The pins I am referring to are the ones of my own classroom. Most of them I originally pinned and others have been pinned from my blog (with my permission of course). Curiosity got the better of me, and therefore I spent some time reading the comments others had left on my pins that others pinned. Have you ever done that? Overall, I can't complain...I blush at the compliments.
But the one thing I did find, that was a constent, was people really questioned the fact that this was really my classroom, that it was unrealistic and probably never looked that way again, that I have a HUGE classroom, and very little students. The top two was that a classroom should not look like mine, that the students need to take ownership of the room and I should have their work and things hanging all over the room...the second I believe was an actual comment on my blog or maybe email....it had to do with the color of the room and how red has been studied to invoke anger and hostility...had I noticed that in my room??
So I decided to possibly answer some of these comments and questions. Not that those who made the comments would link back to my blog, but maybe just to give myself peace of mind. I keep telling myself that because I decided to blog, have a business, and participate on pinterest I have to take the good with the bad, that not everyone would agree with what I had to say or how I do things....and I'm okay with that...I think. But the reason I chose to write this post was to possibly answer some of the questions, comments, or concerns (sounds good right?!).
First of all I have 23 students in my classroom. The picture that most are questioning is the one from my first classroom reveal. Yes I had fewer students, and that is why I ended up volunteering to be displaced.
This set up was for 21. I only had 17 at the beginning of the school year, and again this was at the school I taught at for 7yrs prior to volunteering to be displaced. In that school I was in three different rooms, some smaller than this but because of my minimalistic approach and how I organize my room, it tends to look/feel much larger than they are.
Here is my new classroom (second classroom reveal)
I tend to have everything in bins, buckets, containers, etc. And all of my furniture is placed against walls...therefore giving me maximum floor space.
The other thing that I felt I just "had" to address was posting the student work...well I do post and keep anchor charts, notes, and other things as we are using them. However with all the testing, fire marshallness, and because I put my furniture against the walls I don't have much wall space to use. I do hang A LOT of things outside in the hallway. But I assure you that there is A LOT of learning going on here :)
The other thing was that people couldn't believe that my room would stay like that and how it would look like once the students "took over". Well...not much different. I do set very high expectations for how my classroom should look and run. I have a lot of procedures and as my students will tell you...the first day I meet them I let them know that "Mrs. Falkenhagen is a neat freak".
I think it really started with me when I took a class in elementary school called "Where There is a Will there's an A". It taught students how to stay organized, the importance of using your agenda, keeping your notes neat, how to take good/neat notes, and so on. It really clicked and worked for me! So I try to pass that along. I'm not saying my classroom is sterile and students are scared to learn, create, and be kids...but when we are done doing all of that...they know how to leave the room, then next time we can find what we need. So I took some pictures of our day. Take a look at how my classroom is used, cleaned, and "lived in".
Here are pictures of our Math and Reading block...we are currently in CRCT March Madness Review time. Not pictured is the back table that I was meeting with small groups.
And here are some pics of the end of the day, the kids did all the picking up, stacking of chairs, etc.
As for the comments about the color red, well I did not study colors and how they effect student behavior. For nine years my color theme was blue and green, it was this year that I chose to change it. I have not seen any difference in how my students behavior or react in my classroom. I still have the same daily struggles, behavior situations, and third grade drama that I have had in the past.
Okay so now that I have put the questions and comments "to rest"...I know I know they will still be there and more will be made, but I hope you can also see that my classroom is real, it is "lived in" and used...I am normal :) well sort of.
Have a great Monday,