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Middle School Classroom Setup 3 | Organization, Storage, and Prep

Middle School Classroom Setup 3 | Organization, Storage, and Prep


Hello, welcome to the math reflective my name is Cathy Dickson and I’m a sixth grade teacher in, Illinois Thank you to those of you that been watching my classroom setup videos. I really appreciate it and I haven’t even done a proper introduction. So, hello! It’s wonderful to meet you over YouTube. For those of you that are new to my channel I’m heading into a second year piloting open up resources 6-8 math, and I’m really excited about it. And because I feel a little bit more comfortable with the resource, I now want to raise the bar of my own teaching and learning along with my students. So that’s why I’ve been making these videos to show how I set up my classroom as well as how I’m going to implement and try to improve by making some goals this year. I also want to tell you a little bit about my channel. So my channel has got three purposes: to talk about teaching (how I teach math) reflect on how I teach and what my students are doing, and also think about how I can impact my own learning and my students learning so that we can all maximize our potential. And another thing I want to say is starting off in these first few weeks of school, I’m going to be posting on Instagram an awful lot. So if you’re not following me on Instagram, go ahead and find me @themath reflective because I’ve been putting more things into Instagram stories lately. Hello It is Wednesday, and I’m back in the classroom for a couple hours and I just wanted to mention about this bulletin board. I use it when I film inside my classroom But I also want to point out these posters about important women in STEM. And if you haven’t had a chance to download these and you’re interested in them, Go ahead and check them out at nevertheless podcast You can find them on Instagram or they have a website and these posters are free. There’s more of them actually and I am committing and making sure that this year I incorporate teaching my students a little bit about these women in STEM because it’s very important. These are some of the other posters and I just printed them in color and then mounted them on cardstock. I didn’t laminate so they wouldn’t have glare but I definitely plan to put these up this year as well. This area is kind of a storage area and a little bit of a teacher area. I don’t use it as much anymore, but I definitely put any paper copies that I need over here again We’re one to one with iPads. So we don’t use paper a lot although for unit 1 Geometry, there are times that we will use paper often in this unit. But I’ll go ahead and put things ahead of time that I need here. This is where our document camera sits and really we rarely use it. That’s why we don’t have another table kind of facing, you know the rest of the class is -we display using our iPads and mostly students are displaying, so we don’t really use a document camera much except to maybe go over answers for cooldowns. We’ll definitely do that and my co teacher is left-handed. So we have to kind of change the orientation of the camera a little bit so it’s good for both of us. I just have a little plant back here just to fill in some space and this is kind of blank right now I need to fill in the bulletin board here. But yeah, it’s pretty clean area right now. Up in this area. I like to keep passes. These are passes if students are going to come back to your class for lunch or come back for homeroom, or during homeroom. If they are going to go to another teachers class. They have to have a pass filled out and Then I think I showed these earlier that I have these lunch passes and that’s easy for me to just put the date and the children’s names when they have to come in at lunch. Then this is where I keep extra like sign-up sheets for the bathroom real quick if we run out I can just go put them over there and If I’m gonna do a seating chart or something, I keep extra templates right here. This is an area I haven’t thought about in a couple years, but I think I want to take all these down. These are the eight Mathematical practices posters that we made a couple years ago. We actually had students at the end of the year in sixth grade brainstorm qualities of different superheroes and then we tried to align had them align them to the mathematical practices and then students voted on which Superheroes should go with which one and we thought that we would have vertical alignment with this and maybe carried on to seventh and eighth Grade since superheroes are always so popular But it just kind of fizzled out we haven’t really kept it up open up resources does such a wonderful job of Embedding the mathematical practice and I feel like it becomes part of our everyday language. We try to focus on one a day that we’re working on and Intentionally thinking about so I feel like this really doesn’t connect to what we’re doing anymore I feel like I need to do something go ahead and add some in the comments below if you have an idea for me But I think I could better use this space for something else so I got to think about that one resource in my classroom that I have an abundant supply is is Individual or group dry erase ports. These are double-sided and I think I have 30 or 40 of them. So plenty I just need a lot of those dry erase markers Our school does supply some of those but we’re not supposed to go crazy with them. So I made need to get some donations So I have a set here on this side of the room I have a set over there on that side of the room and then just a sec. I want to show you something else. I Also have this side this is a large size for collaboration in group work and this is just Board that I got from Home Depot, and I they cut it there for me for free So I think each board was 13 dollars and I might have got two of them I can’t remember the size of the board, but I didn’t spend more than $25 about four years ago The only thing is the surface is a little bit more difficult to clean So I feel like you’d have to kind of treat the surface, but I did just scrub these the other day with hand sanitizer and they come off pretty well, and then I used the Spray for dry erase boards and they’re pretty clean. So I envisioned putting these up a lot of the counter tops this year And Then maybe having three on this side and three on that side and then put them in random groupings and they can go to town and start working either on the floor or something and then sometimes last year we had students present their Group work and I just like that size I like that is for flexibility to have that large size and then also the small size so I’m excited about that Another thing that I do use in my classroom is these privacy screens cubbies, whatever you want to call them We do have students take these out when we have the unit end of unit or mid unit assessments We don’t have them do them for exit tickets or pull downs or things like that Because it just takes a little extra time to bring them out Sometimes we say put up your own personal dividers and we have students like put up their iPad Or like their binders or something like that if we’re wanting to do it really quickly But I have one of these for each student in the classroom and what I do for a table of four Or you really only need to set up two of these so if you have them Kitty-corner from each other and you just have two students do it and you kind of line it up in the corner of the death It does give enough privacy and then it doesn’t take as much time to clean up So if we have tables a floor that works nicely I also love having clipboards in my classroom and Shh don’t tell anybody but I used to teach a section of literature to For three years in a row, so I was able to order these with literature department money They even say sixth grade Lit, but Shh, I’m not teaching Lit this year, but my mathematicians Certainly will enjoy using these in the classroom. I love these for those days You just want students that get up out of their seat and give them some work time with a partner I think it’s good to have those movement breaks but a back-up plan If you don’t have clipboards, you can always use your dry erase boards Another very handy thing that I have in my classroom. Is this mini paper cutter? I Have had this since I taught first grade Let’s see. Let’s go way back back in 1992-93 I got this paper cutter. It came home with me when I decided to leave teaching for a number of years So I used it at home for different things. And now that I’m teaching again for the last several years I use it my classroom we do have one at the end of the hall in our work room where our copier and other paper is but I like having The smaller one in the classroom As you can see these cabinets that are on the opposite wall. That’s the wall adjacent to the hallway I have a lot more of the materials that goes goes with my math resource open up resources So we’ve got string we’ve got little portion cups We’ve got receipt tape register tape other manipulatives card stock here paddy paper We’ve got these Pattern blocks, we’ve got unifix cubes We’ve got markers that came. I’ve got old paper here Here I have just a column unit little storage unit, which is great It was left here when I started teaching here and this is where I keep other materials and supplies The students are allowed to go in here anytime. They need anything. We’ve got the measuring tapes Rulers up here. I’ve got extra scissors I just got an abundance of scissors in this classroom because I took over for somebody who had been here like 15 years or so and then all this stuff here students can use I think this is the unit that I’m going to put the visual model templates for students I haven’t filled them yet, but I did make some and I just have to do some cutting These are just odds and ends. We have a bingo chart We have Yahtzee here graph paper multiplication charts That’s another thing. I want to make accessible. I think I’ll go put that over with the geometry toolkit area Just some different things that I have here that students are allowed to access at any time So what exactly do I use all these bookcases for I? Don’t teach literature anymore. So I did get rid of books and different things that I had in here We have some old textbooks that we’re saving just in case we need some old textbooks and that bottom shelf is emergency sub plans We have to have a central spot where we tell, you know, a sub if we somehow don’t have sub plans That would be emergency sub plans and then I have a lot of these I have a few of these crates with hanging file folders And I used to keep everything filed for students and I would have students help in homeroom And we would file assessments and different things and it was a lot of work and I found that after parent-teacher conferences in November I would just stack them on a empty shelf like right there. Just throw them out there and I Usually kept them sorted pretty nicely if I had to go through and find one which was rare. I really never did So all the sorting and everything all year was not worth my time plus with the cool downs We give them back to students and they keep those so we don’t really need to file those I did go ahead and put vocabulary words here. I don’t know if I’m gonna use these for the word wall that goes with the anchor chart or if I’m gonna have students make them or we also have ones that were given to us to Use with open up resources. So not sure about that for right now on this shelf I have some of those dry erase boards stored and I have my sixth and seventh grade Supplies that our school ordered for us manipulatives that go with each of the grade levels I have some old hands-on equation things that we do with the equations some more supplies for open up resources and Then over here Some more of those crates that I just I have to figure out what to do with this because this is really wasted space I have all I mean some people would be dying for all this space Oh on Fridays We have fun Friday for homeroom and students pick out different games and things to play For those of you that are watching this video that aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about with this geometry tool kit Our school is piloting open up resources 6-8 math for a second year in a row I’m really hoping that we adopt this resource. It is all aligned to common core It is an open education resource so that it is free to anybody Digitally, we pay for the teacher workbooks and since we’re a one-to-one with iPad school we give our students the PDF versions of the student task statements for each grade 6 7 & 8 we start unit 1 with geometry, and I know Geometry is a unit. We’ve almost never got two. So in my teaching experience in sixth grade, we actually never got to the geometry so we would incorporate area and perimeter, you know review of perimeter and different things into other lessons that we’re doing in other units, but open up resources starts with geometry and part of that is it’s really important in changing your Instruction and doing an inquiry based learning program is to be able to develop those relationships Routines the way the whole class is about discourse in talking the teachers doing much less Direct teaching and just as a guide on the side and the students are driving and learning So in order to do that You have to develop a lot of class routines of working together and it’s easier to do that with more unfamiliar concepts like they don’t they’re not already set in their way with algorithms and different things with Geometry and it has an access point for everything or for everyone. So that is why we start with geometry So our geometry tool kits are very hands-on and it’s all the different ways that we help students uncover concepts area Scale drawings and things like that. So what exactly is in this geometry toolkit? Well keeping in mind that I have two levels of sixth grade math So I use the sixth grade and the seventh grade curriculum. So some things are for different grade levels in here Well if you look inside These got colored pencils We’ve got patty paper We’ve got index cards. I’m gonna talk about these in just a minute. I also keep ABCD cards in here this is great for the which one doesn’t belong routine and some of the other multiple choice things that are an open up resource and It’s a great quick call and response system that you can use formative feedback You know to see where your class is at So I like to keep a bag of ABCD cards and each student has a set for each table group also have rulers in here different Scissors as I said earlier, I have an abundance of scissors I have protractors in here glue sticks just a couple of these sticks and then I have highlighters. I Wanted to talk about the index card a little bit more as you see here that the edges are highlighted. So when you get into triangles in unit one and students have to find a height given a base this Highlighting of the corner of index card just seemed to help some of the students and didn’t not all of them needed it But it definitely helps some of the students visually to see how to find that corresponding height given a base So that’s a good extra little tip there That’s it Okay, I want to go ahead and demonstrate how you would find the list for what is comprised in the geometry toolkit So I went to open up resources org. I have a log in and I went to unit one for sixth grade go ahead and choose lesson two and Then if you scroll down You can see where it says required materials You could just click on geometry toolkits and Then you can see where it’ll list for grade six and seven and eight what you need so for grade six tracing paper graph paper colored pencils scissors and index cards to use as a straightedge or to mark right angles and Then it tells you a little bit something about tracing or what we use is paddy paper So that’s how you find what’s in the geometry toolkits. It took me a while to figure that out About the year. We encouraged a lot of collaboration with students and at the end of the year our Administration several people from the district came and did a learning walk just specifically for math it was the first time that they had ever done that with some math criteria in mind and then we met in May for our last committee meeting and they definitely said that our students are collaborating and discussing math and Solutions and how they do problems more than they ever have before But they also saw that they weren’t really Helping to push the knowledge or dive deeper So they weren’t asking the right questions or pushing another student’s thinking to help them get to that next level of depth of understanding So a student might share their solution and maybe there’s an error in it and the other students just kind of saying oh, okay Well, I did it this way. So we really want to push their thinking better this year And I know that’s something we also talked about at the hive conference of having sentence frames for students to know like what kinds of things Would they say, you know to give them some examples of it? Okay so I popped in for about an hour and a half today because I wanted to film a Special video for my students and then also I wanted to follow up about the sentence frames that I was talking about earlier In the video, I went ahead and printed out something that was saved I think on the Facebook community site on sentence frames somebody had put shared their Google Doc So then what I did is I cut and pasted it so it would be front to back So half of the sentence frames on this side half on this side And then I printed them out on cardstock. So maybe I’ll start with these for the school year on slowly over time You know explain to students at different areas and how this is divided up. Like this says the language function is described explain justify generalize critique compare and contrast Represent and interpret and there’s statements as well as questions for each of those areas That might be really overwhelming for students at first, so I haven’t thought at all yet about how I want to incorporate this I will talk to my math team and we’ll figure it out together, but just wanted to follow up on that I’m going to go ahead and put the link To this document that’s double-sided below in the description box in case you’re interested in using it as well Just wanted to give you an up-close view of the sentence stem cards so that you know better what I was talking about So the other side looks like this Until next time are you ready for more?

Comments (2)

  1. There's dry erase paint you could paint on the large group boards that don't erase very well to see if it helps

  2. Great ideas! Thank you. Do you use any notebooks for math work? Or just on iPads?

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