It’s time for chapter 3 of our summer book study, Teaching With Intention! This chapter was all about the classroom environment. So far, this has been my favorite chapter!!!! I love making my classroom a safe, welcoming place where my students are the focus! I love having a colorful and exciting space that showcases our work and learning!! This chapter gave me some new ideas for my classroom and validated some of what I’m doing already!
“When things are going awry for the teacher, things are probably not going so well for kids either (pg. 27)”
Raise your hand if this is you! You have your materials ready for a lesson and set them down. And then BAM! They’re gone. MIA. Sucked up in to the alien spaceship or eaten by a 5 year old (no dog ate my work…it’s the five year olds..). It stresses you out…the students get wiggly and everyone suffers.
So this year I started using daily drawers for my materials. MAJOR help!!! I don’t lose stuff as much (But I do need to work on not sitting things down after I pull them out…)
Debbie reinforces my desire to be more organized this year! Especially with the paper piles. I’m thinking file folders and baskets to keep papers organized and controlled.
A few things Debbie discussed in the chapter that all classrooms need:
A meeting area where we can all fit comfortably for direct instruction, morning meeting, partner talks and more! OF course, our meeting space is a mustache rug! Everything we might need (dry erase boards, markers, easel, etc) is right there beside my camping chair!
Small group area!
On page 29, Debbie says to step outside your room and look back in. What do you see? Then ask a friend to look at your room and answer these questions:
What do you know I value?
What do you know about what I believe about teaching and learning?
What do you know about the kids in this room?
I value freedom and choice. Students can choose to sit and work wherever they want! Choice and freedom=engaged learners! (Engaged=less behaviors)
I value student work and student thinking. This is their space so their work is displayed as authentic artifacts of what we do each day. When you walk into our room, you will know what were learning and studying based on the work you see!
I value art, creativity and expression! Our classroom is always decorated with our artwork and projects that we’ve used to reinforce our academic learning!
Debbie also discussed some areas that our classrooms need:
An organized, accessible library!
A meeting area for the whole group! Yes…we meet on the mustache rug!
A small group area!!
And I’ll end with this quote from Debbie:
They (classrooms) are inhabited by real teacher and real kids who are learning interesting things, leading literate lives and working hard to make meaning for themselves and others….and that learning…and all that hard work need to be showcased, front and center.” (pg. 38-39)
Let’s make a pact to showcase the learning and processes of our students in the new school year! Let’s take over the hallways with their work and showcase their creativity, their learning and the processes that got them to their learning!!!!!!!
Be sure to visit our chapter hosts and link up your posts! Share your thoughts, ideas and tips in the comments section and definitely join the conversation on my Facebook page!!!
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Teaching With Intention Chapter 3 was last modified: August 22nd, 2018 by Greg Smedley-Warren
Howdy, I am Mr. Greg. I have been teaching for 11 years. I spent a year teaching fifth grade, two years in second grade and am now in my 9th year in Kindergarten. Kindergarten is my passion and my calling but honestly, that wasn’t how it started. Read the whole story >