I’d be interested to see your classrooms—layouts, bulletin boards, and whatever cool ideas you have! Pictures of mine are after the break.
I teach 7th grade math. I have tried to gamify my classroom by using Classcraft (point management game system) and a couple of other ideas that will be pictured later. It’s a little busy…but hopefully it’s stuff that encourages kids to work hard and learn.
Mini panorama of my classroom. 6 groups of 6 desks. I put painters tape on the floor so that kids know where to move desks. Right now, it’s in “normal mode.” When kids take a quiz/test, they split the desks into separate rows; we call that “battle mode.”
My makeshift growth mindset “poster” for the door. I found that picture online, and I made up the other part with growth mindset beliefs written on it.
Front of the classroom. The statement across the top (“We are the Class of 2020. We are game changers, earth shakers, and history makers, and we’re going to change the world.”) is our class motto, and I make the kids say that to start each class period. They also choral respond/read the objectives on the right.
Found these vinyl chalk talk bubbles at Target. I’m going to write the essential questions for the lesson here. I just started having the kids choral read these with the objectives today.
Absent work wall. My student TA writes the homework on the calendar for me each day; in the past, I’ve just had one of my students do it at the beginning of the day.
Classroom expectations. I had my kids write all the rules they could think of that they’ve had to follow in school. Then I told them that instead of memorizing a bunch of rules for every teacher and every situation, they should follow three basic standards: be respectful, be responsible, and be positive. We sorted out the rules that they came up with at the beginning into these three categories. All the other rules they can ever think of will probably fit in one or more of these categories. I said they can self-check their behavior if they’re not sure if their actions are okay by asking, “Am I being respectful?” “Am I being responsible?” “Am I being positive?”
Tech expectations near the computers in the back.
The “Why Should I Get an Education?” wall. This is stuff I’ve collected over the years to support reasons for an education: to earn more money, to have more options, to have more power (have knowledge so that people don’t take advantage of you), and more helpful (understand that people are hurting and need your help). I’m not a fan of the layout; I wasn’t sure how much space something else would take, so I ended up putting too much in one space. I’ll do a better job next year.
The Kingdom Map. Each little square represents a skill/lesson in the math book; the large papers represent the chapter. The first chapter destination is Proportion Palace. Since I’m using so many squares in my room, I went with a Minecraft theme and found pictures online that would fit with the names I came up with. I will use this as a data wall as well, where I will write the percentage of students who pass each lesson quiz.
Below the Kingdom Map are student Mastery Profiles. Every time they pass a quiz or test, they get a “badge” (a sticker) that they put on their Mastery Profile. The cover is the student’s “My Life of Numbers” poster, where they had to come up with 8 facts about themselves that involve numbers. I made them rewrite the number as an expression with 1 or 2 operations, depending on the period. They had to draw a picture to accompany each fact.
Another component of my classroom gamification is the Noah and Mozzie wall. (Noah and Mozzie are my sister’s son and dog, respectively.) The kids are saving Noah and Mozzie from the dark forces and building a new world for them. Every time they pass a quiz or a test, not only do they get a badge on their personal Mastery Profile, but they also get a little square with their name on it. These squares build a part of the Noah and Mozzie story. Escaping the dark forces is the first task. They will later have to build a new world for Noah and Mozzie (trees, flowers, and a house, I think). Every time they complete a task, we will celebrate by doing a Change It Up Wednesday—a minimum day where we will do something other than the regular lesson.
“Math Is Everywhere” wall, along with the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. “I know it’s a math class, but you still need to practice communication. It’s not enough to just know stuff; you need to be able to communicate your ideas. You could be the smartest person in the room and have the cure for cancer in your head…but it does no good to anyone else if you can’t communicate how to get the cure to other people.”
My mini math library.
That’s my classroom! I’d love to see pictures and hear ideas about yours!