So here it goes........
My ideal classroom is a classroom where the students are always engaged and always talking with one another. I have tables instead of desks in my classroom and I think that this is the best decision that I have made! Tables gives the students the opportunity to walk around and not feel like they have to stay at their desk. All materials would be organized and available for all students to use whenever they need. I would like people to feel happy and enthusiastic when they enter my room. I love bright colors so each one of my bulletin boards are covered in neon paper and bright borders to help the space feel fun and inviting. The library area has all of my books organizes in bright pink and black bins according to genre and reading level. Since I have a self contained class with students on all different reading levels I have a variety of books ranging from level AA-Z :) Lots of books means lots of bins!
The students are working either independently or with other students even when the teacher is not teaching a specific mini lesson. I think that a successful classroom is one where the students feel comfortable enough to be talking and working with other students and not feel that they have to work silently or alone. I think that Debbie Miller describes an ideal classroom in my eyes.
I already have a very wealthy classroom library and space in which students can go sit on the rug with either a pillow or sit upon to read quietly. The fact that I have tables for the students to work at during the day instead of desks I think helps facilitate the student led classroom aspect of my ideal classroom. I have a daily schedule posted on the board so that the students are aware of what is planned for the day and they can see when their pullouts are happening. My students have become so used to their schedules that they can go where they need to go without having to be reminded.
Even though I think that I am on the way to my ideal classroom I am always learning and trying to improve what I do in my classroom. One aspect that I need to work on is trying to not let things pile up on my desk throughout the day! The mess drives my INSANE!! I am just so busy working with students that i will throw things in a pile and leave them there. I also am going to work on my library. I love the idea of my library and I know that it can be better.....Since I have such a wide variety of levels I have to come up with a better system for students to take books out and make sure that the students are choosing books that they can read independently.
Thanks for taking the time to read this very long post! Check back next week for thought on chapter 2 :) I can't wait to keep reading!!!