My Classroom

Creating FOCUS in the Classroom

It’s that time again…Back to School! This week, I visited my middle school science classroom to say “Hello!”, unpacking and decorating to get a jump on things before our teacher preplanning begins next week. I went in for a couple of hours three times this week. I have to do this in short spurts because I need processing time between my “creations” so I can figure out where to go next. I’m sure some of you can relate. This will be only my second year in this classroom, so I’m still working on getting to know how my classroom best functions. So far, it is shaping up nicely. Let me show you one thing that I accomplished today which focused on the clock in the back of the room.

This was my classroom when I walked in Tuesday morning. The floors had been nicely cleaned and the tables were ready for me to start rearranging them. I struggle with how to best arrange them in the small space that I have so that I can easily walk around the classroom in order to monitor and engage with students.

Today, I focused on a project that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. In fact, I started this same project three years ago when our house was struck by lightening and burned which caused the letters that I had made to be tossed to and fro by firefighters in order to try to save our house, but then that’s another story for another time. So, I purchased the letters F, C, U and S at Hobby Lobby. They are chipboard and are less expensive than the wooden cut out letters. At home last night I painted them with a simple black acrylic paint and let them dry thoroughly. The best part of painting these at home was my husband’s reaction to the letters while trying to figure out what it was supposed to spell. Hint, the O was missing.

Plastic bags make an ideal cover for the table. If the paint sticks to the bag, it is easy to peel off without causing any damage to your letters. I find that a small foam brush is the easiest thing to use to spread the paint consistently. My letters required two coats of paint.

At school today I added small Velcro pieces to the back of each letter. If you don’t have Velcro, you can use double-sided foam tape, however, our custodians hate foam tape. Of course, they probably hate Velcro too, but at least attaching them this way makes it easy to make adjustments to the letters once you hang them. I’m just praying that my students don’t discover that they are Velcro because there’s no telling what my middle school students might spell.

I placed three small pieces of the hook side of the Velcro onto the back of each of the four chipboard letters first.
Next, I matched up the other side of the Velcro to each of the hooked pieces and removed the backing so I could place them on the wall.

So, here is my final product! My clock will now be a constant reminder for my students to focus on their work. It hangs next to our data wall which I look forward to sharing with you in a future post. I will make one last finishing touch on this project which is to create some science goggles to place over the eyes. After all, safety comes first in a science classroom!

The final product! Students will be reminded to focus on their learning this year.

Thank you taking time to follow my creative adventure. Please let me know what you think of my classroom project by commenting below.

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