Component 2e: Organizing Physical Space
2nd and 5th grade
Before starting the new school year, it is important to think about the layout of the classroom. I think the way a teacher sets up their classroom contributes to the behavior of the students as well as the culture of the classroom. I created my ideal layout for a 2nd and 5th grade classroom. Based on the grade level, the classroom will look completely different because a 5th grade classroom should not be arranged like a kindergarten classroom. While creating these classrooms, I used aspects from classrooms I have been in noticing what works and what does not work.
For my 2nd grade classroom, I arranged the desks so that students are in groups of six. With a good classroom management technique in place, this arrangement could work well. I want students to be able to work in partners or small groups throughout the day. In the front of the room, I put sliding white boards, which are really great because it provides four times the amount of white board space. Therefore, things such as schedules or graphic organizers can be saved on the board. In the corner of my classroom, I would have an area where students can seat on beanbag chairs to read a book from the classroom library. I also would definitely want a semi-circle table in my classroom for students to work small group work or I am able to work with a group of students about one concept at the table. For students to store their backpacks and coats, I would like a cubby or a closet in my classroom. Above the students' cubby, I want to have mailboxes for me to put student’s work that can be taken home. This will cut down on the amount of time it takes me to pass out the student’s work as well as the number of papers that are shoved in students' desks. A classroom sink and water fountain would also be wonderful. Students are constantly asking to get a drink of water. If I had a water fountain in the class, students will not lose as much instructional time. Of course objects such as tables, desk, and cabinets can be moved, so throughout the year, I would rearrange the room, so students get the opportunity to work with different students.
If I were to arrange a 5th grade classroom, there would be several aspects I would change. First of all, students would be grouped in four’s instead of six’s. Since student teaching in a 5th grade classroom, I really enjoyed the students being grouped in four’s. It not only maximizes the shape in the classroom, it also allows for students to work together. While teaching, I like students to be engaged in a lot of small group or collaborative pairs because students are able to bounce ideas off of one another. I have an overhead projector in my classroom to go over workbook pages and packets. If the school provided me with a Smart board, I would be more than happy to utilize that technology in my classroom. I also plan to have a lot of storage in my classroom for books, binders, student’s work, and resources no matter what grade I am teaching. Other aspects are similar to the 2nd grade classroom such as the sink, semi-circle table, computer table, and cubbies. In any classroom I am in, I want my desk facing all students in the class. I would also place high traffic areas such as the trashcans and water fountains away from each other to minimize disruption. I want a classroom that does not seem cluttered and students are able to maneuver their way around the classroom without a problem.