Setting Up the Classroom

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One of the necessary chores for any returning teacher from summer vacation is the class cleanup.

Here’s what I did last year.

I’m a pack rat and pile-organizer so the first step I took this year was emptying everything and spreading it out so I can take a look at what I had. The biggest culprit was the closet, which has become my default catchall.

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Among many sighs, I allocated lots to the trash bin, some to less conspicuous pile-up spots, and the rest to their proper place. Here’s the closet after:

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Much better. I cleaned up my bookshelves a bit:

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I moved the largely unused iMac from the corner of the room to its current place under the bookshelves. I was also unhappy with how cluttered the back wall looked. Last year I used it to post up student visuals from creative projects, but it kind of looked like a mess. So this year, I just opted for a cleaner layout of graphics semi-relevant to the curricular themes of the year:

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The front of the classroom looks pretty much the same, though:

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I did more work on the window side of my room. Here you can see that I set up some display racks for my collection of 8th grade memoirs (the racks were discarded by another teacher):

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Underneath the windows I set up some space for my VHS videos and magazines (for collage projects).

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The most visually arresting change was the graphic I put up on the windows. To echo the memoirs project in the 8th grade, I blew up a free stock photo, printed it out on overhead transparencies, and pieced them together with tape right onto the windows:

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