Today’s prompt for the 30 Day Challenge is:
Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see–and what you don’t see that you’d like to.
Okay, so it’s not a picture, but it’s close.
The thing that stands out most for me in my classroom is the flags. For the first time ever, I’ve managed to hang up all of my Spanish-speaking country flags at the same time, rather than trying to rotate through them throughout the year. I also labelled each flag with the country it represents, because I know my students don’t know most of them, and I’m hoping that just seeing them all the time will help them learn. One thing I’m trying to do with the flags is to get kids to bring in pictures of people or places, or short descriptive words about the country and hang them on the appropriate flag. I’ve had a few things brought in, but that’s one thing I’d definitely like to see more of!
There are lots of posters as well, all in the target language (I refused to hang up any posters with English this year!), and calendar pictures of Costa Rica interspersed as well. I’m thinking in the future, I may tone down the posters and do a word wall instead. Last night’s Langchat gave me the idea of a “Duh!” common errors board that I’d like to implement this year, assuming I can make room for it!
The biggest change I’d like to make? I’d love to toss the desks. Or at least change them. For one thing, I have about 8 more than I need, and they just clutter the room, take up space, and limit the types of arrangements I can use. Additionally, I hate this style of desk because it, too, limits how I can arrange my students. At the end of last school year, I tried to find a teacher in the district who would rather have the chair/desk combos and would trade me for separate pieces. No one at the high school has them, and apparently all the middle school teachers like theirs (for obvious reasons!). It just seems to me that language is such a group construct that it makes sense to have the kids at tables and groups, at least most of the time. But I didn’t manage a trade, so now I make do with what I have. Boring, straight rows. Don’t get me wrong, I still get the kids in groups frequently, but it would just be so much easier with a different type of desk. If I could get them into a circle without blocking everyone in…a dream.