Its that time again to get your class ready for the start of the year. As you prepare for your lessons and activities you also need to think about your classroom and what kind of environment you are promoting. Look around at your walls, white boards, and bulletin boards. What do you see? How would you feel as a new student walking in for the first time? For me the classroom environment starts before my students even enter the class. On my door I post a saying that lets students know that they are important. I also greet my students everyday with a handshake. By doing these two simple things you let the students know that you care about them and that you are glad they are there.
As they enter my room the first thing they see is my famous failures wall. I want them to know that mistakes are necessary for learning and that it is okay to fail. I try and stress throughout the year that everyone that has been successful has failed. I allow my students to try over and over again and encourage them to be risk takers. My students know that they won’t be penalized the first few times they are trying out new things because failing is part of the learning process.
My whiteboards in the front have multiple purposes. One, they act as an informational center. Students learn what the objective of the day is and what they are expected to do at home. Two, they act as an inspirational center. I put a quote of the week on the board for students to use as a reflection on what they are doing. Three, they act as special message boards from me. I like to give shout outs and point out amazing works that I am seeing and to make sure everyone see them I put them at the front of my room on the white boards.
I use the back of my room as an interactive learning wall. Students incorporate social media by posting short thoughts and pictures about what they are learning. Then throughout the class time if they need to review they can go to the back of the room and read the information to review and learn.
I also have a board that reminds students about digital citizenship and technology rules. We use technology a few times a week and so it is important that my students know about digital citizenship and practice it. My last boards help students with the common core literacy science standards by helping them with their academic vocabulary and showing them how to support their claims with evidence.
What do you do to create a supportive classroom environment? Let me know in the comments below