Thursday, August 31, 2017

Classroom Set-Up: Everything in its Place, and a Place for Everything

Everything in its place, and a place for everything is a good phrase to think about as one preps the classroom for the teaching year.

Yesterday after moving furniture around, opening boxes, and taking care of big supplies, I realized that I need a good day or at least a good afternoon of sorting pens, paper, and all kinds of learning and creative supplies. A few students will help me out with that activity for a few minutes today too. I'm looking forward to that.

As I think of a classroom of supplies, I'm wondering just what that sort will look like this year. What materials are important, and how will I organize them so that students can easily access and well use the supplies.

Everyday Supplies
At the front of the room, I'll organize a collection of everyday supplies such as pencils, pens, colored pencils, rulers, scissors, and paper. Students are welcome to take and use these supplies as needed.

Math Manipulatives
To the right of the room, I have a number of cabinets where I'll keep all the math manipulatives for easy access and use.

Informational Books
Next to the math manipulatives, I have a nice collection of informational books that represent a large variety of student-friendly topics.

STEAM supplies
At the back of the room, I have a large assortment of STEAM supplies on metal shelves. I'll organize those supplies for ease-of-use and safety too.

Student Drawers
Since our students travel, only students who are in my homeroom have space in the desks for their supplies. The "travelers" or students who come to my room for math will each have a drawer for projects and other materials. Those, thanks to the suggestion of a colleague, are situated at the back left side of the room. There are big crates there too for student work, and portfolio collections.

Toys, Books and Building Supplies
There's an area in the far front of the room for toys, building supplies, and books. Those are located near our big rug and the comfy chairs. This is essentially a good place to play, build, read, and get together with teammates and friends throughout the day.

Presentation Space
The front of the room has a big white board and overhead projector to serve as a good presentation space, and the center of the room has student desks which will be grouped for good teamwork and projects.

Tech Cart
We have a great cart that hosts all the chromebooks for students. It's great to be a one-to-one classroom, and have the daily use of these devices for learning.

There's lots of leg work involved with setting up a classroom for young learners, fortunately the sorting doesn't require the physical energy that moving all the furniture did yesterday so today should be, in effect, a lighter day.