Having spent two years looking for a house to buy I got very into looking on rightmove, there were some horrors and some great ideas. I wish there was a school equivalent where I could see into other peoples class rooms. I figure if I’m nosey other people might be so I took some pictures of my classroom. To get a fair picture I should really have take a picture of the chaos that often ends up piled on the desk at the front but I’ll leave that to your imagination and just show you some of the nice bits. It’s quite new to me getting to have my own classroom as I’ve usually moved around a lot. It’s so nice to have somewhere to make my own. I try to make my room interesting and fill it with things that make me smile. Being in a nice environment makes a difference to how you feel so it fits well with wanting to have a positive atmosphere for students to learn in.
Table boxes – I got the tea boxes from ikea when we were shopping for kitchens and hid them underneath some drawers so my boyfriend didn’t realised I was buying more school things. They have dividers and are great for keeping all of the things that students use most lessons like glue sticks, whiteboard pens, highlighters and coloured pens for marking and corrections. The standard punishment for latecomers is to sort out the boxes but they usually stay ok apart from me picking up and redistributing whiteboards and pens as I go round helping.
Von Koch Curve – This was my favourite thing I made last year. I think it is a beautiful and interesting area of mathematics yet is simple to see what is happening. When it first went up the students were interested in it and there were some nice discussions. Later on in the year I refer to them when looking at different topics.
Bunting – I started with some bunting with numbers and symbols in different languages and expanded to pictures of maths in real life. I have students who speak 4 or 5 languages so it was a nice starter activity getting them to find as many ways of writing the numbers and symbols. I did accidentally cause an incident with the bunting though when it set off the motion sensors and security had to be called in the middle of the night. Questions may also have been asked about how it got up there in the first place. It’s back up now though more securely (little stick on hooks and a whole pack of blue tack!).
Feedback wordles – I’m trying to get my students used to giving and receiving feedback and part of that is trying to help them write quality feedback. The wordles give some ideas and sentence starters. Every time we are doing peer assessment they get referred to although less explicitly now as they are getting pretty good at feedback.
Students work. – This board always makes me smile. It’s a sound board not a notice board so pins won’t stay in and it always used to look a mess. To get round that I stuck some Velcro on the back of pegs and spray painted them silver and gold (when I say I did it what I really mean is I got Sharon’s girls helping me). Things get changed fairly regularly and emphasis is on things that students are pleased with or want to remember. The little black tags have the names of the student(s) on and something about what makes them proud of their work.
The maths Takeaway – I’ve seen lots of takeaway homework ideas which look great but don’t quite work for us. This is new so not quite finished yet. the idea is that it will have lots of questions in at different levels so that students who finish early or haven’t got much to do in workshops can get something interesting to work on. I know it’s a bit cheesy but I think the students will like it and there’s even loyalty cards with special badges.
Favourite numbers – Sharon had the idea of doing favourite number posters for staff that go outside their classrooms or offices. We got a really good response with lots of staff signing up. I did the pictures on them and really enjoyed finding out a bit about members of staff while doing it. The famous people display isn’t actually in my room it’s on the corridor outside next to our periodic table. The best bit is Sheldons poster has a QR code with the clip of him explaining why it’s the best number. Quite a few students got excited by that.
I’ve still got a whole notice board that I’m thinking could have something about what to do when you’re stuck and maybe something growth mindsety to go above the board but not sure what yet.