As promised, it is Sunday and I am posting the 2nd blog. At this point, the setup of the classroom needs to be designed. You need to think about the needs of your incoming students and how you plan to teach. Do you want a teacher centered environment or a student centered environment? Should there be learning centers, table groupings, or horseshoe arrangement of desk? Where should the teacher's desk be placed? Should there be a place to have community meetings? How will students move about the room?
There is a lot to think about. For me, an important piece was to make sure that no matter where I was standing in the room I could see everyone.
In regard to the teacher's desk, I did not have one. I hooked a shoebag over a closet door for my supplies and used a counter, on something similar to a bookcase, for my desktop. Not having a large teacher's desk provided more space and flexiblility in my classroom arrangement. I liked having an arrangement with flexibility. I could move furniture easily for plays, movies, class breakfasts, presentations, etc... I also used large tables instead of desks for my students. However, I did have a few desks. The students had storage bins for their supplies. They also had these great "seat jackets" with pockets to hold immediate materials/supplies. They kept pencils, erasers, scissors, folders, etc..., in the pockets. These seat jackets eliminated the need for the students to get up and find the materials and roam the room, which usually led to some other behaviors such as never coming back.
The design of the classroom is an integral part of classroom management. Students must be able to see the teacher and any visuals that are being used. No student should have their back to a teacher.
The design of the classroom also sends a message to the students as to what is important to the teacher. Does the teacher want students to work independently or collaboratively? Is community important? This brings me right back to, do you want a teacher centered or child centered environment?
If you have any questions about your classroom setup please do not hesitate to ask.
Next, plans for the 1st day.