Help! My classroom is SO small!

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by mcjklj, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. mcjklj

    mcjklj Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and ideas you have for setting up a very small classroom. It is about 22' X 24' and I'll have at least 21 kids.

    Right now we have desks, but I'm thinking of asking for tables (but I'm not really sure they would be willing to purchase them.)

    I know I want a good size carpet area (calendar), classroom library, small group work area, the student desks, and they have cubbies.

    What do you think? I would appreciate any suggestions!! :help:

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. AggieTchr2006

    AggieTchr2006 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I would go the table route with kinder kids if you have the option. I had a little boy who liked to put frogs and bugs in his pockets, and I can only imagine what would have happened if he had a place to hide them!:lol: Also they don't need access to that many supplies and the like when you are trying to keep them focused on something else.

    One teacher I worked with had a small room and had the kids do most of their paper/pencil work on lap desks or clip boards on her rug/calendar area. You may also consider getting those big foam squares for your calendar area. Super easy to clean.

    I would just recommend not trying to put so much stuff in there that it looks cluttered. It will make the kids, and you crazy. :)

    Good Luck!
     
  4. SueHue

    SueHue Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    My first year, my classroom was really small, only about 2/3 of a portable. I'm sorry, I don't know the actual measurements to help you out. I used tables, not desks. Here's a list of all the furniture I used:

    2 regular tables
    1 kidney table
    1 smaller table (sorry, I don't know the dimensions)
    1 desk (seats 2 people) for computers
    tall storage cabinet
    half sized storage cabinet
    teacher desk with desk for my computer
    rainbow carpet
    bookcases, I had tons. I couldn't get rid of them. The room was used as a library before I used it.
    an easel
    I even had room for some wooden kitchen accessories, but I had to move the furniture to give them room to use it.

    Now that I'm in a bigger room with a bathroom, I realize how nice that small room was. I had just the right amounts of things for my students. Now, we have too much stuff!

    If you want a picture, I probably have one. PM me for it!
     
  5. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I would go the route of tables if you have the option. My tables are the size of 4 regular desks pushed together in a group. Smaller than some tables in our building but they are perfect for 4 kids to sit at. Another table you would want is a reading table. Mine is horseshoe shaped so it doesn't take up a lot of width. I would forgo a teacher's desk and use your reading table to double as a desk. Put a shelf behind or close by and use baskets to store desk supplies. Put your computer on a small computer table. A nice carpet is a must, but I wouldn't get a huge one. An oval sized one would fit good in a smaller room. If you put your classroom library shelves close to your carpet that could double as your library. Keep in mind kids can also bring book baskets to their tables.
     
  6. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I agree with everyone in regards to getting tables. My classroom is tiny too, so I know how you feel. I switched schools and they gave me a preschool class. My whiteboard is only about 3 ft :( and I only have 1 bulletin board.
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    If you have to keep the desks they can still be used. Just turn them around so the insides of the desks face each other. You can group as many desks needed this way. Just put a communal supply basket in the middle or individual supply boxes on the desk. I agree with using your reading table as your desk. If space is really an issue you can use the housekeeping table as your desk/reading table as well. Just keep your guided reading supplies on a shelf near it or in a tote.
     
  8. cosmoteach

    cosmoteach Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2008

    I have a small room as well. I have ended up giving up my own desk to make more room. I just now do work at my kidney table. I have to work harder to make sure I clean up and it is not cluttered!
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 29, 2008

    I agree with the others, if you have to leave something out, make it your desk! You can use a table for yourself that doubles as a small group table (if you have one), or find a shelf to organize everything on. If you don't have a table (and can't get them for your kids), I would definately group them and then designate one "group" as the spot you will hold small groups...and I also agree with Sheila, turn the desks around so the kids can't put anything in them! Good luck!
     
  10. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2008

    What kind of storage do you have in the room? Do you have any white boards?

    I use white cube furniture (8 cubes in all) that fit right under my white boards. I store leveled baskets of books in each cube. The students can still reach the board and it really doesn't take up a lot of space. I can use the top to hold more books or items.

    I know a lot of teachers that use chair pockets to store student folders/ notebooks etc. I even know a teacher that has the students keep their bookbag on the back of their chair instead of using the cubbies. This might be a nightmare for kindergarten!

    I agree with all of the other teachers to get rid of the teacher's desk if possible! Teacherc had a great idea to designate a group of desks as the reading table during centers. Make sure your students all have clip boards and they could just move around to different areas on the carpet during center time.
     
  11. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    Aug 2, 2008

    I worked in one class where almost everything was done on the carpet. Only writing work and snack were at the tables.

    We eat snack outside if it isn't raining (we're in a warm climate). Get them outside as much as possible!

    I just moved to a much smaller room than I had (22x30) and the kids will hang their backpacks outside on the veranda, and that's where their food, jackets and nap blankets will stay-- I just don't have storage room for them.

    mcjklj, your state must have guidelines for room size. Some states require no smaller than 600 s.f. But if you are in a private school this may not apply. Still, you could look into it.

    I just don't see enough space for tables and carpet space. What tables you have could be centers, and maybe all your seatwork could be done in centers or small groups.

    Beg, borrow, and steal :eek: as much vertical storage as you can. plastic tubs holding center items on shelves are a great boon. It makes the room look orderly too, which is really important when the room is crowded.
     
  12. preschoolheart

    preschoolheart Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2008

    see if you can add casters/wheels to shelf units (that store toys/materials)- this way you can move them when they're not being used. I used to work in a preschool room where we would simply move the block shelves off the carpet when we were using the rug for circle time/group activities. While having a nice big carpet area is nice for whole group times, it ends up being dead space for much of the day in some rooms.
     
  13. mcjklj

    mcjklj Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Thanks for the great ideas, everyone! I got in my classroom yesterday...I got the kidney table instead of the teacher's desk, but no tables for the students. That was a bummer.

    I love the ideas you all shared...I appreciate your help!! :)
     

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