After much research this summer, I decided to try out interactive notebooks in my classroom. I took some hints from here and there, and now I have a table of contents based on the unit instead of the individual page and an awesome grading rubric that's glued into the front cover of all of my student's notebooks. Grading them was time consuming last week, but I'm hoping that they'll get the hang of it soon so that I'll be able to fly through them on Fridays.
One thing that I really like about the rubrics, is that under the rubric is a table where we record their grade every week. That way they can look back at their grades and work towards always getting a good grade.
Another thing that I've implemented in my classroom is using task cards as bell work. Every Monday, each student will get a numbered sheet of paper where they will do their weekly bell work. At the end of the week, it's very easy for me to grade their bell work, notebook, and quiz at the same time since they are all together. It's also really nice to see my students take pride in keeping all of the task cards together and making sure that they make it back to the correct spot in the classroom before the next class starts. Hopefully, they will keep this up.
I feel bad, because I've been slacking off on taking pictures of my classroom. HOWEVER, I now have a legitimate excuse. I asked my principle if we had any circle tables anywhere in the building that I could possibly have, and he thinks that there might be some. This way, I can get rid of my desks and just have tables for my students to work at. I can also have them do their lab experiments at their tables instead of trying to set up a specific spot as a lab station, since they seem to like to sit at my "lab tables" constantly anyways. This will also allow them to be able to work together better, I'm hoping. I'm really excited about this, in addition to my hugely gigantic classroom that they gave me this year.
Off to plan my labs for Thursday now!