Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links! This simply means that by clicking on the links and purchasing the items mentioned (or similar items) you are helping support this blog at no additional cost to you. We get a small commission from your purchase! We greatly appreciate all the support!
One of my favorite parts of a new school year is getting the chance to work on my classroom design. I love coming up with a new theme and creating a functional classroom that is Pinterest worthy. Sometimes, I’ll admit, the cuteness meter outweighs the functional meter. I find myself having to rethink a few things after school has started. If you’ve ever been in the “Oh no!” boat, learn how to set up your classroom for success while keeping a Pinterest perfect edge.
Classroom Design: Functional Flow
The first part of setting up a successful classroom design is to get your seats up in a way that allows for a good flow throughout your room. I personally hate rows and tend to lean towards pods. If you’re desks can be “podded” together, this not only creates a unique look, it also promotes collaborative learning in your classroom.
The most important part of this functional flow is to make sure you can walk through your room with ease. In addition to your desks being set up in a way that makes sense, you want to make sure your stations are easy to get to for you and for students.
Classroom Design: Teacher Territory
In addition to having your students set up in a way that is strategic for collaborative learning as well as a good flow around the room, you want to make sure your desk is placed in a strategic place. Your desk should be accessible for students but not necessarily the center of attention. Promoting student-led learning is a growing trend in classrooms that has proven to be very effective. Therefore, having your desk off to the side in a corner at the front of back of the room (whichever seems more appropriate) is really important. When you are placing your desk in your room think about what you need to see. If you need to see into the hallway make sure you’re across from the door. If you need to monitor computers being behind your students might be a better option.
Another way to set your classroom design up for success and keep it organized is by labeling it. Your labels don’t have to be “simple” or “boring,” you can always tie your theme into your labels. I would suggest making sure you label the following for the first day of school:
- Desks so students know where to sit
- Where the line starts on the floor
- Art, station, and other supplies you keep in cupboards
- Log in information for computers
- Whose computer is whose
- Hooks or cubbies
The list for what to label can go on and on! The important thing is if you get things labeled right away, students can easily navigate your room and you can start the school year off with a great organizational plan.
Setting up your classroom design so it is functional and organized is already setting your classroom up for success, but having your centers ready to go and sensational can make a huge difference! To get your centers set up, you’ll want to make sure you know what each of your centers are going to be used for. If you’re short on space and one area wears many hats, make sure you have a sign for each of its functions and a way to easily change it. I would recommend using command hooks and laminated, theme centered, signs.
After you have your centers all planned out, get your pieces that you need together and stored away in a neat and organized way. This will make your school year way less stressful (we all know the importance of maintaining stress once school starts). If you need ideas as to how to organize your centers, check out these great literacy center ideas including organizing information.
While centers are so great to have, they can be time consuming to create. To help you get ahead, make sure you check out places like Teachers Pay Teachers for ideas and premade centers to help your room be successful. You can find year long center bundles that will help put you at ease.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do is have your procedure plans (behavior and otherwise) posted and easy to see for students or, if more appropriate, in a place that’s easy for you to see. By having all of your procedures planned and written down you are ready to start the school year with a fun cute room that is functional as well. You may want to have a procedure for the following:
- Using computers
- Behavior plans
- Classroom “rules” or “guidelines”
- Student jobs
Having these procedures set up and posted (when appropriate) in accordance to your theme will be cute and functional. When students know what is expected of them, they will be more likely to have a shorter “rough patch” when starting the school year.
Having a classroom set up for success is sure to make your classroom a better place to be for you and your students. Add a theme to your classroom to make it Pinterest worthy with great function. By following the tips above (and checking out more blogs) you can start the 2019-2020 classroom with a clear lens that points towards success.
Until next time educational rockstars!