Window to my Classroom

As a Social Studies teacher my room is full of maps, political signs, current events in the news, images, and other artifacts that come into play in my class. My classroom is fairly crowded. I have two classes in this room with at least 30 students. I can currently hold up to 38 at one time and do have 36 in my World Geography course. I have tried my best to make it so I can constantly move around the room but also so my students can maneuver their desks around to work in small groups.

In the past few years, I have tried to bring color into the room painting the back wall bright orange two years ago (it needs another coat). I have also added colors, maps, signs, and posters to the bulletin boards. By adding these colors, maps, and images throughout the room I'm hoping to spark the students and keep them upbeat. In the future I hope to add more on the other walls to help change the feeling of the "traditional classroom." You can also see some of the student work that has been completed for my World Geography class in the back of the room dealing with different climate regions.

I have designated the area around my desk as my personal space. I try to avoid allowing students into this area because of some important things (iPad, tests, other documents, etc.). However, I do use this area to showcase some important things that I take pride in. Number one, I use the slogan "Nothing Good Happens After Midnight" every Friday with my kids. They now mock me and I have had graduates come back and say that this statement has stuck with them. I think it is an important lesson that I grew up with and continue to use with them. I also place any senior pictures up on the Wall of Fame where they stay from year to year. Some of the other things you may see are my Detroit Tigers flag (I'm a huge fan) and my GVSU pennant, where I attended for my undergraduate work.

We have also been fairly lucky in the past few years receiving grant money and new technologies due to a bond that has passed. In my room, I currently have a projector mounted to the ceiling, surround sound speakers, 30 netbooks, a tablet to control my computer, and in the next few months I will be getting a document camera. I also bring in my personal iPad to take notes on during class, take attendance, and try some of its features with my students. In the picture below you can see the projector, netbook cart, and a bit of how I use the projector in my teaching.

I am also a big supporter of our community and I am trying to push this upon my students. My students have an opportunity everyday to bring in one article about our community, school district, or region to gain some extra credit. We then post these articles up on the board in my room for everyone to see. It has really surprised me how many times students have gone to this board to read the articles and look at the pictures. Living in a small community, such as Kalkaska, I try to emphasize the importance of volunteering, civic engagement, and being a part of their community. Below, you can see the form the community wall has taken so far this year.

Lastly, you can see two of my Civics students doing their 1st amendment presentation to the class. The use of both the projector and the tablet have been a huge asset to our class. I do not use the tablet everyday but do use the projector daily.