Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Classroom!

This won't be a long blog post at all! I promised pictures of my classroom so here they are! It's not anything super extravagant, but I like it :-)

as stated in my previous blog, I LOVE color! You'll probably notice that in the pictures.

I have my standard mastery charts where students put a sticker up for each objective that they master. (Mastery means that they got at least 80% of the test questions right on that particular objective.) It's fun for the students to put up stickers and its an easy way to tell at a glance which objectives I need to reteach.

This year I will have a "Wall of Fame" where I will display exemplary student work. I decided to hot glue clothes pins to the wall so that I can easily hang student work without all the hassle of tape/glue etc...

You'll also notice my class "pet" Lizzy the Lizard (obviously named after my sister). I have had that lizard in my classroom in the past but this year I decided to use it to give students advice and reminders. For example, on test days, Lizzy might remind the students of some important test taking strategies. Or on a project week, Lizzy might remind them that the project is due on Friday. I think Lizzy the Lizard will be a fun way to handle reminders.

I look forward to adding more fun and exciting decorations to my classroom as the year progresses but for now, this is what I'm working with.

Tomorrow's the first day with students....wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ready or Not...Here They Come!

The students are coming! The students are coming!

Friday August 5th is the first day of school with students. I've spent the past week making Wal-Mart runs, setting up my classroom and trying to make it look fun and inviting. I used my typical color scheme...LOTS OF COLORS! I like for my classroom to be bright and cheery so the more colors the better :-) I have decided to color coordinate my classes. Everything 1st period is green, second is pink, third is purple, fourth is red and fifth is blue. (Told you I like lots of color!)

I will post pictures of my room very soon (there are a few finishing touches I need to add. Our school's lamanating machine is down and thus I have not been able to lamanate some posters that I will be hanging on the walls).

My fun, bright and cheerful classroom did not come cheap though! I had to spend a lot of money out of my pocket this year in order to get just the essentials for my classroom. I needed to buy lots of things to decorate with as well as things that I will need everyday such as pens, clipboards, paperclips etc... I also spent a good deal of money on buying supplies for my students. In the past I have had many students come to school without any supplies. I always try to keep extra notebooks, pencils, notebook paper and binders on hand so that I can help students who are unable to get supplies. Afterall, a student cannot be successful without the proper school supplies. I also bought a class set of markers, crayons, and conctruction paper because I try to make my class and fun and interactive as possible. Oh and did I mention that I'm a science teacher so I have and will continue to buy items to use in labs!

Even though I have spent a lot of money on my classroom I am glad that I am able to do it. School gets a bad and boring reputation these days and it is my mission to make learning as fun and painless as possible while still teaching the kids everything they need to know to be successful. I cannot make learning fun without spending money on the supplies that make fun happen. It does make you think though... in order to be a good teacher, teachers must spend money on essential school supplies. Yet, teachers are among the lowest paid professionals. Should we really have to front hundreds of dollars out of our already low pay checks? Some schools do give "classroom spending money" to teachers but a lot of that has dwindled due to budget cuts.

If you are a parent or just a caring person, the next time you encounter a teacher (even if he/she doesn't teach your child) ask if they need anything? It's amazing how small contributions can put a smile on our faces! 1 box of tissues or 1 bottle of hand sanitizer is a WONDERFUL gift that will definitely be used!

As a teacher, I will continue to spend the money on my classroom because I want my students to have the best school experience possible. However, not all teachers are able to afford to spend this money. Is it fair that their students suffer?

I found a newscast about how much money teachers spend on their classrooms. Take a peek :-)
Teachers cover cost of extra school supplies - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

After all the spending, decorating, cutting, coloring, hot glueing and color coordinating I am excited and ready for this new batch of students! Let's hope they are as excited as I am :-)