I’ve received tons of messages from teachers who are hoping to get back into school over the next few days to set up their classroom for the next year. I’m hoping to go into my classroom tomorrow for a few hours so I’m writing this as a to do list for myself and hopefully it will help some of you too!
- Where will your desk be situated? Will it be facing the children or to the side or will it be up against a wall? Will it be at the front or back of the room?
- Where will you keep your books?
- What will you keep on your table? Where will your stationery go? (For some teachers – myself included – I have way too much stationery and often buy 2/3 of things as I can’t find what I’m looking for!)
- Where will notes from parents go? Where will leaflets/notes that need to be given out to students go?
My desk will face the pupils. I have a small bookshelf behind the desk with all my textbooks and teacher resource books. On the table I will have 2 letter trays for notes and I have another storage unit for stationery (which I need to label and organise a bit better)
How will the children be seated? Will you have rows/ groups?
It’s very important to ensure that each child can get out of their seat and walk around the room – to go to the board, to the teachers table or to the toilet. (If the quickest way out is under a table – the child will go under the table!)
Books and Copies
Where will these be stored? How will they be stored? How will the children know where the books should be?
We are lucky to have cubby holes in our classrooms so I keep all the rental books here along with the copies on the top shelves. However there isn’t enough room to store folders/ scrap books and refill pads so I need to figure out where is the best place for these items.
Create labels to clearly mark different areas. This will make it easier to return books to the correct place and to keep the classroom organised. I also label the hooks for coats at the back of the room as each child knows exactly where to put their coat each day and there is no confusion if two children have the same coat.
Do you need to change the backing paper/ add borders? Will you add borders to your whiteboard area? Do you need to create more display areas using the back of a storage cabinet or a blank wall/door?
What will be displayed in the classroom during the first few days? Personally – I’m leaving the classroom as a ‘blank canvas’ and I will add things to the displays as we cover them in class/ as the children make them. I often find that the children use the displays much more if they are involved in making them.
How will these be stored in your classroom? Bulky items such as A3 paper/card and clay can be difficult to fit in. We have built in cupboards but they don’t fit a huge amount so I keep 1/2 boxes and decorate them with sticky wallpaper and store things in here.
I think it’s also a good idea to keep an inventory of art supplies so you know exactly what you have and what you may need to buy more of – this is especially useful coming up to special occasions like Christmas – if you have a particular art lesson/project in mind and need specific materials!
How will things be organised in your classroom? Look around the room and see what jobs might be needed to have a smooth running room? Where are things kept? Where do the children keep their school bags? Where do the children put their homework/ copies that need to be corrected?