Friday, July 6, 2012

Classroom Parking Lot

     Now that it's the summer, I plan on relaxing and working on things for my classroom next year. The first project I started working on was recreating my classroom Parking Lot. My old Parking Lot was looking a little used. My school uses Quality Tools in the classroom. One of my favorite tools we use is the Parking Lot. I like this tool because it gives the students a chance to share their ideas, questions, and thoughts.
     At the beginning of the school year, I introduce my students to our Parking Lot. I have the Parking Lot set up in the back of my classroom at our data station. The Parking Lot is for the students to use whenever they have something they want to share. I listen to my students questions and ideas while I am teaching, but sometimes we run out of time and I ask them to write their thoughts down on the Parking Lot. Some of my shy students prefer to use the Parking Lot. Once they get used to this tool, you'd be surprised how frequently they use it!
    There are four sections in the Parking Lot. The + section is for things they like. If I was teaching a lesson on the Civil War and a student liked the project I assigned, he/she could use this section to share their opinion. The delta section is for things we need to change. If I was teaching a lesson on long division and students were having a difficult time, they could use this section to tell me what I need to change to make the concept easier for them to understand. The ? section is for any questions they have, and the I section is for any ideas they have. I have a Ziploc bag with sticky notes and pens inside for the students to quickly write down their ideas, questions, and thoughts. At the end of every day, I read their posts. It's a great way for me to assess my teaching and better reach my students.

This is a picture of my old Parking Lot.
I have created a new Parking Lot for next year. Click here to download a copy for your classroom.

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