Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spaces and Places Room Makeover

I recently attended Debbie Diller's one day Spaces and Places 2.0. I tried to take all of the tips and suggestions from her training and book and implement them in my model classroom. Here is what I did. I hope it helps those of you are who struggling with room arrangement and organization.

These are the most important suggestions I took away from the day on Spaces and Places.
1) Have a color theme. Two solids or a solid and a print border work well. I went with blue and light green because I already had a lot of blue in my room. In her book Spaces and Places, Debbie talks more about this and makes several suggestions for possible color schemes.
2) No one needs multiple alphabets and number charts up. One is enough. Since I had my alphabet displayed on my word wall, I took down the other alphabet I had. I also moved my number cards over by my calendar and used the empty space below my calendar to display my number line.
3) Label all of your literacy stations to match your management chart. This helps students to be more independent when going to their stations. If you have limited space, use portable stations. Make sure you label where in the room the portable stations are to be taken when used. 
4) Place your word wall where your whole group teaching area is. See my recent word wall post for more information about word walls.
5) Use the same background and border for all of your bulletin boards.
6) Be careful not to over clutter your calendar and word wall area.
7) There is a lot of cute border out these these days. Do NOT over use border in your room. A little border goes a long way.Use the same border throughout your room.
8) Be sure to leave space for anchor charts and displaying student work.
9) Sort and organize all of your materials. Use plastic tubs because it is easy to see inside them. Label everything. Keep math items together, literacy items together, etc.
10) Be careful not to hang too many things from the ceiling.
11) Only make anchor charts for those important pieces that you want students to refer back to time and time again. For more information on making effective anchor charts, see my recent post on anchor charts.
12) Keep the doorway of your room clear from furniture and clutter. Do not block it so that people cannot see in your room. Leave it open and free of furniture and other items. 

13) And a final point Debbie made.... cute is for our hair and the way we dress.... not for our classrooms. :)


Deedee Wills said...

Oh! I love your photos! The room is engaging but not overwhelming! A few years ago she spoke about reducing visual noise. I have to remind myself about that when I get excited about setting up and maintaining my classroom. This looks awesome!

Mrs. Wills Kindergartendayi

Ms. Simoneaux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. Simoneaux said...

Are you not in love with Debbie! Shes just adorable! I have been to three of her workshops and I fell in love with her ideas! I am a huge Deb fan! I currently implement her ideas on literacy and math workstations as well as spaces and places (which is evident all over my blog)! It has really changed my teaching! So glad you got to go to a conference!

Holly said...

Come on over to my room next, okay? I'm an organized person at heart. It's a zen thing and makes me so happy when I feel ultra organized. Looking at your room actually made me smile cuz it's so dang cute and organized. I'll send you my address and will anxiously await your arrival...HA!

Reagan Tunstall said...

I LOVE that you went spot by spot and everything has a purpose. fantastic!
Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

Sandra said...

I just love that you explained it with pictures! It all looks so organized! Beautiful!

Mrs. Mody said...

I love this post and the ideas. I am wondering about keeping the word wall by the whole group area. Where did you post instructions etc. for students? What did you use to write on during the times when you didn't use chart paper? I can't figure out how to logistically do this! I would love suggestions:)

Chelsea said...

I love you photos of you room! It makes me want to reorganize my room now :) I would love to borrow a copy of your " I can chart" for your ABC station if you wouldn't mind sharing.
Thanks so much

Mrs. Larremore said...


I would love to share that chart with you, but it is not something I have saved. I created it quickly as an example for the picture, so I did not save anything. I am sorry.

Mrs. Larremore said...

Mrs. Mody,

I did not ever use my large wipe board for writing on. I always used chart paper or a smaller wipe board that I had posted on my big book easel, so when I added my word wall to my large group area, I did not think about not having the wipe board space for writing. You might consider putting the word wall below the wipe board or using chart paper and a small wipe board like I did.

S. Parker said...

This is one of my favorite posts on your blog. I love how detailed you were and the visuals are wonderful. I have been using a color scheme for the last few years. My classroom looks a lot more streamlined than before. I would love to know which book this is from so that I can purchase it ASAP. More posts like these, please.

April Larremore said...

All of the tips, suggestions, and information came from Debbie Diller's book Spaces and Places.

jennifer said...

I love debbie diller! I'm super jealous that you got to go see her in person. Love all the photos of your room!

Mary said...


I am SO glad that you said "cute is for our hair, not for our classrooms!" All of the cutesy themes that are not super relevant to the children are the one thing that drives me bonkers about reading blogs.

I would LOVE it if you could write a blog post about how you created those adorable picture & caption slide thingies. Did you use powerpoint? I am usually pretty tech savvy but I have no clue how to do that!

Thank you!
Adventures in Kindergarten

Mrs. Larremore said...

Yes. I did use power point to create the slides. The background came from Thistlegirl graphics. In power point, I added colored shapes for text boxes and outlined the pictures with a border. I hope this information helps. It was actually very easy.

Mary said...


Freckleteacher said...

I am in the process of reorganizing and arranging my room. Your classroom is beautiful and the pictures are super helpful!
Where di you get the file folder hangers that are red? I think that could help me! Love your blog!!!

April Larremore said...

Thanks so much. I bought the red hanging file folder pocket charts from Mardel. It is a teacher store here in Texas. I have seen them in all types of print and in all colors.

Anne Patterson said...

Wonderful! I am planning to do a S&P make-over on my rrom during Christmas break (2 weeks here in TX). what are the dimnesions of your room? It seems really large! I am not sure i can fit all the DD lit & math stations in it! Already re-did the color scheme in 2 colors, so i am slowly gettin there!

April Larremore said...

I am actually at a different school and in a different room now so I have no idea how big the room was. Sorry :(