Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Classroom Takes Shape

Here is Room 228 after summer cleaning, but before I really start to make it my own. On the left, cubbies are filled with picture books, poetry, and nonfiction. All of the chapter books are boxed and stacked, along with the shelves, to the right. My first decision -- where will the IWB go? I decide on the board near the TV, back on the left by the window.

I'm starting to get a sense of where the shelves will be. Picture books on the plank and block shelves left of the window and poetry in the white shelf to the right of the window. Nonfiction in the tall shelf to the left, chapter books left and center in the lower shelves. I have moved all of the chairs into the meeting area and will arrange the desks around that empty space.

The big L shaped shelf arrangement took up too much space and blocked the entry path, so it became a J. Four tables of six are ready for students. If I have more than 24 students, there are places at the "office" table straight ahead under the "pink" bulletin board, and at a table behind the camera view to the left, on the tile between the door and the cubbies. (You can see the end of it in the second picture, still stacked with boxes and tubs of books.)

Pretty much ready to go at this point. That corner where the chapter book shelves make their bend turned out to be the perfect place for the clipboards. The tops of the chapter book shelves are lined with tubs of popular series. Yes, I do have a little nook of a desk area in the bottom right corner. I try to take up as little real estate in the classroom as possible (and especially not the prime real estate of the window, in spite of the fact that Room 228 faces the playground and it might [ha--"might"] be a distraction), but I'm not "evolved" enough to give it up completely. I'm going to take everything off the top of the desk that I don't want to share, and it will be another place for a student to work when my computer is over at the IWB. Plus, I have a fun idea for how I want to use that whiteboard beside my desk, and it will require that students have access. (More on that in another post...)

This is the view from the window, looking towards the door -- the opposite view from those above. You can see just a bit of the poetry shelves to the left, then the office table. The built-in shelves along the left wall hold reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias of all kinds, thesauruses). Next the chalkboard, my desk and shelf, the sink area and the door. Continuing to the right of the door, you see built-in cupboards in the back corner and the table on the tile and the cubbies are back there, but hidden in this picture. Continue around and you see the fiction, nonfiction, IWB, and picture books!


Well, the white board for the IWB (on the left) was longer than the space I left between the tall NF shelf and the picture books. So, the NF shelves moved straight ahead beside the poetry (covering half of that bulletin board...oh, well). Just goes to show that it's a work in progress, right up to the last moment!!

All of these panoramas were made with the Pano app on my iPhone.


  1. I think if we had our way, we teachers would all want double classrooms, so everything would fit just the way we wished. Your room looks great, Mary Lee. I imagine that you know that moving things around is refreshing & inspiring, right? Plus, students like that it's new, (& underneath I think they like the trouble that you went to for them). Best wishes for a terrific start to the year.

  2. Hi, Mary Lee. Thanks for this glimpse into your classroom. It's been a long time since I was a regular classroom teacher and I loved remembering that quiet, setting up time through your post. Good luck with the start of school!

  3. Looks fabulous!!! You are going to have a great year!


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