First, the bad news, according to my calculations (aka sitting down with my program requirements and my current transcript) I have at the very least 3-4 semesters left of school (plus certification tests) before I officially become a teacher. (I say officially, because a certain young man, who turned 8 this past Saturday, said, "Why are you going to school to be a teacher? You are already a teacher. You teach me lots of things.")
Regardless, I am still making plans for my future classroom.
One plan is to have Families/Houses within my classroom. 4 or 5 (or 6?) depending on how many students in my class, each with a different color. Kind of like Hogwarts and kind of like the Ron Clark Academy. I'm not sure yet how students will be "sorted" into their Families, but one thing I will definitely have is this:
On the wall closest to the classroom door, One House for each Family.
Each House will have two window boxes, and each student will have their face and name on a big craft stick (flowers in this illustration) that will slide into the window box. (While I might have to remind them every day, It will be handy for attendance taking!)
There will be a pocket place near the door that says "Not Home" (or something along those lines) where students will get their face from when they come in and put their face back when they leave for the day.
Each Family will have an animal mascot. I think I am going to pick them ahead of time and assign them to each color (to prevent the "but we wanted to be Tigers" kinds of arguments) (In my illustrated example I have: The Red Rheas, The Yellow Yaks (I think I actually drew a Bison), The Green Gators, The Blue Badgers, and The Purple Peacocks)
During the first days of school they will create their own Family Motto and decorate their door. (We may have door decorating contests for certain Holidays or lesson themes.)
Each house will also have a Real mailbox, like this but prettier and painted in their color:
Students will compose letters and properly address envelopes to mail within the classroom!