My 21st Century Classroom

Welcome to my 21st Century Classroom!
My name is Lee Bob Alexander, I am a Middle Level Science and Math Major at Edinboro University!  My ultimate goal as an educator is to become a 7th or 8th grade Science teacher at Northwestern Middle School in Albion Pennsylvania.

As you continue through my 21st century classroom you will find:
1. My belief statement
2. A graphical representation of my future classroom
3. My daily rituals and routines
4. A glimpse into how I will be instructing my students
5. The technology I will be using in and out of class
6. My growing PLN

After viewing my 21st Century Classroom please leave me some feedback so I can grow and improve my plans and ideas.  :)

My Belief Statement

My Future Classroom Design
^ Click to enlarge ^

My future classroom is in the 7th or 8th grade.  It will be a science classroom that is set up to promote collaboration, communication and inquiry based learning.  Everything in my classroom will be designed to encourage success and growth of my students.
  • Collaboration - I created the seating style within my classroom so that the students will be able to discuss topics and ideas with their fellow classmates.  They will have opportunities to work together and create group projects.  The semi-circle seating will promote student interaction and it will help eliminate the idea of back row bad kids.
  • Communication - My desk is located at the front of the class but I dont plan on sitting down a whole lot.  I positioned a table in front of the student's table at which I will be doing the majority of my teaching and demonstrating.  The students table will allow the students to communicate with eachother easily and without much disruption.  I will be doing a lot of teaching and discussing and I feel that the open setup of the class will promote clear and effective communication.
  • Inquiry Based Learning - As a science teacher a majority of my lessons and activities will be inquiry based.  I will not be the teacher who lectures for class period after class period.  My class is equipped with lab tables as well as a reading center.  I am not big on reading but I know how influential it is to learning.  Many students learn so much better by hands practice  and through reading.  My classroom will be full of experiements and fun activities as well as as many books I can fit on my shelves.
Rituals and Routines
At the beginning of each school year I will spend time with my students expalining my expectation as a teacher and I will give them the opportunity to express their expectations as students.  I will be upfront and honest with my student and they will know exactly what is required of them and what they will have to do to receive an A at the end of the year.
My daily routines will differ from day to day depending on the lesson for the particular day.  Each lesson will have clear guidelines and procedures to follow.  The student will also know what I want from them when it comes to dealing with everyday issues and concerns.  The classroom will be labeled appropriatly so that students will be self reliant with finding materials and resources.
Student Centered Learning
 As stated above I am not going to be known as a lecturing teacher.  I dont learn well from that and I know that many others are the same way.  I will encourage my students daily to look up and research any and every topic they are interested in.  They will have every opportunity to work together and learn together.  I want my students to experiement and learn from their mistakes.  I want them to work together and discuss their ideas and concerns.  I will often have debates for my students to be able to "argue" their opinions as well as learn that there are many different viewpoints that go along with a single issue.

Instruction in My Classroom
*a glimpse into a typical lesson*
In my classroom I plan to do LOTS of hands on active learning.  I will make every attempt to adress all learning styles.  I don't believe that students can learn Science without getting their hands dirty!
One of the most memorable lessons I remember from my seventh grade science class was creating a cell diagram.  In my science classroom I plan to do a two to three week lesson where my students will learn about cells.  I will teach my students about cell structure and function.  I will describe the many different components of a cell and how thet function within the cell.  The students will be tested on cell structures and their functions throughout the lesson period.  As a wrap up the the lesson I will have my students create a cell at home to bring in and share with the class.  They will be able to use any material they wish.  Preferably the cell will have three dimensional properties.  They will be graded on appearance and correct cell components and their position within the cell.

A lesson like this would meet these three SAS Standards:

S7.B.1.1.1: Describe levels of biological organization from cell to organism.
S7.B.1.1.2: Describe how specific structures in living things (from cell to organism) help them function effectively in specific ways (e.g., chlorophyll in plant cells— photosynthesis; root hairs—increased surface area; beak structures in birds— food gathering; cacti spines—protection from predators).
S7.B.1.1.3: Explain how characteristic similarities and differences (from cell to organism) are used to identify and/or categorize organisms.

Technology in My Classroom
One piece of technology that I will have in my classroom is a Smart Board.  I plan on using it everyday to facilitate learning and instruction.  I plan on having my students use the Smart Board almost as much as myself.  I want them involved in their instruction as much as possible.

Other bits of technology that I will use in my classroom are sites like this one.

Bright Storm is a creative website where students can go to learn about many diffferent subjects.  I know that there are going to be students in my classroom who will struggle learning from me.  I will make sites like Bright Storm available and known to my students.  They will be able to go online and try to further their knowledge, above and beyond the content of my class.
I also plan to create an educational blog so that I can keep my students and their parents aware of everything goin on within my classroom.  My blog will include everything from in class pictures and videos to homework and in class lessons.  I will post discussion boards and have surveys available so that I can keep my blog relevant and interesting.
It will be similar to except the blog will be much more professional and more related to the content of my classroom.

My Growing PLN
Throughout my Technology for Teaching course at Edinboro college I have been creating and expandig my Personal Learning Network (PLN).  I have learned about a lot of webistes and resources that will truly benefit me as an educator as well as a learner.  Many sites such as and have a bad name in the educational field.  I have learned through my class that these sites can have real benefits to educators.  They can be used as direct links to our students as well as their parents.  When these and many other site are set up and used properly they can link teachers to many other teachers who are in the same profession.

Please take a moment to fill out a quick survey about My 21st Century Classroom!

"Animal Cell Picture." Web.

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