And so another school year has begun. Just before we traveled back to Turkey, I was informed that due to a smaller class size (16 students vs. my 22 students last year), I would be moving classrooms. Last year I wanted a fun looking classroom, but didn’t know what decorations fit the age of sixth grade students. Now that I have a year under my belt, I felt like I have a much better idea of what to put in my classroom.
On the first day of school, I had all of the teachers from my hall sign a white board welcoming back the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students.
I was excited to move to the new room because there is a separated nook for centers. I also use this space for Bible class. It is nice to have a more relaxed part of the classroom where students can read or work in pairs. There are many different books that students can borrow when their work is finished. Recently, the favorite books have been the I Spy books by Jean Marzollo. These books are especially great for my ESL students because they learn new words as they identify objects.
I also dedicated this section to hold my craft supplies and supplemental work for students who finish early. There are several small games, pattern blocks, and a section where students can buy school supplies.
I spent a lot of time creating a theme. I finally decided to call the classroom The Sixth Grade Lion’s Den @ Oasis. I thought that this was a simple enough theme, while still sticking to a laid back atmosphere.
The pencil hanging from the ceiling was given to me last year by two teacher friends. It’s made from a mini wooden fence post and has worked well as a name plate for my room. I have many gifts from students in this section of the classroom that make it a unique atmosphere, including a crown (from a Spanish student), Dutch flag, and a catapult left over from a science fair project.
The birthday wall is still a work in progress, but it should be finished by the end of the week. I printed bricks onto A3 paper and put them up to make it look like a brick wall. I have some birthdays coming up soon, so I’m having my student assistant help me with the board.
This is my favorite part of the classroom. I think it is important for students to feel comfortable when they are participating in the learning process.
As of now, this is my bulletin board for important information. I created a table cleaner schedule for the whole year and put it on this board so that the students can have advance notice of their duties. I also post the monthly character trait and other pertinent information here:
This year, I thought I’d take a chance and get a class fish. After a series of elections, the class decided to name our new fish Shark Bait. I found him at a pet store in Cepa mall. The owners gave me a great deal that included the fish, bowl, and the food. This was a big hit with my students, especially my lower elementary Bible students.
To give the students ownership of their classroom, I hung a flag for the countries represented in my class on the bottom of the paper lanterns.
I have the classroom set up with two whiteboards and a walkway down the middle of the desks. Having that walkway has been great for proximity control. I also really enjoy having two whiteboards. It is nice to be able to write on one whiteboard, while the projector is being shown on the other.
Each of the colored paper sections are dedicated to a different subject. My goal is to hang the objectives here as well as extra notes and tips. I bought the mirrors at IKEA and placed them so I could see when someone walks through the door:
The bulletin board near my desk is covered in schedules and other paperwork. The students thought that the lamp mounted sideways was really neat:
I had a teacher friend give me these superhero parts of speech posters. They are a great decoration for sixth grade and a great teaching tool as well.
I am really enjoying teaching this year. It’s great to back to a routine, and I am excited about the smaller class size.