Monday, 6 February 2012

My classroom, or lab.

I've been very lucky for the last few years in that I've had my own lab/classroom.  This means that as well as avoiding being a mobile teacher (with all the delayed starts to lessons and wondering where that piece of paper went that comes with that), I've been able to add things to the walls and ceilings to get pupils interested.  I decided today to take a load of photos and share them. Sorry some are a bit blurry, I was using my mobile phone... Is there anything I need to add?

There's an ever changing selection of pupils' work on the wall, or hanging from the ceiling.  Here you can see year 10's celebrity/cartoon offspring, year 11's guide to active transport, diffusion and osmosis, a carbon cycle mobile and some of the "science in the news" stories I've collected.

Big cupboards at the back of the room. One has different textbooks in that
pupils are welcome to use to help during lessons.  
The Learning Wall.  As donated by @teachingofscience. My year 12 and 13 are working on the Four Bs currently. Year 10 love the Carl Sagan quote.
The Blob Tree.  This is stuck to the back of my classroom door.  Every so often I ask pupils on their way out of the lesson to reflect about how well they did in that hour. Their honesty is sometimes surprising and it allows me to get into a conversation with them about why they think they are where they are, and how they can improve. It also really helps with confidence boosting when I can tell a pupil that they are really higher up than they are.  I have a Blob Classroom too - great for allowing pupils who struggle with behaviour to recognise problems that might have arisen.
The Twitter Challenge. A great plenary to really get pupils thinking.  I have pre-printed grids to help them keep count, and I've found that higher ability pupils like to try and get 140 characters exactly.

I have A, B, C and D corners in my lab.  These get used for  AFL activities during the lesson. If you have Boardworks then they're great for those summary questions at the end, and I've also used them for multi-choice exam questions.  They're very engaging as pupils have to move to the correct corner to give their answer - they don't follow each other as often as you think! It's also good for leading into questions such as "Why have you picked that answer?".  The traffic light is one of three (there's an amber and a red too). I use them right at the end of a lesson (or midway through if they're a fidgety class) to see if they have achieved the lesson objective/outcome.  Again, they're a bit more active than using coloured card or cups.

The "What I learnt today" area.  This is an easy plenary, just hand out some post-it notes and let them loose!  It's also a nice one for those pupils who just need to get up and move around.  I tend to make the post it notes into little booklets towards the end of the topic, so they are there for classes to look at as revision.

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