I know what you're going to say - it's way too early to be thinking about going back to school! If you're not in the mood to think about your classroom just yet I do understand... but if you're like me you will do a lot of thinking, mulling and pondering over the best way to set up your room for the new school year before you actually start working on it. I wanted to share a few ideas from my classroom with some learning areas you might like to use in your own room.
First up is my favourite (and probably the most important) part of the classroom: the Library! Whether you use your own books, school provided books or a combination of both you will want to organise them for your kidlets and keep them in an area that is inviting. I have lots of books from many years of teaching - most of them bought secondhand from the Lifeline Bookfest. I organise them into author baskets, non-fiction and then general picture books. Readers are organised by levels.
All of my baskets came from dollar stores and I attached the labels with some ribbon. Kidlets access the Library to choose new books for their 'Book Box' and during free time. (Keep a lookout for a post soon all about reading tools to add to your library space!)
You might be a lucky duck and have a tonne of space in your room for your Library. Maria from Kinder Craze has a gorgeous big space that I am always envious of!
Next up on the list of important classroom spaces is the carpet area - the place we spend so much of our day either as a whole class or in small groups. Luckily, this is very easy to set up as you really only need a few things to make it work well: a teacher's chair, board/display area and defined space for the kidlets to sit. The best investment I ever made for my classroom was to get a class set of SitSpots! They stick to the carpet like glue, without damaging it at all, to give each kidlet a place to sit. I love them!
On the pinboard near our carpet area I keep our daily calendar, behaviour expectations display, birthdays and classroom rules.
Another important display space is right by your small group teaching area. I was lucky enough to have this gorgeous U-shaped table in my room (I got the stools from Ikea). Behind it you can see our number posters, Sound Waves chart and reading strategies, but you should display anything you will reference during your small group instruction. :)
As you set up your room for 2016 you might also like to include spaces like a Writing Corner, art space (mine is called the Creation Station) or an area for fast finishers to work on tasks without disturbing others.
My Writing Corner and Creation Station are simple - pretty much a table, a few posters and the materials needed for each. We use them during Discovery Play (free time). You could definitely make these more elaborate if you wanted to!
My plan has always been to make a space for a set of 'Bee Busy' drawers for kidlets who finish their work quickly (inspired by From the Pond) with a desk beside it but I've never managed to do this properly. It's still on my to do list!
I hope this post has given you some food for thought as you plan to set up your classroom for the new school year! I'll be back soon with some more 'Back to School' posts!