Is Your Classroom Organized for Learning?

School’s over! As you clean table tops, take down anchor charts, and sort supplies, pause and take a look around your classroom. Will you be leaving a space that worked well for most of the year’s learning activities, a space you happily anticipate returning to in the fall? Or did the room seem to somehow get in the way of your teaching and students’ learning?
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Our Classroom Walls

During the school day we spend most of our time in our classroom and so do twenty to thirty students (give or take a few!). Many of us feel that our classroom…
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Our Classroom Library: Reflections

I'm definitely doing this each year from now on! As the end of the first quarter of the school year rolled around, I reflected on the benefits I'd seen from involving students…
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Building Our Classroom Library

When my new third grade students saw our classroom library for the first time this year, all of the book baskets on the shelves were empty, and although the baskets were labeled…
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Whose Classroom Is It?

One way the Responsive Classroom approach has changed my teaching is that I have learned to think of the classroom as a space that belongs to all of us, rather than as…
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Ask Yourself Why

What's your vision for your classroom community this year? How do you want the room to look, sound, and feel once the first weeks of school are over? In my last post,…
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Envisioning Your Classroom

I started setting up my classroom a few days ago, and of course I was thinking about the first days of school, but what really guided my decisions was a vision of…
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Classroom Display Ideas

Last spring, I encouraged you to take a good, hard look at your classroom displays and think about how, in the future, you might increase the emphasis on displaying student work and…
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Time to Change the Routine?

Which parts of your school day just don't seem to work as well as you'd like? Now's a great time to do some problem-solving, imagine new possibilities, and plan to make changes…
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If Classroom Walls Could Talk

Take a look at your classroom walls and displays. What do they say about you, your relationship with your class, and your view of teaching? Are your students guests in your room,…
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Asking the Right Questions

Three years ago, I noticed my first grade class having real difficulty putting away the materials for one of our workstations. Although these students usually followed the cleanup routines we'd developed and…
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Decluttering Starts Now!

How much of the stuff that’s cluttering your classroom could be gone before school starts up again? Teachers keep all kinds of stuff we never use. Why do we keep these things?…
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Displaying Student Work

In any classroom, displays should consist primarily of the children’s work, rather than teacher-made or store-bought pieces, no matter how beautiful those pieces might be. Displaying student work sends several important messages:…
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Classroom Connections

In my first couple of years teaching fourth grade, I was surprised by how much my students argued about who owned which supplies. "Nicole, can I borrow your black marker?" Carradine would…
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Furniture for the Classroom

Furniture takes up lots of room, so if you’re lucky enough to have some choice about how you furnish your classroom, you’ll want to choose carefully. Look for pieces that will be…
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Community Supplies

Just like adults, children of all ages need sufficient quantities of good-quality supplies if they're going to do their best work.
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Solving the Space Crunch

What’s something you’ve done to make better use of space in your classroom? A: I let go of my teacher desk. It was hard to do. Even though I rarely sat there,…
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Opening Soon!

An exciting way to introduce classroom materials and learning areas slowly, safely, and with a sense of ownership and fun As eager kindergarten students enter the classroom on the first day of…
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Displaying Student Work

A classroom filled with the work of children is a delight to be in and sends a message to students that their work and their learning are important. Although early in the…
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Classroom Spaces That Work

Adapted excerpts from Classroom Spaces That Work. Imagine spending every day in a physical space designed for people much bigger than you. To wash your hands or get a drink of water,…
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Getting the Most Value Out of Displays

Effective classroom displays are one of the most powerful—and overlooked—tools for teaching. They can generate excitement about the curriculum, increase children’s investment in learning, help children appreciate their own work and the…
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