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Organizing your classroom

Room arrangements should be functional and reflect your teaching style.

1. Personal touches create a sense of community and individualism in the classroom.

  • Lamps can give a room a less institutional and more inviting appearance.
  • Green plants soften a room and also improve the air quality.
  • Floors and ceilings as well as walls can be used to display learning aids and student work.
  • A class pet can spark student interest and invite engagement. Fish are certainly not disruptive.
  • If your room is large enough, a comfortable area where students can work alone or in small groups is inviting.
  • Soft music between classes or during group work or independent learning time can create a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Consider providing a bulletin board or other space for students to contribute to.
  • Post a large sign with your name, room number and class outside the door.

2. Organizational decisions can facilitate smooth operations.

  • Create a filing system and use it.
  • Keep high traffic areas (doorways, bookshelves, computers, pencil sharpeners) free of congestion.
  • Use in/out baskets to help you and your students manage assignments and materials effectively.
  • If possible, create "mailboxes" or storage areas for each student and use them regularly.
  • Consider a central storage area for paper, pencils, felt markers, tape, staplers, rulers and other tools. Make sure they are returned to the proper place at the end of the activity.
  • Display class rules procedures, calendar, assignments, seating charts and other informational items in a visible and convenient location. Make sure this area is kept neat and attractive.
  • Arrange furniture to allow space to walk around the room and among students. Sit at student desks to check their view of the board and other teaching stations.
  • Set up a table near the door where students can pick up and deposit assignments and materials as they enter and leave.
  • Devise a system for absent students to check what they missed when they return.