Monday, August 26, 2013

Classroom Set Up

Setting up my classroom for a fresh new year was always one of my favorite things to do. I felt a sense of responsibility and happiness in creating a space for learners that allowed them to be both organized and innovative. It is a lot of work but it pays off to have a great space. Fact is, you spend a lot of time during the school year in that space, so you need to feel innovative too.

Smaller writing tables and areas allow students flexibility during writing time and supports them with their current writing needs. I always seemed to over hear writing conversations at this table and witnessed how writers at a very young age are open and reliant on good feedback for their writing. Writers of all ages are capable of editing along the process, it takes practice and quality feedback.

 Nothing like a table for 4 when sushi is on the menu. How much fun is it to set up the table in the housekeeping center? Please never stop advocating for dramatic play /housekeeping centers in early childhood classrooms. Hopefully the research on the academic and social value is being read by policy makers.

  I can only find old pictures of my kindergarten classroom. Why are my photos hiding when I want to share them? I'll post photos of my 4/5th grade classroom and library spaces later when I have the patience to search longer and harder for them. In the meantime, Check out the silks covering the harsh lights. I love them. I put my life in danger on a tall ladder alone in my classroom at night, trying to hang the things the same height! Not so cool.

This photo of my traveling lioness sculpture bench does not do it proud. It is such a beautiful and functional piece of art that demands the attention of everyone who enters into the space it owns. Over my nine years at the Pemetic Elementary School, students played with wild life animal toys on her, stretched out across her and read, named her, told her secrets, wished her good night and good bye, drew her and wrote stories where she stared as the heroine. 

A cooking word wall with interesting words that might not be on your typical word wall. When students wrote stories about cooking they could take the word cards off the pocket chart and to their table (they could copy the spelling). An interactive word wall can support emerging writers as they experiment with word choice and build their vocabulary around topics of interest and relevancy.

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