Friday, 31 July 2015

New School Year, New Role, New Classroom

As one school year ends the preparation for the next is in full swing! As of September I will be Head of Mathematics at my school and have moved into a different room in a more central location within our department and with the Mathematics office adjoining the back of the room.
The room, as you can see from the 1st 2 pics below, was in need of a bit of TLC and so I've been in cleaning and painting the room over the past week and a half before putting up my new displays and making the room my own.
I hope the details of the displays, etc will be useful to others and this will give me a chance to link the resources I have used and, more importantly, thank those who have spent the time creating them!


The pics above show the room as I had pulled down the existing display boards and my colleague and I were in the process of swapping over our rooms!

One week later, a new paint job and a lot of laminating, cutting and is the back of the room (the door leads to our Mathematics office).

It took ages to re-back the display boards as they are massive and go right the way along the back wall of the room. The top display board is all my students' work that I have collected this year and kept safe with the knowledge that I would be going into my new classroom. The majority of the work has come from the 'takeaway homework' approach that I have used with my classes. See my previous blog posts on this here.
I have kept 4 spaces for new work to be displayed as and when it comes in next year and these are just pieces of card stapled to the wall with a bulldog clip at the top (middle) to hang the work on.
I will continue to update this board as new work comes in. It took ages to sift through all of the quality work that I had handed in this year. There was far too much to actually go on the wall so I have kept a pile of work that I will probably end up putting on display in our Mathematics computer room or in our corridor display cabinets (to replace the older work that is currently on display).

The lower display board is made up of AQA's 90 Problem Solving Questions (available here). I intend on using these in my teaching much more this year and so have them on display to not only remind me, but to act as a display whereby students can go and look at the problems and then choose one to attempt. I may even direct them as to which question to answer as I will be mapping the questions to our SoWs. There is then a magic whiteboard on the display where they can have a go at working out the questions, alternatively they can do this in their exercise books of course. They can go and sit at the back and answer them or just write the question down and go back to their seat. I have a beanbag in my room so there's nothing to say they can't sit comfortably on this whilst working on the questions! I'm going to then get the solutions to the problems as they are done and write them on the magic whiteboard's clear sticky notes and then place these over the top of the questions on the display so the answers are also on display as they are done!

On the top of the wall you may just be able to make out some fantastic art playing cards that I found on the Internet a year or so ago (they've recently updated this with a 2nd set)! A different artist was given a card from a standard deck of cards and then asked to create their own interpretation of that card. I had them printed on card and have stuck these up. Next to them are a few probability statements related to picking a card at random from the set (excluding the jokers and front/back designs).

I also have my mrcollinsmaths YouTube Channel address and QR Code to remind students it's there for them to use when revising/doing their homework!

 A panoramic of the 'Wall of Fame' with my students' work and 'takeaway homework' when it was first completed.

In the corner, at the back of the room behind the Office door, is my stationary cupboard and bookcase with my students' books/text books in. In front of this, at the moment, is my room divider with my 'Finished' display and on the other side my 'Concept Cards' display. This will be moved about as necessary for students to see/use.

On the back, side, of the room I have 2 other huge displays. The top one I have themed on developing a growth mindset in my lessons/with my classes. I have used @c0mplexnumber's 'How to Learn Maths' display (left of the board) and then was inspired by this tweet by @AndyBartlettCPD to put a 'fixed/growth' mindset display on the right of the board. I found a picture of a brain on the Internet and printed this out and then created some statements for either side to put around this (as in the tweet above). In addition to these I have put up AQA's Problem Solving Approach in Mathematics poster that I got free at #mathsconf4. I also have some of Sparky Teaching's 'Fail Safe' displays posters on here and plan on finding some 'inspirational quotes' to stick on the board too.

The bottom display is, of course, @Just_Maths' 'some elements of Maths' periodic table display. I couldn't fit all of the elements in due to the epicness of the display and so omitted some of them so it fitted; I like the discussions that this could create as to 'what's missing' and how I've arranged the 'elements'. I had to put the symbols up the side of the upper display board, but I think they look good here nonetheless.

This is the front of my room, far corner. I have my desk up against the wall rather than protruding from it so that I'm never sat behind the desk (as such). This way I have more space at the front of the room to prance about and do what I do best. It gives me more space in front of my IWB too (which, incidentally, is now up - I insisted on taking the one from my old room as I'm one of the only teachers in my school that use the SMARTboard and not the Promethean ones). Our ICT guys have been awesome in getting this sorted for me and it's all up and running ready for the new year!

Above my desk you can see my, rather blank, tutor display board. This is because my Head of Year will be giving us the obligatory fire safety/assembly seating plan/tutor time schedule laminates in our first meeting back and so they'll be updated then. I have, however, got my 'Be an Optimist Prime Not a Negatron' picture on there, right below the 'PCO' origami Marvel letters that I made last year.

Above the display board I have gone for subtle self-gratification and have my name in more Marvel origami lettering and then the two (amazingly awesome) pictures of me that one of my students drew. One of these (the superhero one) came from their takeaway homework comic on finding the equation of a straight line and the other was drawn on a thank you card they gave me when they left this year. Finish this part of the wall off with my Escher poster I got for Christmas last year and that's that bit done. You may also be able to make out my 'Constructions Comics' on the pillar next to my desk - I printed these out and laminated them to go on display, because they're amazing!

To the side of my desk, and on the front wall, I have my clock with the phrase 'time will pass, will you' around it. As well as 'Maths 2015-16'. The time display is supposed to be a bit 'tongue in cheek', as well as to serve as a reminder when I need to, lets say, 're-focus' some of my students. In the 'Maths 2015-16' display I made using I have the names of every student I will be teaching this year in each of my classes. I have 6 classes this year and so each number is given to a different class, in the dash I have my class codes and 'Mr Collins Maths'. I wonder how long it will take for one of them to notice this!?

As my IWB got put up today I haven't completely finished the front of the room yet, but have made a start. I have the obligatory number line above the board and then my 'number cruncher' display that I used and regularly updated last year. I've already put up a new one for the start of the year (answers on a postcard if you have nothing better to do).
Then, next to the number line I have my 'Went to After School Revision...GET IN!' meme poster. I decided to put this here as those kids that do stay behind to do revision after school next year will see this as they leave the room, hopefully reinforcing that awesome feeling they should have that they've gone the extra mile to develop their Mathematics. I may even insist that they high-five it as they exit the room!?

On my door I have 2 new 'F8' door signs. One that says F64^1/2 (64 to the power a half) and on the inside I have F2^3 (2 cubed). It won't take long for an office runner to get lost I'm sure!

Finally, this is the side of the room. I have another of @c0mplexnumber's displays - the square and cube  numbers. I love these and first saw them in my colleague's classroom and had to put them up when moving rooms. I also have the prime numbers that my students did for me a couple of years ago on the back of the beam you can see in the top of the picture. Hopefully this will help them remember these basic facts.

So there we have it, my room all set up for another school year (all bar a few last minute tweaks and additions). I feel very much at home in the room and have made it my own. Hopefully my students will be inspired by the room and feel comfortable in their new learning environment. Now...Summer Holidays! :)

If you like what you've seen/read and want to know more or want the resources for the display titles/letterings then just give me a shout via the comments below or tweet me @mrprcollins. Thank you to all of the above creators of the resources I have used, without room would be far less inspiring!

1 comment:

  1. Looks amazing. I am sure your passion will inspire your students.