Saturday, 21 April 2012

Term 2 Classroom Tour

I rearranged a few things over the Easter break and since I just love looking at photos of other people's classrooms and getting new ideas, I thought I would share mine, just in case I'm not the only one.
If you want to see my old layout, read this post: A Classroom Tour
Why the changes?
Well, I originally put my carpet square under most of my desks to absorb the noise. I am upstairs and on vinyl floors. Every time my kids get up from their desks or sit down again, there is a noise and it is heard downstairs. I had also wanted a large space at the back (side? not sure where the front of the room is...) near my display wall so it was easy to access. The problem was that I didn't end up with much floor space and during floor time when I really want them to be listening and focussed, they were cramped and distracted.
A big aim for me this term is to help them become more settled listeners. I am going to be reading Charlotte's Web to help build their listening stamina, and also introduce some meditative prayer.
I needed a big floor space, so now I have one.
The big floor space will mean that we can play more games and be more active too.
The drawbacks are that I have lost the "little spaces" around the room that were useful during read to self or if they were working in a group.
(And my downstairs colleagues will probably tell you that I am even noisier than before!)
I still have one little space at the back. So long as the teacher next door doesn't open the door and squash someone...
The big pink ball is on loan from the PE teacher. I am trialling it to see if it helps my kids with poor posture. The problem is that the novelty value hasn't worn off yet so it is a bit distracting. I think it might also be a tad too big for my Year 2s as well. If it is successful then I will look at getting a few of them. That should help with the novelty factor too.
Now my desks are in groups around the huge carpet square. There is not much space behind the desks but still enough for me to get to every child.

I am seriously considering changing my word wall completely. At the moment it is alphabetical but every time I need to change the back display I have to squeeze them over or spread them out again. The wonderwall and velcro dots make it pretty easy, but it would be even easier if I didn't have to do it!
I am also finding that they are really struggling with our grammar program. We are using a text, and while I loved this text in Year 4, it is really hard with Year 2 (partly because the new Australian Curriculum is harder too). There are too many new concepts being introduced before the last ones are consolidated. So... I'm going to rearrange my word wall with the words sorted according to the parts of speech instead.

This display has been up all year since about Week 2 but I have left it up until now because the students often use these "noun words" when writing. (And it looks great.) It has been more successful than the word wall. I'm just not sure if I can fit these anywhere else in the room to keep them. Maybe I will take them down and make them into a book.

So that's where I am at at the moment. Some of the changes are huge improvements but there is always a trade off. I am still happy with the feel of the space and it seems to be working - so far...


  1. WOW, you are so lucky to have a velcro wall. I had one the first year I started teaching and loved it. Also love the storage and shelves along one wall that you have. Unfortunately, I don't have any fixed storage like that. Your hats look awesome on display too, we'll be finishing ours off on Monday/Tuesday. Love your HUGE space!

    Down Under Teacher

    1. I love my Velcro wall too. It saves pinning things up and blu tac never holds. I put it up myself. It is horrible movable wall behind it. I got the wonder wall from Spotlight in the upholstery section. I wanted Kram wall - adhesive tiles with foam covered in carpet but my principal changed his mind on me. If you wait until Spotlight has a 40% off sale it is quite cheap to do yourself.
      The cupboards under the board are annoyingly about 5cm to shallow to hold books but I managed to get my science supplies in there - and you are right, at least I have them!