Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘classroom makeover’

Working with Heather to create a word wall on the magnetic chalkboard

Working with Heather to create a word wall on the magnetic chalkboard

This summer I helped my friend Heather set up her kindergarten classroom for the new year. Instructor Magazine called and asked if I’d write an article on setting up a classroom at the start of the year. They sent out a photographer and we did the classroom setup in just one day. See a preview online! The full article appears in the September/October 2009 issue of Instructor Magazine from Scholastic.

Just a note… there was no air conditioning in the classroom when we set it up! Made for a rather hot workday in Houston in June! But one that we hope will help lots of you with ideas for your classroom. For more ideas on classroom setup, see my book, Spaces and Places: Designing Classrooms for Literacy for teachers in PreK-5th grade.

See my other posts about classroom makeovers:
Welcome classroom environments
A new teacher gets a classroom makeover
Classroom makeover in Ozark, MO

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This past week I visited Ford Elementary in Denver, CO. Teachers there are committed to creating welcoming classroom environments. We visited classrooms from ECE (4-year-olds) to 5th grade and moved a bit of furniture along the way. I recommend starting with classroom environment at the beginning of the year. It sets the foundation for all the teaching we will do throughout. When we have a well-organized whole-group teaching/meeting area, it is easier to help students focus on what we are teaching.

Likewise, a smal-group teaching area (with everything we need at our fingertips) helps our small-group lessons stay focused and within our time budget. We can minimize interruptions and distractions. One thing to keep in mind is to be sure you can easily see every child in the classroom from your small-group table.

A third space to focus on at this time of year is your classroom library. Does it invite students in to read a book? Is it easy for children to choose just right books and return them to the library for others to easily find? Does the library support reading comprehension, too? You might have a set of fiction shelves and a separate set of nonfiction shelves to get students thinking about genre.

Here are some pictures of our work at Ford:

Welcoming whole-group area in 4th grade

Welcoming whole-group area in 4th grade

Principal Gilberto and others move small-group table to a better location

Principal Gilberto and others move small-group table to a better location

"Dead space" in classroom might be perfect for small-group area

"Dead space" in classroom might be perfect for small-group area

"Girl Power" moving small-group table to new spot

"Girl Power" moving small-group table to new spot

Happy teacher in new small-group area

Happy teacher in new small-group area

Third grade classroom library with anchor charts

Third grade classroom library with anchor charts

Start of the new nonfiction library shelves in 4th grade as books are sorted with students

Start of the new nonfiction library shelves in 4th grade as books are sorted with students

Read Full Post »

While in Ozark, MO, I did a second classroom makeover. It’s Amanda’s first year to teach, and she’s really excited about her new kindergarten room. She thought about having two whole-group teaching areas, but we decided to just have one large space for both math and reading instruction. She moved it to the magnetic dry erase board area. Now she can convert part of that dry erase board into a low interactive word wall. And she can use her document camera there, too, since this is a room set up for teaching with technology. Her classroom library could have become a “landing strip,” so we moved it to create a more open, welcoming reading area. See her before and after pictures:

A before picture of the whole-group area with a large math board

A before picture of the whole-group area with a large math board

Moving the carpet was a team effort

Moving the carpet was a team effort

The new whole-group area is more open and welcoming

The new whole-group area is more open and welcoming

The old library area was a possible landing strip

The old library area was a possible landing strip

The new classroom library area with comfy bean bag chairs

The new classroom library area with comfy bean bag chairs

One corner of the classroom was cold and cluttered

One corner of the classroom was cold and cluttered

The cluttered back corner became a new area for manipulatives and portable centers

The cluttered back corner became a new area for manipulatives and portable centers

Read Full Post »

We worked together last week to give Polly’s classroom a whole new look! She said that last year she moved things around every few weeks, but it never really felt right. 

We started with a plan for instruction, and that makes all the difference. As part of our summer workshop in Ozark, we met in Polly’s room and mapped out the classroom with her. Teachers gave suggestions for furniture placement (and the “why” behind their reasoning), and then Polly and I planned where to place each instructional space.

Together, we moved all the stuff. We changed the color scheme in the room to make it flow, too. This is the first room where I’ve used black as a background on bulletin boards. I love it! The charts Polly hangs will really show in this new space. The built-ins are a funky color, so that’s why we used black and white with it. Now Polly’s room is ready for instruction, and she shouldn’t have to move furniture around at all.

Take a look at these before and after pics!

Looking into the old classroom

Looking into the old classroom

Looking into the new, fresh classroom

Looking into the new, fresh classroom

The old library was sort of sad

The old library felt crowded in the middle of the room

A couple of pillows cheer up the library

This cozy new library feels inviting

Looking at the old shelves in Polly's classroom

Looking at the old shelves in Polly's classroom

Some new fabric and a new bulletin board freshen up the shelves

Some new fabric and a new bulletin board freshen up the shelves

Remember the old whol-group area?

Remember the old whole-group area?

Here is the whole-group area after the makover

Here is the whole-group area after the makover

And at last, look at these great new bulletin boards!

And at last, look at these great new bulletin boards!

Read Full Post »

Last week I worked in Ozark, MO with about 200 dedicated educators in Pre-K-grade 5 classrooms. We talked about literacy work stations and how to best utilize classroom space for maximum instruction. A classroom makeover was a part of this, of course!

Polly’s classroom featured an odd color of built-ins, a color somewhere between salmon and cantaloupe! We put black and white with it to give it a fresh new look. We worked together to redesign her space, too. See these before and during pics and then check back later for the after pictures!

 

Look at the color of those built-in cabinets!

Look at the color of those built-in cabinets!

The whole-group area in Polly's classroom

The whole-group area in Polly's classroom

We moved the whole group area away from the cubbies. Too much potential trouble for traffic flow. Plus the document camera projects to another part of the room. New whole group area is by a dry erase board which will become an interactive word wall.

After school, we went shopping to the FM store in nearby Springfield, MO. So many choices! Then off to get border at another shop. Polly went home to sew, Deb and Karen returned to school to recover bulletin boards.

A great fabric store

A great fabric store

So many choices!

So many choices!

Deb inspects borders for Polly's classroom

Deb inspects borders for Polly's classroom

Read Full Post »