Items in My Classroom

Let me rephrase: Items in My (Non-Existent) Classroom That I Wish to Have One Day When I Have a Classroom of My Own. But that title was too long.

  • student center (i.e. table or cabinet) with supplies such as paper, pencil sharpener, colored pencils, glue, scissors
  • bin or tub at tables to hold pencils and possibly other often-needed supplies
  • missing work bulletin board
  • lost and found bin
  • word wall
  • lamps
  • plants
  • book check-out and return
  • numbers hanging from the ceiling above each table (because students pick off tape holding down any paper numbers taped on desks)
  • consequence/behavior slips that look something like this:
    • step 1: conference with students
    • step 2: re-teach behavior
    • step 3: call home
  • parent contact sheet
  • file cabinet for student portfolios
  • file cabinet for evaluation evidence
  • file cabinet for copies of worksheets, examples, and assessments organized by subject and then unit
    • I’m also toying with the idea of putting these papers into individual binders with clear sleeves, but binders take up a lot of room and cost more money than simple manilla folders
  • bin with worksheets from each day for students who were absent or need an extra copy of an assignment
  • reading corner with bookshelves, lamps, and beanbag chairs
  • a poster with my contact information: skype username and e-mail
  • a poster with the classroom blog information
  • quotes
  • posters (many of authors)
  • a “where we’re from” map
  • bean bag chair(s) for quiet reading corner
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Supplies at Students’ Tables

I’ve seen a few middle school teachers put containers of school supplies on at student tables. Students spend ridiculous amounts of time looking for pencils that they lost, and having pencils readily available will be a lifesaver.

Find a decorative container that can stand upright and get some pencils. Tape large plastic flowers to each pencil so students will be less likely to steal and/or lose them. The pencils stay in the class.

Other things to add to this container include hand sanitizer, small pencil sharpener, and glue. Especially with the pencil sharpener, you’ll have to make clear that each table gets one pencil sharpener at their table that year. If it gets lost or stolen, too bad. It’s their responsibility to keep it at their table.

Quotes for the Classroom

Here is an ever-growing list of quotes I want to display in my classroom:

“The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black

“It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” -Albus Dumbledore

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore

“Hard work beats talent when hard work works harder.”

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”  –Buddha

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” –Woody Allen

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“I am a woman, and I am a Latina. Those are the things that make my writing distinctive. Those are the things that give my writing power.” -Sandra Cisneros

Educational Grants and Resources

Edutopia has compiled “The Big List of Educational Grants and Services.” The link may or may not remain active as the page is updated, so try searching the title of the link if it doesn’t work.

Classroom Set-up and Organization

I stumbled upon this pinterest site that has lots of amazing ideas for setting up and organizing your classroom. Many of the pins seem better suited for elementary grades, but some can be applied to secondary grades too, such as how to rearrange desks, what to do with art supplies, and decoration ideas. If the link is broken, search for “pinterest classroom setup & decor.”

Edit: there is also this buzzfeed page with lots of great ideas as well.

The Markerboard People

Here’s the site to get small white boards and the accessories. You don’t even need to buy erasers if you use balled up socks. No really. The socks work  – I’ve seen it! (In the event of broken link, do an Internet search for “the markerboard people.”)

Free Supplies!

Here’s the site for “student supply” but specifically for the sweepstakes. It’ll be outdated in no time, but maybe the sweepstakes happens every year. Regardless, “student supply” looks like a good site to buy classroom supplies online.

Here’s a link to the teacher section of the Brain Quest website. As I post this, there’s a place to enter a teacher awards contest that may not exist for much longer. (In the event of a broken link, search for “Brain Quest” and click on their “teacher” section.)

Scholastic rewards kids with good handwriting apparently! That’s good, because kids (and adults) have lousy handwriting. This link is to a page of the Scholastic website that’s for a handwriting contest. AND it has free resources for handwriting. I could see using these handwriting resources especially in ELL classrooms. They’ve got some good explanations about why having decent handwriting is important. I mean, if you can’t communicate well through writing, you’re sort of in trouble. But maybe not in this age of technology. Anyway, the resources are here. (If link is broken, search for “Zaner-Bloser Handwriting.”)

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has a website (via the Young Writers Program) and free workbooks for all grades. Maybe a whole post on NaNoWriMo in my “English Resources” coming soon..? (Search for “NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program” if link is broken.)

Freecycle sounds like Craigslist but with free things. I’m thinking this site would be useful to find free YA books.