Sunday, November 11, 2012

How to Make a Small Classroom Work

  Another down side to being a new teacher is not having a permanent classroom.  In my last post I explained that my classroom is an added classroom.  We have such large enrollment numbers at my school that we have 5 Kindergarten classrooms!  So, with that being said, I also have the smallest of the 5 classrooms.  My classroom isn't even technically a classroom.  But, that's fine by me!  While everyone else has wall to wall carpet (yuck!), I have a nice tiled floor.  The room is a lot brighter and stays a lot cleaner this way!

 Last year, I was thrown into the classroom with only 5 days before the K students were to start school.  As I mentioned before, this wasn't being used as a classroom.  So, that meant I had to find tables, chairs, a computer, etc.  Once these things were in the room, with the help of my volunteer (who is fabulous by the way!), we put the room together as quickly as we could.  We didn't really have the time to stand back and assess the space.

  Here are a few shots of my room last year:

   It looked cute and seemed like a good set up, but when the 21 students were in the room it was quite cumbersome.  This year, I had more than enough time to adjust the classroom, and I knew what worked and what didn't in this room.

  So, here is how it looked in August:

  Here is what it looked like just before school started:

  Over the summer our school suffered a small fire.  Due to that fire, it misplaced some of the summer ASD programs and they ended up using my room while the were repairing the fire damaged rooms.  So, I now have an air conditioner in my room!  It is in the only window in the room which is where my desk used to be.  I ended up moving my desk because there was no way I could sit in front of the a/c.

  As you can see the room is too small to have centers, so we rotate centers at the tables each day.  Each of the tables are color coded (red, blue, green, yellow) with a strip up duct tape down the middle and a corresponding basket.  Our calendar/whiteboard area is the main focus of the room.  This is where we spend a lot of time learning!  There is also a kidney shaped table that is used for teacher directed group work as well as a desk for our volunteer!

  I promise to posted more updated classroom pictures in a future post with further details of each area!

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  1. Hi! I Googled "small classrooms" and found your blog! My school is moving to a new location; my new classroom will be less than 1/2 the size of my original room. Thank you for sharing the photos! :-)

    1. No problem! It's been a challenge, but, I really love the set up I have this year! Good luck!

  2. I love your idea of color coding the desks for centers. That is fabulous! I am going to try that this year. W

  3. I love your idea of color coding the desks for centers. With all the different designs of duct tape, we can have some fun groups instead of just colors. Thanks!

  4. I think your room is huge compared to mine. I can't fit a desk or kidney table in mine once I get the students desks in there. Also I would kill for that wall of shelves. My storage consists of 4 cupboards, 2 above a sink and 2 below.