Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Room Right Now

Classroom shut down for weekend visitors.

This is what our classroom looks like right now.

First time in many years with wall space. It's awesome.

And here is some of what we've learned so far. Each chart begins with a conversation at the easel while the students sit on the imaginary rug. I write a messy list on paper, we talk about what it means, and students go and put it into practice. Later, I copy the list out neatly, and they write it in their notebooks.

The imaginary rug is new this year. It will hopefully become a real rug at some point. We've used it for both reading (I sit in the plastic Adirondack chair) and for mini-lessons. I think it helps to physically move to a new location (we have an 84-minute block and a separate 40-minute class most days) with no distractions. Usually they don't even bring a notebook. It helps for me to set the timer (we call it "setting the chicken" because it's a cheap chicken timer from a discount store and because we think it's funny when I say "I'm going to set the chicken for ten minutes"). Setting the timer reminds me not to let the lesson get too long, and it signals students that I value their time. We'll talk for ten minutes, it says, and then I'll give you time to practice what we've talked about.

Our space will continue to evolve, as it should, but we're happy in our new classroom. We're ready to learn.

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