It was definitely nice and cozy in that room, and stopped a bunch of bad behaviors from happening. However, there wasn't a whole lot that I could do in there in the way of experiments. Not only was it small, but it also had carpet. Carpet is not the best choice for a science classroom, but apparently they didn't expect me to do much beyond give them a worksheet every single day.
Science class is supposed to fun! It's supposed to engage your mind and make you look at things in a different way. I guess that I proved myself last year (might have been the experiments in the hallway that I did a couple of times). I got a classroom that is AT LEAST 4 times the size of my old classroom. Before the kids got here, this is how my classroom looked:
Not only had I not hung anything on my walls yet, but I also just had desks in groups of 3. We were told at the beginning of the year that our legal number of students had gone up from 10 to 15. So I had to make sure to have enough seating for 15 kids. Well, after the first day of school, I didn't like the desks, but I was trying to work with them. After trying to do my first lab in the classroom, I HATED the desks! Plus, non of my students wanted to sit in the desks. They all wanted to sit at my "lab" tables in the back of the room.
I talked to my principle to see if there were any other options. I really wanted circle tables for better group collaboration, but I didn't think that would happen. Four days later, I get a call asking if now is a good time to have my tables moved into my classroom. Of course it's a good time! So after moving the tables in, having my students clean them, and rearranging my various tables and chairs this is what my classroom looks like.
The view from my door as you walk in.
The area where each student keeps their work and interactive notebooks for my class. There's a different hanging file folder organizer for each period.
The view from the back of my classroom. One of my students got my TV to work, and figured out which channel was discovery, so we can watch science, if we want to.
My nonfiction corner/research station. The computer is a very rare student computer. I didn't even know they existed outside of computer labs.
My storage closet, which I need to get a padlock for. That's all of my science equipment (not much), math textbooks, english textbooks, and class sets of books.
Another view from the back of my classroom. I love the podium that another teacher gifted to me since she's not teaching in the classroom anymore.
That's my VERY messy area. I opened it up so I don't feel claustrophobic, and students still pretty much stay out of my area. It's amazing!
I took Science Stuff's advice this week, and have started my students on their way to creating their own experiments. I had each of my science classes design a structure using molecular molecule kits. They then had to write directions on how to create it so that somebody else could recreate it. I'm going to take the directions they wrote, type them up, and give them to different classes to build next week. Some of the directions were completely awful! I'm hoping that they'll read them and realize that they need to be more specific in their directions. If not, I have another experiment day planned for them that will be quite interesting!
I'm really excited to hopefully have my students planning their own experiments eventually. Luckily, I have 3 years to work on some of my students, so they'll hopefully be good at it by the time they're seniors.
Here are some pictures of the structures my junior class created:
They had a really good time building them, but not such a good time writing the instructions. Some of those structures are big and complex. One group even used almost all of the pieces in their kit! Maybe part of their quiz tomorrow should be to follow directions I write down for them to build an object……hmmmmm….not a bad idea…….