a few of the classroom improvement posts, and I decided to write up a post to link up with Angie at Lucky Little Learners and Ashley at Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd for the #2getherwearebetter linky. For a long time, I've been pinning great classroom ideas, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites.
When deciding how to decorate your classroom, consider using a color scheme versus a theme. By using a color scheme, it is easier to make the look clean and fresh which is better for students who have struggles with attention. For the past few years, I've had an animal print theme, and although I liked it, my colleague in special education used my room for afterschool tutoring, and said it was tough for the child she worked with. It made me pause and think whether it is best for the population of children I work with. Another important point is that decor can be expensive, so teachers do need to carefully consider purchases for the long term. Here are a few pictures of my favorite pins.
When mapping out my room, I try to think about traffic flow. With upper grades, students are bigger and therefore need room to spread out. I have my students work in pairs and groups, so having open spaces blocked out for partner work is important as well as something for students to sit on. One way to make students comfortable when working in teams is to give them crate seats that can be picked up and moved. I also keep a basket of clipboards ready to grab and go. I've also seen teachers collect bath mats that students can pick up and move to the place where they are working.
With supplies, it's important to have those you use frequently readily available to you. For those, you might choose a kitchen cart. (Sam's has carts just like the red one pictured for $20 right now.) This would be perfect for organizing guided reading materials. I use milk crates and sectioned baskets to organize/store materials students use often and keep them away from my reading table so that we are not disturbed.
I think my favorite thing about summer is putting together those personal touches that are unique to just you and that show you want your classroom to be home to your students. These personal touches can be a special author chair, your reading corner, your focus wall, or a display of things that you love.
Of all the pins I've collected, I think this is one of my all time favorites. I just love how this teacher selected images from all of her favorite books as a way to recommend them to her students. How fun it would be in the first month to have your students make them too or better yet, students could do book talks on the books they've read and add images as they finish them for a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year. I think letters could be cut from cardboard to save money and they could be mounted for framing at home (like a shadowbox).
Last year, I discovered the oil drip pan, and I must say, it was great for my purpose. I spray painted it and blocked out sections for my anchor charts, vocabulary, objective for the lesson, and work space. This is another use of them. The teacher shared apps for reading and hot glued it to the door. I also saw pins where the teacher hot glued the pan to the back of a bookshelf for word building with magnetic letters...all great purposes, but again, personal touch.
If you have special classroom ideas that have worked well, take a moment and link up with Ashley and Angie or go check out the other posts. You might also check out my Classroom Ideas board below.
Thanks for visiting and come back tomorrow for more Pinterest finds with the Pick 3 July Linky.