So day three really kicked me in the butt, I got all of my stuff in the classroom- but now I needed to find things I felt were missing to round out my classroom environment.
How many of you remember these? I have students do a lot of different posters, maps, logos, diagrams, etc and typically they work on a small scale. One that that has helped these past few years is having students enlarge images so they have more room to work. With the day an age of technology, Projection units have become scarce! I could only scrounge up one for my room, which will make churning out class projects a bit hard.
Classroom supplies is another thing that is hard to find as a new teacher. Rule #1: get your secretary to love you. I get back to the teacher work room and spend half my time opening cabinets looking for things, only to do it again the next day! I am slowly getting better, but since I don’t ask for help I am wasting my own time. Guys don’t need directions right?
I downsized rooms with the move, making my poster selection quite hard. I typically have 2 different themes that I run throughout the year: sports and Garfield. I do sports because there are great motivational posters out there and I love playing them. Typically it is a sure-fired in with most students as well, I can’t recount how many times I have cracked a tough student just by going in the gym during recess and playing ball with them. Garfield is an odd choice I know, but the amount of teacher-related materials with Garfield starring on them is insane. Students notice right away when I switch things up, and they have been a great part of my classroom setting and tone. This year, wall space is a premium so I need to be very selective of which posters I use, I typically leave most of my open wall space to display student work. This year I went with my “Why Study Math” series of posters, trying to get the most out of the few I have hung while pulling students into the realm of possibilities that math connects to in their lives. Currently I am working on a student project to get up, having a solid starter project to display on the walls of the classroom is important.
Printing and Copying- wow, I have to reschedule my routine all over. While I do have a printer in my room for the first time, it is only a laserjet so copies are slow and material consuming. I can print a master for copying, but I found my new copier in the building to be functioning at less than half the speed I am used to. I am not one of those people I used to hate, I hit the print button and go back to my room for 10 minutes to get other things done while it produces 10 copies. I definitely need to make a point of pre-planning my copying for the week so I don’t get myself into a bind.
Chairs were finally introduced into my room (they were taken away for a event before school started) and now the challenge is how to arrange the tables so that I get the most out of my room while also addressing student needs- as well as my own. My SMARTBoard is barricaded behind my desk with the current arrangement, so I am not sure if I will keep this current set-up. Trying to figure out the best arrangement is always fun for me, I envision all of the things I plan on doing and then anticipate student interaction within those. People may not like how I set things up, but it will make the most sense for me and how my class will operate.
The last part of this day was details, details, details! I had to get caught up on testing procedures and expectations, entry testing for students, the programs we will be using for data, and the correct procedures for reports. Sometimes I feel like a truck hit me, staggering around trying to focus on just one thing so I don’t fall, but I am also excited for the year- this will be a great change for me.