Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach third grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach sixth grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach second grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach PreK-K

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Genia

I live in Michigan

I teach third grade

I am seriously addicted to all things technology in my teaching

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach second and third grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach fourth grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Designing Your Classroom Space (With Before and After Photos)

By Erin Klein on August 27, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

I've been working all summer long to redesign my learning space, creating a more inviting environment for my learners. As a former interior design major, planning an aesthetically pleasing area was important to me, as was keeping brain-friendly ideas in mind.

Due to the limited square footage in my classroom, I decided to replace the desks with a few pieces of non-traditional furniture. For example, our reading area is outfitted with rocking chairs, benches, and patio chairs, and in the back corner of the room, a breakfast nook is nestled beside a floor lamp and a large artificial tree. 

My main goal in designing my space was to create an environment where students would feel comfortable. I knew I had to provide materials that would be easily accessible and organized. Supplies are kept out in containers and baskets for the children to use as needed. Everything should be at their level. This meant lowering posters and charts. I also wanted to keep the colors calming in an effort not to distract from the content that would soon be posted on the interactive white board, walls, and bulletin boards.

It was important for me to select a theme that would appeal to both boys and girls as well. Since we have a garden outside of our classroom, I thought it would be a good idea to bring the garden into our room. Thus, the nature theme became my focus. Muted colors of brown, green, red, and gold started to fill the space.  

About the Design

I love shopping at Hobby Lobby for my home and classroom. I often rearrange the furniture in my home. When I do, instead of bringing the items to my basement, I'll switch them out with items in my classroom. The wall art you see above the window was a piece I had above one of my art canvas paintings in my master bathroom. Now, it sits above my classroom window. A few years ago, this metal wall art was placed above my bulletin board (click here to see). My bulletin board was designed to look like a window. I even had curtains on each side! You can find similar wall art by clicking here to connect to Hobby Lobby's site.

I also keep personal photos of my family around the room. You can see some sitting on the shelf. I add personal touches throughout the space to bring a piece of my life into the room. I even add framed photos of the students throughout the year, too. Because we are a classroom family, it's only fitting that their photos be added in frames around the room. My bulletin above the tall shelves is currently under construction. This will be the place where we post math concepts and vocabulary. However, since we haven't started a unit yet, no content is displayed. As we introduce skills, students will help to add essential information to the board.  

 

Getting the Student's Input 

When I asked my students last year how I should think about setting up my classroom for the new year, many of them expressed the importance of having areas where they could sit and relax. They really enjoyed being able to stretch out with a good book and not be confined to their desk. That's when I began brainstorming creative ways to incorporate inviting seating areas that would help to maximize the layout's working area.

Since we have a small room, it was essential to utilize each section of the space. The corner breakfast nook works perfectly to provide additional seating since it tucks right into the corner, not taking up unnecessary floor space. The bench seats also lift to provide extra storage. I keep many of our charging cords and technology accessories in these cubbies.  

I plan to use this area for groups to collaborate together and work on projects with one another. There will also be two round tables in the center of the room for children to use while working independently or with partners. We are getting 20 iPads for our grade level this year, which will be shared among four classes. So I am excited to have a comfortable area for children to connect with each other as they develop content and extend lessons on the iPads.  

About the Design

To frame this area, I added a border that I purchased a few years ago. I used tacks to hold the wall-border in place. I measured the border to be about twelve inches from the ceiling to create a more cozy corner. In effort to make this section feel more warm, like home, I added a chalkboard beside the window. I picked this up from IKEA for $14.99. This chalkboard is where I'll spotlight our date, special person of the day, and daily agenda...just like at home! You can also find this breakfast nook from Wal-Mart online for $279 — a sizable investment, but one that will last through many years of teaching.

 

Starting the Process...

It went from bad to worse. I began to second guess my decision to transform my classroom. At first, I was so overwhelmed that I didn't know where to start. After removing everything from the shelves and cabinets, I started sorting through what I would keep and what I would donate. Then I sorted the materials into piles where they would end up being placed in the room. Once everything was in organized sections, I went to IKEA and shopped around for items to define the space with purpose.  

 

Defining Each Area...

I like to set up various sections of the room to serve different purposes. This gives the students more options to work and keeps them moving. In our room, we transition a lot. I feel it's important to allow the children to have opportunities to walk around and discuss topics with their peers. One area I set up this summer was a small group meeting place.  

I hung chart paper on the wall and eliminated my bulky stand to save space. However, this also meant I could no longer utilize the nice, magnetic board that was attached to the stand. So, I picked up a $12.99 magnetic board from IKEA to hang above the chart paper. While at IKEA, I stumbled upon a hanging planter set. Instantly, I envisioned it being used for sharpened and unsharpened pencils. A few years ago, I found the tall chair at IKEA, too. It works great and doesn't take up much space!

As shown in the photo, below the chart paper hangs our pencil station. You can also see my mentor text shelf behind the chair. I have my books separated by subject: reading, writing, math, and social studies. I love having a spot for my mentor texts! I keep all of my seasonal read-alouds in the closed cabinets on top of the shelves on the right, and my curriculum materials are on the counter top. I'm really appreciating how putting items on the walls helps to save functional floor space.  

 

Organizing Books and Supplies...

 

Looking Closer at Each Photo (from left to right)

1.  I love my R E A D letters.  I picked these up at Hobby Lobby a few yeas ago to accent our classroom library. 

2.  In effort to save space, I moved out my teacher desk. I still needed to keep my filing cabinet. I thought it would make a perfect space to house my document camera and computer.  

3.  My newest find was the media DVD shelf where I store many of my chapter books. I'm currently adding more books and organizing the genres. Having the books displayed on open shelves makes it easy for me to switch out series so that the selections are always fresh and new!  

4.  The last photo shows the corner nook and the student supply area. Children keep all of their community supplies in organized areas so that their workspace stays neat and clutter free. However, having the necessary supplies in a designated and available area allows children to access any material they need in an efficient manner.  

Finding the 'just-right' piece of furniture can enhance a space so much. I'm so excited to share a few tips with you regarding simple transformations:

  • adding a decorative rug to a small area helps to identify it as it's own section

  • removing the teacher desk can offer additional space for a small room

  • a media shelf normally used for DVDs holds and displays several chapter books perfectly

  • having community supplies easily accessible can support independence 

  • bringing in incandescent lighting softens the space from harsh fluorescent lights

  • adding real plants introduces nature to the room—kids love taking care of them

  • decluttering helps students stay organized and keeps the room cleaner as they work

  • lowering print on the walls allows children to see content easier and more clearly

  • incorporating a neutral color scheme doesn't distract from content being introduced

  • keeping boys and girls in mind when designing allows all to feel comfortable

 

What are your favorite ideas and tips for setting up your classroom?  I'd love to know!

5D91F7222A5677F738405481396DEF27.png

Comments (444)

I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.100k factory scam

This new article of yours is a mind-blowing one. There are not many articles which impress me. But, this one has by quite a lot of impressing. antipasti

You have a very inspiring way of exploring and sharing your thoughts. It is very uncommon nowadays, lots of sites and blogs having copy pasted or rewritten info.
first american warranty
american home shield home warranty

You have a very inspiring way of exploring and sharing your thoughts. It is very uncommon nowadays, lots of sites and blogs having copy pasted or rewritten info.
home buyers warranty
first american warranty
american home shield home warranty

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.
education corner

I almost skipped over your Pin, but then something caught my eye, I clicked on the link and realized it was classroom! I heart you and your fabulous classroom! I miss you and I hope you have a great school year! Love ya, all the way from Texas! voyance sans cb

would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.voyance gratuite par telephone

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!!!!
first american home insurance
the first american
home warranty america

I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. . . . .
Minuman Berenergi Aman tidak Berbahaya

I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me. Thank you so much. free soccer tips

It is extremely helpful and interesting and very much looking forward to reading more of your work.. Legal Highs UK

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. เครื่องออกกําลังกาย

I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work communication skills training

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.
ultrasoundtechniciansalaryusa.com

I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well. http://www.bingocardssites.com

Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! http://www.onlineblackjacktc.com

I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog. http://www.player-bingo.co.uk

Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writing

boom beach astuce

Interesting topic for a blog. I have been searching the Internet for fun and came upon your website. Fabulous post. Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon.
Driving lessons in Edgware

I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google.
bubble soccer pembroke pines

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. electric one wheel

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.
Greatest online home festival

Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.
hotstar apk

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. ourworld hack 2015

Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. Instagram followers

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. bulk candy

voyance en ligne gratuite

Yes, great US Military force. Also, in his post you have given a chance to listen about US Military. I really appreciate your work. Thanks for sharing it.
antalya taxi transfer

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.
theater backgrounds

I am continually amazed by the amount of information available on this subject. What you presented was well researched and well worded in order to get your stand on this across to all your readers.
theater backgrounds

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.
studio backdrops

Your content is nothing short of brilliant in many ways. I think this is engaging and eye-opening material. Thank you so much for caring about your content and your readers.
photography backdrops

Thank you for some other informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information.
hand painted backdrops

Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.
hand painted backdrops

Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice weekend.
nba 2k12 code unlock all teams

I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. silver

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
clash of clans gem box

This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog..
language of desire program free

Good post. I learn some thing tougher on distinct blogs everyday. Most commonly it really is stimulating to learn to read content material from other writers and exercise a specific thing there. lol boost

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.
dalaman transfer

I wanted to thank you for this great read nature sounds sleep relaxation music

I was watching, after all. Everything was normal and then, out of the blue, there's the eruption of choreographed/chaotic collective delusion. car accident lawyer

You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. Equideow Astuces

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work
Learn More Here

I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful... voyance par telephone

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises
marmaris airport transfer

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.
jobs in nigeria

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing...
corsi di massaggio

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.
Film recommendation

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.
men hairstyles 2015

So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site.
High PR Backlinks

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
Back to Top