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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Purge: Classroom Design

I'm changing classrooms, and I have a lot of materials.

I'm planning two days before school starts to sort, stack, and arrange these things into a classroom design that invites students creativity, collaboration, and effective effort.

Right now you can find numerous posts on Twitter, blogs, and Pinterest related to classroom organization as teachers everywhere are in the midst of this partly creative and partly house-cleaning endeavor. In some schools design and classroom arrangement is prioritized by the acquisition of new style desks, chairs, work stations, and storage units, and in other places, teachers still visit yard sales and use their own money to buy what they can to organize their classrooms.

The hardest part of this effort, similar to cleaning my house, is getting rid of things. I have about a 1,000 books or more in my room. Books I've collected from my own children's libraries, friends, and neighbors, and books handed to me by colleagues and the school system. It's too many and my classroom is right next door to the library. Hence, I'll cull the collection down to a few hundred terrific fiction and informational books.

I also have lots and lots of craft supplies which I'll put in plastic bins in our Maker Station area.

Finally, I have a lot of old units and teaching materials. If I can easily locate it online, I'll throw the offline materials away. Also if I haven't used it in a year and it's not really, really special, I'll throw it away.

Our PTO gives us some money to buy supplies so I'll use that money to buy some beanbag chairs and specific craft supplies related to our first science unit.

Just like my efforts to simplify my home, the same is mostly true in school: less things, more time--time to teach, coach, and care for the learners in my midst.

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