Welcome to Room 148


Going along with @approx_normal ‘s #matheme I’ll show you mine… too funny.  Although some of the convo going on with twitter past couple of days – makes me a little skert about meeting some of these people at math camp in just a few weeks!

Welcome to Room 148…there’s always a Cloud of Kindness in here!  My roommate, when I lived in Bardstown, used the phrase in her biology/science classes, and well, like anything good – I use it for educational puposes.  I begin the year by asking the students to leave the issues with one another at the door – they are welcomed to pick them up as they leave – but while in class, well, Algebra can be tough enough on its own at times – we don’t need any extra troubles slowing us down.

So from the back of my room, you’ll see, well, the front of the room.  A few random quotes on the left side, one of those crazy read the color, not the word puzzles.  I was told I was getting “the board” one week and they installed the next week.  My training consisted of -here’s how to turn it on, here’s how to change inputs, the remote goes to this… and the rest was on my own.  And no, I am not that proficient with it.  But I can keep learning.  And finally you’ll see student calculators to the right.  My desk and a large cabinet sets off to the left – but there are boxes / books, etc stacked from the shelving – not much but a mess. 🙂

Looking toward the door – you can see the student table – where I leave desk supplies – stapler, tape, hole-punch, kleenex and baby wipes for the students to use – to keep them away from my stuff on my desk.  I have 2 sets of shelves – one is to turn work in, the other is for “while you were out” slips / daily handouts, etc for absent students.  You cannot see this – but the shelves have color coded stickers on them.  Each class has a different color – I place quizzes, writing samples, assessments etc. in the appropriate color folder to keep separated.  Students know which shelf is theirs based on which period they have me.  I have folders on my desk to file missed assessments.  I keep color magnets hanging behind my desk – to place important reminders.  Even my index cards I use to call on students – names are written in their class color.

 To the right of the door, you’ll see a long strip.  Several years ago, I read an article that stated students sometimes processed integers better on a vertical number line.  I got a pack of blank calendar cards – like primary teachers use – wrote out the integers from -15 to 15; taped them together, laminated and hot-glued them to the wall.  (If you haven’t figured out – hot glue peels right off block walls)  As we review integer rules – I refer to this a lot.  You can observe students looking that way to use it quite often.  Even in ESS, an upperclassman who struggles in math – said I wish I could take that thing with me – I explained, all you have to do is draw it on your paper.

We were chatting about error analysis the other night on twitter – using exit slips to begin the following day.  At the edge of the white board, you’ll see my stop light – self assessment folders.  Green – I’ve got it!  Yellow – Almost there!  Red – needs some help/have questions.  Students place their “target quizzes” in appropriate folder as they leave classroom.  I’ve also done this with post-it notes, they place their names on back of post-it note – tap it on the board as they leave…great visual for me to see if I need to address things again tomorrow.   One question the other night – do “red” students get embarrassed – not really.  Often they have been absent – or just need some extra one-on-one – this is a simple way they can communicate with me. I thought the same thing when I first did this years ago, I was actually surprised at how many are okay saying – I’m yellow and need a little more practice/help.

Hanging shoe-organizers house a classroom set of TI-84s and CPS (eInstruction) remotes.  TIs have #s engraved on the back, so I printed #’s and attached them with clear packing tape to the front of the compartments.  Yes, students still place them in the wrong slot occasionally.  Placed strategically so they can pick it up as they walk in and drop it off as they exit.

 I love my little cart on wheels – it stores several “lab” materials such as pennies, spaghetti, dry-erase markers, colored pencils, tangrams, algebra tiles, tape measures, 1″ squares, probability items.  If I need a flat surface to demonstrate a lab or something else, I wheel this over to front of room.









One thing I forgot to take a snapshot of were my clothespins on the wall.  Hot – glue closepins to wall, wherever you plan to hang a poster or place a word-wall.  Laminate vocabulary, posters, etc. and the papers are easily interchanged as needed.  If you’re really cool, find a cute idea on Pinterest and cover, paint your clothespins to coordinate with your room.

 I have never been afraid to move my desk arrangment around.  I have been known to change it at least once per month.  However, the past couple of years, I’ve found myself liking this layout.  Not drawn very well, desks are placed so I can walk easily between the “groups.”  I have students facing left, right and forward.  With this layout, I can easily pair students up person in front/behind.  They can quickly move together in groups of 4 – with back center 6 often splitting into groups of 3.  I have realized if I keep the same starting format, students are much quicker at rearranging desks correctly when we’ve completed our group activity.  I keep students in assigned spots throughout a unit of study – so they are aware of their work-groups to save time.  New unit = new seat & new group.  Yes, there are only 26 desks – so grateful to have “small” classes compared to some of you.

The last picture I wish to share is “the cabinet.”  You see, I teach in our 9th grade wing.  I have a huge foot on my door that states “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”  I used to offer the question to my students on day one “High School = 1000 miles”  True / False? Quite interesting the various strategies they would come up with to answer the question.  On average, a student would walk about 1000 miles, usually a little over during 4 years of high school.  Anyway, with our first group of Freshmen who came through “The DOCK” – we began making their little footprints with the sides of their hands and signed their names.  Often times they’ll visit the week of senior finals to find their foot, even taking a picture of it.  You can see, I’ve had to move on to a file cabinet.  I guess I’ll have to break down and use my desk some day…assuming I stay put.  I keep telling them I’m only doing it because someday, one of them will be famous – I’ll have their autograph and I’ll auction it off to make a little cash!  I still have a geometry project from a infamous beauty queen…but that’s another story.

I am always looking for ways to update and bring a little life to Room 148!  I look forward to touring some other classrooms via the blogosphere! Thanks for stopping by!

5 responses »

  1. Thanks for posting! I just added you to the “I’ll show you mine…” blog. But I gotta ask – what convo has made you “skert” about meeting us? (In other words, what did I say that has made you afraid?? hahahaha). I’m glad you’re coming and TRUST me – we’re all harmless. Mostly. 🙂

  2. I love your classroom! I’ve been looking for inspiration to decorate my math classroom for my first year of teaching. I’m definitely going to try to incorporate the vertical number line into my classroom! Thank you for all the great ideas.

    • Thank you, Sarah! You’re already wise by being online – I keep saying over and over twitter & blogosphere is the best.PD.ever! I have grown so much this past year. There are some great letters to first year teachers being posted this summer – if you haven’t read them – search…great advice – even for and older teacher! Best wishes for your classroom adventures!

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