Classroom Setup with 36 Students

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by EiffelTower, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 8, 2015

    I have been racking my brain, trying to figure out how to set up my classroom for the upcoming year. I just spent the entire night looking at class photos on Pinterest, hoping to get some sort of inspiration. This is my favorite part of starting a new year, getting to decorate and make everything look pretty, but it's stressing me out! As of right now, I have 36 students and I honestly have no idea how I'm going to set up my classroom to accommodate all of them.

    Here is the link to photos from how my room looked this time last year. Obviously, I'm going to have to get rid of several pieces of furniture to make room (and that's if there is even a place to put the school furniture that I need out of my room), but I don't even know where to start and am heading back in next week to start getting things set up. Does anyone have any suggestions? I need a spot for my classroom library and round table for small group instruction, everything else is expendable.

    I really do not want to seat kids in groups for the first several weeks, just so I can get them used to routines/procedures, as well as figure out their needs/personalities. However, if groups were the best way to set up the room, than I would be willing to go that route. I contemplated asking if I could switch out my desks for tables, but I'm not sure if that's even an option or if I would like it. Plus, where would they keep their supplies/materials if they didn't have a desk? I usually assign them a cubby to keep their stuff in, but I only have 30 of them. When I go past 30 students, I have students share with a classmate, but they become pretty crammed with textbooks/supplies then. I thought about reconfiguring my class library to be under the TV where my desk used to be. It would be similar to how the filing cabinet/book cases are right now. Or just moving my desk and replacing it with the round table to make that my small group area. Then maybe I make some sort of horseshoe shape back where the Daily 5/CAFE board was for the library. Or maybe I should just leave my library where it is since it's out of the way and up against a wall, not taking up any extra space.

    I'm just at a loss right now. :help:
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 8, 2015

    In your desk set up from last year, how many desks were in the middle rows? My first thought would be to shift the whole set up back about a foot, eliminate the teacher table at the front, and replace it with another row of student seating. 36 is insane! I'm glad our state Max is 28.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Wow, 36 in 4th grade! My school's classrooms wouldn't have the physical space to handle that number without assistance of a professional organizer (our rooms are... tiny). We cap at 28. I want to say a 5th grade LA teacher had parents fighting to get into her class and simply said she'd let the extra kid in if she were willing to actually share a desk with another student.

    For supplies, I would look for a few super sturdy wall organizer, such as they have for shoes, so you can hang those on the walls without too much space. Saw that one on Pinterest and it stayed in my mind. And yes, look at rearranging furniture.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Ooof. That's so many kids.

    My suggestions:

    Get rid of the round table, and teacher desk if possible. You could still use the shelving behind your desk, and if you put the half table in that area, you can use it as a work surface and small group area. Not ideal, but could be doable.

    I had 32 kids in a similar classroom. Horseshoe shape for desks is good, but to fit in a few extra desks in the middle, have your walkway down the center and not on both ends.

    These comments are made disregarding my utter revulsion that anyone would place 36 nine year olds in one classroom.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Side note: how did the brag tag / dog tags work out? Will you be using them again this year?
     
  7. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Jul 8, 2015

    WOW that's a lot of kids in one classroom. Is that the norm? Do you get an assistant?.. Is the room big enough to fit that many desks/tables?!
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2015

    I just recalled that in my classroom, since I did like my desk, I simply turned it to the wall. That freed up quite a bit of room.
     
  9. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 8, 2015

    I think the whole set up was for 28 students, with 8 of them sitting in the middle. I was thinking of doing five rows of 4 in the center and then 8 facing them perpendicular, but I'm not sure if they will have enough room to sit comfortably and move about the room.

    I kinda wanted to keep the round table since I can fit more kids there for small group instruction than I could with the horseshoe table. However, the round table does take up a considerable amount of space, but with 36 kids, my small groups are going to be larger.

    I LOVED doing the brag tags and am definitely planning on continuing to use them this year. I think the kids really enjoyed earning them and would wear the necklaces quite often in class. I just hate to give up a full bulletin board to display them with my number of kids. I could barely fit them all on the smaller bulletin board, so I think I'm going to end up using about 3/4 of the long bulletin board (where my Daily 5/CAFE was) to house them and my Class Dojo points area.

    I ended the year with 32, which was on the high side compared to what I've had in years past. I do not have an assistant. Personally, I don't think the room is big enough to house that many kids/furniture, but I don't really have a choice. That's why I really need to figure out how to set the desks up so I can then figure out where the rest of the stuff is going to go on the perimeter.

    I'm contemplating doing this. I've done it in years past, so I just need to figure out where would be a good spot. Unless, I decide to just get rid of the desk altogether, which I have done in the past, too.

    Thanks for the responses everyone!
     
  10. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Here is what I'm thinking for the student desks. There will be 3 groups of 6 in the center. Then there will be three pairs of 2 in front and behind the groups. To the right and left of the groups, there will be 4 students sitting independently, one in front of the other, like a single file line of desks, equally spread out. Now the arrangement is for 38 desks. Once I get in and actually set the desks up, I'll be able to see where I can modify the arrangement (mainly in the upper left hand corner), but since I fear the number may grow, at least I know I can fit 38 kids in this arrangement. And everyone will have a partner that they can discuss with during various parts of the day. Thoughts? Ignore the periods. I had to insert them in order to keep the X's in place to show the seating arrangement.


    X.....XX.....XX.....XX.....X

    X.....XX.....XX.....XX.....X
    .......XX.....XX.....XX
    X.....XX.....XX.....XX.....X

    X.....XX.....XX.....XX.....X
     
  11. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jul 9, 2015

    WOW! 36 students! I cannot believe you have so many! What a disservice. Not that you are a fabulous teacher but that is SO MANY! I had 30 last year and seriously it was so tricky. I wish administration would realize we'd be better at our jobs if they gave us the RIGHT support!

    But you seem to have a handle on things. Hang in there. I am sure you will ROCK IT!
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2015

    I think that plan will be a good start!
     
  13. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2015

    Thanks! It's where I'm starting, so we'll see how the setup works once I put the desks in place. If that works, than I can figure out the perimeter of the room and where to fit things. I just want to make sure I have enough room for the kids to move about the room safely.
     

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