Last week, after all the dust from the 2009-2010 school year had settled and the building had been fully cleaned out by the custodial staff, I got the OK from my new principal to come in and visit my new classroom. I'm currently living about 2.5 hours away, so my trips have to be planned in advance to manage things on the home front. (I'll save the drama about the current living arrangements for another day...) I packed up my car with as many of my personal teaching materials as would fit and ventured off to see my new classroom.
The trip was not without hiccups. The temperature was well into the 90s, and the elevator in the school had broken that morning. As luck would have it, my classroom is on the top floor, so hauling all of my stuff upstairs was fairly grueling. That being said, imagine my delight when I saw my new workspace.
Forgive all the stuff on the tables. That was stuff I unloaded from my car, and I hadn't decided on new homes for it all yet. But check out the windows... and I have a couch!
I'm also excited about the prospect of having tables instead of student desks. I used to cluster desks together into tables anyway, but it seemed to create lots of unnecessary problems when the desks weren't all the same height or size, and some students would argue about which desk had group materials on the top. This seems to resolve all of that, and I'm thrilled. Also, have I mentioned the windows?
I was also happy to see a giant blue rug rolled up there and an ActivBoard in the front of the room. There's really not much more I could ask for! (Well, except for more bookcases at a good height for my students for my classroom library. There was only one bookcase in there when I arrived, and my classroom library is large and constantly growing. But I think even that will be taken care of before the school year starts!)
I spent the rest of my afternoon mapping, measuring and photographing everything so I can get it set up on my next trip in July. I'm recruiting my husband to help on that trip since he's very patient with my room arranging idiosyncrasies, and he'll be helpful with moving furniture. I'm deciding on classroom layout issues now.
What thoughts do you have about classroom design and layout? How would you use this space for a fourth grade room? Any arrangement do's and don'ts that you can share?