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Organizing a Welcoming and Safe Classroom!

August 12, 2011

Many of you will soon be in your classrooms cleaning, sorting, and getting ready for your students. One of the first steps to creating positive classroom management is intentional planning and preparation of your space. The feeling your students get when they step into your classroom for the first time will have an influence on how they behave and react to you.

Even my adult learners notice and appreciate small flourishes I bring to the often sterile university classroom as I  make it my own space. Soft music is playing as my students arrive. A small bottle of  daisies or other flower is on each table. A pleasant candle or air freshener masks the stuffy institutional smell. Each table has needed supplies ready to use, and a variety of stress balls and squeeze toys to calm anxiety and help focus attention. It has been fun and interesting to see how popular and useful the stress balls (fidgets) have become for my adult learners.

First and foremost your classroom must be a safe place that accommodates the needs of diverse learners. Secondly, it must be organized. A place for everything and everything in its place supports a well-managed classroom.

A few tips to consider:

  • Plan the seating so that students and you can safely navigate the room.
  • Plan the seating so that it is flexible and easily moved for different learning needs and teaching strategies.
  • Plan the classroom space to accommodate learning centers, classroom library, manipulatives, supplies, and learning spaces.
  • Reserve spaces for students to work together and work alone. (Sometimes we all need some privacy.)
  • Organize the wall space so that it is engaging, bright and welcoming.
  • Reserve wall space for students to design.
  • Reserve wall space for student work.
  • Remember the senses. (Does your classroom look inviting, have a pleasant smell, feel safe, and sound appealing?)

Take the time now to plan and prepare your classroom space.

(If you decide to add those stress balls to your classroom, start gathering or making your own inexpensive and classroom appropriate collection. You will also want to plan a lesson to teach and  model their appropriate use in the classroom.)


Classroom Design Online Resources

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2014 9:11 am

    Reblogged this on From Surviving to Thriving and commented:

    Precept of the Day – Plan the Classroom Environment to Support Learning.

    Master teachers use the classroom space to support educational goals. They see the physical space as a component of teaching that can motivate and engage students, reduce behavioral problems, and heighten learning. (Carpenter, Fontanini, & Neiman, 2010, p. 72)


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