Day 2: First look at my classroom

There is nothing like the anticipation of getting into your classroom and setting it up for the year.  When I do, I think of lessons we will do, how things will flow in the room and how I could set up things to best serve my needs as well as my students.  When I walk in this morning, this is what I see:

IMAG0743

Not much to look at, and not a lot to work with.  I like the room and am going to get busy on making it a great space for my students as well as reflecting what they can expect to encounter and learn in my class this year.  I’ll post a new picture when I am done.

The next big anticipation is your schedule, what classes will you teach?  How long is each class period?  When is lunch?  The most important- when is prep?  Looking over my schedule, I am very pleased.  My core mathematics classes are all in the morning, the best time to connect with students.  In the afternoon I have my elective classes, which will be a robotics course.  This will be my first year teaching it, so I am nervous.  I have some LEGO EVA starter kits to kick off with, and am hoping to push students to modify both their programming and robot design after they get the basic functioning down.  If anyone has any experience with this and would like to share with me, I would really appreciate it!

The great thing about my room is that I have tech!  I have a smartboard, document camera, scanner, even an overhead (that would be a thingy that lights up and displays some clear paper copy thing on the wall or board for young’uns)!  The bad thing about that is while I am pretty tech savvy, I do not have the new district’s protocols or contacts to get the components I will need.  The tech guru of the district was summoned, and after jamming with him for 2 1/2 hours, we finally got everything operating to the design and function I need.  There are 3 people you need to make sure you have great relationships with: janitors, secretaries and TECH PEOPLE!  I was sorry to bug my new techie first thing this year, but I think there was a good relationship bond that was formed from it.

The first staff meeting of the year happened today as well, and I got to formally meet my peers.  I guess I am made for this job, the staff at my school must have smelled blood in the water- but I was having none of that!  They seem to be a great group and I am excited to see what kind of relationships I form and what kind of collaboration I can create for my students.

Now, the big cloud that is looming over me this year- curriculum.  I am piloting what I do this year, and getting things set for next week is the biggest project for me.  When you have to relearn where ALL your resources are for a building it can take a bit of time to get things accomplished.  I also had to browse a few sites, matharguments180, estimation180 and visualpatterns.org were all initially blocked.  After a quick email to (you guessed it, my techie that just spend 2 1/2 hours with me) my IT, they cleared the sites for use.  Now I have to set up lesson plans for the next month and hog the copier until I have all of the materials I need.  I then check the hard resources I have in the room.  I should have horded more, there are very few in my new room and many are very outdated.  I plan to make a few calls to publishers- maybe I can score some preview materials for my students.  I am glad I have spent a lot on manipulatives, those are another resource that is missing in my room.  I will look like I’m moving my whole house in with the amount of boxes that is getting loaded in the jeep to bring in.

Tonight, I am reflecting on how I want the class to flow- deciding on what procedures I will need to set in place and when to introduce and practice them.  My biggest thought that I am currently pondering: How will the class function with the plan I have in mind? I’ll see if there is a big breakthrough tomorrow.

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