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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Elementary Music Classroom Tour 2023-24

Well, it took me longer than I'd like to share this post, but here's a tour of my elementary music classroom as it currently stands, starting off the 2023-24 school year! I didn't change much about the actual setup of the room, but did make a few significant changes to the visuals and posters I have on the walls that I'm excited about!

First here's a quick video tour of the entire room to get you oriented to how the whole thing is set up:

I changed a few things from last year's classroom (click here to see last year's post) that I should explain:

So I had (what felt to me like) an epiphany this summer. For over a decade now I have had my orchestral instrument posters on the wall behind where my student chairs are. I put them there when I first started teaching in this room because the band and orchestra rehearsed on that side of the room. A few years ago, I made big posters showing the main concepts students learn in each grade level to replace the word wall I used to have on the magnetic chalkboard next to that wall. 

This summer I realized the grade level expectations posters are ones that students refer to often but I rarely, if ever, need to show them in the middle of a lesson, but the instrument posters are ones that I do refer to during lessons when we are talking about instruments and instrument families. I also add to the instrument wall every year posters that the students make when they are researching a particular instrument and make their own posters, and then I take them down for each new year. It makes a lot more sense for the instrument posters to be on magnets so I can take them off the wall to show students and change out the student work each year, and for the grade level expectations posters, which students refer to on their own more often than the instrument posters, to be right behind their chairs. 

So I swapped their spots, and I feel like a genius.

I guess these are the kinds of things that feel monumental when you've been in the same room for over a decade?!? But I do think it's worth noting- it's good to rethink how you've always done something. I never questioned why I had these two walls the way I did until I finally did, and now it makes so much more sense.

The other main change has been the addition of my new learning target displays:


We are being required to post written learning targets with specific, 3-sentence language for every lesson this year, which I have certain feelings and opinions about that I won't get into right now, but that meant I needed to get rid of the small frames I had used to write my objectives on for the last 10 years because there's no way I could fit 3 sentences on those! I now have a row of bigger, letter size frames for 1st through 6th grade under my whiteboard at the front of the room, and I laminated 3 letter size sheets with the same 3 sentence starters for Kindergarten next to the floor circle (where they mostly sit). More explanation on that coming in another post...

The last main change in my room is this corner, where I have a small place for students to sit and take a break, and my boomwhackers hung on the closet doors with velcro:

I got 3 sets of the accidentals so I added those to the sides next to the rest of the boomwhackers, and I got a new minion poster (from the school book fair last spring, actually- thanks to a parent who spotted the poster and knew I would love it) and added that to my rest area. The poster is perfect because it says "Today I am..." and then had lots of different moods. 

I'm so excited to get started on the new school year. I hope you get some fresh inspiration for your own room! If you have any questions about anything you see in the video or photos, please let me know in the comments, I'm happy to answer.

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