I admit it.
I've been putting this off.
I worked so hard all summer and over the past few weeks to get my classroom all set up for my incoming fifth graders.
I'm completely exhausted!
Since school started I tend to crash around 8:00 pm every night!
I'm really happy with the final results.
So I'm going to start sharing pictures little by little.
Bear with me - it's a work in progress.
When students enter the classroom, they see this awesome poster above the door.
It is VERY clear where they are at - a STEM classroom!
I love it, and I love how cheap the poster was at Vistaprint!
Check out my nameplate. #mzcoker
Our school uses the CHAMPS system for behavior management.
Since I teach STEM and students are constantly changing between activities (instruction to partners to instruction to small groups to independent work to transition to...etc.) I have all of my CHAMPS expectations displayed at all times. I refer to them when we move to each activity, but don't have to stop to flip a chart or move a pointer. Also, I feel it gives my students the ability to self-monitor their behavior. If I see or hear them being off task, I can simply ask them what the CHAMPS expectations are for the activity and they can find it on the wall. #checkyourself
If you'd like a set of CHAMPS posters for your classroom, I have them listed in my store HERE.
Are you totally digging my colorful calendar?
The day I went to purchase a calendar, the little teacher store in town was completely out of plain white ones. Being the incredibly impatient person that I am, I went to Walmart and bought a plain white piece of poster board and made my own. Since the final size ended up being a bit larger than most purchased calendars, I decided to make a set of scientist themed numbers and colorful month headers that would fit my calendar perfectly! I even got them printed for a really low price right onto white card stock at OfficeDepot. #whatisthedate?
If you like the calendar headers and numbers, grab a set HERE.
I am lucky enough to have SIX student computers in my room.
This is great when I can't get the iPad lab or mobile laptop lab checked out.
It's also nice because I use one of them daily for my online restroom checkout.
We are required to post our daily learning targets.
I post mine along with a "hashtag" that appropriately sums up the lesson of the day. For example, our target one class period was: I CAN IDENTIFY EXAMPLES OF TECHNOLOGY THAT IMPROVE HUMAN LIVES. Added to this target was the hashtag: #manmade because all technology is made by people to solve a problem or improve human lives. My students are really getting into this strategy. Each day I review the previous day's lesson and students are eager to share what the hashtag was and why it was significant! #smartteacher
Along with the CHAMPS expectations, I have a few general rules that I expect students to follow.
Again, I have a super cool Vistaprint banner hanging above the four smaller posters of my rules (compliments of Amy Groesbeck)
Download a copy of these posters HERE.
Along my back wall
(under the windows covered in my super colorful fabric strip curtains)...
I have another set of posters that outline attitudes about learning in my classroom.
These serve as a reminder to my students (and to me) that students are there to learn and everyone learns differently.
Download a set of these posters HERE.
Last year I had a students who was so incredibly curious that he asked questions ALL THE TIME until it got to the point that I simply didn't know the answers. I loved how interested he was in the subjects I was teaching, but as we all know, time is limited. I started to joke with him that he needed to start looking up the answers rather than just asking so many questions. He turned and pointed to one of the circles hanging on the wall that said: "Keep asking questions until you understand." and told me it was my own fault that he asked so many questions. I teased back by hanging a Post-it note on the bottom of the sign that said "Except Kaleb". He found that really funny. :)
Did you notice those plastic storage boxes above each cubby?
I don't collect student supplies. They are responsible for their own pencils, paper, scissors, glue, etc. So many parents send LOTS of supplies on the first day, but students lose a lot of them by Christmas (or even sooner). This year I decided to provide each student with an "extra supplies bin" to keep those loose items that often get lost. So far it has been really helpful!
Since my classroom is the STEM Lab of fifth grade, I also have a strip of lab safety posters posted beneath my whiteboard. I got these adorable pictures from Bryce Hixson's TPT store HERE. I spent a couple nights coloring while a watched Netflix and viola! Cute, sarcastic, and funny lab safety rules. #safetyfirst
Higher on the wall I also have posted the steps of the Engineering Design Process. There are several versions of this process, but I prefer this one as it really breaks down the CREATE step to indicate the importance of testing the prototype, evaluating the data, and making improvements before sharing the final product with others.
You're going to be tired of hearing this, but I have THESE posters available in my store as well. Just click HERE to download a copy. I also have a set geared more toward younger students HERE.
Another "science specific" room decoration is my #whatscientistsdo set of posters. These colorful posters are displayed above my storage cabinets. Last year I really tried to get students to "think and act" like scientists by using these science process skills. It got to a point where they could point to the wall and identify the specific skills we were using in a certain activity. Success? I think so. For that reason, I didn't even take them off of my wall over the summer.
Want a set of these posters for your classroom? I have them listed in my TPT store HERE.
The file actually includes two versions, but I prefer the one that describes each skill. Not to mention the fact that I actually have the room to hang them.
Take a look at ALL my storage space!
This picture shows my unit/activity tubs where I keep all the necessary materials for various STEM challenges and scaffolding activities. It's so great being able to grab a container and know that I've got everything right at my fingertips ready to go (other than making a few copies).
Each year I have students participate in a think-pair-share activity where they have to come up with a single statement to describe what STEM means to them. I take their responses and create simple posters to hang in the hallway to remind them of their initial ideas about what STEM class would be like. It's interesting to revisit this activity at the end of the year to see how their perceptions have changed.
Do me a favor.
Try to ignore the mess that is my teacher station.
I debated whether to share this photo at all, but I figure that if all you see is the perfectly clean areas that are decorated so cute you might come to the conclusion that all I do is clean, organize, and decorate my classroom.
This spot is my home away from home.
Students are only allowed behind my teacher station with permission.
I keep snacks, lesson plans and materials, colored paper, office supplies, my printer, files upon files upon files of ideas and resources, my lunch, my computer, and may other things behind that cart.
It's messy, but I know where everything is located...most of the time.