Saturday, August 09, 2008

TRADING (Our Favorite) SPACES

Here are two of my favorite spaces in my classroom. The first is the picture book area. The reason this is one of my favorite spaces is because it is one of my students' favorite spaces. They love the window. They race to it to watch it snow, the morning sun shines through the crystal hanging there and leaves scraps of rainbows on the chalkboard, we watch the leaves of the sweet gums outside the window turn every possible shade of red and orange and yellow in the fall, and, as you can see, that's where my collection of wind chimes (each was a student gift) hangs. They love it when the weather's right to open the windows and work with breezes and chimings.

Most teachers arrange their rooms so their desk blocks access to the window. They co-opt one of the best pieces of real estate in the classroom. I choose to share it. (Even if some book covers are faded by the sun!)



My desk faces the window...from across the room. I can track the seasons by watching the slant of the early morning sun change from further north to further south and back again.

I love my desk at this time of the year: there are no piles on it or anywhere around it! On the wall I have my collection of magnets (all student gifts), some favorite quotes, and clips ready for the artwork students will give to me. My professional books (small selection kept at school; the rest are at home) and district content binders are lined up and ready for service. The lamp is on so it feels like home. (Might as well be, I spend enough hours there!)

Having such a small desk is another visual statement I make about the value of the real estate in the classroom: I try not to take up too much more space than each of my students. It's our classroom more than it's mine. I usually have at least two empty desks in the classroom for alternative work spaces and if I need to spread out more than my little desk will allow, that's where I work.


What are some of your favorite spaces in your classroom, your library, your home office? Send us a link to your post -- we'll do a round up on September 1. (More info here.)

4 comments:

  1. Lovely. Unfortunately our district has a strict fire code--nothing can hang from the ceilings. And man oh man I love my iMac but no dice at school. They won't even let us buy one with grant $. But setting up a new room is always nice and I just settled into a new space. For the first time I've managed to keep the huge whiteboard area almost completely clear so we can all have space to write...

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  2. What a nifty post idea. I'll post some photos once I can get into my classroom later this month. :)

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  3. So fun to see your space Mary Lee.
    It feels peaceful...I liked the comment about the uncluttered desk. Not for long!!

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  4. I totally agree with you about the small "real estate" for the teacher, as well as the lamps -- I have lamps all over the room. It does give the room a cozy feeling!

    Love your window real estate!!

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