Sunday, August 30, 2015

Classroom Design WINS

     One of the hardest parts of preparing for my maternity leave, besides saying bye to all of my students, was having to un-decorate my classroom so that my coverage could prepare it to his liking. I think a lot of teachers really pour their heart and soul into their rooms, attempting to make them the perfect spot to:
- facilitate learning
- initiate creativity
- make students feel welcome
- showcase student personalities/learning
- showcase their own personalities
- etc

     If you are new to my blog, or just want a reminder, here is what my classroom looked like prior to my leaving: 2013 classroom reveal, 2014 classroom reveal (there wasn't a big change between the 2 years, just some tweaks).

     This year I have been living vicariously through all of my teacher friends as they enthusiastically post pictures of their classrooms on social media. While I don't have a classroom to go to, I have began thinking of how I want my classroom to change when I return next year. Not only am I moving from a math-focus to a history-focus (which I am THRILLED about), but I am also moving from predominantly Grade 8 to predominantly high-school.

     Of course, Pinterest has been my go-to time-waster inspiration-builder these past few weeks; here are some of the ideas I'm loving...

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Coolest Social Studies Classroom. Joe Baron Design. http://joebarondesign.blogspot.ca/2011/04/coolest-social-studies-classroom-by.html
I've actually shared this image before... but I still love it. I love the mash-up between the bright colours, maps, and significant people. I also think this would be an awesome opportunity for students to showcase their talents by having the art class complete the murals.

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Yard Sale Bookcase Plus Dollarstore Map. (2010). Uploaded to Vermillion Rules by Bethany. Available online at: http://vermillionrules.blogspot.ca/2010/07/yard-sale-bookcase-dollar-store-maps.html
I have black bookcases just like this lining the back of my classroom; I love how it adds colour and class-content without being too overpowering.

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Welcome Back! (Accessed 2015). Uploaded to Mrs. Matott. Available online at: https://mrsmatott.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/welcome-back-and-hang-on-tight/

Our school has been putting a lot of emphasis on backwards-planning or U.D.L and one component is having learning goals, essential questions, etc clearly visible for students. I have been incorporating this by providing "unit breakdowns" to students through a hand-out, but I like the visual element of this (I feel like I'd refer to it more if it was hanging on the wall like this.
I would just need to figure out how to modify this for having multiple classes using the same room.

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Guess Who American History. (2012). Uploaded to a Crafty Teacher. Available online at: http://acraftyteacher.blogspot.ca/2012/07/guess-who-american-history.html?m=1
I'm a big fan of learning centers/stations and incorporate them into my math classes all the time. I LOVE this easy idea of modifying a "Guess Who" game to review significant figures and it would be a perfect learning center in a social-studies classroom.

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Integrating Tech. (Accessed 2015). Uploaded to Tales of a 6th Grade Classroom. Available online at: http://www.6thgradetales.com/2013/01/tech-integration-if-mlk-jr-had-instagram.html
If you haven't quite figured it out yet I am a big tech person, so this bulletin board idea is super cool! Not only does it incorporate a tech-feel, but it requires students to view a situation through another person's perspective; a big part of my social-studies teaching. 
One thing I would maybe change, however, is have students actually post to a class instagram account that plays on a screen in the classroom (as opposed to the static bulletin board idea).

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High School Social Studies Classroom Pin. (Accessed 2015). Uploaded to Pinterest by Katie Brennan. Available online at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/394979829791751389/
I'm a big visual person so I like the idea of tying important people/events/ideas to locations on a map. I like how detailed this bulletin board is and am thinking it could either be created throughout the unit (add new ideas as they are discussed) or created by students at the end of the unit (as part of a review).

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If you'd like to see some of the other neat ideas I've found, follow me on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/MissLwbt/

If you have a cool idea to share please leave a comment below! I'd love to add as many ideas as possible before next year :)

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