What does your classroom enviornment tell others about your teaching beliefs?

Debbie Miller in her book Teaching with Intention states that classroom enviornments are most effective when they are literate and purposeful, organized and accessible, and most of all authenic. What does your classroom enviornment tell others about what you value, what you believe about teaching and learning? What would they learn about the students in your classroom? Do the children and you need a meeting place? Is therre an age limitation for a common meeting area Do the children and you need spaces for small group instruction? How will they be used? And how many do you need? Desks or tables? What kind of configuration will you put them in, for what purpose? What about books? Do you want them in one area, or scattered throughout the room? How will they be organized, categoriized, accessible. How and when do you make it authenic with student writings, thoughts, questions. Debbie poses these questions and many more. There is no right answer, but I do think it gets you thinking about your classroom enviornment and how it will enhance your students learning.

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Replies to This Discussion

This is a great area to reflect on. One more questions would be, How often do you change things? We all know that when you pass the same sign on the road day after day you eventually don't see it anymore - but when the sign changes you take note. I have always encouraged teachers to change things around the room periodically for this reason.
Debbie Diller's book Spaces and Places is an excellent reference for veteran and novice teachers. I thought my room was pretty good before I read this and she helped put an even deeper perspective to where I put what and why! A definite MUST READ!!!! It actually is "chock" full of pictures for those reluctant readers!
I have this book also. It is a great resource!!!
I've been reading about anchor charts and would like to see them used more frequently in classrooms. If you use them in your classroom could you give us examples? I've read that it is difficult to create them during a lesson, so you do a lesson chart and later take your time to create the chart that will hang on your walls.
I am also reading this book and I LOVE it! I found myself going into my classroom and taking a look around and asking myself "what do I need to do to make this more functional for my students." After some great suggestions, I was able to reorganize my room and now I feel like a big weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. We now have a defined library/meeting place, each of the centers has a specific labeled area, and most important of all...the students love it! They have told me the room feels "cozy!"



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