curious: What's your method for setting up your room?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by paperheart, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I'm just wondering if you have a particular strategy or order for setting up your classroom? Do you start with your walls? positioning the furniture?

    When it comes to setting up my classroom, I can be terribly inefficient. Soon, I have everything pulled out and I'm hanging up posters one minute, setting up my desk the next without really getting much accomplished.

    Especially for the new teachers and organizationally-challenged people like me, what are your best classroom set-up tips?
     
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  3. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    I usually make a list of what I want to do. I also try and draw a sketch of what I want the furniture to look like. Although, I'm like you where I pull the posters out and have a huge pile of "junk" lying on the floor, and no clue what to do with it. Eventually, it all comes together and starts to look like a classroom. However...don't open the cupboards.
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I am a disaster! Each year, I take everything out of the cupboards, shelves, etc. It ends up all over the floor, on the tables, etc. Then I sort through the piles. I get rid of so much each year. I hate clutter. I accumulate a lot also, because I shop a lot. I have bins that I store extra art, math, language arts materials in. I have tubs for supplies like pencils, erasers and all of that. I sort almost everything into tubs and bins, all with lids that clasp! I label them so I can see what's inside. If the bin goes inside a cupboard, I buy clear. If it's on a shelf and is for my personal use, I buy a color. Tubs for the kids, generally are open, or clear with a lid.

    I moved rooms this year, and it took me about a week to sift through the piles, but I got it done. I work on one corner and move around the room. I do my shelves and set up each center for the kids. At the end, I organize my personal cupboards, shelving, desk, etc. I am teaching summer school in my room now, and everything for the kids is in place. My desk and shelving is another story. It's hidden away for now, and I will have to work on it before school starts.

    Because I moved rooms this year, it's fresh in my mind. First I began with the library, as it's big and very important to me. I set up the shelving and sorted the books. Then I set up the rest of the shelving and organized the materials for each self as I went. Finally, I worked on setting up the tables and chairs (no desks.) Last, I got my desk in it's place.

    When school is closer to starting, I will do the butcher paper on the bulletin boards, decorations, signs, posters, name tags, etc. I save that stuff for last. That is what I am most excited for, as it will really bring my room to life!
     
  5. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    So no one else just closes their eyes and throws everything and leaves it where it lands? LOL
    This thread just brought to mind a small child hanging tinsel on the Christmas Tree!! Just throw and it stays where it lands!! LOL
    Hey...it's late. My brain works funny after midnight!!!
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I get my furniture in place first. Then I start unpacking boxes, usually my library books. As I pull them out of the boxes, I check the condition of the book, whether or not the books have library cards in them, and decide if it is a book that gets weeded or stays. Once my books are shelved (alpha order by author's last name), I move on to other boxes. Once all the boxes are emptied, I start on my cupboards, my desk, and finally my walls.
    It takes me about a week to get everything unpacked and organized, and my room looks like a tornado it it until then.
     
  7. ranger1stgrd

    ranger1stgrd Companion

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    I agree with Mrs.R I start with the furniture and then I have areas of learning established so I know what to hang where.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I have such attention problems... LOL! I'm kinda like littleschool, I take everything out of the cabinets and such and slowly start moving through the piles. I reorganize all of the time! It takes me about 3 nonstop days to really get my room the way I want. Posters on the wall are the last thing to go up because I can't decide where they go until I know where book shelves and filing cabinets go!
     
  9. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I decide on my "presentation area" (i'm all over the place, but where I'll present is determined on the construction of the room.) Then I work on student desk arrangement - can they see? can I move? I like my students in groups of four, and the kids will need an open space for presentations and coming together for seminar. Once that's been accomplished I figure out where I can stash my desk, and then I'll hang stuff up. Eek. I'm slow - it takes me a good while to set up my room, I have to go in before school starts to do it. I'm really envious of the folks who can get it done in an afternoon or two!!!
     
  10. Weazy

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    This year will be a challenge for me since we had to completely empty our rooms for construction and remodeling. I will have to unpack EVERYTHING! :help: I dread it, AND we probably won't be able to get back in our rooms until 4 days before school starts. What's a teacher to do?:dunno:

    I will look at my class rosters and see how many tables (we don't use desks) and chairs I will need. This will dictate how I can arrange my room. Last year, second semester, I had 30 students in one class and I had to scramble to find two extra tables; I lost quite a bit of "moving around space" in my room. Once that is set-up I will concentrate on walls, bookshelves, etc.

    I can't wait to get started, but I won't be able to step foot in the building for another month! In the meantime, I'm starting to work on lesson plans here at home. I brought home a ton of stuff with at the end of last year. My husband was dumbfounded at the amount I hauled in here.:huh: BUT I NEED MY STUFF! RIGHT? :anyone:
    I envy those of you who have already started working in your rooms.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I start with the big furniture--my desk, filing cabinets, computers, book shelves and library racks--then the student desks and tables. Bulletin boards, posters, etc. are last.
     
  12. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    mass chaos
     
  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I just started yesterday trying to get things in place. I got the big things situated... setting up areas for centers and such. Getting out the books and putting them on the shelves. Still got TONS more to do!
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I have to have a plan or I wander around my room and skip from item to item worse than my most severe ADD/ADHD kids.

    Every year when I pack up my room, I go through stuff, throw things out, organize, and make a list of what else I need. I have measured everything in my classroom--and the classroom--so I can sketch out different plans before I try them.

    Once I'm ready to put things together, I start with furniture. I put all of the big pieces in place first. Next, I set up the student desks. AFter that, I start placing my posters, which are arranged by type . . . graphic organizers, grammar, reading, writing, character, procedures. One all of that is in place, I start with my desk area . . . mainly because I want to SIT DOWN after all of that. Once my desk is finished, I put my decorations up. The last thing I do is put my books on the shelves.
     
  15. January_Violet

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    I always do my walls then my desk, then the students' desks. I complete the boards last.
     
  16. La Profesora

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    I'm moving (again) this year, and I had just gotten stuff where I liked it. I use a million clear shoe boxes to keep all my supplies in order, but I may begin doing the bin thing for larger items. I have a bunch of cardboard boxes stacked in the corner.

    I guess its less pressing when you teach high school. Some teachers have nothing and do nothing to their classes.

    I have a scuba theme, so i have lots of pictures and blue stuff to move.

    I'm having a baby, so I may do a scuba baby theme too. or safari. I'm thinking about that, not my school :) Dont want my sub to let it get trashed.!!!
     
  17. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    This will be my 3rd year in a row switching rooms, and I am an unorganized mess. The plan in my head is to set up furniture, then shelves, then the walls. I tend to have ADD kick in at this time, and start a project and then think of something else and start that. Last year I had 6 mini projects going on at one time!!!!
    I have found that I just need to keep going and amazingly everything gets done!
     
  18. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    I'll probably start with were I want my carpet area, student's tables, my desk, library, and the reading table to be. Those are the main areas. Then figure out where bookshelves and other little center areas are going to go.
     
  19. Weazy

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    Some high school teachers, like me, do try to make their classrooms interesting and inviting. I, for one, spend a lot of time making my classroom student friendly for my freshman.
     
  20. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I am in the exact same boat except we are given only 2 DAYS to unpack and get our rooms back into order. I emailed the principal if there is any chance of getting in any earlier and he didn't thinks so. I AM SO STRESSED!!! Yickes.

    Thank you for starting this thread. I too am a mess when it comes to unpacking and getting things up. In about three weeks, I will have to unpack ALL 40 boxes and figure out where they will go, arrange furniture and hang stuff up on walls in 2 days. I don't think I'll be going home those two days. SOB.
     
  21. Weazy

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    You have my sympathies, and being a 5th grade teacher, you probably have a lot more "stuff" in your room than I do. I have quite a bit, but ot the same type of materials that middle or elementary teachers have. I do work hard to have a room that appeals to the students (I'm assuming it does!). I go in so many high school calssrooms and the teachers don't make any effort to do anything with their room, and it depresses me. I hated a blank room when I was in high school, and I still hate it.

    Now--I work hard at the beginning of the year, but I'm not constantly changing my room. We have two semesters, therefore, two different groups of kids. The only thing I add or change is student work I display.
     
  22. kindernj123

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    I draw up a floorplan and see if it works. I like the room to have open unobstructed flow and no hiding spots unless I set them up. I hate hitting furniture with my feet, too, when I am moving through the room. Then I set up the shelves and center areas. Last comes the wall decorations and calendar wall. Don't feel bad, we all get that add feeling! I can move in one direction, start something else, go and finish something I started earlier, lose a piece of something, forget why I took another thing out... (big relief)I thought I was the only one who got like that!!!
     
  23. 1st-yr-teacher

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    I am not that great either...apparently i used my closet to push things out of sight and I also stuffed my stuff off the floor. which has led me to have to go through everything trying to get my room organized:(
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I was in my room today and I would say that my plan is to start with complete chaos ..... and go from there. It'll take me a while.
     
  25. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    I usually put the student's desk in order first. Then I can figure out how to place all the rest of the furniture, like my desk and the reading table. After that I end up pulling stuff out of my containers, cabinets, and closets and it gets piled all over the desks. And then there's more chaos when I start pulling out my books. Somewhere in between all that I work on the walls and bulletin boards. It usually takes me a full week (while working over 8 hours each day) to get my room in some sort of order.
     
  26. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    oh I feel so much better now that I hear that everyone is a bit ADD and chaotic about room set-up!
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And it always gets worse and worse before it gets any better. I am not buying another single thing. Except an easel.
     
  28. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    You're right, Upsadaisy. It does get worse and worse. One teacher at our school always looks like a tornado blew in but she said one time that if school were to start in 10 minutes, she could get everything ready and put away. Not sure how since I think everything she owned was in the middle of the floor. As for myself, I think I just have too much stuff. Half the time I don't even know what I have if I wanted to put it up.
     
  29. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    I go back and forth between a few things, but I try to stay in one area as long as I can. Even though I tend to do something, then put it down and go do something else for a little while, I always finish before everyone else in the school. How that happens, you've got me!
     
  30. mclaugcr

    mclaugcr Companion

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    I am the worst combination of procrastination and ADD that I think there is.:eek: I will start something, not finish it, move to something else, get distracted by someone talking in the hallway and go talk to them, etc. I'm amazed that I can put a classroom together before the kids walk in the door!:)
     
  31. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I know. Too much stuff is the killer. Every time you get more stuff, you have to rearrange everything so you can find it. I know I bought a quilt pocket chart set, but couldn't find it. So I bought another one. It's in the middle of the room with all the other stuff. Hey, I can find it now.
     
  32. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I also have "Room Set Up ADD". I make a list before I ever get to the classroom of the most important things I want to get done: My Desk, Filing Cabinets, Set up room, etc... Well, I always end up all over the place. I'm getting things done, really. It just looks really bad. This year my room set up was the first thing to get done. Then I started pulling everything out. Sigh...
     
  33. 2ndTimeArnd

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    I start with bulletin boards, because that seems to be the kind of job you can start and finish without too many distractions - gives you a feeling of accomplishment. (And I vote for cheap cotton material over butcher paper ... quicker, easier and far less frustrating - plus, no wrinkles! And it doesn't fade.)

    I tend to be very disorganized too ... I unpack one box and start doing something with it, which leads me elsewhere, which finally results in my standing in the middle of the room feeling overwhelmed and panicky. A former partner gave me the best advice: Just pick one thing and FINISH it before moving on. And I do furniture last of all, because I don't want tables/chairs in my way as I'm trying to unpack, organize, shelve, put up b-boards, etc.
     
  34. silver rain

    silver rain Comrade

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    I set up my desks and computers first. Then I drag everything out of my closet and sit down to shake my head at the "mess". Then I begin to wander...I check on my friends' and their progress. Generally I see their progress and I run back to my classroom to dive into the "glorious mess" and start to organize. I put my boards up and then sort my books onto appropriate shelves. ......did I say that my hubby helps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love my hubby....I bribe him every year with a reward of LOWE'S...Gosh I love having a Lowe's down the street from my school.

    Does anyone help you set up?
     
  35. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I love help, just not when I'm setting up my room. I hate having to stop and tell people what to do, or where to put stuff. I'm weird like that.
     
  36. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nope, no help here. I'd like it for the physical aspect of it, which kills me.

    How about when you're in the midst of it all and keep losing things you need - I just used the scissors, where are they? Is every single permanent marker packed away?

    I have one box in my closet that I keep knocking into. Every time I do, I hear, That was easy (my Staples button). Last time I screamed, no it isn't!!!!!
     
  37. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Well I found all my scissors. I kept buying them last year (the $1 ones) when I couldn't find any. I now have 8 adult size scissors!!!

    :toofunny: :rofl: :toofunny:
     
  38. runsw/scissors

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    I get the big furniture in place first, if only in my mind's eye. Then bulletin boards go up. As soon as the custodian is available I get big furniture moved into place, smaller fruniture as I figure out what goes where. I organize my desk drawers pretty early on because I know how I want them, then my manuals on the bookshelves. Other than that everything just kind of gets done eventually. I have to plan my furniture from the outside in, so student desk arrangements are the final piece of the furniture puzzle.
     
  39. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I also have room set up add...

    I went from thing to thing to thing today. I cleaned out 90% of my desk (still need to tidy up my file drawer), and uncovered my bulletin boards. Also put my computers on their tables, cleaned off all my shelving, and put up a set of curtains (one out of three lol) Did various other little things as well- but still have a million more to do!
     
  40. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Reading all this is killing me, I want to get in my room so bad!!! I love it! I am going in my room Monday and I hope I can start. However, I won't have any air in my room, which is going to be rough!!!
     
  41. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    At least I already organized my file cabinets and desk before I left in May. I'm going into a new room with empty cabinets and shelves. So it will be like starting from scratch again. And hopefully I'll be able to get rid of some things I don't need as I unpack, instead of just stashing it somewhere when I get frustrated.
     
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