Classroom Design

Boy do I ever need to redesign my classroom space.  What I have is workable, but there’s much more to be done.  What would my dream space look like? Here are some things I’m mulling over for next school year:

1. Removing the big old TV on the gigantic (and wobbly) stand.  Yes, I do use video…. sometimes. Is it worth having this gigantic thing taking up more square footage in the classroom? I’m not sure it is. What would be a reasonable and less space-consuming alternative for those times when a picture is way more effective than words?

2. Clearing the decks. Countertops are full, and I mean full, of “stuff”.  I know the district has a rule that each room needs an overhead projector, but I don’t use the thing since we’ve received an ELMO and projector.  But I also have too much “stuff” on the countertops — just how important are those bins with independent math activities?  Time to be brutal.

3. Coverup. The windows let in light, but more often than not it is harsh. And several of the windows are cloudy. Sheer curtains?  Hmmmmm, would that  a more welcoming, diffused lighting?

4. Seating. Cushions and upholstery in public spaces make me nervous. I don’t like to sit on the chairs in my doctor’s office.  Whatever we use for alternative seating needs to be welcoming, functional, space saving and movable.

5. Student work areas. Since the furniture available seems to be just desks, that’s what we have to work with – no student tables (I had trapezoid tables at another school and I loved them!). What would the room be like without so many of them? How would that change the way we work?

Lots to think about as this year runs out. Classroom design is a bigger deal than I’ve previously thought. It will affect the way the room is managed, it may affect the students’ concept toward the room, and it can affect their behaviors.  Hoping that over the summer I’ll get some inspiration — and some latitude — do make changes that will positively impact my students’ time in third grade next year.

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4 thoughts on “Classroom Design

  1. Yes! Classroom design is such a factor in the lives of our learners!

    We recently (November) flipped our classroom space.

    We sent all desks down into storage (with the exception of a few just incase any of our learners wanted that option), we brought in stability balls to encourage our wigglers to wiggle as they work, incorporated clip boards for workingonyourbellyonthefloor. We use lamps for our subtle lighting and brought up some nap mats that kindergarten no longer has time for.

    Our motto is: work where/how you work best. The classroom really does belong to the learners now; it’s a reflection of their needs. Even the anchor charts are kid-friendly and kid created! It’s a great space.

    http://tuesday2.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/change-is-different/

  2. You are so right! I hate the clutter of a classroom built for 18 but holding 24…. often wondered if all the junk actually sets of not-so-wonderful behaviors. Lots to think about this summer! Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

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