So the risers went up, and the regular classroom decorations (borders, instructional posters that no one looked at) started coming down. After taking all of this down, the walls looked really awful because they are this textured tack board of indiscriminate vomit colour. Based on my experience with The Space in 106 and the effect it had on teachers, I also started putting up decor to soften the room up a little. I had our TA put up a whole wall of blue paper (which she had to take down and replace with fire retardant paper). I thought it looked like sky so I had my students sponge paint some clouds onto it. It didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped and now it looks like a sheep got crushed against the wall.
My teaching partner got into the whole design idea as well. He removed the really ugly curtains, and brought in a pink beaded string curtain for our classroom door. Being a tall beast, he helped me suspend some sheers from the ceiling so they looked like clouds. He now starts the day with an ambient nature CD that has some classical music mixed into it. He also likes to find some nice nature images to project on the Smartboard.
Today we gave our students the grand effect: risers, decor, mood lighting, sounds, window treatments, unmanly beaded doorway, etc. The funny thing is that our students took it in stride, but the class across the hall made a bee line for our doorway and were marveling at the spectacle of it all.
I was out of the classroom all morning, but even for a Friday afternoon, I could feel a nice relaxed groove. We had silent reading and I think the students could have gone all afternoon. They had their book boxes beside them and comfortable places around the room (on the risers, lying on the floor). There was a really happy feeling. The lights were on the low side but no one complained. It was a pretty great way to spend an afternoon.
Another interesting thing happened yesterday