Classroom Redesign Part 1

Whew! It has been an exhausting four days and I feel like my classroom is still no where close to being "ready" but I figure I should celebrate my small accomplishments and start sharing slowly or my blog posts could get REALLY long, as if my posts aren't long enough.

I am pretty sure my school administrators think I am a bit crazy, spending four straight days in my room when there are no other teachers on campus but I knew I would never be able to enjoy Orlando if I didn't at least make a dent in my to do list.

I wish I had been able to scrounge of some pictures of the way my classroom looked when I walked in last September and had a three day weekend to prepare it and my lesson plans. I still shudder at those overwhelming moments of pure panic. I had absolutely no clue where to start or what was necessary. For some reason they had divided the room in half with large metal cabinets and had all the round tables up front and 30 computers behind the cabinets. Students climbed over the cabinets, I missed fights due to being on the wrong side of the room and it was just a mess.

So on Veteran's Day my AMAZING custodial staff moved my classroom around to a classroom set up of my design and it worked for the rest of the year. With many compliments from fellow teachers and administrators, I patted myself on the back often.

View from my old desk area.

View from the front of the room, its HUGE!

Front of the room

I had no real need to make any further changes over the summer until May when I was told that they would totally be redoing my Tech. Careers Modules, which meant further rearrangements, I had to have 12 module stations for the students set up. Gosh if I had money I would buy my custodial staff something incredible.

I received 37 boxes worth of module equipment to label, arrange and put away in a manner that would be easy to access but prevent as much stealage (not sure if this is the correct word but I probably will use it often when I discuss my classroom design) as possible. Without a doubt I believe my students will love the modules but it has been a daunting task that has definitely taken away from my classroom decorating. Every time I think I have the organization down I stumble across something new, like 24 headphones, splitters and sound cords. The nice vendor rep told my to just have them at the computers ready to go. Oh naive vendor, they would be stolen on the first day, so it was back to Walmart for more containers.

Here are a few shots of what the classroom looks like now, its still a work in progress.

New view from the front of the room. Having no windows makes it super dark!

New view from my desk, I can see everything! HAHAAAA!

Computers and keyboards are labeled and zip tied. I also spent the time to label each chair in order to keep them in a specific place. I have plans to put a clean up checklist and picture at each station but me and the ipad didn't agree on things today.

One of the 16 work stations in the room.

My big accomplishment for the week is my classroom procedures wall. I should first add that I have cement walls which means absolutely NO bulletin boards and hanging anything is terribly difficult. My room gets really hot or really cold and everything just falls off the walls. With all the bright new duct tape colors out there I decided reinforcements were needed. Each classroom procedure sign has been blown up on our school poster maker, laminated, taped and duct taped onto the wall. Take that humidity

I have to admit that it is definitely not perfectly straight, hanging things straight does not seem to be my speciality but I still really like it. The wall is bright and eye catching but still reinforces the important procedures that I have.  I will spend the first five days teaching these procedures but I love having them posted so each student recall what I expect in the shop. I am still missing hall passes and tardy procedures but I figured our PBS committee would be writing those after last years hallway issues so I will add those quickly during professional development.

My other project was skirting my teacher desk. Last year I didn't really have a practical desk just a whole section of the room where I stored the stuff I wasn't sure what to do with and sometimes hid depending upon the class. Practical use of space. I had to give up my section of the room to space out computers, and I moved my desk to the front of the room and added a side table to keep students out of my area. Honestly, its too much space but I sure like the very distinct space.

Ignore the stuff still on my desk, it needs a home.

I purchased a XL-Twin set of sheets from Target for $12.99 in my staple navy color and cut the flat sheet in half and hot glued the rough sides it onto the two tables so I didn't even need to worry about hemming them. I think it makes them look like they belong together and gives me the ability to keep my area a little more private. And I still have the fitted sheet to use within the room later.

My white board was my third and final large project of the week, some teachers might be jealous of my massive board but honestly I just find it odd. It's hung so high that I need to stand in a chair to write on it and its just huge. Last semester I sometimes remembered to write the date but that was about it and it felt like a huge waste of space. I used more duct tape, I should probably invest it its stock at the rate I am buying it, and sectioned off 7 parts, created labels for each part I felt should be displayed, lamented and secured magnets on the back. I can always move the sections around if I need to or change something out but I hope that it will be a useful section of the room this year. I have something brewing in my head for above the white board but that will be for another post.

Note to self: things are always clearer on the ipad.

And that wraps up my first classroom redesign post, I feel like for 4 days I should be able to post more projects, but I am super happy with the way the room is shaping up. 25 days until students are back!

The Babbling Box!

1 comment

  1. Take that humidity! LOL Too funny!

    Thanks for the reminder. I must find something great for our custodial staff (both of them) for B2S! I also like to send a card to the office for the secretary on the first day of school. I always figure while she's going through all the boring paperwork, a cheery card will brighten her day!

    Inside this Book