Teacher’s Ideas for Creating Encouraging Classrooms

Monday, November, 10, 2014

Karen Cox is a Pre-K teacher in Georgia and her website was found through Pinterest. Many teachers use this to get ideas and share ideas about different things. Mrs. Cox’s shared some pictures of what her classroom looks like. From the pictures, I noticed that she placed all of her furniture and materials in a place where it would benefit the students and promote their learning. Her walls are not extremely covered and her space is well executed for movement. The students will definitely be overstimulated with unnecessary things. Filling a classroom with an abundance of materials and visuals can take away from their learning and cause distractions. The classroom setup is simple, but efficient for teaching. Also, it is said that a classroom that is too busy or one that is highly decorated distracts students and causes them to wander off task (MindShift, 2014). The placement of her desks and tables support optimal learning and would engage students and encourage them to learn.
Mrs. Lorrie is a Pre-K teacher who teaches at Sts. Peter and Paul School. I liked the way her classroom is set up. I mostly liked the part in her site where she posted 10 signs of a great pre-k program. She lists 10 things that make for an encouraging classroom; one that keeps the students as the focus. The pictures she does have on her site in the newsflash section, allowed me see several activities that the students participate in and just about where most of her equipment is in the room. The Smartboard is in a great location; seems to be easy for students to get to. The students have plenty of room to move about freely from the activity they are participating in; second picture shows. I think this is a smart set up of classroom space because it allows the students to move around the room with ease and probably move from center to center.
Christi Fultz, a third grade teacher, was assigned a new classroom in 2013. Her site was one of my favorites. She went beyond what the others did in their sites, she posted a video tour of her room. Her room was colorful and very well organized. I feel that all the things in her room were in the proper place; a place easily accessible to the students. She had everything labeled, desks and the tables (centers) flowed appropriately, small group space clearly defined, word wall in place, and just the right amount of things on the walls. It seems that she had a place for everything and that it was placed in their respectable spots with the children in view. She made great use of the space and from the looks of it, encourages lots of reading.

Nancy Taylor-Davis teaches 1st grade in Georgia. Her site included information about herself and how her classroom is set up. The first thing I noticed is that she clustered or grouped the students’ desk together. This makes it easier for them to work on group projects and maybe get the stronger students to help the weaker students where needed. In fact, clustering school desks is one of the keys to creating an effective collaborative learning environment (SmithSystem, 2014). I also noticed that her classroom rules are noticeable and where students can easily see them. I liked this classroom because of the clustering and it made me feel comfortable to enter. I think this is very important for children to feel safe, to feel they have ownership in a room, and to be able to express their thoughts (Alber, 2011) while still maintaining respect for everyone. I did notice, too, that there was not a lot of the student’s work on the walls; maybe school hadn’t started yet when this was posted. Out of all the classrooms I have had the pleasure of seeing, I think this one was my favorite.
Alber, R. (2011). 20 Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/20-tips-create-safe-learning-environment-rebecca-alber
MindShift. (2014). Are Classroom Decorations Too Distracting for Young Students? Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/are-classroom-decorations-too-distracting-for-young-students/
SmithSystem. (2014). No one offers more ways to compactly cluster desks for group work. Retrieved from http://smithsystem.com/design-principles/clustering/


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