Our Room

Welcome to our classroom.  We’re still under construction, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone.  As you can see, there is a lot of open, functional space.

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The library corner has a wide selection of books and magazines to choose from.  Want to learn how to make a paper airplane, learn about the history of the world, or enjoy a good fiction book?  It’s all here.  After school and during indoor recess, get out the Gamecube dance pad to burn off your energy in a fun way.  There is a wide variety of games that encourage cooperation and skill.

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This is a view that my students don’t usually get to see.  Mission control.  (or call it the teacher’s desk if you want to be boring.)

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Our temporary 3rd/4th grade computer lab.  Once the loft is fully built, we’ll have six stations.

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Each student gets their own locker – just like the older kids.

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This is the other half of the teacher’s desk.  Yay for swivel chairs!

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My homemade document camera.  HD webcam attached to a microphone stand.  This was a LOT cheaper than buying a real document camera, and it does a good job.

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Information easel.

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Beginning of our reading caterpillar.  Can we grow the caterpillar all around the room this year by reading a lot of books?  What’s the bottle hanging from the side of the door?  If you look closely, you’ll see that it is attached to a pulley and closes the door to keep the heat in.  You can also see our behavior chart.  Looks like everyone was doing well today.  Nobody had to move their pins down.

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This is probably my favorite feature of the classroom.  A GIANT whiteboard.  Was it expensive?  Nope, just $10 per panel.  It’s your standard shower panel, and it works 98% as well as commercial dry erase board.  Part of it also doubles as a homemade interactive smart board when the projector is turned on.  Those speakers up on top are part of a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound system.  We watch Bill Nye in style!

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The game corner has been invaded by giant animals!

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The teacher’s desk.  I enjoy live plants as you can probably tell.

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View of the back of the room.  Mostly the teacher’s area.  All of the lighting in the room is LED.  No flickering, no mercury, and incredibly efficient.  I think we only use 100 watts to light the entire room.

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Looking down from the loft you can see everything.

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There’s something fishy going on here!

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The loft provides additional spaces to work.  Grab a bean bag or stuffed animal to join you.

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Another view from the loft.

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New for this year: the Robot Station

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Creative kids need help with organization.  When in doubt, check the list.

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We finally have a Serenity Room.  Everyone needs a safe place to get away for 5 minutes when things get stressful.  Get in, relax, recharge, and come out ready to learn!

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So that’s where all the stuffed animals ended up.  Apparently the Serenity Room is their new home.

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The parade never ends!

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Our building doesn’t have a bell system yet, so I wrote a program in .NET to display the time, date, current class, and play a fun sound when it’s time to switch classes.

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Don’t ask too many questions.  I may not have answers…

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Overall view of the room from the teacher’s desk.  I almost forgot to mention the most important piece of furniture in the room – the GIANT bean bag.  We all sit on it to have our circle time, reading time, watch videos, and a soft landing pad for flying leaps!

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For $30 I built everything you see here in this interactive smart board?  How?  Just a standard Wiimote, infrared LED,  and creativity.

Stop motion video of our loft being built in November 2013:

Google Sketchup conceptualization of our room before we moved to our current building:

Sketchup conceptions of the building made by my middle school students in 2012-13: