Although I'm obviously still sad about leaving CCJS, my attention now turns to the next incredibly exciting chapter in my teaching career. I thought I'd share my new classroom space with you all after a similar post, New Year, New Classroom, was so popular and is still attracting views today! With the change of school also comes smaller classes (16 pupils) which in turn means I have slightly less room than previous years. However, I'm fortunate that it was only refurbished recently and is designed very well. The other big change is that I am now teaching in a boys' school. This prompted me to focus on a theme that I was confident the vast majority would appreciate. After much deliberation, the decision was to go with SUPERHEROES.
I saw lots of door designs on Pinterest for superheroes but I particularly liked the phrase "Superheroes in training" so I decided to match this up with some cute cut-outs of superhero silhouettes, each with a name of one of my pupils. The superhero comic font was free from here and the free templates for the hero cut-outs can be downloaded from here.
My relentless searching online for superhero classroom resources quickly brought me to a range of amazing American websites where teachers had created every kind of resource in every kind of theme. One thing I particularly liked was the Superhero Clock Labels by PinkCat Studio. I think they fit into the classroom well and will be a really useful prompt for the class.
Away from superheroes, I came across these birthday balloon free downloadable signs. I picked up some crazy straws and stuck on the signs. They sit in the corner by the window and will be a nice and quick birthday present for them as well as looking good all year round!
Now, over to my bulletin boards! There were some absolutely brilliant boards with a superhero theme online but I took a more simplistic approach whilst hopefully still creating a good effect. First up is my 'Superman' board which will be for writing. I forgot to make the 'Super Writing' lettering which will be the heading in red and yellow. I've kept a space for Word of the Week and I'm sure there will be lots more going on after the first few days of September. I created the Word of the Week pages and I think there are about 36 of them altogether, each with a definition and example of it being used in a sentence. Next to this board is also my 'Criminal Words' which fit very nicely into the theme. I'll be telling the children to defeat these villains by using all sorts of excellent synonyms. The criminal sheets were found on tpet.co.uk.
Next up is going to be my maths board, titled "MARVEL-lous Maths." I'll be putting up all sorts of vocabulary and number grids/facts. The movable superhero cut-outs were downloaded for free from MGulin.
You may have also caught a few glimpses of the superhero rules banner that can be found here. Unfortunately, my pictures don't do it justice, but it looks brilliant up in the classroom. Here's a picture from the website to show you how it looks:
The last board is going to be used for our topic work. I went for a Hulk theme and opted for 'Incredible Work' as the title. I'll probably end up hot-gluing pins onto pegs so that work can be easily displayed without ruining the backing paper.
In the corner of my room there's a different door that opens up to the hangers and the adjoining classroom. I thought this would make a good canvas for a few signs that have followed me from CCJS again. They are all quotes from Dr.Seuss books that the children will hopefully find inspirational/motivational.
Over now to the corner of the room with my desk:
This corner has a range of inspirational superhero quotes and messages (plus pictures of Superhero Minions just because,,,)The bright and colourful quotes can be downloaded for free here. The other messages can be found here, here and here. Next to the Batman cut-out is my 'This Looks Like A Job For...' page which is part of my new behaviour system which I'll discuss in more detail shortly.
On the other side of my table is this excellent Superhero Birthday sheet. On the first day of the year, I'll try to get small pictures of the children wearing a superhero mask and holding the number of the day they were born. These can then be stuck onto the birthday chart. Of course, my two class photos from CCJS will also be by my side!
Now to the front of my classroom with the whiteboards and screen.
Above the screen are lots of cut-out feet with synonyms for 'went' and some 'Who? What? Where? When? Why?' signs to help with their writing. I plan on keeping the board on the right-hand side free for jotting in lessons. The board on the left will be the organised board with clear sections.
I used painters tape to mark off the clear sections. This won't leave any kind of sticky residue and I think it makes the information easier to digest. I might also tape off an extra section for new vocabulary that will be used that day. The other very cool thing is that the white-boards sections actually SLIDE! There's a huge amount of storage space behind them that I'm sure will fill up quickly through the year. Here's a picture of them both moved into the middle:
Underneath the boards at the front is even more storage with trays that will be used as daily folders and homework collection points etc. I've not labelled them yet but use your imagination! The children have their own personal tray underneath their desks and they also each have their own individual locker at the front.
From the picture above, you can also see that my '"Mr Brickwood" train bought for me as a gift from friends has followed me here. There are also a couple of lovely gifts from children from CCJS. There are still many more bits of art and gifts from children that I intend to take in but the car was full!
Onto my new behaviour system! We will be working with a token system this year and these can be earned for good behaviour and following instructions. Each child will be assigned a number on the first day and this will stay with them throughout the year. The boxes holding the tokens can be seen in the picture below. You can't quite make them out, but each box is numbered so the child will know which box to take their coloured token from:
The tokens go into a bag for the week. Whenever I need a job completed or am choosing someone to lead the class to assembly etc, I will draw a token from the bag. Therefore, the more tokens you earn, the more chances you have of being rewarded. In addition to this, I also have a superhero behaviour chart that can be found here.
As you can see, everybody will start off on "Ready to Fly" and their peg can move up or down throughout the day. The children will receive a designated number of tokens for finishing the day in certain positions (1 token for Ready to Fly, 2 tokens for "Soaring" etc). The children will also be able to win super-hero themed prizes with their tokens!
I think that just about sums up my new classroom. It was fun to go with an actual theme for a change but I am pleased that I didn't go too overboard with it. I've seen some rooms where the theme dominates everything and it's slightly overkill. I think this is a good balance of different concepts and I am very excited about teaching in it from September. I've not decided on a seating layout yet but I'm going to do everything I can to make space for a carpet area.
Up, up and away!