One of the most exciting parts of the school year occurs at the beginning with classroom setup. Whether you get to work with new materials or you have the opportunity to retrofit former supplies, a new classroom stands for a fresh start to the year.
Tips on How to Set Up a Classroom
Your classroom must reflect your personality and be a safe space for students. Hang a mirror or reflective wrapping paper on the wall opposite your windows to brighten up your room! Read on for more great ideas on how to set up a classroom!
Download it! My blog offers great downloads throughout the school year, including classroom posters and certificates of achievement. In particular, this post offers a Grammar Certificate, a No Homework coupon, and the Shining Star award. Speaking of posters, use Velcro® dots to attach posters to the walls. This makes changing posters fast and easy!
For the lower grades, help with smooth transitioning in your classroom or from one classroom to another by smooth transitions right from the start, for the lower grades taping down paper footprints to show the traffic pattern you want students to follow in your room. The footprints could be of your school mascot, and they could change with the seasons, including Santa’s elves or reindeer prints in December and leprechaun feet in March. The footprints will help guide students during transitions and lining up, saving precious classroom time.
Remember those Velcro dots you can put on your walls to make changing posters easy? I have put together some great posters. Find what works best during the beginning of your school year for your classroom setup.
Seating arrangements should foster collaboration yet be flexible to encourage student learning. Rethink your classroom to ease with transitions between activities. Provide an area as an instant math center, with pasta shells and dried beans younger students can access for counting and patterning. For older students, create spaces with task cards and math games. Also, provide an area for student’s to read. I once saw a refurbished front car seat in the corner of the reading area in a 7th grade classroom. How about a writing center? Students need space to write, so provide tables, writing utensils, and writing prompts to allow students easy access.
Want help with organization among your students desk arrangement? Transform a six-pack glass soda bottle cardboard carton into a storage unit for art supplies or tools students need every day. Classroom setup does not have to be expensive. Think of creative ways to use the following tools that are probably in your house already to help organize your classroom setup:
Empty tissue boxes
Mason jars and tin cans
Classroom Reward Ideas
Reward systems are great ways to build relationships with students and send positive messages to both students and parents. If you’re familiar with this blog, you know I have offered great grammar activities. Download a certificate of achievement for the Grammar Superstars in your class. Has someone done outstanding work in a reading, writing, or math center? Download the No Homework coupon so their parents and guardians know. Do you have a student who is going above and beyond? Download the Shining Star award and write a note to tell everyone how great your student is doing! You can post in the classroom or send it home for everyone to enjoy.
Your classroom setup should match you and what you want from your students. Soften the lights, add a carpet or throw rug, have soft music playing, or bring in a plant. The little touches in the classroom help make it yours.