We know that setting up a classroom can be a stressful experience, especially when starting out as a new teacher, switching schools, or switching grade levels, which is why we have designed the Classroom Setup planning template below, along with some easy steps and tips to follow. Happy organizing!
Step 1: Know Your Vision
The first section of the planner asks you to list ideas of classroom setup based on your vision. Are you going for a Reggio-inspired design? A more traditional look? What color scheme would you like to use? Where should student work be displayed, etc.? The more detailed your thoughts are, the easier it will be to arrange your space so that it matches what you have in mind.
Step 2: Describe Your Subject Areas
Write a brief description of what you will be covering in each of your subject areas based on your unit planners.
Step 3: List Curriculum Objectives/Skills
Fill in the curriculum objectives and/or skills you would like your students to achieve in each of the subject areas in your upcoming units. Just because you list them here doesn’t mean you will need to achieve them all through classroom setup; they are simply there to refer to when thinking about the materials you would like to use and why.
Step 4: Brainstorm a List of Materials
Next, think about what materials you have at your disposal and what materials you will need to create to help students achieve desired objectives/skills. Brainstorm a list of anything you can think of for each subject area – posters, flashcards, manipulatives, props, games, books, iPads, etc. Again, you don’t have to use them all, they are simply there to refer to as you move onto looking at the space you have to work with.
Step 5: Look at Your Space
Based on your desired curriculum objectives and materials listed, brainstorm where you would like to place things in order to have the most benefit to your learners – on the walls, tables, shelves, etc. It may be that you listed too many things to fit in certain areas, or not enough in others and that is okay. When you sketch your classroom design, that will be the time for you to narrow things down and make sure there is enough room to place what you feel is most essential.
Step 6: Design Your Space
Now that you have a clear idea of possible materials and spaces in mind, the next step in the process involves sketching out your classroom design. What would you like to display on your walls? How will your tables and desks be arranged to accommodate your goals? Where will materials be placed (shelves, tables, etc.)? Be as detailed as possible so that when the time comes for you to physically arrange your room it will be a snap.
Step 7: Reflect on Your Space
Looking back on how students have used your classroom space, were there any areas that stood out in particular for enhancing student learning? Were there any setups that didn’t go as expected, and if used again in the future, will need modifications?
Step 8: Repeat the Process
It’s only natural that your classroom space will change throughout the year, repeat and revisit the above planning process as often as needed!
Setting up a classroom doesn’t have to be a stressful process and you don’t have to have the flashiest classroom to make the biggest impact on student learning. By following the Classroom Setup planner and the outlined steps above, you will not only be able to easily and efficiently organize your space, but you will also be ensuring that everything in your room serves a clear purpose.
Have you tried our planner out? What were your outcomes? We’d love to hear about your new classroom setup and the impact it has had on your learners!