Monday, August 30, 2010

My Classroom

I have been enjoying other art teachers' blog that are showing their classrooms as we are all spending to much time getting them clean and organized for our students so I decided to show a few pictures of my classroom. This is my room at my home school, as my other classroom isn't as inspiring. I share that room with the music program, and we are both very careful not to overtake the other person's program.

From this picture, the main entrance of the room is on the right. My classroom is very unique, just like my school. The school was once the high school, then it was remodeled into a middle school and elementary school. Finally, it was remodeled into the elementary school it is now. Needless to say, we have some features that most elementary school do not have. Like an auditorium. My classroom used to be the stage. They put a wall where the curtains were and added sinks and shelving. In this entryway, I hope to create a mosaic out of recycled things with my kids above the sink. I also usually have paper feet taped to the floor in green, yellow, and red to help them not get too close to each other when waiting their turn for the sink.

From the first picture, if you take a left you would enter the main classroom area. I have five tables, which I have labeled with colors. Last year I tried just colored paper taped to the table and they were ruined by Christmas. I replaced them with drawn crayons on colored paper and they were ripped up by spring. This year I made paper mache crayons out of packing tubes, plastic cups, and the lid to the tube. I used roll paper instead of construction paper, hoping that it would take longer to fade (and the color is nicer). I found precut vinyl letters in a filing cabinet and used those to label each color and hung them from fishing line.

Above the shelves on both sides of the room I have a sheer black fabric with silver sparkles which really makes the room cozier. I added art that I created, mostly from college, samples of 3D projects, and miscellaneous items that could be used for still life work. I usually keep two of the shelves in the above photo empty for 3D storage, but got a HUGE donation of house paint and didn't have anywhere else to put it.

A closeup of one of the crayons above the student work tables.

In the front of the room I posted the Elements and Principles of Design. The yellow bulletin board is used to display the samples of projects each grade is currently working on. Every grade likes to see what the others are working on, and then the samples are always where I can refer to them if needed. The small pieces of colored paper in a binder clip on the white board are changed at the beginning of each day cycle (we work on a 6 day cycle) to represent which table is my helper table. They pass out the supplies for me. The magnetic letters spelling ART are my discipline program. When they are not focused I move a letter. Their goal is to keep as many letters as possible. For every letter they keep, they get a square colored on my chart (not pictured, I haven't made this year's yet!) and when they reach certain points on the chart they get a prize. Last year the prize was getting to sit wherever they want for one class period. I haven't decided if that will be the prize this year or not. If they loose all of their letters, they have to be silent for the rest of the class period.

I have picture labels on all of my supplies~well, the large containers. Then I have smaller containers of the same supply for each table which are stored next to the larger ones. Under the clock is the Willow River pledge and the district's learner qualities. We focus on one quality each month to reinforce positive attribute that students can show. September is "Caring," and I am going to help out with the first all-school meeting, introducing caring through the Pinwheels for Peace program!

I found this article on Whole Brain Teaching on The Teaching Palette last year, and I am still thinking about it! Must be a good idea if it's still resonating with me. I have revamped my rules (which I think were a little too much for the kids) to reflect the rules in the video and I'm going to give it a shot this year. I haven't decided if I'll be quite so active with the older kids or not, but I think K-3 will love it~and remember it!

The Teaching Palette is also hosting a showcase of art classroom organization. If you are interested in loading your classroom photos to their Flikr group click here before Sept. 25.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Oh my gosh! These crayons are brilliant!!! I love it!