Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Setting up the classroom

Because of my new position this year as an academic intervention specialist, I did not have the opportunity to set up a classroom...and I missed doing it a lot.  I am hoping for the chance to go back to the classroom, and this blog is an opportunity to remember what I've done and what I might tweak in the future.

Ahh, the word wall.  According to the literature (for example, here and here), the word wall should be accessible to the students, and the white board is a perfect place because the words can then be magnetized (magnetic tape is one of my many best friends).

I wanted a simple design for the alphabet, so I found clip art of a pencil and I created the alphabet on Pages, which is my best friend in creating stuff for the classroom.  I printed them out on cream-colored card stock, cut them out, laminated them, and slapped some magnetic tape on the back.  Voila, alphabet letters for the word wall.   My next classroom might have an ocean theme to it, so maybe I'll make the alphabet out of fish.

The long strip above the white board is great for the alphabet, but I also saw one of my colleagues post student work all along the strip.  Or if the alphabet stays, then maybe I should also put the number line above it.  Decisions, decisions...

My brilliant first grade colleagues thought of the idea to use the two adjacent bulletin boards for classroom news/notices and for the math word wall.  Again, who can resist great ideas?


Well, there is only one bulletin board left, and there needs to be a calendar and a place for student work.  Well my wonderful colleagues are geniuses, and gave me the idea on how to utilize this space efficiently:


You can see that I love magnetic tape so much it's actually in this picture...

Anyway, in setting up my room, I tried to take into consideration the color schemes using red and yellow in the front of the room (more yellow than red), and blue in the back of the room where the students and I would be sitting for the whole group lesson.  Debbie Diller, the queen of classroom design and organization, mentions in her book to pick two or three colors to tie your space together. 

It's so much work designing an inviting, comfortable, and attractive classroom, yet so satisfying when it's finally done.

What's on your priority list when designing your classroom?


  1. LOve it! I have been frantically searching Beach Theme ideas for my classroom next year! Look at this adorable idea that Sneaker Teacher came up with for her word wall:

    I can't wait to use it!!!

    Miss Kindergarten

  2. I just started following her blog...thanks for sharing!!