Creating an Effective Physical Classroom Environment
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Every teacher knows that a safe, clean, comfortable and attractive classroom can stimulate learning and help build a classroom community. But for many teachers, setting up the physical environment of their classrooms can be quite daunting, especially when faced with older buildings, crowded classrooms and insufficient storage space. You can make the most of your classroom environment by carefully considering your needs and the needs of your students.
Survey Your Classroom: Looking at the Basics
The first things to consider when organizing your classroom are cleanliness, light and temperature. Although you may not have complete control over some of these elements, try to make or suggest improvements as necessary.
The Floor Plan: Assessing Your Needs
Once you have checked the basic elements in your classroom, think about your floor plan. It should maximize classroom space and reflect your individual teaching style.
Your floor plan will also depend on the grade you are teaching. For the lower grades, your classroom setup may include many different learning areas, such as a reading area, an art center and a technology center. The placement of these areas will depend upon the layout of your classroom. However, when setting up these areas, you will want to keep the following points in mind:
- Room dividers should be low so that all areas
are visible to you.
- Areas that invite group work should not be next
to quiet areas where students read or study independently.
- Art or other messy areas are best located near a sink.
- You should always be able to make eye contact with all students.
Many of these guidelines hold true for the middle and upper grades, too. However, older students often spend more time seated in one area. Take your teaching style and lesson plans into consideration as you consider the different types of seating arrangements you might employ.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.