I made a conscious decision to try and create a space where my students feel comfortable and excited to learn, but not too overstimulated. For me, that has translated as bight colors, fuzzy rugs, fun pillows, art, (I prefer rainbow everything!) and a select number of posters and cues for classroom management. I sporadically change things up to provide novelty (not only for my students but for me!) and so the space represents what we are learning at the moment.
PreK through 2nd grade classes typically sit on dots on the floor and 3rd through 5th sit in chairs. The colors are an easy way to group kids.
Each year I try and change my board. This year I went with emojis. The kids seem to enjoy looking at them and they also serve as rejoinders. My library for Sustained Silent Reading is below the board. The books are on floating shelves from The Container Store.
On the chalkboard, I typically write frequently used words/phrases and my call and response. On the far left side, I keep a large pad of re-stickable poster paper. I use this to rotate what is displayed to fit the class/level I am teaching. The current poster shows the acronym PIENSA, which is a Story Listening guideline I devised for an extremely chatty and easily distracted 5th grade class. P stands for Piensa. Have you stopped to think before calling out? I stands for Importante. Is what you want to share important? E stands for español. Is it important in order to learn español? N stands for necesario. Is it necessary at that moment? S stands for Sentido. Does it make sense or is it a silly or distracting statement? A stands for Ayuda. Does it help you or the class learn Spanish?
The pink and green lettered poster is how I begin every class in 2nd through 5th grade. My part is pink. Students chorally respond with the green.
Las Reglas are my rules. This original idea came from Annabelle Williamson, but, I’ve modified it a bit to fit my needs.
Common brain break activities – Piedra, Papel, Tijera and Evolución also from Annabelle
This is my guide to effective group work. We discuss how A+B+C=D&E. We discuss each component and I model or have students demo what each one looks like in a partner or group work setting. In a nutshell, Amistad – friends include everyone, treat classmates with kindness, try to be fair. Bienestar – ensure safety and well-being. Essentially, No one gets hurt! Colaboración – cooperation, sportsmanship. All of these components make group work fun (Diversión) and help us learn the most Español.