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. :)