Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thoughts on Classroom Arrangements

I am still on vacation, but I'm reading Twitter, following blogs, and pinning away. It seems as though I'm the only teacher on the planet not in the classroom preparing for the new school year. This is my second vacation this summer. We did the two-vacation thing last year and I loved it. We took a larger-scale family vacay in June, then a smaller "end-of-summer celebration vacation" if you will in August. It was actually a surprise trip from my family for my big 3-0, but it was a great way to say goodbye to summer.  I loved it so much, I decided to try it again this summer. The kid and I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Atlanta, then hopped on a plane to see my sister and her husband in Orlando. We hadn't seen them since the surprise trip last August, so we were really looking forward to it. I'm going to blog about both trips with pictures when I return home. 

What I want to write about today is different classroom arrangements. I got rid of my desk last year. I was really worried I would miss it, but I really didn't. I never sat at my desk during class anyways, so I just used my kidney table as a "desk," which I only sit at in the morning during check-in and during small groups. I also brought in another kidney table for my co-teacher. She spent most of the afternoon reading block in my classroom, so she really needed a space of her own.  I wish I had pictures, but essentially both kidney tables were in the back of the room, along with our library area. I would like to move things around this year, here are some thoughts:

General Classroom Layout:
I've always wanted my small group area in front of the Smart Board. It makes sense to be able to make charts, hop on the Internet, or display something necessary for a read aloud or lesson.  My biggest concern with that, though, is that creating this space in front of the board takes away space for desks when I want students to learn from there and see the Smart Board.  I also saw an arrangement where the teacher moved her small group table to the center of the room.  I really liked that idea (again, to be able to utilize the Smart Board during small groups, and also it seems like it might be better to monitor behaviors during Daily 5 and math workshop.  

Library Area:
I've always loved the library area in my classroom. I have three long bookshelves full of books and one tall bookcase I brought from home. I bought paper lanterns at Target this summer to hang in the library area for softer lighting. I like students to be able to sit in the library to read and relax. In the past, I've also used this space as a meeting area. My biggest problem with my library last year is that some of my students chose to sit there and goof around while I was with a small group and couldn't see them. My first thought is to not make my library so "closed off" but my gut tells me this could happen no matter where my library is in the room. I also need to think about if I want to maintain the library as my meeting area. If not, I can have it be a smaller area in the room. 

Computer Area:
I have three desktop computers provided by the district in my classroom. They have to be against the wall in my classroom because of wall outlets and Internet connections. I also have three Google Chromebook computers that I got through Donor's Choose last Christmas. The Chromebooks are more mobile, but I like them to be plugged in throughout the day when not in use. Last year, I had another table that formed "L" next to the desktop computers. I think I like the idea of all of the computers being in the same location, but they don't have to be. that's got me thinking!!

Your thoughts??
How are you arranging your classroom this year?  Do you change your layout each year or essentially keep it the same?  Anyone else remove their teacher desk from the room? 

Well, off I go to look at more classroom layouts on the 'net! 


  1. I'm not in my classroom yet either, Rachel! We aren't allowed in AT ALL over the summer (unless we are teaching summer school and those are only in a few of our buildings). I don't think we can get access until maybe next week.

    I'm not sure about my room arrangement yet this year because I am changing schools and I don't know the layout of my new room. I do generally keep a teacher desk (but ours are more like a "table") just so I do have somewhere to do my own things when the kids aren't in the room. I change my room often, even mid-year if something is no longer working for me. I might just be a weirdo in that respect :)

  2. I have tables instead of desks, so that keeps thing simple for me. I did remove my teacher desk to make room for my small group table up front with my smart board. The set up worked very well for us. :).
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  3. I haven't gotten in my room yet either and I keep thinking about room arrangements. I don't use a teacher desk either. I'll be following you to see how you finalize things. Thanks for the ideas!

    First in Maine