My sample classroom is designed as a square classroom, 35 ft x 35 ft large. Each block represents one square foot. The layout of my classroom is designed to foster both individual work as well as the opportunity for group work. Every student table is placed so that student’s will be able to easily see the front of the classroom for blackboard and projector work. The projector and TV are on carts to facilitate easy exchanging when necessary. The front teacher desk is placed near the projector to house teaching materials and supplies. The student supply closet is near the student centers. The student centers are the two shelves which flank the blackboard and house class textbooks, current assignments, homework return area, pencil sharpeners, staplers, tape, class folders, etc. The student tables are scattered through the classroom allowing plenty of space to walk between groups. There are three trash cans strategically placed around the classroom so students will not have to walk between student tables to throw something away. Students may work individually or may easily see each other to complete a group project. There is one set of student tables that are set up differently to see the overhead better, but which can easily be moved during group work. Because this is an English class I wanted the students to be able to see each other to foster book discussions.
In the back right side of the room there are two computer stations for students. The computer stations are equipped with headphones so as not to disturb the other students. Next to that is the reading corner set up for those students who have finished their work and wish to relax. In the back center of the room is an area set up for individual or small group instruction. Behind that are two shelves which hold classroom library books which students can check out. In the back left side of the room is the teachers primary desk area, complete with computer table, file cabinets, teacher storage center, shelves and a coat rack.
Using my five strengths I chose this design for the following reasons. My sense of empathy comes into play when providing an area for individual work with the teacher as well as setting up the reading corner for students to relax. My positivity strength shows with my inclusion of a private library to share my books with my students. This part of me also shows in the small but directly visible from the door bulletin board to house the student’s jokes of the weeks, favorite cartoons and pictures which they are able to share with the class. The bulletin board by the door will house important information, while the one in the back will showcase students work. The consistency part of me can be described by the student centers which hold the materials the student needs to complete their work. Above them students will find posted the classroom rules and procedures for easy viewing. The includer in me can be observed by the placement of the students’ tables. As stated, they are placed as is to encourage student discussions during book club readings. A major portion of helping students comprehend text is to allow them to share their views with each other and perhaps help each other understand what is being read. And last, the harmony portion of my strengths can be seen by the pathways I have set up around the room to minimize disruption to students when working at their tables.
My favorite part of the classroom design is that I was able to arrange my students chairs at their tables so they did not back up against each other. This allowed for the personal space that so many students crave. Using tables rather than desks also gave my students more room to spread out while doing their work, and allows students easier access for group work. I love the reading corner being set in the back by the books I hope students will check out to read for pleasure. How nice to be able to look up and see your students lost in the pages of a good book!