This time last year I wrote my first ever post - 'Welcome To My 2015 Office.' It launched the beginning of what's been a fantastic year; varied, challenging and exciting.
There was a short period of absence, confirming how dull life would be if I wasn't in Education.
I've invited you in to my classroom, to show you things like this, this and this.
And I've even launched my own reading app, selling around the world!
But now, as the year starts all over again, I guess it's tradition to show you around the classroom! As ever, it took a couple of weeks to get ready; throwing tables around, adapting the design based on everything I learnt last year; changing school can be such a breath of fresh air. (I really related to this, by @ThatBoyCanTeach). I learnt a lot, as we always will, in the first year of my new place, and I've changed the classroom accordingly.
So here we go...
The Working Walls - These became one of my favourite things about last year's classroom; I used them as an extra resource, and the children were very good at using them as a reference point. I have a draft written about how I use them specifically, but the main rule is that anything I use in class, gets stuck up there somehow (that's why they're blank at the start of the year - I've never understood how an Working Wall can be so packed with information for the first day. Surely that's too much to look at?) They're great for visual triggers of experiences, posters and reminders, etc, and they're colour matched to the relevant exercise book.
Foundation Subjects - This large board eventually becomes a scrap book of our learning in Foundation Subjects. I have little cards for each subject (currently hanging in that pencil case in the top left corner) that can be pinned anywhere, allowing for total flexibility. This board doesn't compromise on size, so there's lots of opportunity to move things around. A class set of artwork, or the diagrams of a Science topic, historic timelines AND a few maps in Geography can all fit there at once.
Using the drapes adds a lot of colour to the room, especially when it's so bare at the start of the year, and I've ear-marked those green-bordered boards for an activity in the first week, which I'll tell you about soon.
The NEW Interactive WhiteBoard - GONE are the days of standing under that impossibly bright projector lamp, blinding you while you teach adverbials. GONE are the days where you want to 'cover' something on the board, yet it still appears on the back of your hand! GONE are those irritating prompts about that 'filter' that ALWAYS needed cleaning.
Our school have just purchased these CleverTouch Plus screens, and they are the best thing ever. Essentially a GIANT tablet on the wall, they not only connect to your computer, doing everything the old ones used to do, but they also run off Android - meaning you can use them without a computer as they feature their own web-browser, whiteboard function, and MS Office equivalents. I think I'll do another of these, where I ramble on a bit more!
There are a few other systems that I've changed, but I'll save those for another time, and let you get on with your day! Let me know in the comments what you think, and share some ideas about your own class! I'd love to see; we're such a nosy bunch!
PS. I know the little whiteboards are gone. We all knew that idea was never going to take off!