Sunday, October 7, 2007

Classroom Decorations

A large number of my classroom decorations this year were simply snagged from other blogs. Neil Winton and Paul Williams kindly gave permission to use their photos for classroom posters, and here's what that ended up looking like (through the MacBook camera lens, so the image quality is what it is).

I'm teaching at a Catholic school this year, and Neil's beautiful images fit underneath a crucifix stuck to my back classroom wall that I felt a little awkward about. The series of photos, with the reflections of cathedral windows in the child's eyes in the last slide, did nicely - and I've no idea what else could have gone up there. The white background to the photos also fits well with the brown and black of the surroundings, making the white function more like an actual color rather than as blank space, if that makes any sense. In the morning, sunlight enters from a window just to the right of this wall.

Finding a background for Paul's images was tricky. I thought black would be the only good choice, except for the fact that this classroom has blackboard (yes - real, old-style black blackboard with chalk!) on three walls, so that there is already a lot of black in there. The arts teacher recommended this mint green, however, and that worked. Still think I'll change this wall somehow when I get time, which won't be any time soon, but for now this is what it looks like.

The third wall has a fast and dirty version of Dan Greene's idea. One student studying the poster thought "get rich" should be included as a separate item, without any qualifying additions, so that is chalked in to the right.

The text on green and yellow paper are the objectives for Algebra, with the pink arrow indicating where we are now. The row runs along the whole wall. The purpose was mainly to put some color up there to contrast with the ubiquitous brown and black. I do like the historical feel to the classroom deriving from the dark wood, tan walls, brown floor, and old-style blackboards and windows with irregular glass - but it is a little drab for a high school room.

I guess it would be good to have more actual math on the walls. But one of the humanities teachers who wandered in expressed that this was the most "human" math classroom she'd seen (whatever that means), and I'm happy enough with it for now.

Anyway, great thanks to all these bloggers who contributed ideas for decorating a blank classroom in just a few days!

Update: Would be nice if Blogger's preview looked just a little like the published version!


Paul said...

Thanks for the mention. I'm really glad you liked the slides.

N Winton said...

Same here! I'm really touched to see my son's eyes looking out over a classroom on the other side of the world. Thank you!

H. said...

Thanks, to both of you!

A few weeks ago I took down Paul's images for a few days in order to make room for some math materials, planning to hang the slides in a different location. Before I got around to that one of the students asked about the posters, disappointed that they were gone. When they were back in the classroom on a different wall she noticed again. The student is in AP Arts and her own beautiful work is displayed in the hall. She's no great fan of math... so I'm glad she at least likes the classroom decorations!