Friday, March 4, 2016

SOLSC #4 - Memories on the Ceiling

To read my student's posts on the
Classroom SOL challenge click here

Introduction: Hello and welcome to my blog! This is the third year I have participated in the SOLSC and also the third year for my students as well! I teach students, ages 11-14, in a multi-age classroom at The Logan School for Creative Learning in Denver, CO. This year, I am hosting students from all three middle school classes and they are participating on a volunteer basis (with a few prizes thrown in for inspiration). I'm looking forward to being part of this amazing community again!

Memories on the Ceiling

My ceiling is a mess, it's dusty and cluttered. Not unlike my desk or my brain a lot of the time. The upper levels of my classroom hold the memories of my teaching career. The drop-ceiling is open for most of my room, leaving a grid of rafters to gather dust, projects and memories. Here is a list of some of the things I can see from my desk, that are all above head level.

Seven ceiling tiles have been decorated by previous 8th grade classes and my eight continuing students will add the eighth in June. It started with just faded Sharpie marker with names and quotes and has since evolved to planning, paint and bold color splashed across the ceiling. The names and images of each past class are ripe with memories and smiles. The first class even wrote "Gullible" on theirs so that word would actually be on my ceiling.

A Bad Bromance?
One tile holds pictures of the 'Bromance' between me and a colleague who co-taught with me for two years. They shots were taken of us being silly on the 6-7 extended class trips we have led together over the past seven years. While one picture is us kissing a cannonball jellyfish, most are of us sharing a drink or jointly eating something: a milkshake in Ghirardelli Square, coconut milk from a coconut on Oahu, and couple of sauerkraut burritos (a class tradition).

Over 200 stuffed moles peer down, all created by students over the past eighteen years to celebrate Avogadro's Number 6.022 x 10^23) and Mole Day (10-23). Pepto BisMol, GuacaMole, Cafe Molcha, the entire band of Moletallica, and many others keep an eye on my class, along with a small American flag, a troll doll, and Rex the Slug Fish (a student's project from years ago).

Speaking of past student projects, the rafters of my room hold a four-foot scale model of a Zeppelin, a life-size model of an elephant tusk, a huge poster of Albert Einstein (sticking out his tongue) and a couple of projects from this year that needed a place to safely live for awhile.

USS Led Zeppelin
Dead Fred!

Dead Fred, the cow skeleton hangs near a window over a couple of student desks. To be accurate, only Dead Fred's backbone and skull are hanging up. It was in my room when I moved in and I saw no reason to move it.

Other memory debris include a blow-up Pirate's sword, a blue lei, and artwork from previous class trips (A lobster, kayaks with pictures of our heads, Alcatraz, donkey, The USS Arizona, and Half Dome). Each image blows off the dust from that trip, allowing me to once again experience it and revive my memories of past students.


  1. The feeling is such an overlooked part of a room. What a great idea to use it for inspiration!

  2. Oh, wow. Great slice! I knew some of these stories, but not all of them. You're right: In any given room, the ceiling is part of the atmosphere, and the one in our classroom is certainly cluttered. Great job, the pace and pictures in here were really good.

  3. It is really cool to get to hear the entire story behind all of the panels, and I agree that all of the moles are always keeping an eye on us, making sure we don't get out of hand. The pictures set the scene really well. Nice slice!

  4. Very cool to notice the things above and their stories...I noticed the ceiling at the pediatric dentist's office. The dentist shared that patients spend a fair amount of time looking at the ceilings so he wanted to make them interesting!