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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    Unhappy Today

    It's been a while, but I thought I'd share this with you.

    I was sitting outside, taking a break from planning for my math classes. Thinking about the shitstorm that is my classroom, I figured I would go pinterest lurking for some of those great organizational ideas. Looking at pin after pin of orderly, colourful, perfect classrooms I had a sullky moment in my head where these words passed through my head:

    "Why can I create beautiful and orderly lessons with creative teaching strategies that are beautifully structured and logical, but I can't stick that into the physical space of my room? The only thing orderly or pretty about my room is my word/concept wall. And that's because it just organizing and exhibiting information again......."

    And then it hit me like a lightning strike, and I seriously thought about Socionics for the first time in probably 3 years.

    Damn you weak functions! Curse you duals and your sweet sweet Si logic. I can problem solve the shit out of pretty much anything. I can rework an idea in a thousand different ways until a kid understands. I can cull all the extra nonsense out of teaching a skill until it starts from the basics and builds into something amazingly complex. But I'll be damned if I can make sense of my physical surroundings in anything other than small, isolated bursts of something aesthetically sensible. Seeing the whole picture of that space? Forget it....

    Those of you who know me well enough, know that I have an attitude that basically says "fuck you" to anyone who says something can't be done and makes me even more determined to make it happen. I'm even a little conceited in my ability to weasel around any obstacle. Coming to terms with that fact that there are things I can't make myself good at with enough problem solving, elbow grease and time is a little shocking, even now.You would think years of socionics would have already kind of instilled that mentality in me, but I think it only hit me in full force today. It's not that it can't be done. It's that I'm really fucking bad at it, and all attempts at making sense of it just slide right off of my brain like water on a freshly waxed car.

    With that said, who wants to help me make sense of my classroom, lol.
    ILE
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    Very busy with work. Only kind of around.

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    It's all the fault of racism, mn0good.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Hey Vero, get someone to help you decorate. It's ok to ask for help from people. They will actually like you more for it.


    Also this friday I felt a moment of weak Si. So I have been sick for like 2 months or so, with a infection(I haven't felt it).

    So I've been sick for 2 month, didn't eat enough drank too much coffee and then I pass out and collapse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mn0good View Post
    It's been a while, but I thought I'd share this with you.

    I was sitting outside, taking a break from planning for my math classes. Thinking about the shitstorm that is my classroom, I figured I would go pinterest lurking for some of those great organizational ideas. Looking at pin after pin of orderly, colourful, perfect classrooms I had a sullky moment in my head where these words passed through my head:

    "Why can I create beautiful and orderly lessons with creative teaching strategies that are beautifully structured and logical, but I can't stick that into the physical space of my room? The only thing orderly or pretty about my room is my word/concept wall. And that's because it just organizing and exhibiting information again......."

    And then it hit me like a lightning strike, and I seriously thought about Socionics for the first time in probably 3 years.

    Damn you weak functions! Curse you duals and your sweet sweet Si logic. I can problem solve the shit out of pretty much anything. I can rework an idea in a thousand different ways until a kid understands. I can cull all the extra nonsense out of teaching a skill until it starts from the basics and builds into something amazingly complex. But I'll be damned if I can make sense of my physical surroundings in anything other than small, isolated bursts of something aesthetically sensible. Seeing the whole picture of that space? Forget it....

    Those of you who know me well enough, know that I have an attitude that basically says "fuck you" to anyone who says something can't be done and makes me even more determined to make it happen. I'm even a little conceited in my ability to weasel around any obstacle. Coming to terms with that fact that there are things I can't make myself good at with enough problem solving, elbow grease and time is a little shocking, even now.You would think years of socionics would have already kind of instilled that mentality in me, but I think it only hit me in full force today. It's not that it can't be done. It's that I'm really fucking bad at it, and all attempts at making sense of it just slide right off of my brain like water on a freshly waxed car.

    With that said, who wants to help me make sense of my classroom, lol.
    I do, I do. **raises hand** What kind of math do you teach? How old are your students? What kind of students do you have - suburban, inner city, international, rich, poor, smart, etc?
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
    .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pukq_XJmM-k

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    Hkkmr: That's just awful, but I totally know where you're coming from with that. Sometimes I just kind of "wake up" and take notice that my body is just shutting down from neglect. I don't even realize what I'm doing until the whole system pulls out. Hope you're taking better care of yourself now :/

    Iris: I teach Grade 8 and 9 French Immersion Math in a Junior High (grades 7-9). It's a suburban school outside of a major city with a predominantly wealthy population. It's a *Catholic school, but in my province that's still a public school. My class is a triangular shape (I know, wtf...) and I think anyone who walked inside it would find it glaringly obvious that my static approach to decorating is completely ineffective. I also teach Computer Science, but I go to a lab for that, so my classroom isn't really relevant.



    *If anyone starts debating the merits/demerits of Catholic schools in this thread, I will move your posts to a separate thread as that's not really the point here.
    ILE
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    noticing the meta: vero's classroom is a dark triangle filled with weak Si.

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    Mind blown.....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ILE
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    Very busy with work. Only kind of around.

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    Jesus. I'm too much of a feeler type to deal with high school students. Or anybody else for that matter.

    This is going to sound corny but this is why people just need each other, we help smooth over each other's weaknesses. You were blessed with a rational problem solving mind that's able to tolerate kids because you're able to protect yourself emotionally from that.

    I'm the opposite of you in many ways. I pace myself and take it easy and I'm a Water type pokemon not Electric. But I still value your contributions to the forum or whatever. Not sure how I am with interior design. It's one stereotype I don't know if I wanna fit lol.


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    I find that my Si role makes me pay too much attention to aesthetics, to the point of being stressed about it. It's the reason why I feel so subconscious about people going into my room or car unannounced, or someone eating a bit of the cooking I made originally just for myself, or if I'm working on a requested piece or art for someone. I always feel as if it'll never be good enough and that a I'll be criticized.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireyed View Post
    I find that my Si role makes me pay too much attention to aesthetics, to the point of being stressed about it. It's the reason why I feel so subconscious about people going into my room or car unannounced, or someone eating a bit of the cooking I made originally just for myself, or if I'm working on a requested piece or art for someone. I always feel as if it'll never be good enough and that a I'll be criticized.
    Then I guess I have Si role too because I do the exact same thing. If I know a friend is coming over, I have to clean my house for about 2 hours prior. Unannounced visits? Aw hell no. I tried to cook for a bf once and was so paranoid about how it tasted that I just threw it out and got pizza instead. God damn you, Si, god damn you.

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    I want a pic of the room, or a drawing!

    First thing I'm thinking is to immediately fill in those harsh corners with something, anything; plants work fine. Have yourself in one of those corners and the students' desks in front of you in such a way that the back wall of the triangle opposite to your corner would house the most desks, with less and less desks per row as the desks come closer to you. When you say stuff, the sounds of your voice should fan outward pretty well to the students. Multiplication tables and other things like that would likely be best on the two walls that you aren't directly facing; this way, all of that stuff should be at least fairly visible to all the students there, and really easy to see for most of them. I'd like it if the back desks could be risen a bit so that the other kids' heads don't get in the way, and that being in the back would feel less like getting lost back there too. As for the chalkboard, there's no "perfect" solution to this, but two of them along the side walls of the triangle in front of the front desks should work well enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jessica129 View Post
    Then I guess I have Si role too because I do the exact same thing. If I know a friend is coming over, I have to clean my house for about 2 hours prior. Unannounced visits? Aw hell no.
    lol I think everyone that isn't a neat freak 24/7 does this. Unless they just don't give a shit and are like a hoarder or something with piles of trash and dead cats everywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    lol I think everyone that isn't a neat freak 24/7 does this. Unless they just don't give a shit and are like a hoarder or something with piles of trash and dead cats everywhere.
    Waste your time. Waste your time. Waste your time.

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    Lol, I actually tossed out a bunch of scale drawings of the room that I made my grade nines do. Similar polygons, it was a great way to practice and it was crazy how detailed some of these drawings were. I'll try and rough up a drawing for you today.
    ILE
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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    Classroom.jpg

    There you go. Some things to note:

    The lock up cabinet can't be moved.
    My desk needs to stay near the SMART board cable so I can hook my laptop up to it
    None of the boards can be moved, and I won't be changing the Math boards. Also the two math boards are the only things that I coloured their actual colour, lol.
    The prayer shelf needs to stay somewhere prominent and visible. It's a 4-cube Ikea Shelf, white pine coloured. It has all of my faith-related materials on it.
    There's approximately 25 student desks in my room.
    All furniture aside from my desk, and the kids desks can go or be moved around. I need to keep at least one bookshelf.
    I have a rolling rainbow 10 drawer...thing. I think I'm going to use it for each of my four math classes and then have two drawers for something else.
    There's some wall space above and below all the bulletins. I don't really have much in the way of posters because by 8 and 9, they need more concepts than things like multiplications charts. I do keep one poster with the french vocab for shapes up. Also three posters about the surface area of prisms. I might add some other posters, but at this point that's about it. I think the wall behind my desk is going to have charts to track the xp of my groups (I have a gamified classroom, probably not surprising...)

    I think that's mostly it. Any ideas or questions are very welcome and appreciated
    ILE
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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Can you paint the walls, ceiling, floor, it's probably good to paint the walls.

    Paint + art + decorations is basically design.

    A triangular room is interesting you can try and create a sight line or two with either paint on the ceiling or on the floor.

    http://homevoo.com/classroom-interio...r-wall-design/

    You can try to direct all the sight lines towards the front desk or the board.

    A lot of design is functional and not merely aesthetic. Create sight lines with colors and patterns,

    You want your sightlines to be unobstructed and clean, get rid of any clutter that occludes a sight line.

    Also if a student is looking at the ceiling have the sightlines focus their eyes on you.

    Given the arrangement of the room I would try to create a sight line from the lockup to the other side of the room and a sight line across the area of the boards towards the table on the right. You'll have a intersecting point at the table here the colors would originate from. Maybe put a nice painting or poster here.

    I would say try to take away as much clutter as possible, and then add sightlines, color, and then some focus points. Once you've completed that, you can start adding decorative elements. Less is often more.

    For the student chairs you can go like a sequence, like 7/6/5/4/3 desks per row(this is 25). If you can color code the rows that might be cute, but if not paint a few of the desk a different color and spread it in that sea.

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    I like the lines of sight idea, I'm just not sure how I could do that. There's so little wall space and I'm not allowed to paint the walls. Maybe I could convince them to let me paint the ceiling tiles, as they're the long rectangular ones, but I'm not sure. I definitely can't paint any desks. Decorating has to be done with accessories, pretty much. Also there are fire code restrictions for things coming from the ceiling and on the walls, but I can work around some of that. I could maybe create lines on the floor with tape somehow. I'd have to think about it.

    As for desks, there's no room for 7/6/5/4/3. The longest row I can make is 5 with the space that I have. I'm thinking about grouping desks in 4s or 5s (depends on class size). I find that opens up a lot of walking space and facilitates group discussion without kids walking all over the place (better class management).

    Going to ponder the lines of sight idea. Thanks Hkkmr
    ILE
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    I think that's mostly it. Any ideas or questions are very welcome and appreciated
    I don't understand why you don't have your garbage cans closer to your desk? Idk the practical reason why they are way over there but I'm the type of person that likes to have the garbage can right by me lmao.

    That's all I have so far really.

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    To instantly improve your room:
    1. Measure your bulletin boards.
    2. Buy attractive gift wrapping paper and make all of the bulletin boards the same, or have them coordinate with each other. Try target for stylish paper. If you can’t find attractive paper, just go to the teacher supply and get different solid colors.
    Basic Bulletin Board Ideas:
    -A poster of fractals in nature
    - A funny poster
    -Problem solving stragegies board for the troubled
    Advanced Bulletin Board Ideas:
    -A section about you, your hobbies, vacation spots, pets, etc. This makes you seem more human to your students.
    - 9 months worth of values that are important to you. Change it to a new one each month each month.
    - Quotes from famous mathematicians with their picture and a bio
    - Buy 5x8 index cards in bright colors. Get the students to interview their parents or other adults and write down how they use math in their job or everyday life. Give extra credit for each card returned. Title a bulletin board “Everyday Math” and you can rotate these out throughout the year.
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
    .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pukq_XJmM-k

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    Seriously Judicious Emotivist Eliza Thomason's Avatar
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    I had one of those classrooms that always looked great because I have that thing for transforming a space. I sort of have to. Placement, color, things like the negative space and the spatial balance of the things in the room I really see and want to "correct" or enhance. I stand in the room and look and look and see what I want to fix and go do it, I just have to. I just keep going till its all just right, only then am I "done". Everything has to be functional AND beautiful, and all work together, in a balanced way.

    The thing is, I just LOVE solving those kinds of design problems. I have done this redesign thing with several friends' homes. The last one I helped was to not only balance every color and thing in the rooms but also have them match her personal style (a splendid challenge since her style was so different from mine!) , throughout the whole house, so there was a flow to it all. [and it was on the cheap - lots of Goodwill, some ebay and some Target]. So I have often been consulted by friends on these matters, because people find I am more than happy to give suggestions, so they don't feel its a burden to me.

    In fact its hard for me to be in a room without thinking up suggestions in my mind (unless it looks good, thenI sit and admire and analyze why). I have an account on houzz.com and I love collecting pics in my folders, one for great color, another for good pattern mix, another for "not bad for modern" etc. etc. I probably have way more categories than most people.

    If I go in a badly designed room I can often just feel uncomfortable as soon as I enter it. And I can't just go giving people suggestions who haven't asked. So when someone actually wants one, I am more than happy to give one. I think I have been doing this in my mind since I was a small child, never telling anyone, and not getting an outlet for it at all until I was a young adult (as far as rooms. and houses and exteriors)... I used to "fix" exteriors on long family car rides in my mind, just stare out the window with my mind visually active at "fixing" things (so, I like the show "Curb Appeal"). I never told anyone I did that till I was into adulthood. I just did it.

    However, I prefer to actually be in the space, its where the info comes from, when I get a "feel" for he space. I often ask myself "What does this room need?" and I actually think there are answers to that question. And unless I am there its harder. Right now I am helping my SLI stage his house for sale, but he is far from here, and as I develop more ideas from here, I can't settle on any of them till I am there in the rooms. I have several in my head now waiting for in a couple of weeks when I go there, to see if its actually what the rooms "need".

    So that why I have not made any suggestions to you for your classroom because a map is uninspiring and even a photo, the same, though I could maybe if I really tried. I like @woofwoof1's idea of fixing harsh corners with plants, though.

    But the point of my explaining what I do is to say that there might very well be others in your school who are like me; they have this thing for that, and they would likely be more than happy to give suggestions - good thoughtful ones. And like me walking into the space itself probably really matters. Its like its a thinking-project or puzzle that we just LOVE.

    So I am thinking if you see a particularly well-arranged room in your school, you could pop your head in and say to that teacher, "I love how your room is arranged. You do such a nice job with decorating. I just don't seem to have that talent. If you ever want to pop in my room and look around and make some suggestions for arranging or decorating, I would be more than happy to hear your ideas."

    Because his/her room is probably "done", and they likely miss the "fixing" process, and being able to give you ideas would be a treat for their minds. It would be like saying "Do you want to check out this new video game" to someone who liked those, or asking a scientist if he wanted to check out this new theory in his field of research... it would be a welcome request, I think.

    And your perspective in this post was interesting to me. In the years I taught, I noticed some teachers had really plain and boring rooms. I wondered why they didn't care about making it nice, since that's so important to me. [I went all-out, I had some big plants, I designed banners with swooping colors, I kept things in baskets (of a consistent type of weave for unity) all the colors did things and worked together, and it all looked pleasing]. It never occurred to me that it was because they didn't know how. (I mean I knew I was more into it than most, but I thought everyone had some ideas, and if they didn't, they didn't care.)

    However, I did notice that lack of decorating had nothing to do with lack of teaching skills. The teacher across the hall from me had one of those bland, un-decorated rooms, save for necessary educational visuals from the teacher-store, and I used to hear her teach all the time, and I was a fan; she really taught well.

    And I never thought my decorating made me a better teacher. It just made me enjoy the place I was teaching in more.
    Last edited by Eliza Thomason; 07-18-2013 at 05:11 AM.

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    Truck: There's another little can beside my desk, lol. I didn't feel it was worth identifying because it will always just go wherever I put my desk.

    Iris: Those are some awesome ideas. I actually have several of them going already. Things like matching bulletins with matching boarders are a piece of cake. Partially because the person before me bought fabric and pinned the fabric over the boards and I loved that, lol. I guess I could have added a few more details. Like the fact that the bulletin beside my desk I tend to use for math doodles. And that I have 27 ducks in my classroom. I really like the everyday math idea, I just need a good place to put it.

    Eliza: I might try that. The art teacher and I are good friends, maybe she has a wider scope than me. That's my real problem. Lots of individual ideas, no focus to create a whole space.
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    mn0good , order an awesome forest wallpaper that will go all around the class and paint all the furniture dark green .during the lectures, put on some soft jungle background sound effects,like waterfalls and bird chirpings. this, or print my avatar in 50 cm x 50 cm copies and cover a wall with them while u keep the rest of the room white with a single dark orange/burgundy wall (preferably the one that u use to teach).
    unholy water sanguine addiction

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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    HLD: That is both hilarious, and unfortunately English. All my materials need to be in French
    ILE
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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mn0good View Post
    I like the lines of sight idea, I'm just not sure how I could do that. There's so little wall space and I'm not allowed to paint the walls. Maybe I could convince them to let me paint the ceiling tiles, as they're the long rectangular ones, but I'm not sure. I definitely can't paint any desks. Decorating has to be done with accessories, pretty much. Also there are fire code restrictions for things coming from the ceiling and on the walls, but I can work around some of that. I could maybe create lines on the floor with tape somehow. I'd have to think about it.

    As for desks, there's no room for 7/6/5/4/3. The longest row I can make is 5 with the space that I have. I'm thinking about grouping desks in 4s or 5s (depends on class size). I find that opens up a lot of walking space and facilitates group discussion without kids walking all over the place (better class management).

    Going to ponder the lines of sight idea. Thanks Hkkmr
    Ah, that kinda of sucks that you are quite limited. But one of those design things I have learned is line of sight and aligning things to create clear line of sight can make things look more open and uncluttered. Sometimes you want to make things cluttered but I'm thinking in math class a bit of order and minimalism can be "eye opening" and bring clarity for people. Everyone has their own style but mine is more creating a lot of open space in the middle where people can interact. I also tend to be minimalist and more structured than eclectic. So those are generally my ideas are a lot about addition by subtraction.

    You can try and align the front desk, the other smaller desk, the prayer shelf and your desk and space them equally to create a line. Also removing the right most table entirely might be ok if you want to use that wall for some sort of central decoration thing.

    You don't have a ton of options in the room, but sometimes just aligning everything will make it seem more orderly. The smaller desk or prayer shelf can be offset as well if you have everything else aligned. In fact, it might be better to off align it since it will highlight it. From your picture it seems all 5 pieces of furniture may be offset, so it will seem as if it's disorganized with nothing highlighted(sometimes this is what's desired tho).

    What Iris says about colors is important, as color coordination is going to make everything look better. Pick colors that will work with your existing furniture as well.

    Given the layout of the room, the first thing people see if they enter the room is the window, having the table there might be a distraction. But you can maybe use light from the window in a interesting way to highlight something on the table. The peripheral vision(basically the line from the right most table to the lock up) should be clear and orderly and not distracting.

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    @Eliza Thomason You sound a lot like me. I also enjoy creating attractive spaces. And I also have to get the feel of a room as well. I do best when working with cast off furniture, Goodwill and thrift store finds. If I had an unlimited budget there would be too many options, and that would be confusing and not as much of a challenge. That was a very good idea for Vero to seek out someone with a well arranged room.
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
    .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pukq_XJmM-k

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    Quote Originally Posted by mn0good View Post
    HLD: That is both hilarious, and unfortunately English. All my materials need to be in French
    Can you just download that image into your publishing software and create a text box with the those words translated into French, then cover the original words up with your new text box? You should be able to change the background color of your text box to match the original poster by taking a sample color. I love the idea of using vintage propaganda posters and just changing the words on the poster. Lots of great images out there on the internet. You could create a series of posters with your own values as the propaganda. Also, there are lots of great war posters advocating silence - a great virtue in the classroom. Just put your images into a flash drive and take it to a copy store and let them make posters for you. The cost here for that is around $8 per square foot.
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
    .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pukq_XJmM-k

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