This is my eighth year of setting up a classroom. I was very excited to set up my classroom this summer because I was moving into a new room. I had been in my old room for three years and it was time to move and purge all the things I never use.
1. Buy a large cup of coffee and pre-load your iPod with get moving songs because you will be moving for a long time. It took me three days to set up my classroom to functional use, and at least two more days to get it looking nice enough for me to want to spend time in it.
5. Students who finish early can visit the challenge bin for meaningful activities to complete that will compliment our current big ideas and learning goals.
7. Have students manage the homework board so it becomes more meaningful to them. Refer to it at least once a day as a visual reference for due dates and important events.
8. Help students stay organized by keeping an up to date table of contents for each subject you teach. It helps students figure out what lesson they missed when they were absent.
9. Students can increase their achievement in any subject area by using a Bump It Up Board. See this blog post for specific instructions on how to create a bump it up board. You can also purchase the Bump It Up Board Headers featured in this photo.
10. Keep your small group area clean so you can quickly get started on instruction and students have a place to work.
11. I was lucky that my school custodian was able to drill the pocket chart and chart paper into the cinder block so I could save space. Stand alone holders take up a lot of space in the middle school classroom.
13. I will never hear “But I don’t remember the words.”
14. To whisk away the rainy day blues.
15. Don’t get too excited this is taken before school actually started and before three million things get handed to me daily.
17. I use these daily to keep students moving around the classroom. The best investment of $30 at the dollar store.
18. All assessments, rubrics and success criteria go home to be signed and then returned to each student’s assessment folder. The folders are assigned by number on the class list so I can reuse them every year.