HOW TO SET UP AN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM
Back to school can bring up lots of unsettling and overwhelming feelings when in it comes
to setting up an elementary classroom. It involves careful planning and consideration of various aspects,
in terms of furniture arrangement, organization of stationery, learning materials, school rules and routine posters,
word walls, math walls and of course the all important behavior management strategies.
Here are step-by-step suggestions that are key elements when it comes to setting up your elementary classroom:
- Physical Classroom Space: Consider the physical space and how best to arrange classroom furniture, such as student desks and chairs. Think about the separate learning areas or stations, such as literacy centers, math centers, science centers and a reading corner. Ensure that the layout allows for easy movement, comfortable access and opportunities for differentiation such as independent, partner and small group activities.
- Organize the Classroom Supplies: Sort and label classroom supplies, including pencils, crayons, highlighters, markers, scissors, glue and paper. Use trays, bins, caddies or drawers to store to clearly display these items and make them easily accessible to students.
- Arrange desks and chairs: Consider creating spacious individual workspaces for students, ensuring they have adequate space for their belongings and can engage in set activities with ease. Once I set up desks and chairs, I keep the same set up, but will move students each quarter so that they have the opportunity to work with different students and personalities.
- Create a Classroom Library: Set up a dedicated area for a classroom library. Arrange books on shelves or in bins by reading level, genre or topic. Make sure the books are easily accessible to students and create a cozy reading nook with bright colorful cushions or bean bags.
- Display Visual Aids and Learning Resources: Hang educational posters, charts and word walls to support student learning. Display student work and achievements to foster a sense of pride and community. Use classroom bulletin boards, whiteboards, or chalkboards for displaying important information and announcements.
- Organize Classroom Materials: Allocate storage areas for textbooks, workbooks, art supplies, and other learning materials. Use shelves, bins, or cabinets to keep materials organized and easily accessible for both students and the teacher.
- Create a Digital Technology Station: Set up a designated area for computers, tablets, or other technology devices. Ensure they are properly connected and ready for student use. Consider having headphones or earbuds available for individual work.
- Establish Classroom Rules and Procedures: Develop and discuss classroom rules and procedures with your students. Clearly communicate expectations for behavior, participation, and classroom routines. Display the rules prominently in the classroom.
- Social Emotional Classroom: Build a class family environment by incorporating social emotional strategies and posters to make the classroom welcoming and engaging. Use colorful decorations, inspirational quotes, and student artwork to create a positive learning environment. Consider adding plants, a class pet, or a classroom mascot to make the space more inviting.
- Consider Behavior Management Strategies: Develop strategies to manage student behavior and promote a positive classroom environment. Consider implementing a reward system, behavior charts, or a classroom job system to encourage student responsibility and engagement
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