Challenger: Amy Watkins, Library Media Specialist, Central Middle School, Lawton
Amy invited me to her beautiful library earlier this week but I took so many pictures, I wasn’t sure how to best use them. I ended up narrating a photo tour on Youtube but I apologize for the delay.
Amy was extremely fortunate in that when the architect was working on her building, he worked out of the library so she was able to offer input on certain features such as the central location of the circulation desk. She has a large space but it has to be used for many purposes and groups. I really like her out-of-the-box ideas and resourcefulness as well as her theme “Read! And go along for the ride…” Even though she’s accomplished so much, she keeps the projects going. I can’t wait to see what she adds.
Mandi Cloud is just one of the many Oklahoma teachers working in July. Check out her super colorful organization! Those bins are full of good stuff: math manipulatives and games. She’s also maxing out the brightness with the Word Wall.
Challenger: Amy Price, 3rd/4th grade Split, Washington Elementary, Lawton
Amy recently learned she’d be teaching a 3rd/4th grade split this year so she’s got big changes coming. FYI if you need any help creating an amazing planner, she’s the one to contact. Her style and attention to detail are inspiring. You should see what she can do with washi tape.
Here’s her “video walk through BEFORE THE FABULOUSNESS.” Super observant people may spy the enormous storage closet – it is a legitimate coat room, just another advantage of working in a century old building.
Challenger: Heather Murr, Spanish, Cache High School
The first thing that struck me about Heather’s classroom was all the color! I may have painted my classroom black but my favorite color is rainbow. From the flags to the decorations on the high shelf, it looks positively festive. I would love to see a few pictures of the different ways the students use the room; it sounds so flexible. I am also dying to know what is in the white, green, and blue bags hanging off the desks? Can we get a close up?
In Heather’s words: “At most I’ll have 30 kids. It looks like a lot of desks since its a table and chair per kid really. I move my desks and chairs based on the activity so most of the time they have a partner. Sometimes they’re in groups of 4, sometimes [they’re] in a circle for conversation etc. I’m hoping to find a small bookcase to make a “center” with magazines and books in Spanish, puzzles etc for students who finish work early or need resources for assignments. I also need to create something to store the classroom set of headphones I just got and possibly room for an iPad cart. This room is shrinking by the minute!”
Update from Herself: “The bags hold Spanish/English dictionaries. If I was allowed to paint I so would do something wild!”
I’m starting to get entries for the #NotReadyTour Challenge, woot! I love that Kelli’s philosophy on decorating her classroom, “My goal is to get the classroom set up so the focus can return to curriculum.”
As I stood in my classroom, staring at the disarray of my end-of-July classroom, I thought about this blog and how I should really just get on with it. I’ve been sitting on videos for school tours I’ve taken around the state in the last year, but I just didn’t feel ready to post. Well, we’re done with that attitude now because I know I’m not the only one. There are teachers around the country, airing out their classrooms and removing the sheets from furniture while waiting for the AC to finally kick in, who are prepping for the new school year.
I loved watching this tour! The first thing that caught my eye was that we have the same Hokki stools. The second was that I need to work on my “deskless” situation; hard to do in a computer lab but I’ve got whole avenues opening up as my school goes 1:1 iPad this year. Amanda has such an inviting room, I think secondary classrooms have a lot to learn from elementary school design and this short tour really got my brain going.
Inspired, I decided to Periscope my classroom in all it’s messiness. Part of me hesitated (again), wanting to wait until I had everything back in place but I’m glad I did it. So my green screen walls needs a touch up and I’ve got yoga ball chairs to inflate, so what? Watching my own video gave me new insights and items to add to my custodians’ honey-do list. (God bless my custodians.)
I’d like to challenge #oklaed to post and your own #notready for school classroom tours and then meet me back here in a month to update your polished and student-ready version. You know what, admins and counselors, I’d love to see your spaces, too. Libraries! Oh, I’d love to see some libraries. I know people who put a lot of effort into making them amazing. Just click on “Contribute” at the top of the page to get added. I can’t wait to see what my fellow educators are up to!
Welcome to Discover OklaEd, a website encouraging Oklahoma students and teachers to create and share K-12 school virtual field trips. Our project was born on Twitter! Check back soon for more updates and get involved. We are planning to have a session at EdCampOKC 2015 on February 28th about the project to brainstorm ideas and encourage participation. Read more about our project on our About page.