Welcome to Room 312!
Our classroom has several features that work towards creating an environment that aligns with our core values of intentionality, and safety. Check out each feature and it’s description below.
HBCU Table Groups
Much of the work done in class will involve collaboration and group discussion. So the desks are set up to give the option of working in groups of 4, in pairs, or independently. Each scholar has a elbow-partner as well as a partner across from them to talk to when called to do so. Each group of 4 is named after one of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities(HBCU): Howard University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Fisk University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and Hampton Institute. As a product of an HBCU–the illustrious Howard University–I know firsthand how much of a remarkable and unique education one can receive when attending them. So the hope is for our scholars to begin thinking of not just state schools and universities but HBCUs as well because they are so important and can be a great option for post-secondary education.
Small Group Table
The small group table is where students gather with Ms. Hunter to work in groups of 3-5 on individualized lessons. The table also doubles as Ms. Hunter’s desk. Here is where you will find her having conferences, grading papers, and even enjoying lunch occasionally. Behind the table are file cabinets and shelves housing her personal supplies used for instruction as well as a mini-fridge. It is housed in the back, center of the classroom so that Ms. Hunter can see the entire class while working.
Although students will be reading curricular texts throughout the school year, it is also important for students to read independently to build their comprehension skills as well as develop of love of reading. Too often adults stop reading once they are done with schooling because they don’t see the benefit in reading for leisure. But getting lost in words can be just as entertaining as any sporting event or music concert. So the students have two fully stocked libraries filled with fiction novels of all genres as well as graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, and more. Near these bookshelves will be an iPad/tablet with which students will check out their books via the classroom website, put books on hold, and request books be added to the library.
The scholars of the community are not the only ones who will be required to read. Ms. Hunter has her library housed next to her desk (the small groups table) for her to pick up a book to read during independent reading time. It is important for her to be an example of an avid reader to the scholars. But her books are not just for her enjoyment. Scholars can pay 50 ELA coins to read one of Ms. Hunter’s books for extra credit.
Our supply cabinet is mainly for the supply manager and the accountant. It is in the back of the classroom and is used as a storage unit for table group containers to be distributed by the supply manager and collected each day as well as supplies (pencils, notebooks, binders, highlighters, etc.) to be sold by the accountant. There is a biweekly inventory list that adorns the inside door while inspirational quotes and photos of historic leaders and literary figures decorate the outside of the door.
Everyone has a day when things just aren’t going right and misbehavior ensues. Although the hope is that we correct our behavior on our own after being made aware that an action is unacceptable, sometimes warnings and consequences just don’t cut it. So our community reflection chair is seated in the back of the classroom, where scholars can go sit for up to 5 minutes at their discretion and write out a reflection of what is bothering them. The reflection isn’t shared with anyone else in the community but it does need to be submitted to Ms. Hunter after being written. Scholars who choose to use the reflection chair are still held accountable for completing classwork that they missed during their time of reflection.
This is simply where students will put away their backpacks and outerwear after entering the class.
The whiteboard is at the front of the classroom where everyone can see. On it will be the agenda for the day, the learning objectives of the day, main standard(s) of the day, a copy of the day’s do now and exit ticket, homework, and a snapshot of the lessons for the week. It will also display the inspirational quote of the week as well as the writing prompt for the beginning of class. Our projector is in the middle of the classroom to display presentations from the class laptop. This laptop will be connected to a clicker so that presentations can be managed from anywhere in the room.