Saturday, August 12, 2017

This Year's Classroom: A First Draft

Moving classrooms always makes for a fun challenge. This year I'll be teaching 5th grade. Setting up in a new room always forces me to reflect on the space I want to create for student learning. I know the space will change incredibly once students arrive and we get started and who knows how the room will work until students arrive. So I know this is draft one of our classroom for the 2017-2018 school year and that it will changed with student input, etc. I tried to make things accessible to students while also creating a variety of spaces and options for student learning.

The classroom view from the doorway.  (Please excuse the trash can!). Hoping the room provides several space and seating options for student learning. I didn't put much up on the walls as those will fill once learning begins! (2 of the walls are magnetic which is a big plus I think!)

The back wall is filed with nonfiction. NF author, topic and series baskets fill up about half of the space. Other miscellaneous nonfiction are spine-out.  I know these baskets will change but this is just so start.

Picture books and picture book biographies are along the side wall.  I only brought in a portion of my picture books so far but plenty to start the year.

Graphic novels have their own shelf although it is already pretty full! I may need to add more shelving for graphic novels as the year goes on. We'll see!

This year, for the first time, I did not fill every space and bookshelf. As I get to know my kids  and we get new books, etc. there will be room for those.  The bins on the bottom are some of the student bins that will house book stacks, notebooks, etc. 

Because students won't have desks, these plastic drawers work well for notebooks, pencil pouches and other individual supplies. I have 3 of these placed in different spots in the room so that it will never be too crowded when kids need supplies. Kids will also have a magazine file size bin for books and notebooks,

I tend to use the front of the room/meeting area/shelf for books and baskets that connect to what we are doing. So #classroombookaday books will go here as we read them. Basket topics will change depending on mini lesson work and units of study. I like for these books to be easily accessible to students during unit of study and beyond.

Mostly fiction novels in this area. Many author baskets that I know will change and grow over the year.

Thanks to whoever it was who shared these great Book Recommendation Speech Bubbles on Facebook. They brought some needed color to the room and will also begin our conversations about recommending books, book tastes, etc.

The area where students store coats and book bags is also where my teacher cabinet is. Since I do not have a desk, I created a cart on wheels with supplies that I'll need for small groups and conferring. (Filled with things like highlighters, sticky notes, etc.). I also have a shelf  (to the right)free for things I'll need to store/use for planning, etc.

The classroom has 2 desktop computers and I wanted those to be more work-station-like. So both are set up in corners where kids can pop on when needed.

The 2nd computer is in the corner above some bookshelves.

Supplies are available in several places in the room but Math Tools, markers, pens, sticky notes, staplers, etc. are in this area.

I am going to spend a bit of time with The Space: A Guide For Educators that was recommended by Stacey Riedmiller.  I learn so much from books about classroom design. I'll also revisit The Third Teacher and The Language of School Design as I see how students are using the space. Looking so forward to getting started this week!


  1. Thanks for sharing your classroom! I also appreciate you sharing your purpose behind your classroom design process. I love the simplicity of things. Simple, yet purposeful!

  2. Your room looks great. I've sure your kids will love all the options. Have a wonderful year!

  3. Looks great, enjoy the first week of a new journey.

  4. Your classroom set up looks very inviting for students. Love all the book areas! Good luck welcoming your students to the learning environment. Here's to a fabulous year.

  5. Phenomenal classroom setup. I can't wait to visit you!!!

  6. I just told Joy you're teaching 5th, her reply "are you serious? What about last year? She could've moved up then!" To say she loves you is an understatement! Have a great year!


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