are ways that I organize my room. Mid-year, I rearrange the
room to give it a fresh look.
should be organized in a way that suits both the teacher and the
students. The students should be able to see the board and
any other "sections" that you use for teaching.
Also, desk arrangements should be arranged according to the class
dynamic. There have been some years where my students were too
"rowdy" to be able to sit in big groups. Teachers
must decide what works best in their class.
of seating arrangements:
Groups of 4 desks that form a square. Great for cooperative group
2. Two/three large groups that form long rows: Student desks are
put face to face. You can have up to eight desks per large
3. U-shaped: Desks are arranged to make one or two U's. The
teacher focuses the attention in the center or up front.
4. Traditional rows and columns (which I rarely see anymore).
5. Square: Arrange desks to form one or two large squares (square
within a square).
6. Triad: Put three desks together. Great for cooperative group
classes don't offer a lot of space and some teachers do not have
enough furniture to store their materials. Here are some
space saving ideas that will help you utilize every inch of space
in your room.
Windows offer a lot of usable space for the class. Use them to
display your students' work or to create a word wall.
You can use your doorways (cabinets included) to create bulletin
boards, put up posters, your charts, or create a learning center.
and filing cabinets:
In my class, there is a long radiator with a metallic cover that
runs the length of my windows. If you have something similar,
there are many ways to utilize them. Buy magnetic hooks to hang
small charts, bags for storage, or clipboards. You can also place
posters, mini-word walls, post information like lunch menus,
arrange magnetic letters, or use anything else that is magnetic.
The sides of filing cabinets can be used the same way.
Milk crates are great for storing materials, creating a center, or
use as bookshelves. You can pile milk crates to create
chairs or tables (just throw a vinyl table cloth over the crates
to create a table).
Place a string or wire along the length of the classroom to create
a clothesline. Using clothespins, hang up student work,
posters, or charts.
Science Fair Poster Boards:
These are great for helping create bulletin boards, posting word
walls or assignments, or using it as a work display. They can also
be used for centers or unit studies.
have all these wonderful materials but you have limited storage.
What do you do? Here are some inexpensive ways to create storage.
Already mentioned, but worth mentioning again, find milk crates in
your school, delis, supermarkets, etc. to use as containers or to
use as shelves. They can also be used for filing by using hanging
file folders. I use the hanging file folders as the students'
mailbox-they each have their own file folder which serves as their
You can find baskets for low cost at the dollar stores or
arts/crafts stores. Baskets can store worksheets, folders,
manipulatives, art materials, paper, supplies, or equipment.
Stores sometimes throw away their displays. Here is an
inexpensive way to get storage for videos, books, posters, etc. I
found a bread holder with three shelves from a supermarket---it
was perfect for my big books. A friend grabbed a video
display and used it for his library.
can use the plastic shoe holders that hang from the door for your
supplies or as student mailboxes.
the one gallon or two gallon bags can help you organize papers,
books (for the listening center), create learning centers, and
hold manipulatives or any other materials.
can be used for storing student materials, unit studies, and more.
Purchase these when they are on sale. I use them to store
stickers, certificates, and prizes. That way, it clears up space
in your desk and these items are easy to find.
8. Coffee Cans: These hold small items and are fun for the kids to
boards require lots of work and materials. Here are ways to make
it easier to organize and maintain. Also listed are uses for
on how to create and maintain bulletin boards:
you have a lot of bulletin boards in your class and don't want to
have to keep changing them every month or holiday, then use
neutral borders and paper. My classroom bulletin boards are
not theme/holiday oriented so the only thing I have to change is
2. Try to use fadeless paper to line your boards. Therefore, they
last the whole year (or more!).
3. Keep your borders new by laminating them. It may be a tedious
task, but they will last a long time.
4. Create your own letters and laminate them. Use folders to
organize the letters. For example, one folder will contain the
letters A, B, C and the next folder D, E, F, and so forth.
5. It is easy to make your own decorations instead of buying
them. Ask the art teacher to draw the decorations for you if
you are not artistically inclined.
6. Graphic design software and graphic/clipart websites provide
ways for you to make banners or decorations for your bulletin
7. Organize decorations by month, season, or theme so they are
easy to find when you put the bulletin board up again the
following year. You can make big folders by stapling or gluing two
very large sheets of oak tag or constructions paper. For the
construction paper, I usually laminate them beforehand. Label each
folder and store the contents.
are some ways you can use bulletin boards in your classroom:
Calendar and the days of the week.
2. Weather Charts
3. Learning Centers
4. Student Work
5. Classroom Jobs
6. Word Wall
7. Spelling Winners of the Week
9. Student of the Month/Week
10. Library Check-Out.
11. Student Mailbox
12. Word Search
13. Behavior Management
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