Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In Search of the Perfect Room Arrangement

"Teacher" Desk

When I moved to my new room, I also inherited a teacher desk, a nice new teacher desk by the way. . . with nice drawers.  I haven't used a traditional desk for years, but it was nice to have the drawer space.  So I kept it. . .  and felt guilt about the enormous amount of space it took up.

Then one day it hit me!  So I swapped the desk with one of the computer tables.  I put the student desktop computer on top of the teacher desk and it became a shared space.  The sign-out sheet is there and students use the desktop computer when they need to.  I have a little space on the left side plus I get to keep those drawers! Problem solved.

Now what to do with that extra computer table?  I couldn't just toss it. So I moved it to the front of the room (where I had my trapezoid table). Now I have enough space for both my laptop and my document camera.  I also gained extra space to work one-on-one with students at this table. Sweet!

Computer table

This is where my desk used to sit

I have 2 couches. I love the comfy feeling they give my room. Students are free to choose these spaces to enjoy a book or to complete assignments. One is in the whole group meeting area and the other is in the class library.  I thought I might have to give 1 away when I moved. As it turns out I was able to keep them both.
Reading Corner, but not really a corner
Whole group meeting space

Waiting Spot
I almost got rid of this worn out well loved puzzle seat.  I am so glad I didn't.  It is now the official "waiting spot". Let me explain.  I am adjusting to the fact that my little darlings are a bit more needy than my fifth graders.  I've even tried "Ask 3 before me", but it seems there are a few that always have something that needs my personal attention.  So now, when I am working with a group or an individual student and another student is "puzzled" and needs my attention, they sit on the puzzle piece and patiently wait.  I call them over as soon as I have a break.  This helps them and me.  I haven't been interrupted once since we started this.  It's only been 1 day, but what a difference a day  makes!

These are the major changes I've made in my room since school started.  Anyone who knows me knows I am always looking for the perfect room arrangement.  I think I may have found it . . . time will tell!

Update: I went to my room the other day (yes, it was during Fall Break) and moved a shelf to the end of that table behind the puzzle.   It made the writing supplies more accessible to the students and it gave me a little more space near that chart tablet to the right of the puzzle. I'll have to see how it works when the kids come back tomorrow.  I guess there is no such thing as the perfect arrangement after all!

Please tell me I'm not the only person who is always looking for a better solution and changing their room around?  Leave your comments below.

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