Classroom Matters

classroom

A little shameless self-promotion! I have a short e-book available on Amazon for £1.53 which explores ways of making the most of your Secondary classroom space. Setting up the classroom at the start of a new academic year is for me, one of the most exciting and encouraging ways to get ready for the term ahead. Nothing makes a bigger and more immediate visual impact and says more about the type of teacher you are and what the students who enter your domain can expect.

In this short book I explore the importance of the classroom as a learning and motivational tool, and offer a plethora of funky ideas that you can use and adapt to create your own impressive personalised space!

Some reviews on the book:

“I liked how the author was able to draw on her own practical experience and also build on all the best of what she has seen over the years in her teaching career. I can see teachers everywhere being pleasantly surprised at the reaction of their students as they enter the classroom eagerly to see how it is going to look today. The students will feel valued – “she actually went to all this trouble for us?” The teacher will hopefully gain brownie points too in that student interest and enthusiasm for subjects and topics will grow. Without being over the top the author encourages readers to take a fresh new look at classroom environments for secondary schools and her enthusiasm is catching!”

“An insightful booklet on the art of teaching. There are plenty of good ideas here, practical stuff that plays well in the classroom. I particularly liked the class museum section. There is a method to the madness.”

Creative Secondary Classroom Displays

One of the most optimistic rituals of the school year, for me, is preparing my classroom for the coming September and creating classroom displays. Ever since I turned green with envy helping out a Primary School Teacher friend with her displays, I’ve dreamed of taking some of the elements from primary classrooms and creating The Perfect Secondary School Classroom.

Ambitious? Yes, but classrooms are dynamic environments that should adapt and change and are always a work in progress, so at least we can use this an as excuse. Here are some thoughts on organising secondary classrooms to get us both started…

Key Words

Information Boards

I like to have an information board with info about levels, timings of the school day, behavioural expectations, homework schedules etc. so I can point and gesticulate wildly towards the board when rules are broken. Where possible, I also like to have my own information ‘space’ around my desk where I put up laminated copies of documents that I use regularly. These include my timetable, staff lists, grade criteria  etc, but also handouts from CPD to remind me of the school’s current teaching and learning focus. Not only is this handy and looks good to Ofsted, but I believe it signals to the students that the classroom is the teacher’s arena and that he or she is the expert in the room.

Staple it to the Wall!

In the Guardian’s article ‘Look What I Can Do, Mum!’, Philip Beadle quiet rightly suggests: ‘Use artefacts. If it doesn’t move, staple it to the wall. If it does move, kill it, then staple it to the wall.’ Like me, he was inspired by a primary school that had turned its bare walls in to bright, quirky, arresting museums of interesting artefacts and ideas. He believes that ‘good classroom display is the quickest, and easiest, way of building a positive reputation among your colleagues.’ Bonus.

I’ve begun here by using postcards, an old key, book covers and wrapping paper. I would also like to have a drama shelf at the back of the room with a clapper board and some hats. Any other suggestions are most welcome – please write and let me know what you do with your classroom displays!

The Guardian article can be found here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2005/apr/12/teaching.schools