Some of you may already be back in school. Some of you may be preparing right now. Right now, I'm thinking back to all those pins I found this summer, and wondering how I will find the time or energy to make my classroom into one that is inviting for students coming into my class this next year. There's plenty of discussion going on about the “cuteness” factor of classroom. I personally have no issues with cute chevron themes. I think the way you set up your classroom is up to you and your administrator when it comes to decoration. But suppose we just focus on the function aspect. What really matters to me is designing my classroom around functionality. So I recommend you ask yourself these questions as you embark on setting up the environment your students will learn in this year:
- How flexible is my seating? Are students assigned to one space all year long? Are they at the mercy of working with peers selected for them? Ask yourself if you could allow for a more fluid learning environment perhaps.
- Where does collaboration take place? Can students move around and work on the floors, in centers, under the desks? When students have the ability to work with others, they expand their knowledge base and experience, not to mention gain a few social skill lessons along the way!
- Who is this space designed for? Is it a student-centric room where most every part of it is student accessible and friendly? Does the space looking inviting and open?
- Will students have places that meet their diverse needs and learning styles? Can students who want to research quietly do that while collaboration occurs across the room?
- Will students have a say in the environment? Once the year begins and you learn more about your students, will you give them a say in the learning space?
These questions will hopefully guide you into making the best decisions to meet the needs of your learners, as well as your classroom management style. If this topic interests you, check out Classroom Cribs
and start learning more about how you can make your learning spaces instructionally sound!
Jaime Vandergrift is an elementary technology specialist, experienced educator, presenter and conference planner. Jaime is a co-host of EduVue, an EdReach Network Live Education Show. Jaime is pursuing her EdS degree from the University of West Georgia in Media and Instructional Technology.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Beth Sawyer (bk2400)