This year, I am starting a new position, moving from an intervention teacher to a 7th grade-level teacher. That means setting up a new classroom for a new type of class.
First, I had to clear out the room. There were several teachers worth of stored and stuffed things, 2 VHS players, textbooks from 15 years ago, you get the idea. This was too much of a task for one year! This will be ongoing.
In the process, I uncovered a shoe holder, that will double nicely for holding some “essentials.” A pencil, a pen, a calculator, a multiplication chart and an reminder for solving equations. I have numbered the pockets. Each student will receive a number that will be associated with their pocket. They will also use this same number for getting and storing their Chromebook from a cart and their workbook from the rack shown further below.
The picture also shows the mistakes posters from Sarah Carter’s Math = Love blog. I plan to display student mistakes that highlight common misconceptions on this bulletin board. Think “My Favorite No” but as a bulletin board.
One of the challenges with middle school students is remembering to bring all their materials. As luck would have it, I found a travel agent downsizing his office on Craigslist. He sold me a spinning brochure rack that we’ll use to store our workbooks.
Next, after taking the Mathematical Mindsets course from YouCubed.org this summer, I reflected on the students’ comments about freedom. They commented how they were free to get whatever supplies they needed. This year, I repurposed an organizer from our former playroom to make supplies available. My co-teacher loved this idea!
In case you were getting the impression that I am very organized here is my system for storing all the activities I make is pictured below. All my card sorts, board games, file folder games, integer cards, etc. were in a one draw in a filing cabinet. They have moved to a box that I rummage through when I want them. Hopefully, someone will post a great tip to organize these things.
Lastly, the stupid cellphones, spinners, flipping bottles and other annoying things will all be located on one table near the door. The purple distractions box is from a post I can’t find now. I loved that the teacher has them practice placing things in the box with a smile on their face at the beginning of the year. Please deposit your cellphone, Cheetos, 1/4 full single use water bottle, etc. at the door. If I need to ask you, please place it with a smile!
The sign-out sheet is in a notebook with a pen attached to a leash from Amazon. I have had the same pen for almost a year. It never gets lost! You can replace it with ANY pen that fits a standard cap. Having this in a notebook is essential for when they come to collect the sheets to determine who might have been in the bathroom when something happened. (Why is it always the bathroom?)
Here are other picture of my room.
Students start school on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. They will be the real test of if these organizing strategies work!