One of the things that I loved, loved to do with the start of each new school year was to plan how I would create a beautiful classroom space. I spent a great deal of time (okay, maybe obsessed) over how I would arrange my classroom furniture and materials so that they supported the flow of work and learning in my classroom. I got super excited when I envisioned the student work that would cover my walls and the visual resources I would display to support this work. To sum it up, I worked really hard to ensure that my classroom would be a place where both my students and I would enjoy coming to everyday.
My hope is that the pictures and thoughts below will provide you with some ideas or inspiration as you go about setting up your own classroom. You may also find that your thinking about how you use your classroom space evolves during the year and you want to change things up. If so, you might find it helpful to refer back to this post. Or, shoot me a note and I can share my thoughts. And remember…creating a beautiful classroom should be fun! Good luck and let me know how it goes.
There is nothing more terrifying than walking into your classroom at the beginning of the year and seeing a bunch of unorganized STUFF. Agghhh! Where do you even begin? Well, the best strategy I have come up with is to start with deciding what furniture will go where. I always prefer to group tables or desks together as this arrangement is more conducive to small group work.
Once I have decided where student desks will go, I am able to think more clearly about the future of what will become the center piece of my classroom…our classroom library. I prefer to place furniture for the library in a corner area of the classroom as I think it provides an extra bit of coziness. Putting up a couple of shelves or rain gutters to display books is also a nice touch.
How and where you will house classroom supplies is another important consideration. I have found that well organized community supplies not only help to keep your classroom a bit more orderly, it is also a great way to build community and collaboration skills within your classroom. I housed my community supplies either directly in the center of the classroom or in an easily accessible corner.
Now I am ready to think about the use of wall space. I have found that students are more easily able to access resources posted on the walls when information pertaining to different content areas is grouped together. I also loved to display student writing for others to see. Displaying quality student work on your walls helps give students ownership of the classroom and it gives them that extra bit of motivation to produce high quality work!
You’re almost there! Now it is just time for a few finishing touches. A few strategically placed lamps and rugs help your classroom feel more like home. I am also a fan of plants, fun fabric, and rocking chairs.
Feel free to share your ideas and success stories!