|This is usually me.|
And I found, when setting up my room this year (I moved rooms! I have a window!), that even as I set up the room's furniture to maximize space and create a good flow for activity, the room still looked basic--it didn't look like it was "my room" or create a comfortable space where students could feel at ease.
|Just your average, boring, gray metal|
bookcase with all the shelves removed.
|Red paper makes the case interesting.|
It makes a world of difference. I was going to have to remove one shelf in order to fix it anyway; I can't stand a crooked shelf. So I just removed all the shelves and got the butcher paper that my school provides for our bulletin boards and taped it inside. My gray metal shelves now look like a set, and my wooden shelf seems like it fits with the room.
I also warmed up the room by getting some neat printed burlap to go on the bulletin board (I thought it would wear well and wouldn't be damaged by staples and push pins) and over the tops of the shelves to unify them.
The wooden shelf is my supply/student center shelf. This is an idea I got from Miriam--I had long kept a location for pencils and cobbled a location for loose-leaf paper students could use, but now it's a purposeful space with paper, pencils, erasers, staples, paperclips, tape, and a three-hole punch, plus anything else I find in my stores that I don't want to keep (right now it's a couple of folders, dividers, and plastic paper sleeves). Students are allowed to take items from that space any time they need anything, which does two things: lessens classroom interruptions and reduces embarrassment for students living in poverty. I also have my classroom supplies stored in that bookcase in see-through tubs (another idea taken from Miriam), so whenever we need markers or scissors or anything else, I can ask students to grab items without having to open my cabinet. The lumpy bag in the picture, because I feel the need to explain it, contains t-shirt rags that I give students as dry-erase markers. I like them better than paper towels because I just have to take them home and wash them, then we can reuse them.
|The pillows and rug are from Ross (total $35) and the lamp is|
from Ikea ($15). An inviting reading space? Priceless.
|You can see the reading selection|
as it currently stands.
I got to decorate the rest of the room with my students' gifts and projects, and I think it looks amazing. Han Solo even has a convenient corner by my desk that keeps him out of the way and less likely to be damaged. The last thing that needed sprucing up was my whiteboard, which is old and really shows its shabbiness near the top--so I covered the top edge with the same trim I used on my bulletin board.
I left one wall blank--it will be my word wall. Maybe I'll post on that once I have it figured out. I plan to use an idea from Miriam (organize new vocabulary according to question words) and an idea from Traci Dougherty (set up my Latin II vocabulary on the back of my Latin III vocabulary so I can just flip the words over between classes) to make it work.
This is the most I've ever felt my classroom to feel like my own space, and I am excited to share it with my students.