I would want my classroom to feel inviting. By inviting, I want it to look like a kindergarten classroom. I want my students to know that love makes the room special. I want them to be able to look around the room and see their names as they walk in for the first time. Without meeting some of them, I want them to know that I already care about them. The smell of the room is a HUGE thing. Little five and six year olds can sometimes bring a little funk with them. The classroom HAS to have some type of soothing air freshener. The ideal classroom for me will be very welcoming to other students, parents, and family members. I would want people to walk by the room, hear us, and come back to take a look at what we are doing.
The sound in the room should always be a constant learning buzz. I rarely make my students have total silence in the room. However, there are a few exceptions such as assessments on the computers and during some writing time when I want them all to focus on what they’re writing. Later in the year, I’m not as concerned.
The look of my classroom is bright, cheerful, and has bold colors! It is easy to walk through the room. My ideal classroom arrangement would have ZERO clutter. There is various workspaces for my students to venture out. They choose anywhere in the room to work during any time of the day. My ideal classroom would have student work hanging. Anchor charts of our learning is posted as well. There is evidence that the students have been given opportunities to share their learning. This could be that their writing is on anchor charts or that I see writing throughout the room from them. The colors in the classroom are all soothing. The decor matches or coordinates nicely with everything else in the classroom. Also, students have everything that they need without needing to ask the teacher. All of the supplies are out.
Oh yeah, my ideal classroom would come with a personal maid to put away and file all my papers. *hehehehe*
In my ideal classroom, the teacher is merely facilitating the students. He or she is not micromanaging the classroom. The students know what they are supposed to be doing, but are given free will on how to complete the tasks. The students are working together to problem solve and complete their assignments. The teacher walks around to check in with groups of working students and has time to conference with each of the students.
There are groups of students using technology as other students are writing, drawing, reading or working on building words. There is zero downtime in the classroom. The transition time is down to a T and students get right to work.
During math, the students are all engaged. The teacher pulls students for math small group and is very organized. There isn’t any downtime between transitioning groups.
PAPER STACKS! I like to hide the paper stacks. I think I do a really good job of it too. At the beginning of the year, I’m really good at putting papers back where I got them, throwing away things I don’t need, and just not making the paper stack mistake. The end of the year is a TOTALLY different story.
I also need to work on my schedule times. I am a go with the flow kinda girl and sometimes that bites me in the rear. I will keep going with a small group or lesson and waste time that should have been for transition time or another group and then BLAH. Time has been wasted. I was SO much better at it this year, but there is still tons of areas that I can improve on. It seems like every year, I have what I think it a better solution for something that I’ve already done. So midyear, I have to change things around and that messes up my schedule. I think I need to just STICK to a plan that I have started with and ride the year out with it.
My students’ work is another area that I need to improve on. Their work is posted in the hallways, but I have a hard time changing out their work in the classroom. I’ve done just about every way to show their work and I always forget that it’s over on the wall and I don’t change it for months.
My room is very bright and cheerful. I like to have my kiddos names up somewhere in the room. Last year, they were in pink, blue, and purple frames. On meet the teacher night/beginning of school, the door was different kidlettes with names to match. After school starts, we always make their names and I let those hang from the ceiling for the entire year. It’s just something about seeing their names that makes them happy.
I also think I have the learning buzz down to where it isn’t too noisy. This year, I seriously had the PERFECT class and they were AMAZING. Since I started using the Daily 5 and a form of it for Math Workshops, their center time has become one of my favorite times of the day. They know where they need to be, what they need to be doing, and there isn’t a lot of chatter to me while they should be working. There has only been a few students that just decide to do absolutely nothing (the kids that come in AFTER we learn all about D5), but I clear that up and usually have no issues the rest of the year.
Year after year, I am becoming more of an organized person. My personal life is not organized in any fashion. School is a completely different story. People come in my classroom and think that I am the most organized person. This is what I want them to think, therefore, I have to be that at school. I think it will just take me some time to get this way in the other areas of my ideal classroom.
As far as welcoming to others, I keep my classroom door open. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly because my principal likes to pop in. It keeps the distractions down when the door is already open. Anyone walking the halls can easily just peek in and we never knew they were there.
That’s it! Did I mention anything similar to your ideal classroom? I’m sure tons of you have taken a different perspective on what your ideal classroom looks and feels like.
In the thought of an ideal classroom, here’s some schedule cards to get your ‘ideal’ classroom a tad bit more organized for you and your kiddos! These are only available for free here.