Ready For a Tour?
Classrooms are ever-changing and evolving as our learner needs change. Over the year, my classroom has changed to meet my learner’s needs. I’m going to share some of my favorite parts of my classroom setup that help ensure student (and staff) success!
Large Group Learning Zone
At the start of the year, the most we could manage whole group was morning meeting, calendar and social skills on the carpet. Now just half way though the year, my students are rocking large group math, large group reading, and large group writing. (I know what you are thinking – there are so many levels in my classroom I could never do that! Well, I have just as many levels as I do students, but we are making it work by adapting, differentiating and modifying where needed.) Once we started large group lessons, I quickly realized we needed to reduce transitions from the carpet to the table. I’m always looking for ways to help teach important skills for general education success, and copying from the board to a paper is one I wanted to practice. I moved my large horseshoe table behind my rug so I can still have large group on the carpet, but then we quickly transition to the table. From here, I can use the promethean panel as visual support for my lesson. Students can then practice concepts as whole group, and anchor charts can be placed on the screen for them to reference. So far it has been a huge success.
Keeping spaces flexible has been key to running a classroom with diverse needs in mind. I use these rolling carts to keep my center baskets ready to go. I use the tables around my classroom for small groups and just move the materials where we need them. In my cart I have fine motor center materials, reading/ELA materials and math materials for our groups the week. I load the cart up once and we are good to go. This idea worked so well I did the same for adaptive books and easy matching workbooks. I found that by having them in rolling carts ready to move to a table was the best way to keep spaces flexible. I have one cart for adaptive books and one for easy matching workbooks.
Teachers Only Zone
I don’t love a teacher desk, but the fact is that often times I take my prep with students in the room. That means sitting down and getting something done in a space where I can have data at my fingertips and safely use my computer. I pulled my teacher desk back in the classroom and so far it’s working well. My assistants have named the area ‘Koenig’s Corner’. It gives me a drop zone for my coat, purse, etc. as well as a safe place for my computer and classroom phone. I keep a shelf full of data and curriculum books behind my desk for easy access and a file cabinet with IEPs next to me.
Leveled Daily Curriculum
Speaking of curriculums, I keep all of my leveled daily curriculums out in the open so my assistants have access to them at all times. We use these all day, every day, so it’s a staple that can’t be hidden! They are in the black binders at the bottom of the shelf. I keep master copies in binders, then I use small binders to hold each curriculum’s unit students are on.
Independent work is the hallmark of a well-run classroom. I use a color-coding system in my classroom that carries over to my independent work system. I have task cards, book bins, and a choice shelf for students to do independently. The task cards and books are already leveled and students just find their color.
I have multiple areas where students can access sensory tables. I have a large sensory bin, a light table and a cart of sensory play items next to the light table.
I have homework copied for the year and baskets to hold communication books and daily folders. Students know to unpack their backpacks, put their folders away and put their communication books away. From here, staff can easily stuff homework into folders at the end of the day!
I have visuals easy to access and ready to use right where we need them!
Change it Up!
Don’t be afraid to change things up mid-year if it better meets student needs. Classrooms are made to be flexible, and so are spaces! The more you can think of areas flexibly, the more success you’ll have with your classroom set up.
- Fine Motor Centers for Emergent Writers - March 15, 2023
- Math Centers for Emerging Learners - March 1, 2023
- Reading Centers for Emergent Readers - February 15, 2023
Beautiful classroom! Thank you for sharing.