Setting up your classroom can be a daunting task! Especially if it’s your first year teaching. There are so many things to consider from bulletin boards to desk arrangements to the location of the pencil sharpener. When setting up my classroom, I broke out the work into five main areas. There is the teacher work area, designated student work areas, classroom library, student desks, and décor.
Teacher Work Area:
It’s important that you have your own space to keep all your school supplies. I prefer using a kidney table as my main desk as opposed to the large metal teaching desks traditionally used. I use a rolling cart to help keep my pens, post-it pads, and any other supplies I use on a daily basis, organized. You can find them pretty cheap on Amazon or at The Container Store. Take time to figure out what works best for you!
Designated Student Work Areas:
Dividing your classroom into specific learning spaces will help students become more comfortable. I have an author’s corner filled with different types of paper, anchor charts, and fun pens to write with. I also have a technology space with our classroom computers and chrome books. We have a reading nook and exploration center with science books and clipboards. Having designated areas help keep classroom materials organized and helps students become more familiar with your room.
This is my favorite spot in my classroom! We have cubbies with pillows for students to curl up in and a reading bench for partner reading. We also have a nice big rocking chair and easel for the teacher. I organize my library into four main sections. There is a nonfiction section, fiction section, chapter book section, and leveled book section. I also have anchor charts in my classroom library reminding students how to pick a book on their reading level, what different genres are, and what a good reader looks like.
This can get tricky! I feel like I always end up rearranging desks the second week of school after I’ve learned my students’ personalities. I like putting my students in tables. I feel like this model allows for student collaboration and makes it easier for me to check in during whole class lessons. There are so many different set-ups you can use. I often get inspired by doing a Google search for student desk diagrams or looking on Pinterest to try and find an arrangement that best suits my needs.
Decorating your classroom can be so much fun! I recommend picking a color scheme or theme before beginning. I have a lot of blues, greens, and oranges in my classroom. I also have an ocean-themed library with paper jellyfish and whales floating from the ceiling. Having a welcoming environment will set the tone for the rest of the year.
How do you go about organizing and setting up your classrooms? Share by commenting via Facebook or Twitter @PearsonPreK12.
About the Author: Hi! My name is Chrissy Talbot and I am a creative, hard-working, and passionate teacher. I’ve been teaching second grade for the past four years on Long Island, New York. I’m currently the general education teacher in an inclusive classroom environment, and I LOVE it! I received my BA in Elementary Education from Stonehill College in Massachusetts and later earned my Masters in TESOL from Touro College in New York. When I’m not lesson planning or making anchor charts for my kiddos, I am reading books on my couch, planning my latest travel adventure, or spending time with my friends and family.