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Classroom Setup Revisited: Adjustments for the New Year

By Rhonda Stewart on December 29, 2014
  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

It’s now December! It’s hard for me to believe that we are almost at the halfway point of this school year. It seems as though it was just the end of August and I was shaking my head looking at my classroom and wondering to myself how and when was I going to pull my room together. I was fortunate to be able to recruit family (My Dream Tech Team), former students, and friends/colleagues (Sue Grass and Cara Holzer) to assist with setting up my classroom.

In an earlier post from September, Middle School No Stress Classroom Setup, I showed you my classroom in the early stages.

Here are some "before" views of my classroom . . .




Pearls of Wisdom Recruit help for your classroom setup. Plan and organize your materials so that you are working efficiently. You want to be able to maximize your helpers.

This year has been a process for me. I am just now feeling settled in my classroom. I have tried various seating arrangements depending upon student personalities, space, and flow of traffic. It still amazes me how different the room feels when the students are present. So now that I have a better sense of my students, designing the room with them in mind is easier. I do ask for their input regarding room design and will take into account some of their suggestions. But ultimately, the final decision is mine. In this process of redesigning my room, I consider:

  1. Current floor plan What’s working well, what needs tweaking, and what needs to go?

  2. Purpose Is classroom management a concern regarding behaviors or does the design need to support instructional models?

  3. Comfort level Is the room welcoming for all who enter? Does it pique student interest?

  4. Efficiency Is the space being utilized properly? Is the space being maximized? Is the room conducive to learning?


The Unveiling of Room 504 For the Time Being

This setup allows for ease of traffic. It enables me to have access to all of my students and to assess their work either in groups or independently.


This wall is under construction. I am introducing a suggestion from one of my students I wrote about in my post, Getting Kids Excited to Read — From a Kid's Point of View.


Mobile Technology Center Students have access to laptops during small group instruction. Students are able to access the materials easily and without interrupting instruction in the classroom.

Cozy Reading Area My students look forward to IDR (Independent Daily Reading). Over the years, I have learned that reflecting on not just my teaching practices, but also the learning environment, enhances the teaching and learning in my classroom.


Now if I could just keep my desk in order!

Comments (4)

Kudos to you Rhonda! I love that you are challenging yourself in order to benefit your students.

I love all of these ideas....but not a reality in my school. We don't have the technology except for some desktop computers, 3 to be exact. I also would love to have the pillows on the floor, except for the fact that headline has been such an issue the past 2 years we have had to do away with things like that. The one thing I can relate to.....the messy desk, which will never change-- no time!

As long as I know what is in the mess, I'm ok. When I no longer know, then I have to do something. Teachers really don't work at the desk, it is just a place to hold stuff. Keep on teaching!

They say a messy teacher's desk is a hard working teacher. It means you are busy with the students!

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