I broke down today and started to work on a room arrangement. I am planning on 24 kids – already have 23 on the roster – and have a contingency for a 25th.
Here are some “before” shots from last June:
Step one was to move
shovemy desk out of the way. I have a large, desk with an
equally large return; thankfully it is not attached! I have rotated the return around so that that kids have access to the knee hole. On top of this space I’ve put a 24-slot letter sorter we use for “mailboxes” and the shiny new iMac that actually runs the web-based programs our district subscribes to. I’m kind of happy with this arrangement already. The mailboxes are inside the classroom space now and not at the doorway causing a logjam. They are lower so the kids should be able to access them. And the computer is now easily accessed by students.
I have an old(er) Dell laptop that I have replaced with a personal netbook. I will
hopefully gain permission from the computer network gatekeepers to access the internet from within our school’s firewall – which will allow me to do what I need to do assessment and data-wise, unplug the laptop and bring it home to continue my school tasks. We’ll see how long it takes to get all of that permitted.
I’ve also flipped where the classroom library was located to the front of the room. My classroom is at a junction point for 2
hallways – it is often noisy – which means it is distracting to put the reading conferencing space and/or student tables in that vicinity. I placed the shelves to create a kind of barrier which I hope will insulate us a bit from the hallway noise. This is also where the gathering space is for whole group lessons.
Finally, I’ve decided to group my students in 6’s – not because that’s such an ideal number for cooperative learning, but because there will be less real estate involved with the desks when we get down to 4 groupings.
Now to work on the tossing; after sending out an all-school message, I got a taker for the table I wanted to get rid of. Next up is to get the TV cart moved in to storage and clear off the countertops. Once that is accomplished, I can bring in my plants and lamps — and some other homey touches. I’ve even located some fire retardant valances on the web. Things are starting to come together.