What do you do first when setting up your room?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by LMichele, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    186

    Jul 21, 2014

    I set the major furniture first because I usually change things up a little each year. I do the walls and bulletin boards next and then finish up with the supplies, books, etc.
     
  2. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 21, 2014

    Thanks everyone! I have absolutely no idea how I want to set up the furniture, which is making me nervous. I feel like I won't be able to get anything done if I'm stuck on the furniture arrangement.
     
  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 21, 2014

    You'll find a way that makes sense at the beginning of the year. Then once you and your class has lived in the space a for a bit you'll tweak. I think I changed my room layout 4 times my first year as I learned what worked.
     
  4. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2014

    I start with the furniture, ceiling stuff, and alternate cleaning out a cabinet, and putting up a bulletin board. I get bored doing just organizing or decorating. So mixing it up makes it survivable.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,776
    Likes Received:
    151

    Jul 22, 2014

    I:

    1) Set up the tables

    2) Take the paper off the bookshelves

    3) Start my bulletin boards (start because my kids will help finish them as one of our first activities).

    For me, those are the main things I am setting up. Of course, at the beginning of the year everything needs to be wiped down and cleaned really well as everything has accumulated dust since the end of the school year.
     
  6. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,881
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2014

    You know, I keep rearranging my furniture until I get it right. It took me about 5 years to get a basic arrangement that I like, and I still change it around. There have been some years that I move the entire classroom around several times through the school year.

    I always do furniture first. Set up a basic arrangement. Then sit at each space you would teach from and see if you like the arrangement from that angle. I hate it when I can't see over things from my desk or small group table. Walk between everything to make sure you and the kiddos have enough room. If later you think you have a better idea where something might go, that's okay! It's your classroom, so feel free to change it if necessary.

    The next thing I do is clean and organize. This year I emptied my entire closet and organized what I knew would need to go inside the closet. We have a very large closet and we need to leave enough floor space for the whole class to get in and sit down. I've been working on other things in the last week. Putting things away, going through everything and purging, cleaning, etc... All of this work before school starts helps me feel less stressed, and keeps me organized through the school year.

    The last thing I will do is decorate. I have one table set aside with all the things I will put up on the walls when I'm ready.

    If you're a list maker, make a list of all the things you know you need to get finished before open house/1st day of school. Prioritize what is most important. I'm very lucky to have a mom who is willing and able to help me. I make a list of things for her to do, and she works on it at her own pace. If you can enlist help from family, friends, or even the neighbors kids, do it! There are many things that you have to do on your own, but there are many things that you can have help to do.
     
  7. Organic Poppy

    Organic Poppy Rookie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2014

    Unlike everyone else, furniture is the last thing I do. I leave the desks and chairs stacked in the middle of the room so they are out of the way. I start with cleaning and organizing, then bulletin boards, then decorations, last I put the desks in order. This year I painted my room so I did that first.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jul 23, 2014

    Typically, I arrange furniture, then put up bulletin boards, then organize (starting with the classroom library), and decorate last. Even though I've only been teaching for 2 years, I've set up my room a lot because I taught year round the first year and had to set up my room 4 times that year! I got very fast and efficient.

    I'm actually going in to work on my room tomorrow. I've been there twice briefly and it's really just been the staring and panicking that FourSquare mentioned. :lol:

    My plan:
    1. Arrange furniture
    2. Get boards up - there are no boards in the room, so this is stressing me out because it should be time consuming. Thankfully tomorrow I have help!
    3. Get the library up
    4. Bring in all the stuff that's not there yet and organize!

    It's going to be a LONG process this year..new school, new grade level...
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,771
    Likes Received:
    1,578

    Jul 23, 2014

    I'll be in a new classroom this coming year and moved everything from my old room at the end of the school year. I took one afternoon and had my students help carry everything down the hall. Because I didn't need to box everything up and unpack, I was able to put things away and organize my cupboards the way I (think) want them in September, so that ppart is already done. Some of my students even organized my class library onto shelves for me!
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jul 23, 2014

    I should add... typically I do A LOT of visiting before I actually tackle the room.... and then there are lots of snack / visit breaks. :) I love re-connecting with my colleagues.
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jul 23, 2014

    My teacher friend taught me a nice trick-and we had permission from the school to do this, not everyone will be able to-we used the same bulletin board backgrounds to begin the year, as to end it. We just covered them with paper to keep the dust off and left them up.

    Also, I had an aversion to leaving things sitting out, so most of my stuff was put away all year anyway. It was a matter of organizing and putting away new supplies, uncovering the bulletin boards and neatening them, and arranging desks and tables. I always left the tables for last, because I would group them in the middle and use them for a big space to spread out my planning supplies.
     
  12. littlemiskinder

    littlemiskinder Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 23, 2014

    I am such a nerd and actually make up blueprints of my classroom on the last few days of school and draw up different options for how I set up for the new school year. I organize my furniture according to that. I usually take a few days to set up my room and get myself organized for open house.
     
  13. k80hardy

    k80hardy Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2014

    I can become so scatter-brained when it comes to setting up my room. I'll start doing one thing then leave that and start something else once I get an idea, and then I'll scrap that mad move onto something completely different...or stop to chat with my teaching partner. :)
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,881
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2014

    What's nice for us is that if we leave a "map" of where we want our big furniture, our cleaning staff will place it for us.
     
  15. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2014

    I plan on doing what lots of people are saying here. I'm going to start by arranging my desks because I figure that will give me an idea of how much space we truly have in the classroom, and if I'll have 3 groups of 8 or 6 groups of 4. Then I'm going to put my my bulletin boards up and can't forget about the welcoming bulletin board in the hallway. I'm still debating weather or not I want ceiling decorations but that would be the last part of decorating I do.

    Next I will organize manipulatives...I just hope the previous teaching didn't leave it a mess. I am at a new school, but I've already been in my classroom because when I was offered the position, the principal took me to the new room while the former teacher and students were still there. It was super awkward.
     
  16. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2014

    This may sound a bit much, but I made 2 checklists - one for the end-of-the-year stuff to do, and one for the beginning of the year. It includes EVERYTHING I can think of, no matter how small. I often do things on scattered days throughout the summer, so it helps me remember what I have done/bought and prevents me from duplicating or forgetting things.

    I have a lot of bulletin boards, so I try to do most of them in a way I don't have to change the paper or borders throughout the year. For example, one title says Introducing... on the top so at the beginning of the year it can be about the kids and later can be introducing various topics, art techniques, books, etc. The background paper is dark brown with dots on chocolate and other coordinating borders, so there is consistency throughout the room and it isn't so busy.

    I like doing bulletin boards so I save them as a treat after doing
    stuff I don't like to do to revive myself to do something else.
    One of my friends plans her boards at the beginning of the year and put them one on top of the other so she just has to pull them off.
     
  17. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 24, 2014

    Thank you everyone for your help! I still have quite some time until the beginning of the school year, but I am already getting some teacher anxiety over setting up!

    I think what I will do is just do a basic setup of the desks, because like a lot of people here said it can always be changed later. At least if I do an initial setup, it will feel somewhat accomplished and if I end up liking it then it can stay.

    The biggest part will be organizing what is in storage. I am moving from a reading teacher into the classroom, so I have things from my old room, things from the previous 3rd grade teacher, and then things from the teacher who retired whose room I will be in. It is A LOT. I think I stopped counting boxes at 50, and that is only the things in boxes. The bulk of it is books, so my library will probably take the longest.
     
  18. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 25, 2014

    I had a teacher when I was in high school who NEVER decorated ANYTHING whatsoever. Boring, right? RIGHT. She had the desks facing inwards, so students could not look out the window without turning around. She closed the door so we could not look out the hallway. She never had anything on her board, and stood at the podium, and taught. By literal process of elimination, she became the most interesting part of the room.

    Excellent way to get attention. That's what I've done for years, and I've never been yelled at for not decorating. It's just my way of keeping distractions down to a minimum.

    So to answer the question, it takes me a few hours on the day before school starts to set up the desks. I take the books out of the cabinet and distribute them on the first day. End of Story. Lazy, but effective! :)
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,449
    Likes Received:
    79

    Jul 27, 2014

    I generally started with bulletin boards because getting them up made the room feel more mine. Furniture typically was next but subject to changes. All "stuff" was put on shelves last once I had a feel for where I wanted things. Of course set up never went as smoothly as this.
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,449
    Likes Received:
    79

    Jul 27, 2014

    I would start early if I were in your shoes. Don't feel you must have everything out and perfect on opening day (or night). You can always add things as needed or fill boards with student work. Get the necessities ready to go and worry about the rest as you have time.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. Obadiah,
  3. Miss Snix,
  4. bella84,
  5. czacza
Total: 379 (members: 6, guests: 312, robots: 61)
test