Friday, September 5, 2014

Reflective Teaching Day 5: Post a Pic of Classroom


C-210 at MHS

What I see....
     I like the arrangement of the desks....I call them pods. Amazingly, after 3 weeks the desks have stayed put and really have not moved. Any other configuration I have tried, the desks get messed up and it gets annoying to fix them every day. Maybe the openness of the room makes it easier for the students to move in and out of the room. I do have another teacher in the room (S/O to Mrs. Frei) and she has full classes. I thought that since I have fewer students this year, the arrangement stayed put with fewer bodies in and out. I have noticed though that with this change in arrangement of the seats has also changed the way I teach the class: more of them, less of me. I never sit down. Moving from pod to pod to make sure students are understanding what we are doing and then discussing as an entire class.
     The map. (swoon) My old map was ripped and not up to date (Still had the Soviet Union....historical but not good for talking about today) I love that students look at it, use it and even ask me questions about many different things around the world. I also like that if I wanted to, I could use a dry erase marker to write on it and it erases easy. The map does a great job of providing an easy visual and it gives the students perspective on topics we discuss, even if it is about the US. Love the map! (Sing the Dora song....)
     I love the addition of the fans. I know. I know. It really does not "cool" the room down, but the movement of air helps....a lot. Even if it is only the perception of coolness, it's still coolness. (Perception is reality?)
     As a high school teacher, I have always tried to figure out what to do with the bulletin boards in my room. I am not a fan of the "Hang in There" motivational posters as I think they can come across as kinda cheesy. I began to try a unit in US History last year using Standards Based Learning/Grading. The tic tac toe board near the door was idea hatched by my #sblchat friends (S/O to Rik Rowe! @WHSRowe) You have different activities that correspond to the scale you have created for that learning goal. An example is HERE! Somehow I have to find a good way to do this again with my AP Gov class or Contemporary World Issues class. Both have standards, but as semester classes and with the AP grind of material, I am not sure how to even tackle that idea. Future project!!

What I would like to see that I don't see.....
     1. A graffiti wall.....good for brainstorming ideas, class writing assignments with a thesis, or just notes to remember.
     2. Desks that move easier. I feel like the stationary desks make it a little harder to mix the groups up so students can move their materials easier. Yes they can just move, but in a full classroom, that might not work as smoothly as just re-arranging the desks quickly. I wouldn't mind experimenting with softer seats too.
     3. Pipe dream: a live Twitter feed that makes sounds on a new mention. How much more interactive would class be if you could live Tweet to the president or a prime minister and have them respond? That would be pretty awesome.....
    4. Pipe dream #2: I want a DJ. One that understands the content as well as I do and when students are working, he/she could play something appropriate to that content. And for drum rolls for jokes during class. Can you imagine...."DJ Frank.....take us out...."
     5. Better lighting. The florescent lights are hard on the eyes. I know the daylight or whatever they are called lights are a bit pricey but they last longer and make it easier on students who sit all day in the glow of the florescent lights.
     6. You cannot see it but it would be grand...cooler air!!

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