A Tour of My 8th Grade Classroom

This Monday the students started school and this week has been exciting and exhausting at the same time.  I am trying to get used to a new schedule in addition to teaching all 8th grade English classes.  I thought that I would show you what my classroom looks like so that you can see the ways that I am using space and design to promote literacy among my students.  I have spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at images of other classrooms for ideas and inspiration.

You will notice first that green is my color this year.  I believe in brain compatible learning and that means the environment and color influence student learning. Green is a calming color and since my classroom is right off of a courtyard, we have a very green landscape to look out onto (for now).  I stick to one color as not to excite or distract my students.

I have brought in green two chairs I got from my aunt for conferencing and group work in a space I call the “Literacy Lounge” in the back of my classroom.

cooperative learning groups working in the literacy loungeLiteracy Lounge

I am awaiting new desks that are more conducive to cooperative learning but for now we work with what we have.  The walls are a little barren right now since I want to fill them with wonderful student work.

A view of my classroom looking towards the back below.

Back of classroom

Yes, we are probably one of the few schools left that has old desk top computers.  But at least after classes are over students can come to the classroom to work online and add stuff to our class Wiki.

In front of the “teacher’s desk” I have this antique side table also from my aunt that I use to store materials like markers, highlighters, note cards, and more.  It helps to keep things neat and organized and so that the classroom doesn’t look so cluttered with teaching tools.

Classroom 1 classroom cabinet

classroom 2

My homework board also allows me to highlight the Common Core Learning Standards we are working on at the current moment.  I used rainbow duct tape to create a border for the outside of the white board and then green duct tape to outline the homework board which is color coded for the days of the week.

A view of the classroom from the back of the classroom below:

classroom front view

The entire wall of my classroom looking out on the courtyard is book shelves.  They are very sparse as I begin to establish a classroom library, but I am adding to them daily.  I have created some bins for books that I will group together thematically. I took the line from middle school teacher and blogger, Erin Cobb of I’m Lovin’ Lit “There’s a book for that” to highlight the book shelves and the books that I showcase in our classroom library.

classroom book shelves

Lastly, some art history with a humorous twist for my students to remind them to bring a pen or pencil to class. Under The Scream it says, “What do you mean you don’t have a pen or pencil for class?”

classroom art history humor

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