Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teaching Tuesday: Decoration and Organization for the High School Classroom*

*That's fancy-talk for "Classroom Tour," by the way.


Today was the first day back with students.  I am tired and already feel overwhelmed; but, honestly, it's good to be back in my game. All of my new freshman were smiling and eager, and it was really nice to be starting the school year in a familiar place with two out of my three classes being the same kids as last year - almost like we were just returning from Winter break except with suntans (them, not me) and new school supplies (I'm shocked marketing merchandisers haven't caught on and started doing a big push for "re-stocking" school supplies in January.  Anyone else?).

Anyway, today I'm sharing some photos of my classroom in hopes of "inspiring" some of my fellow high school teachers that we don't have to leave all the cute decorations and Pinterest-worthy organization ideas to the primary grades. :)


Step right in...


My "information center" is home to a weekly calendar, a white board decal for each class' announcements, and important details about the school schedule, emergency plans, etc. I also have my Yellow Sheets for missing work, my make-up work binder, and extra pens (that look like flowers to prevent stealing) for the students.


My desk is big and takes up a lot of space in the room.  To try to best utilize that space, I make all kinds of office supplies - stapler, hole-punch, tape, paper clips, pencils, etc. - available to my students on it.  For the most part, they are respectful and mature enough to handle this "easy access."


Behind my desk, I have a large (ugly) filing cabinet with a drawer for each grade level to store their writing assignments all year long.  The white box on top is for class hand-outs that have been copied and papers that need to be returned to students.  (That idea is new this year, and I think I'm going to really like it.)


Completely opposite from my desk is another bright bulletin board (which I made from plastic tablecloths) waiting to be filled.


In the front of the room, I have a special bulletin board specifically for posting my lesson plans each week.  This helps cut down on the "whatarewedoingtoday" drone that will start in about two weeks  (P.S. Would you believe the fancy lesson plan template I made isn't going to work this year because we switched to a new Blackboard?  Ugg.  I hope some of you are using it!)


There are also labeled bins at the front of the room where students can store their journals...


And a large bookcase with all of our supplemental novels.  *New this school year, I've numbered every single book in my classroom.  I have also assigned every student a number that will be used to identify him/herself all year.  The numbers are done in alphabetical order, so they will help me quickly alphabetize assignments before putting them in the grade book AND keep track of who has lost or damaged a book.


And, finally, toward the back of the room, I have a two more plastic drawer sets.  I have numbered each drawer (one for each of the six groups in class) and stocked it with scissors, glue, fresh markers, highlighters, etc. etc.  I found this idea on Pinterest and love it!  The best part? Groups can take their entire drawer back to their desks and return it after class.


Alrighty then, that's all for today.  

Midweek Confessions will be back tomorrow.  Please come join in!

24 comments:

  1. Adorable! I love those decorative paper medallions-lanterns-whatever they are. Where did you get them?

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    1. The paper fans are actually leftover from Sam's first birthday party a couple of years ago. I believe I ordered them on Etsy then, but you can find them anywhere! Check the Martha Stewart Celebrations line at JC Penney and Minted.com. :)

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  2. I love your classroom! Thanks so much for sharing.

    what did you wear on your first day with students?

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    1. Funny you should ask... I've been very distressed over the fact that I didn't get a good photo this morning because Jeff was out of town and Sam hasn't quite mastered the camera yet. ;) I wore a hot pink blouse and maroon cropped pants (both from Target) and a funky fringe statement necklace I got on VeryJane.com. Maybe I'll play dress-up this weekend and have someone take my picture in keeping with the first-day-of-school tradition. Ha!

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  3. I am loving the Teaching Tuesday series! I also teach high school and struggle to find stuff on Pinterest and blogs that is appealing to my kids. I was a floater last year and have my own room this year so I've had a lot of fun figuring out how to make the most of my space and keep things efficient and organized. Thanks for the great ideas!

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    1. Thanks girl! I'd love to see photos of your room. Do you have a link?

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  4. So cute!!! what did you wear?? My classroom looks so cute, too! Western Theme this year!! Tomorrow we get to wear jeans, so happy!! Happy new school year.

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    1. Dear Mom, I love that you comment on my blog like we don't talk 15 times per day! Love you! :)

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  5. Thanks for the inspiration! Where did you find your white board decals? I would seriously LOVE some for my class!! Thanks!!! Ally

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    1. They are about a year old, but I think you can still find them at Staples. They are part of the Martha Stewart office collection. :)

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  6. OK I MUST KNOW...what did you use as the chevron pattern on the front of your desk?? LOVE IT!!!

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    1. It is contact paper that I found at TJ Maxx last summer. I've seen at several stores like that - Marshall's, Tuesday Morning, etc. - recently. Hope you can find it!!

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  7. I use big pencil boxes that are numbered by group as "center pieces." Inside it has all kinds of supplies as well. The drawer idea is a great one as well!

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    1. Love that idea too! I'm thinking of trying that with dollar store bins for bigger projects that require more "intense" supplies. If only money was no object, right? ;)

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  8. I love your classroom!! Thanks for sharing :)

    Jen

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  9. this is the cutest classroom I've ever seen! I LOVED my English classes, can I come back to school and be in your class?!!?!?

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  10. Duly inspired! Wish it was the beginning of the school year here in South Africa as well - LOVE that fresh faced feeling :-)

    Will definitely be using some of your ideas in January though...

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  11. i love the color scheme in your room. the chevron print is my absolute fav! I love all your bulletin boards, your classroom looks like a place that I would love to learn in! :]

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  12. Thanks for the share! Really like those white board stickers! I just recently got a ton of a new school furniture for my class and really wanted to spruce it up for the kids. Anybody have any cute craft ideas I can do with the kids to make some decorations?

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  13. Where did you find your desk organizers? I love all of the ideas! I teach high school as well, and I am already thinking of how I am going to decorate my room next year! :)

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  14. Could you repost or give another link to your lesson plan template? Thank you!

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  15. Could you repost or give another link to your lesson plan template? Thank you!

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  16. Wow, I love your ideas. I teach elementary, but can steal some ideas here. I love the group drawers with supplies, that is AWESOME!! So easy, yet so smart!

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  17. "Yellow Sheet" link isn't working, do you have another link to it?

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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