Monday, July 12, 2010

Classroom Space Design

Last year I had a wonderful opportunity to depart from classroom teaching and become a Technology Support Teacher for my district.  The job was to assist teachers in technology professional development, assist teachers in infusing technology into the classroom, come into classrooms and lead or co-teach instruction using technology and to do some minor "troubleshooting".  I had a great year, but I missed the daily interaction with the kids tremendously so I am heading back into the classroom!

So this summer I have spent a great deal of time pondering the set up of my classroom.  I have actually gone into my new classroom and just sat on a chair in the middle of the room thinking.  Admittedly, I have also snuck into other teacher's classrooms whom I admire for some inspiration.   I am really struggling with what I want the layout of the space to be.

There are certain spaces I want in my classroom.  For example, I have 4 student computers so there will be a space for those to be grouped together.  I will have a SmartBoard next year so a space will need to be carved out for interaction with it.  The rocking chair my mother rocked me in as a baby will need a space to.

I want my classroom to flow seamlessly and to have a logical, practical layout.  I want it to be "user friendly" with student items down low so they can reach them (they are only in first grade so they are small!).  I want my students to feel as if they have space and are not crowded on top of each other.

There is a book I have been wanting to read titled The Third Teacher which addresses the link between school environment and student learning.  I do feel strongly that there is a correlation between the two.  A few teachers have read this and have talked to me about how it is impacting the way they are designing the layout of their classroom for the upcoming school year.

How is your classroom designed?  Are there certain spaces you have in your classroom that you would recommend?