The last two days we have been thinking about redesigning our classrooms. As a small school with small facilities, we are a bit limited in what we can do. Last year, when I came into the school, I just took the room over as it was. At that time, I had many other things to worry about.
The rooms are all rectangular and offer little space. When I came in, every wall was covered with display boards, and a whiteboard was sqaushed in as well. It was very busy, and I tried to use the board so that it looked less cramped. The teachers desk was massive, which I didn’t realise until I tried to take it out of the room and it wouldn’t even fit through the door.
Now, we have two weeks (well, one left to go now) before us teachers break up for the summer too. We decided it was time to paint the classrooms. As the head and owner of the school had left by the time we had made the decision, I called her for permission. With the go-ahead at hand, we bought some paint, and yesterday, in a team of three, collaborated on painting our rooms. The white on the walls makes it seem so much better already!
I also moved the whiteboard from its prominent, center-stage position and created room for a book corner. 2 of my 6 displays have been removed. The walls now look nice enough to leave some in-between space. The clock has been lowered, the teacher’s desk removed and replaced with a smaller desk for some admin work. I got two more shelves and kicked out my mobile student tray wagon.
Now it is time to find a good design for the rest of the room. My class consists of nine students in Year 4, and 3 students in Year 3. I will also team teach this year, with me being the main class teacher for Year 4, and the other teacher being the Year 2/3 teacher. This came to be as the Y2/3 class all of a sudden shrank to 3 or possibly 4 students.
My school is a PYP school (candidate) and our learning is inquire-based, active learning. I would like to achieve that my students, who have obviously been used to sitting at tables before i met them, walk around more, get engaged more, and sit where they want to sit for a situation that suits them.
How do you design your classroom?