Classroom Organization: Assess How It’s Going

Below are some areas that can help create the conditions for students to feel comfortable and ready to start their work of learning and building a positive classroom community.  Assessing your classroom organization will help create the optimal learning environment, where all students feel invited to challenge themselves academically and be contributing members of the learning community.

organized classroom totesFurniture, materials, and storage

Students learn best where learning is active and interactive.  Is the classroom set up to allow students to work in large and small groups, independently, and accommodates a variety of student-initiated and teach initiated learning experiences?

If students are to do quality work, they must have quality tools.  Is our classroom stocked with an assortment of learning materials without overcrowding the environment?

Proper storage can highlight materials and extend the possibilities of in-depth learning.  Is the storage accessible to learners, neat, well-marked, and organized?

Displays

Walls covered with all sorts of displays can lead students to feel overwhelmed, but bare walls and boards look bleak.  It is not uncommon to see classrooms filled with teacher-created or store made displays and student work is lacking. A classroom filled with the work of the learners sends a powerful message to students. Do your classroom displays celebrate students’ efforts where they feel valued and known?

Considerations for students’ needs
  1. Does the classroom fit the range of physical sizes of the group?
  2. Is the space reflective of the developmental needs of my students (social, emotional, physical)?
  3. Are students’ individual, cultural, and special needs accounted for in the room setup?

When we think about creating the optimal learning environment, keep in mind that simple changes made will have a dramatic effect on how students feel and behave, and ultimately how they succeed throughout the year.

Tags: Bulletin Boards, Classroom Organization

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