Saturday, August 18, 2012

Inviting Classroms


I must admit that I think about my classroom environment a LOT more now than during the early years of my teaching.  Perhaps it is our society and new expectations of teachers, but our classroom environments do matter!  A fancy classroom environment does not mean good teaching; however, it does provide an inviting space for teaching and learning!   

A few years ago, I went with the "power red" image after finding some fabulous couch cushions along the side of the road. 

One of my partners added some ruby red carpets and our theme was secured. 

Until last year when I wanted to morph our theme into a "three ring circus" motif .  All I really did was add pencil holders that looked like popcorn holders! 

As we prepare for a new group of students who will be spending MANY hours in our rooms, it's a good time to think about our classrooms as more than just locations of color!

ALSO, with lots more administrator observations (at least in NYS where our new teacher assessment plans begin), it's a good time to re-think about our classroom environments!

First impressions matter
What do you see when you walk in?
Ask a friend for his/her suggestions.
The environment needs to be clean, orderly and comfortable at the same time.
Throw away or donate to others what you are not going to use (this can be hard to do, but beneficial).
Little changes (cushions, rugs, containers, chairs, place mats, tablecloths, throw pillows) can add big bang for a little buck!
Space for reading and for collaboration.
Tools for learning (pencils, pens, papers, Smartboards).

Make your classroom or space learner-centered and inviting to everyone who enters; however, remember that looking good is just a way to make your classroom inviting.  The teaching part will make them want to come back every day! 

google images, possibilities

Pinterest is another good source for images, possibilities.

As you can clearly see from yesterday's post, I have a lot of work ahead of me next week!

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