Decorating my classroom so that it is colorful and fun is important to me. When students who don’t have my class, walk by and catch a glimpse, I hear over and over, “I wish I had this class!” It is exactly what I want for my students to hear, their classmates are interested in what is going on in our classroom based on what they see. I’m so glad that READ 180 comes with so many posters and print-ables that can be used to decorate with a purpose. We refer to the Independent Reading Books posters on a daily basis, as well as the Topic Software and eReads posters. If my students are slacking on the rotation/routine expectations, I just refer to those posters to remind them of their responsibilities. Of course, there are also the motivational and encouraging posters because some days are tough and we all need those reminders to keep our head up.
It is also important to me for my students to feel ownership and pride about what happens every day in our class. We have the autograph section on the white board for those who pass a Success Zone on the computer, my cabinet doors are adorned with stars and certificates for students’ Reading Counts Quiz points and awards, and my closet door has the System 44 Success Stars to fill with stickers each time they finish a Series. Many, if not all of my students, rarely (at first) have what would be considered exemplary work in their other classes. However, in READ 180, they are set up and bound for success with all the scaffolding and support they receive during the writing process. When we are done with an end of workshop writing, they have completed a display worthy piece of work. Wall real estate can be sparse at time, I know. However, seeing a student admire their work on display over and over and ask classmates to read it and getting to see the great work that their classmates have produced as well, is what this teacher’s heart needs to stay motivated. Taking the time to show your students just how proud you are of their hard work by displaying it could be exactly what they need to keep them motivated!