On Friday, we had 25 teachers visiting our school (which is quite a few teachers for a school with 8 classrooms) as a part of the early childhood and elementary teacher retreat for our school's network. The last time I had so many teachers in my room, it was the day I had returned from being home for my mom's funeral, so that must have been an interesting observation for those teachers, because I really wasn't 100% sure what I was teaching!
However, this time, I was actually far more prepared and ready to go. The night before though, I couldn't help but wonder what the teachers would actually be looking at when they came to visit. Whenever I go visit other classrooms, I spend maybe 1-2 minutes watching the teacher and instruction, and then I spend time walking around looking at what is up on the walls, trying to learn about the class from its set up and what I see. Obviously if I am looking to observe something specific, like writer's workshop, I will carefully watch the instruction taking place, but on a general school visit where I can observe classrooms at my leisure, I love checking out how teachers organize themselves and their classrooms. I think you can learn a lot about the teacher and the learning that takes place just by looking around!
So, if you're like me (and some of the teachers I noticed taking photos in my class), here's a peek into my classroom.
As you walk to our classroom you will see:
|Our message board--it often has messages for parents. This week I had our newsletter taped up for parents to see.|
|Our classroom library (yes that's a fireplace--it no longer works, but it's one perk of having a classroom in a building that is not a school!). Around the fireplace you can see our poster from the Winter Festival, and I just put up the students' family trees that the they had to make for Spanish. You can also see three values characters above the fireplace--a fourth I believe is in the making!|
Our math wall: calendar, shape anchor charts, 100s chart, number line, number "name" boxes.
|Close up of the shapes anchor charts|
|Number "Names" Boxes--A K Teacher at our school introduced us to this strategy for helping build number sense. She had previously used them in 2nd grade so students had more "formulas" for each number. Soon we'll add actual addition problems to the box.|
|Top Poppin' Work! The best work of each day from our class gets put up on the bulletin board.|
So there you have it, a sneak peek into our room. Now, out of curiosity, what do you look at when you observe in a class?