Make New Friends But Keep The Old The Learning Station Rearranging Your Classroom – 3 Tips For Teachers at the Beginning of the School Year

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Rearranging Your Classroom – 3 Tips For Teachers at the Beginning of the School Year

Unless you’re the most meticulous teacher and have contacted past teachers, former landlords, parents, friends, and old librarians, chances are you won’t really know your students on the first day of class. Of course, there are some followers who already have the perfect seating chart, but most of us need at least a few days to assess personalities, observe academic skills and suffer through bad pairings. Additionally, you may notice that that box or cabinet you thought was in a prime location is really more of a nuisance than a help.

After a period of time, even the best teacher will often have to make some adjustments within his or her classroom. Here are three tips for teachers in the first few weeks of school to make your classroom a better learning environment.

1) Shuffle your seating chart

Decide whether you want the children in rows and columns, in 4 or 5 table “tables”, or in some other formation. Should this child be sitting next to (or even within spitting distance of) that child? Can these two kids help each other if they are around each other? Will these kids get up sniffing Elmer’s Glue sticks if they sit next to each other?

Typically, a combination of behavior and academics will determine seating arrangements, especially if you have children paired up in any way. It’s okay to change your seating chart a few times, just don’t do it every day. Give a new combination at least a few days to make sure it doesn’t work before switching again.

2) Moving furniture can free up space

If your teacher’s desk or a nondescript desk is taking up space that would be better served elsewhere, move it! Maybe it could be behind a shelf or a screen where a student desk couldn’t go.

While it’s usually best to arrange furniture with bulky items BEFORE school starts, there’s no law that says it can’t be moved around the middle of the year. Remember, the easier it is for you to move around the room, the easier it will be to help students and keep them focused.

3) Keep those paths clear!

This comes directly from point number 2. Don’t paint yourself into a corner, or even the center of the room, by arranging tables or furniture without gaps or openings. You want to be able to walk around the room (from the potential trouble spot to the trouble spot) quickly and without hindrance. If you use a horseshoe pattern, be sure to leave some room to easily get in and out of the shoe. Otherwise, that horseshoe will NOT bring you luck!

Remember that you may find yourself rearranging your classroom more than once this year. It’s okay to take stock every few months and think about how the setup is working for you.

No matter how often you move things, these three tips will always keep you on track.

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