1. Behavior Management Visual: This has enjoyed an upgrade from last year. I've used this stoplight for over a decade, and in spite of the cute clip charts I've seen on Pinterest, I couldn't bring myself to pitch it and start over. Plus my fourth graders really like the little "gingerbread men" that are Velcroed to the felt circles. So I made a few improvements that I think have brought it up to speed with modern charts! First, the labels are right on it so that it's clear we're aiming for green and not red.
It also has a further explanation that is more attractive right beside it (instead of on oak tag). And finally, it has 5 steps instead of 3, so that kids who get a warning move their name before they move it for the consequence. Hopefully that will create more accountability than, "Did I already give you a warning?" And finally, my last minute idea was to write positive and negative numbers to show that there are two levels to the positive and negative sections. Math concept reinforcement bonus!
2. Group table signs: My grade level partner had signs (colors) for his groups and it helped me when I had to watch his class during transition times. I thought it was about time I was kind to my substitutes and do this!
For each of these I bent a paper plate inside out to staple it to the back of a second paper plate (this way there is not blank, white back side). I printed off the word "Group" in a free font from daFont, and made the number graphics myself. Then I cut a beaded necklace in half, hole punched the paper plate and stuck the bead through. I lucked out; it was a tight enough squeeze that I'm confident it will stay on. Finally I opened a paper clip 45 degrees, put the first bead on the other end through, and then closed it up again, bending it into a 45 degree angle the other way. That angled paper clip then slides right under the ceiling tile easily.
3. The Student Paperwork Area didn't need much; just a couple new signs. The mailbox is new though! I got inspiration for it on Pinterest and found these folders for a reasonable price at Target. I'm hoping it will help get notices distributed more efficiently (I can just stick them into folders while the kids are taking a test or working independently. That way they aren't disrupted from what they're doing to put things away at a bad time).
4. Administration provided some character education posters for us, so I put them on my door.
I also updated the quote I've had up for over a decade, "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but a person with a certain set of attitudes." Now it has a picture of a boy who looks elated despite/because he's standing out in a downpour.
So that's pretty much what the kids saw on their first day. The rest of the room is intentionally a blank slate! I like to add content with my class so that they take ownership of it. That's why you won't see any anchor charts in this post. Together over the next week we will be creating classroom rules, organizing our library, building word walls with strong vocabulary choices, exploring math concepts and so on.
|White space but not for long!|
|View from the door|
If you like this look, you can get my lime green and teal decor here. Next time I'll show you how my math wall turned out (it's that little bit tucked in the bottom left corner), since that could take up a whole post on its own!