Well, it's that time of year again! A new school year, a new classroom design.
I also have the added pleasure of starting work at a new school, so I've had an exciting summer dividing my time between the beach and setting up my new digs!
Each classroom is unique and will have its own best way of being set up, but here are a few things I use in my classroom which I've used across a number of schools and have found pretty easy to adapt to any setting.
The first impression I like to create with my classroom is one of welcoming. As soon as my students walk into this classroom I want them to feel like they are in a fun and engaging place that is also a safe space where they can feel supported to try things and make mistakes without fear of consequence.
As such, I use some of the following decor near my doors:
Next up, I like to have a lot of wall displays which students can refer to when they're working independently. It's taken me a while to get used to updating these frequently and also to referring to them in lessons so that students know they're there. However, once I put the effort in, I definitely reaped the rewards - I didn't have students asking the same questions that had already been addressed over and over any more as they knew to simply look at the wall for answers.
When presenting new musical elements, students loved looking to the wall to help put this new knowledge in context.
I also have a "Wellbeing Wall" where I keep all of my Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) Posters along with class rules & consequences etc. I'll be doing a post about BSEM later in the year, so keep an eye out for it!
I am lucky to have plenty of storage cubby holes built in to my classroom this year, so it's wonderful to be able to have all of my resources and instruments there at my fingertips instead of piled away in a storage cupboard to go and get out each day.
I'm a big believer in having everything ready in advance of a lesson, as it so often wastes time and leads kids to lose focus and potentially misbehave if you have to pause the lesson to go and get a puppet or set of flashcards. So having all of the materials there ready to go is great!
In that second picture is my "toad stool" which the kids absolutely love! I use this as a special reward and incentive for good behaviour. At the end of a lesson, a star student may be chosen. They get to roll the dice and the number they land on determines their prize. The toadstool is my number 1 prize and kids love being able to sit on it for the whole of the next lesson. I've built it up to be a pretty exciting privilege and they get really excited to be able to use it.
I finally have a whiteboard with stave lines! Huzzah! This will make life so much easier - though I had come across a handy solution for staveless whiteboards. Simply save a PDF of blank manuscript to project onto an IWB and use that for any stave writing exercises!
This is my chair for focus activities such as flashcard drills or presentation segments, but I also use it for downtime activities like reading a book. The yellow poster behind the chair is our class star chart - if the class has followed the Music Room Agreement of listening to each other, showing respect to one another and the instruments and always trying our best then they get to put a star on the chart. Once they hit 20, the next lesson is a free choice session. Students vote on whether they'd like to play musical games like Little Mouse Be Careful, have a jam session on the instruments or anything else music-related that they might like.
The class agreement was signed with a musical fingerprint on this chart. The full poster says "An individual is like a single note, together we create a masterpiece". What a lovely way to bring a whole school music program together with a single vision!
Here it is before the fingerprints!