My first experience with a parking lot in the classroom was at an OGAP conference last summer. Every table was given pads of sticky notes. And, we were told that we could post any questions, comments, or concerns that we had on the parking lot. And, the coordinators would make sure that they were covered or taken care of. I don't think anybody used it at all. That doesn't make it a good idea at all.
|Parking Lot Poster|
One of my main goals for this summer is to work on my classroom management strategies. I'm going to be really honest. Classroom management is probably my weakest area in the classroom. I need to make some major changes. I went into teaching assuming that high school students were capable of knowing when it was appropriate and inappropriate to do certain things. For example, when I'm working a problem out on the SMART Board, it is inappropriate to have a conversation with your neighbor. But, you wouldn't know that by looking at my students. I'm getting sick and tired of hearing myself say "You should not be talking right now. You should not be talking right now." After two years, I've learned that going in without a plan does not lend to a well-managed classroom. So, next year is going to be different. I'm finally seeing the importance of procedures and everything else that I read about before I started teaching.
I'm thinking that if I can train my students to use the parking lot from the very beginning of the school year, it could be very beneficial. It's going to take training and practice, though.
If I am going to have more procedures, I am going to need to find a way to communicate those procedures to my students. I liked this procedure sign that I found in one classroom.
|Classroom Procedure Poster Reminder|
|Book / Brain / Beyond Posters|
I have a box of these clear plastic dry erase pockets in my cabinet. I used them a lot last year, but this year I've been using double sided dry erase boards that my school purchased for me. I liked the idea of storing papers in these pockets for student access. This teacher used the pocket to hold talent show applications. But, I could store anything in them. Since they are see-through, students could easily see what they were accessing.
|Using Dry Erase Pockets for Organization|
Outside one classroom, the teacher had a frame that invited students to ask them about their college experiences at Oklahoma State University and The University of Tulsa. As a Tulsa grad myself, I was excited to see someone else repping the Golden Hurricanes. It made me realize, though, that I'm not quite sure I've ever asked my students to ask me about my college experience. I've got a couple of TU flags hanging my classroom, and I'll gladly answer questions. But, I've never really sought out their questions. I teach in a community where the majority of our students do not go on to higher education. Some do, and hopefully more will in the future. In the mean time, I need to make sure that my students know that I am more than willing to sit down with them and talk about what college is like.
In one classroom, I saw a teacher use baseball card holder pages to display senior pictures. I thought this was a brilliant idea! Of course, it's not quite feasible for my classroom and situation. In two years of teaching, I've been given one senior picture. ONE. Maybe I'll be able to collect this many senior pictures by the time I retire...
|Senior Picture Display|
|Turn In Trays by Hour|
|Assignment Grid Board|
|File Folders on Bulletin Board|
|Gents and Ladies Bulletin Board|
|Paper Turn In Tray|
Outside of each classroom, each teacher posts what book they are reading, what book they just read, and what book they want to read. I would love to see this happen at my school. What would happen if I just made these signs and hung them up outside each classroom? Do you think teachers would just start using them? It couldn't hurt, right???
|Classroom Reading Poster|
|Time to be Kind Clock|